Experimental investigations on LVL seismic resistant wall and frame subassemblies
Based on the recent developments on alternative jointed ductile dry connections for concrete multistorey buildings, the paper aims to extend and propose similar innovative seismic connections for laminated veneer lumber (LVL) timber buildings. The dry connections herein proposed are characterised by a sort of rocking occurring at the section interface of the structural elements when an earthquake occurs; unbonded post-tensioned techniques and dissipative devices respectively provide self-centring and dissipation capacities. The paper illustrates some experimental investigations of an extensive campaign, still undergoing at the University of Canterbury Christchurch, NZ) are herein presented and critically discussed. In particular, results of cyclic quasi-static testing on exterior beam-column subassemblies and wall-to-foundation systems are herein presented; preliminary results of pseudo-dynamic testing on wall-to-foundation specimens are also illustrated. The research investigations confirmed the enhanced seismic performance of these systems/connections; three key aspects , as the no-damageability in the structural elements, typical “flag-shape” cyclic behaviour (with self-centring and dissipation capacity), negligible residual deformations, i.e. limited costs of repair, joined with low mass, flexibility of design and rapidity of construction LVL timber, all create the potential for an increased use in low-rise multistorey buildings.