Lumber trusses are an essential part of residential and other light frame building construction. The use of metal plate connectors has been an accepted form of connecting wood members to build up the trusses for these constructions. Wood trusses are a potentially viable application for fingerjoined structural lumber. However, little information is available on the strength of the fingerjoined member when truss plates are applied on or in the vicinity of a fingerjoint. This project deals with issues that may arise from the use of fingerjoined lumber in metal plate-connected truss applications aimed at optimizing the use of wood to meet end-user expectations in terms of structural performance. To meet the objective, a phased approach was taken involving representatives from both the lumber producing and wood truss industries. Phases included: (i) creation of an Industry Working Group (IWG) to discuss the issues that may arise from the widespread use of fingerjoined lumber in truss applications and identify relevant studies, (ii) carrying out the identified priority studies, (iii) and identification of issues that would need additional research. The IWG was composed of 12 members representing truss fabricators, truss plate manufacturers, and lumber producers. The industrial partners in the project are Canadian Forest Products Ltd., Jager Building Systems, Inc., and Weyerhaeuser Canada Ltd. The members of the IWG convened last year, and discussed potential research items for the project. As a result of the meeting, two basic studies were identified as priorities, namely: (i) effect of fingerjoint offset on truss plate capacity, and (ii) effect of truss plate over-pressing on plate capacity. These two studies have been completed and results are reported.
The wood products industry wants to expand its market share in non-residential buildings. This is a challenging goal because building codes exhibit a bias against the use of wood products, particularly in the construction of non-residential buildings. The move towards adoption of performance-based building codes offers the promise of eliminating such biases. However, in order to be prepared for the introduction of performance-based codes, architects, engineers and building code officials have pointed out the need for engineering tools to assess the fire performance of buildings.
This five-year project was initiated to develop fire-safety design tools for non-residential wood-frame buildings, and to foster development and delivery of educational programs to train students and practitioners in performance-based fire-safety design. In order to achieve these goals an NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Fire Safety Engineering was established at Carleton University in March of 2001. This report summarises the progress towards these goals made by the Chair in his first year of tenure.