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

 

Interest Rates: Wheeler Hikes OCR To 3% On Inflationary Pressures, Eyes Kiwi

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler lifted the official cash rate for the second time in as many months, saying non-tradable inflationary pressures were "becoming apparent" in an economy that’s picking up pace and he's watching the impact of a strong kiwi dollar on import prices. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Equity Crowd Funding Carries Risks, High Failure Rate

Equity crowd funding, which became legal in New Zealand this month, comes with a high risk of failure based on figures showing existing forays into social capital have a success rate of less than 50 percent, one new entrant says. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Migration Rises To 11-Year High In March

The country gained a seasonally adjusted 3,800 net new migrants in March, the most since February 2003, said Statistics New Zealand. A net 400 people left for Australia in March, down from 600 in February, according to seasonally adjusted figures. More>>

ALSO:

Hugh Pavletich: New Zealand’s Bubble Economy Is Vulnerable

The recent Forbes e-edition article by Jesse Colombo assesses the New Zealand economy “ 12 Reasons Why New Zealand's Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster ”, seems to have created quite a stir, creating extensive media coverage in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Thursday Market Close: Genesis Debut Sparks Energy Rally

New Zealand stock rose after shares in the partially privatised Genesis Energy soared as much as 18 percent in its debut listing on the NZX, buoying other listed energy companies in the process. Meridian Energy, MightyRiverPower, Contact Energy and TrustPower paced gains. More>>

ALSO:

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news