Feasibility and Detailing of Post-tensioned Timber Buildings for Seismic Areas
This paper describes the structural design and selection of construction detailing for low-rise multi-storey timber buildings using a new and exciting structural timber system. This system, originally developed for use with pre-cast concrete, combines the use of un-bonded post-tensioning techniques and additional sources of energy dissipation. This system eliminates residual displacement, while greatly reducing the damage to structural members during a significant seismic event. The paper shows how this new structural system can be used with large size structural timber members manufactured from laminated veneer lumber (LVL) or glulam timber, for use in multistorey buildings, with lateral load resistance provided by post-tensioned structural timber frames or walls, separately or in combination. An extensive on-going research program at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand has tested a wide range of beam-to-column, wall-to-foundation and column-to-foundation connections under simulated seismic loading, all giving excellent results. As part of this contribution, a case study of the design methods, construction options, cost and feasibility of a six storey timber office building in a moderate seismic area is carried out. The structural design of this building allowed investigation of different methods of structural analysis, and the development of many construction and connection details offering feasibility of rapid construction. Total building cost was evaluated and compared to equivalent steel and reinforced concrete options.