Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


UC Researching Seismic Design For Timber Buildings

UC Researching Seismic Design For Multi-storey Timber Buildings

June 24, 2013

A University of Canterbury (UC) research team is investigating a new type of design for multi-storey timber buildings to successfully withstand earthquakes.

UC researcher Andrew Dunbar says they are testing a combination of a low damage structural system with cross laminated timber.

``This is the first time in the world that anyone has done this. Cross laminated timber (CLT) panels are a new product to New Zealand, which started up at a Nelson factory last year,’’ Dunbar says.

``The panels are made like plywood with boards laid out in alternating directions. The difference is that CLT uses whole timber planks rather than thin veneers. Panels can be made from cheap low grade material to produce a quality structural material.

``In New Zealand and overseas multi-storey timber structures are becoming increasingly desirable for architects and building owners due to their aesthetic and environmental benefits.

``There is increasing public pressure to have low damage structural systems with minimal business interruption after a moderate to severe seismic event.

``The aim of our research is to combine a low damage structural system with CLT. We are being supervised by Professor Andy Buchanan and Associate Professor Stefano Pampanin.

``We are also using post-tensioned high strength steel tendons that clamp the CLT walls to the foundation. During an earthquake, the walls are allowed to rock and the high strength steel tendons act like rubber bands and snap the building back to its original position.

``This is the same concept that has been applied to the new Christchurch timber buildings in Victoria St, Birmingham Drive and the concrete Southern Cross Hospital Endoscopy building which was built before the earthquakes.’’

Dunbar says two test specimens are the feature of their research a low seismic option and a high seismic option. The low seismic option is aimed at the Auckland and Australian markets, replacing concrete tilt panels and shear cores.

The high seismic option is aimed for the Christchurch and Wellington areas providing a low damage system with replaceable energy dissipaters that act as ductile fuses.

The timber panels are much lighter than concrete providing smaller foundations meaning less expense.

``Our cross design system gives connections a much higher capacity than traditional timber using nails or bolts. This can be achieved at a comparable cost to concrete or steel while providing the added environmental and aesthetic benefits,’’ Dunbar says.

Final results of his research at UC’s Civil engineering and Natural Resources laboratory will be known at the end of the year. UC was recently ranked the 21st university in the world in terms of civil engineering and natural resources.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Housing: Affordability Drops 14%, Driven By Auckland Prices

Housing affordability across New Zealand fell 14 percent in the year ending November 2014, with Auckland’s lack of affordability set to reach levels it hit during the height of the global financial crisis, according to the latest Massey University Home Affordability Report More>>

ALSO:

The Dry: Fonterra Drops Forecast Milk Volumes By 3.3 Percent

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the worlds largest dairy exporter, reduced its milk volume forecast for the 2014-2015 season by 3.3 per cent due to the impact of dry weather on production in recent weeks. More>>

ALSO:

Strike: Lyttelton Port Workers Vote To Escalate Dispute

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) at Lyttelton Port today voted to escalate their industrial action. Around 200 RMTU members have been operating an overtime ban since 17 December and today they endorsed a series of full withdrawals of labour at the port. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Falls To 3-Year Low As Investors Favour Greenback

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest in more than three years as investors sold euro and bought US dollars, weakening other currencies against the greenback. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Govt Operating Deficit Smaller Than Expected

The New Zealand’s government’s operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first five months of the financial year as a clampdown on expenditure managed to offset a shortfall in the tax-take from last month’s forecast. More>>

ALSO:

0.8 Percent Annually:
NZ Inflation Falls Below RBNZ's Target

New Zealand's annual pace of inflation slowed to below the Reserve Bank's target band in the final three months of the year, giving governor Graeme Wheeler more room to keep the benchmark interest rate lower for longer.More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news