Commercial and multi-family residential construction represents a growth area for the Canadian wood products industry. To capitalize on this opportunity, a thorough understanding of the necessary products and system attributes will be essential. Adequate levels of noise/sound control in multi-family buildings are mandatory requirements of building codes in Canada, the United States, Europe, and most developed Asian countries. In many jurisdictions, these requirements are as strictly enforced as those for structural sufficiency and fire safety. Much effort has been spent on evaluation of sound transmission class (STC) and impact sound insulation class (IIC) of floor and wall assemblies and on studies of flanking transmission in multi-family dwellings in Canada. However, continuing occupant complaints of poor acoustic performance in wood-frame buildings that appear to have been built according to wall and floor construction practices recommended in building codes suggest the existence of gaps in current noise control techniques.
Forintek initiated this project to investigate the relative importance of noise transmission in wood-frame residential buildings in comparison with other building serviceability issues, and to conduct a pilot study to examine construction designs of wood-frame buildings that exhibit unsatisfactory and satisfactory noise control and to identify existing gaps in current noise control techniques.
A literature review and survey of 123 occupants of wood-framed multi- and single-family residential buildings was conducted to determine the relative importance of noise transmission in comparison with other building serviceability attributes. Case studies were conducted on construction details and designs of six new wood-frame condominiums and one single family-house that were built according to code requirements and recommendations for controlling noise transmission.
We found that the general public had high expectations regarding adequate acoustic privacy. Even single- family house builders considered low sound transmission important. The multi-family building occupants ranked “sound insulation” the most “important” serviceability attribute, while single-family occupants were most concerned with “water penetration and condensation”. The lowest level of “satisfaction” was given by all respondents to “noise transmission” for their current residences, including single-family occupants, who had ranked it as not being so “important”. The case studies revealed that, current construction practices were much more effective in controlling airborne sound transmission than impact noise. The footfall noise transmission from stairs through the walls is still an unresolved issue that is not considered in the current Canadian Building Code. The low frequency footfall noise transmission between vertically-stacked units was the common complaint in some of these buildings. With no requirement for impact sound insulation in the current National Building Code of Canada, and with our existing knowledge gap concerning low frequency footfall noise transmission problems and solutions to control them, builders, acoustics consultants and design engineers have simply tended to blame wood building materials for noise-related complaints.
We concluded that if we are to satisfy the occupants of both single-and multi-family wood-frame buildings and to provide confidence for builders and design engineers in wood-frame construction with satisfactory acoustic performance, a much greater effort is needed to improve sound insulation including development of better sound insulated wood-frame systems and building materials as well as retrofitting techniques. Acoustic performance will be a critical factor for the wood products industry in gaining a greater share of the multi-family construction market and in competing with other building materials.
Compilation of reports. 1. Performance of treated lumber against termites after 11 years of test in Ontario. 2. Performance of borate-treated wood against subterranean termites under above-ground protected conditions in Canada
North American subterranean termites have become a major factor limiting the service life of wood products in southwestern Ontario. If preservative treatment can be demonstrated to prevent termite attack, the market for wood products could be maintained and expanded. With the assistance of the town of Kincardine, Ontario, Forintek set up a ground-contact termite test site in 1988. The material used included red pine, lodgepole pine, jack pine, hemlock, white spruce and mixed spruce-pine-fir. The preservatives were chromated copper arsenate (CCA-C), ammoniacal copper arsenate (ACA) and ammoniacal copper quat (ACQ). Both incised and unincised lumber was included in the tests where possible. Also used was CCA-treated hem-fir plywood.
The material was inspected in the summer of 1999. Treated material was generally performing well, with some pieces starting to show signs of superficial surface feeding, or cosmetic damage. Some samples that had lower assay retentions and preservative penetrations showed more than just trace nibbles and termites appeared to have actually penetrated through the outer treated zone. It appeared that termite entry occurred in areas on the wood surface where defects may have facilitated such entry. Material that came close to meeting CSA O80 standards for ground contact generally suffered only minor damage.
Forintek expanded the test in 1996 to include borate-treated material above-ground, protected from rain. This method simulates the sillplate, or dodai, used in traditional Japanese housing construction. The material included hemlock and amabilis fir lumber treated with borate and chromated copper arsenate (CCA). When it was inspected in the autumn of 2000, the treated material was generally found to be performing well, with some pieces starting to show signs of superficial feeding or cosmetic damage. Attack was moderate on untreated controls.
In the 3-year rotation of subject matter for the reports of the "Durability of Wood" project, attention has again turned to treated commodities. In these tests, we evaluate not only the efficacy of the wood preservative, but also the effect on performance of the quality of treatment that can be achieved with Canadian wood species. The collection of long-term performance data takes time and it is impossible to predict questions about standards for which answers will be needed in 10 or 20 years' time. Consequently, Forintek has maintained a comprehensive field-testing program covering a wide range of commodities, wood species, preservatives and treatment methods. The reports in this compilation cover decking, finger-jointed lumber above ground, shakes, millwork, fence posts, lumber in a termite area and needle-incised lumber in an accelerated ground contact test.
Softwoods - Preservatives
Glued joints - Finger - Preservation
Preservatives - Chromated copper arsenate (CCA)
Preservatives - Penetration
Preservation - Durability
Decking - Preservation
Shingles - Preservation
Thuja plicata - Shingles
Shingles - Durability
Preservatives - Ammoniacal copper arsenate (ACA)
Posts - Preservation
Preservation - Incising - Tests
Picea - Preservation
Pinus contorta Dougl. var. latifolia - Preservation
A field test of untreated and preservative-treated round fence posts has been ongoing at Petawawa, Ontario since 1937. Service life data on twenty eastern Canadian wood species was developed. In addition, treatments by a variety of pressure and non-pressure processes with waterborne and oilborne preservatives were tested. Thermal immersion in creosote was the most effective non-pressure method used. Brush treatments and cold soaking proved to be ineffective for long-term protection from decay. Pressure treatment utilizing standard waterborne (CCA and ACA) and oilborne (creosote, pentachlorophenol, and copper naphthenate) provided excellent protection from decay.