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Thread: Timber skyscrapers

  1. #1

    Default Timber skyscrapers

    80 stories tall...

    Timber skyscrapers could transform London's skyline -- ScienceDaily

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0408102359.htm

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    No thanks, that building could light up and burn down in 15 minutes. No one in such a building would survive.
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    That article should have been dated April 1

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    Looks like they're serious and it looks like the fire issues have been dealt with:

    Tall Tinder: Are Wooden Skyscrapers Really Fire Safe?

    Another major test was recently published by a group called FPInnovations in Canada. They tested CLT panels as walls and floors to demonstrate that the panels have a certain level of fire performance comparable to non-combustible building elements like concrete, for example.

    The tests showed the walls and floors could be designed for up to three hours of fire resistance, in many cases exceeding the code requirement for structural element fire resistance ratings.
    They're not talking about cut wood, this is all laminates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasH View Post
    No thanks, that building could light up and burn down in 15 minutes. No one in such a building would survive.
    you do know these are heavy timber and composite timber structures that are not stick framed with 2 x 4's?

    heavy timbers actually perform better in a fire than structural steel because they don't burn and they don't lose their structural integrity in a fire The outer 3/4 inch will char which then insulates and deprives the fire of new material to burn. the interior doesn't lose its structural integrity the way steel does Shen exposed to heat

    timber also captures co2 and is considerably less energy intensive to manufacture than either steel or concrete.
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    It would mean a boom for BC forest industry if we start doing this. How about a new Telus Tinder Box House for Burnaby. Call the Timber Kings from Williams Lake.
    Last edited by Drumbones; 09-04-2016 at 11:25 AM.

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    Seriously though, if it is scientifically sound this could be a boon for the forest industry. Tree huggers may not like it. Trees supply most of the worlds oxygen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbones View Post
    Seriously though, if it is scientifically sound this could be a boon for the forest industry. Tree huggers may not like it. Trees supply most of the worlds oxygen.
    No they don't. The majority of the O2 in the atmosphere is generated by phytoplankton in the oceans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbones View Post
    Seriously though, if it is scientifically sound this could be a boon for the forest industry. Tree huggers may not like it. Trees supply most of the worlds oxygen.
    on a life cycle basis, trees release considerable co2 when left to rot. harvesting the timber is actually a very productive method of sequestering that co2.
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  10. #10

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    From that same article:



    "The type of wood these new buildings would use is regarded as a 'crop'. The amount of crop forest in the world is currently expanding. Canada alone could produce more than 15billion m of crop forest in the next 70 years, enough to house around a billion people...

    At present, the world's tallest timber building is a 14-storey apartment block in Bergen, Norway....

    Perhaps the most obvious concern for potential residents of homes built primarily from timber is fire risk. However, the team involved in the project said the proposed building would eventually meet or exceed every existing fire regulation currently in place for steel and concrete buildings.

    Recent research has also shown that timber buildings can have positive effects on their user and occupant's health. Some recent studies have also shown that children taught in schools with timber structures may perform better than in those made of concrete.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0408102359.htm

    On another thread we've talked about anti-burn coatings for new construction. Maybe some fire resistance could be built right into the composition glue.
    Last edited by KC; 09-04-2016 at 01:17 PM.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasH View Post
    No thanks, that building could light up and burn down in 15 minutes. No one in such a building would survive.
    you do know these are heavy timber and composite timber structures that are not stick framed with 2 x 4's?

    heavy timbers actually perform better in a fire than structural steel because they don't burn and they don't lose their structural integrity in a fire The outer 3/4 inch will char which then insulates and deprives the fire of new material to burn. the interior doesn't lose its structural integrity the way steel does Shen exposed to heat

    timber also captures co2 and is considerably less energy intensive to manufacture than either steel or concrete.
    I'm still not convinced, I will believe it when I see an actual wooden building withstand a fire. Would such a building withstand a terrorist attack by bomb or plane?
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    ^well I don't see other towers withstanding jets flying into them, so why would you expect the wood structure to be able to do it any better? Definitely possible. I think it's really very cool overall. I would love to see more and learn more about it. Definitely interests me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasH View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasH View Post
    No thanks, that building could light up and burn down in 15 minutes. No one in such a building would survive.
    you do know these are heavy timber and composite timber structures that are not stick framed with 2 x 4's?

    heavy timbers actually perform better in a fire than structural steel because they don't burn and they don't lose their structural integrity in a fire The outer 3/4 inch will char which then insulates and deprives the fire of new material to burn. the interior doesn't lose its structural integrity the way steel does Shen exposed to heat

    timber also captures co2 and is considerably less energy intensive to manufacture than either steel or concrete.
    I'm still not convinced, I will believe it when I see an actual wooden building withstand a fire. Would such a building withstand a terrorist attack by bomb or plane?
    i suppose the easy facetious answer would be "probably better than the structural steel world trade centres".

    there are lots of examples of heavy timber construction in the 4 - 8 storey range that have survived fires without incurring structural failure.

