The objectives of the site visit were to document the damage to wood-frame and other wood buildings from the May 12, 2008 Wenchuan (Sichuan) earthquake and to compare the performance of wood-frame buildings with non-wood buildings of similar size.
Because of the limited number of wood-frame buildings in the affected region, all the available wood construction close to the seismically affected area was investigated as follows:
2 wood-frame houses in Dujiangyan
3 solid timber cabins in Dujiangyan
2 houses of wood-frame construction in Chengdu
6 houses of post-and-beam construction with wood-panel infill in Songpan.
The houses in Chengdu and in Dujiangyan are located, respectively, in low intensity and moderate-to-high intensity regions of shaking during that earthquake. From the inspection of the four houses and other concrete buildings nearby, it can be stated that even under light and moderate-to-high levels of seismic shaking the wood-frame houses examined suffered significantly less damage than nearby reinforced concrete houses of comparable size.
Based on a design-oriented analysis of seismic capacity it is shown that the wood-frame Houses A and B can withstand a pseudo-spectral acceleration of at least 0.89 and 1.01 g, respectively. This is judged to be a conservative estimate since the positive contribution of the exterior stucco and the second interior gypsum wall board (GWB) has not been included in the analysis.
The three timber cabins examined in Dujiangyan also performed very well, showing no signs of seismic-induced distress. The six post-and-beam wood buildings with wood-frame infill in Songpan also showed no signs of seismic damage, although for the latter the intensity of shaking was quite low.
From some examples of damaged concrete buildings, it was observed that numerous infill walls were damaged or had collapsed and thus subjected the inhabitants to mortal danger. Lightweight wood-frame infill walls for concrete frames could provide a safer alternative to the heavy and relatively brittle brick infill walls. Furthermore, the resulting reduction in building weight would further enhance seismic safety of the entire building.
It is recommended that for the Chinese code the GWB contribution be considered for normal seismic loading. However, the GWB should not be included in the design check for rare earthquakes because of the limited ductility of shear walls sheathed with GWB at the high levels of shaking associated with the rare seismic events.
Europe is Canada's second-largest offshore market for wood products, after Japan. Significant changes in industry structure and markets have taken place in Europe over the last decade, many of which are related to the opening of countries of the former Eastern Bloc. This report summarizes the key trends in Europe's wood products sector and assesses resulting opportunities and challenges for Canadian wood product suppliers.
Transformative Technologies - Federal Initiative Final Report 2007/08
Vancouver, British Columbia
"Creating value via innovation". That principle is at the core of FPInnovations' value proposition. This report acknowledges that and takes a multi tier approach to better understand the innovation process and it is divided into three levels: manufacturer, R&D, and user. A careful reading of FPInnovations' vision and mission reveals that the consolidation has brought change and challenge, taking the organization beyond research and assuming a protagonist role as an integrator of the innovation efforts carried out by its members, the R&D community and its own staff (Research Program 2008/2009). Accomplishing such demanding goals will demand acquiring and mastering a number of tools, management practices and knowledge base that this report has tried to examine. It also recognizes the role that the external environment plays and therefore it includes sections looking at industry structure considerations, cooperation networks and such. From an internal point of view, the report outlines some guidelines meant to serve as an aide in the operationalization of the mission and vision set for FPInnovations by our board.
The merger and new guidelines have added a new innovation component to the Divisions' successful record of value creation for their members. This new component is a much needed response to the challenging times the industry is going through. FPInnovations recognizes the value proposition of innovation while also acknowledging the merits of best practices for those companies favouring a more traditional approach to doing business.
Despite their excellent mechanical properties, Engineered Wood Products (EWP) like Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), Parallel Strand Lumber (PSL) and Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL) have not been widely used in structural applications. Such products have largely been employed as substitutes for sawn lumber materials in 'small building' applications. To change this, it is essential that engineers gain knowledge of the strength and stiffness characteristics of mechanical connections, to supplement what is known about properties of EWP themselves.
This project was aimed at developing generalized structural design information for mechanical connections in (EWP), taking into account the physical characteristics of such products.
