Canadian Consulting Engineer

Fast + Epp tests point-supported CLT for mass-timber construction

February 13, 2024
By CCE

Concept Lab

Photo courtesy Fast + Epp.

Vancouver-based consulting engineering firm Fast + Epp has completed a six-month point-supported cross-laminated timber (CLT) testing program at Concept Lab, its research and development (R&D) space dedicated to advancing structural design.

Lab teams experimented with six repetitions of many variables for a point-supported CLT floor system, including different wood species, manufacturers, panel grades, screw reinforcing patterns, panel thicknesses and geometries, column types and locations and baseplate geometries. In total, they conducted 180 tests of 30 different configurations.

Now that the lab has completed punching shear testing of floor and roof systems, additional full-scale panel testing is scheduled at Prince George’s University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). The data from the testing program—undertaken in partnership with UNBC, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan’s) Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) program and the CleanBC Building Innovation Fund—will be shared publicly and sent to code-review committee members.

The goal is for point-supported CLT to be recognized in future Canadian building codes as an engineered mass-timber building system, so as to help engineers better understand how to design, analyze and detail panels for their projects, maximizing the use of timber as a sustainable resource. Numerous papers on the testing program are already available from Fast + Epp.

Point-supported CLT

Concept Lab conducted 180 tests of 30 different configurations. Photo courtesy Fast + Epp.

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