    if you really want to explore some of the characteristics of different materials during fire exposure including concrete and steel as well as timber, this is s good primer site:

    http://www.mace.manchester.ac.uk/pro...er/default.htm
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    Alright Ken, lets say this building was built and was hit by a large fire. The building survived the fire but the strength and elasticity of the wooden structure has been reduced. Would such a tall building still be able to withstand high winds? What about an earthquake? Lets say it still can; would the value of the building remain the same or be reduced after renovations? Would anyone still want to live in such a building?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasH View Post
    Alright Ken, lets say this building was built and was hit by a large fire. The building survived the fire but the strength and elasticity of the wooden structure has been reduced. Would such a tall building still be able to withstand high winds? What about an earthquake? Lets say it still can; would the value of the building remain the same or be reduced after renovations? Would anyone still want to live in such a building?
    the answer to your questions regarding wood structures are exactly the same as the answers to the very same questions if asked of steel structures.
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  16. #16

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    Wood burns at 300c, the temperature of such a fire in a skyscraper would be well over 1000c due to the availability of oxygen and being vertical. Firemen tell everyone to "stop, drop and roll" if they are on fire. Well, you can't tell a skyscraper to stop, drop and roll. lol Furthermore, chemical materials such as oils, plastics, fibers, elements etc. will also be present in the fire, raising temperatures even more and possibly dissolve the wood by chemical means. Also, when a fire happens, it is more likely that the entire wooden structure will get lit then if it was made of concrete, glass and steel. Sparks from such a fire would cause serious risk to surrounding properties and could travel great distances.
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  17. #17

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    I believe it is much easier to repair a burnt skyscraper made of cement and steel then it would be to repair one made of wood.
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  18. #18

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    What type of wood ate we talking about? This is not old growth Douglas Fir timbers 2 feet square.

    I think they are using engineered composite woods that are impregnated with glues, resins and formaldehyde made from lower grade woods that fall apart in intense heat and burn furiously.

    I would like to see how these beams perform during a fire.

    Residential floor joists have a 5 minute burn rating when exposed. Fire fighters get killed when they fall though floors like this. From the floor above, even the carpet may not show any damage yet the floor is burnt out from below.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 09-04-2016 at 07:11 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    What type of wood ate we talking about? This is not old growth Douglas Fir timbers 2 feet square.

    I think they are using engineered composite woods that are impregnated with glues, resins and formaldehyde made from lower grade woods that fall apart in intense heat and burn furiously.

    I would like to see how these beams perform during a fire.

    Residential floor joists have a 5 minute burn rating when exposed. Fire fighters get killed when they fall though floors like this. From the floor above, even the carpet may not show any damage yet the floor is burnt out from below.
    you don't build tall wood building structures using "residential floor joists" any more than you would build steel skyscrapers with thin gauge steel studs...
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  20. #20

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    They use the same joists in 5 story residential condos. OSB joists were a major factor in the failure of the Fort Mac condos.

    What is the alternate joist system they propose; steel or concrete? I doubt it. I bet a heavier version of the same OSB joists.
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    the world's tallest wood building is currently under construction at ubc - 18 stories (17 wood on a single story concert podium) and 54 metres tall. according to the architect:

    "It's important to differentiate between this type of wood and the type of wood you might see in a home or four-storey apartment building, where you would have two-by-fours," he said in a phone interview.

    "This is what would be called mass timber. It's really a different type of material than the wood used in a standard wood-frame building.
    "

    Metras said wood will form the majority of the building's structure. Columns will be made out of glulam and the floor plates of cross-laminated timber (CLT). Glulam is layers of wood bonded together with adhesive; CLT is layers of wood glued at right angles to one another.

    Even though the building will use wood structurally, exposed wood will likely only be seen on the lounge on the top floor. The rest of the wood will be encased in other materials such as multiple layers of drywall, he said.

    "The important thing to note about mass timber is that it doesn't ignite easily," he said. "If it does burn, it burns really slowly and chars on the outside. The structural integrity is maintained because of this charring effect."

    http://www.vancouversun.com/touch/ne...090/story.html
    Last edited by kcantor; 09-04-2016 at 07:49 PM.
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  22. #22

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    Charcoal is made from charring wood.
    Charcoal is used for BBQing.

    As shown in this youtube video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzLvqCTvOQY
    Last edited by ThomasH; 09-04-2016 at 07:58 PM.
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    Thanks for the info. I see in some designs they are using CLT panels as floors which has high mass and strength.

    An amazing amount of trees are required to build these buildings.
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    How old do the trees have to be in order to be harvested for such a project like this?
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    As little as 10 years depending on the type and where they are grown.
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    "The new student residence will include a Collegium. With membership of 300, it will give first-year students who commute to classes a place to meet during the day when they have long gaps between classes or are staying late and waiting for intra-mural sports to start. It will be able to accommodate up to 50 students at a time.

    "This is one way for commuter students to feel more connected to the community and have a place they can call their own," he said."

    This is part of the new residence and a tremendous asset for UBC and commuter students.

  27. #27

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    I looked into CLT a few years ago, and it's perfectly legitimate. Excellent fire resistance and even earthquake tested.