Trendspotting is an important tool in enabling manufacturers to be proactive rather than reactive in their businesses. This year we tracked trends in the window, door, cabinet, and outdoor projects segments. A multidisciplinary team from marketing, design, and industry advising pulled together a list of trends that are currently or imminently going to affect these sectors. Trends revolved around demographics, new materials, alternative species, sustainability, the economy, and other factors. Each potential trend was researched as to current and potential opportunities and threats. Four separate trend reports resulted from this effort: Part A - Doors, Part B - Windows, Part C - Cabinets, and Part D - Outdoor Living.
Some of the trends in this document are already established while others are in their infancy. As a manufacturer it is up to you to pick and choose the trends and opportunities that best suit your manufacturing, marketing, and customer profile. We hope this document can tip you off to new opportunities, alert you to some pitfalls, and inspire your product lines. Good luck!
The Prodealers channel is thought to be an increasingly important outlet for wood products. In previous research, homebuilders were found to rely heavily on this segment for wood products supplies and, ever more, structural components. Yet, very little research has been devoted to the characterization of this segment, where significant changes do occur.
Among these changes, prodealers are adapting quickly to the consolidation of their own client base by the way of consolidating themselves. They are also adding framing solutions and installation services to their product portfolio. According to Abernathy et al. (2004), Prodealers’ revenues come mostly from homebuilders that build 25 homes per year. Another 20% of revenues can be attributed to larger firms building 500 (or more) homes per year. Increasingly, these builders are thought to use their leverage to push down prices via purchasing agreements that are covering a broadening spectrum of products. This is forcing prodealers to readjust their strategies in accordance to customers’ needs. Componentization and more emphasis on installed sales are two key elements that prodealers are turning to (Abernathy et al., 2004). This study offers an important complement to “Attributes Demanded in the N.A. Structural Components Industry” in understanding changing demands for primary wood products by the North American structural components industry.
Up to now consolidation had remained a marginal trend in the prodealer segment, in contrast with the do-it-yourself (DIY) and retail segments. However, further consolidation can be expected and the prodealer segment is bound to gain importance for the wood products industry. Another change that might be occurring lies within the wood products portfolio carried by prodealers and homecenters. Over the last decade, there has been a sharp increase in U.S. imports of overseas lumber, most notably from Europe. While much of this substitution is thought to be happening in prodealers and homecenters yards, little is known on the impetus for substitution.
The ultimate goal of the project is to increase confidence in the durability of wood construction, and thereby lead to greater use of wood products in China. This report aims to assess wood-durability related climate, termite, and decay loads, to inform those building wood structures. Specifically a decay hazard map for exterior above-ground wood structures was refined and a termite map was updated. Based on the decay and termite hazards, four biological hazard zones were proposed: low hazard zone with low decay hazard and no termites, moderate hazard zone with moderate decay hazard but no termites, moderate hazard zone with moderate decay hazard and Reticulitermes, and severe hazard zone with severe decay hazard and both Reticulitermes and Coptotermes. It is hoped that the information can be used by designers and builders as a general guide for designing for certain climate loads and biological hazards, and such a classification will pave the way for developing appropriate requirements for wood protection against decay and termites in different regions in China. The report also sends a strong message that compared to North America, China has a much larger area with a severe or moderate hazard. Hence proper wood protection is critical for achieving durability of wood construction.
The key objectives of this project are to develop two-way technology transfer instruments that achieve a connection with specifiers, designers, builders, homeowners and maintenance supervisors, and to explore opportunities for collaborative field studies of durability performance where information gaps exist.
The data generated in this project will be used to develop damage functions for hygrothermal models designed to predict the performance of wall systems in a variety of climates. In the absence of these data, the building science community has used inappropriate data from laboratory tests never intended for this purpose, mostly on European wood species. Changes in building codes, mainly related to energy conservation, may have resulted in reduced ability of wood wall systems to tolerate moisture ingress caused by poor design and construction. While efforts are under way to improve design and construction (see Decision Aids for Durable Wood Construction), research is also needed in improved moisture control strategies for wall systems.