    It is not similar to stick frame construction in almost any regard.

    Very good noise proofing, adiabatic performance and built-in vapour barrier as well as the structural properties and carbon sequestering too.

    Is (or at least was) very "load bearing wallsish", thus requires careful floorplanning (I think it would be impractical to make a large floorplate) and seems to feature generally smaller windows (which is a disadvantage for some.)
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    ^

    7 stories, 30,000 sf floor plates and possibly more glazing than the upcoming code criteria for canada:

    http://www.structurecraft.com/blog/t3-minneapolis
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    Lots of exposed wood in the pictures. I thought that it was all supposed to be covered with drywall for fire proofing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Lots of exposed wood in the pictures. I thought that it was all supposed to be covered with drywall for fire proofing?
    there are different options to achieve fire proofing in wood buildings just as their are different options in concrete buildings and in steel buildings. there are also different aesthetic choices to be made by the owner/developer and the tenants as well as the consultants, again just as in concrete buildings and steel buildings. in same cases, it's not any different than adding wood paneling...
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    ^

    7 stories, 30,000 sf floor plates and possibly more glazing than the upcoming code criteria for canada:

    http://www.structurecraft.com/blog/t3-minneapolis
    Like I say it's been a few years, and I think I was looking at 'pure' CLT buildings. This one seems to feature 'timber concrete composites', which is new to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    ^

    7 stories, 30,000 sf floor plates and possibly more glazing than the upcoming code criteria for canada:

    http://www.structurecraft.com/blog/t3-minneapolis
    Like I say it's been a few years, and I think I was looking at 'pure' CLT buildings. This one seems to feature 'timber concrete composites', which is new to me.
    there are some very interesting new materials and processes "out there".

    the common "sticky point" however is probable still the connections rather than the materials.
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  33. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    ^

    7 stories, 30,000 sf floor plates and possibly more glazing than the upcoming code criteria for canada:

    http://www.structurecraft.com/blog/t3-minneapolis
    Like I say it's been a few years, and I think I was looking at 'pure' CLT buildings. This one seems to feature 'timber concrete composites', which is new to me.
    there are some very interesting new materials and processes "out there".

    the common "sticky point" however is probable still the connections rather than the materials.
    I wonder if glulam or other lumber could be created in place, creating continous beams of any desired height.

  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor View Post
    ^

    7 stories, 30,000 sf floor plates and possibly more glazing than the upcoming code criteria for canada:

    http://www.structurecraft.com/blog/t3-minneapolis
    Like I say it's been a few years, and I think I was looking at 'pure' CLT buildings. This one seems to feature 'timber concrete composites', which is new to me.
    there are some very interesting new materials and processes "out there".

    the common "sticky point" however is probable still the connections rather than the materials.
    Any chance we see a Qualico project so I can check it out in person?
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    CLT and glulam along with LVLs in certain applications can work, as Ken mentions above, very well. It will be quite interesting to see more hybrid buildings.
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  36. #36

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    Well definitely an interesting discussion being had. As I haven't been here in a long while I see the appetite for wood structures has certainly increased.

    I have to thank many of the members here that truly look at this topic with open eye's and great understanding.

    Here is a link to an 18-storey timber building currently going up at UBC:
    http://news.ubc.ca/2015/10/01/new-ub...ood-buildings/

    more info on other mass timber products and research:
    http://www.rethinkwood.com/tall-wood-mass-timber

    of course our website: http://wood-works.ca/

    Please keep your ear to the ground when it comes to wood design as we are always putting on seminars, workshops and our Wood Solutions Fair where you can learn about mass timber and other structural wood solutions.

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    https://theweek.com/articles/816653/...kyscraper-wood

    Neat design (conceptual at the moment) for an 800ft wood building in Chicago. Wood's different properties than steel/concrete led to some interesting design choices, described in the article.

  38. #38

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    Though it's a hybrid, the top 7-stories of the 19-stories building will be timber, not quite the 58 metre student residence at UBC but it's becoming more popular in the BC Lower Mainland due to high land and construction costs and the building code finally getting with the times: https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/1255...-ban-vancouver

    This is more than a design concept too and is in the application process. MEC is currently building their Olympic Village flagship store out of timber as well.
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    With the ever innovative tech/hybrid in LVL or Glulam timbers, you should have a lot more freedom (code restricted) when designing these days.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO View Post
    With the ever innovative tech/hybrid in LVL or Glulam timbers, you should have a lot more freedom (code restricted) when designing these days.
    We have this right here in Edmonton!

    The new development on Stony Plain Road and 142 Street, West Block, has a three story Commercial / Retail component that is made from Timbers and it looks very cool, in this video you can see the timbers behind the glass, https://youtu.be/Dx7oSZuHp7g (From 0:56 to 1:06 of the video is the best look from the outside and 2:11 to 2:27 for the inside of the building ) I don't get in the area much but if someone lives around there take a look and add some pictures while it is under construction that would be awesome

    Thanks
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    ^
    The timber looks cool.
    Quote Originally Posted by West Block Commercial Youtube

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