The objective of this initiative is to re-evaluate Forintek's research strategy and the Canadian Wood Council's technology transfer strategy in durability of wood products and systems in the light of changing industrial, regulatory, environmental, and social factors. Forintek and the CWC chose to undertake this process jointly, in order to develop well-matched parallel activities that are mutually supportive and grounded in common underlying objectives. In this way, both organizations can most effectively and efficiently address our members' needs in an area of growing challenges for the wood industry.
The first step in the strategic planning process was the creation of a joint CWC/Forintek Durability Guidance Group. This group was canvassed for input on high priority issues related to wood durability. Forintek and CWC then developed ideas for deliverables or tasks in research and technology transfer, respectively. At this stage we are looking for input on the degree to which this draft strategy addresses industry needs.
In this study, current market share for wood in British Columbia non-residential construction was determined as well as potential for increased consumption of wood, based on a 194-building sample of 2006 building permits from most of BC’s major cities. For the sample, structural materials used in each project were established through phone interviews with each architect, contractor or other individual associated with the construction of the building. Each project was then compared against the height and area limits for combustible construction as defined in the BC Building Code. In actual market share for 2006, 13% of all buildings (which comprise 5% of all area) were primarily framed in wood. Adding in buildings that were partially framed in wood, 25% of all buildings (22% of all area) are using wood, either primarily or in combination with other structural materials. If every building allowed by code to be entirely framed in wood actually was, seven times more constructed area would be using wood than current practice. Adding in the potential for heavy timber roofs on non-combustible buildings yields a total of eleven times more constructed area that could be using wood. This total potential incremental wood consumption is estimated at up to 27 million board feet of lumber-type products (lumber, trusses, glulam, I-joists and composite lumber) and 13 million square feet of structural panels (plywood and OSB). Previously gathered market intelligence in BC and elsewhere in North America was then reviewed together with the market share statistics to help determine a set of near-term recommendations for the BC WoodWORKS! program to help capture some of this potential market.
A study was performed to determine the feasibility of an outdoor test facility for building envelope materials and components in Vancouver. Test facilities are useful for real-time, real-weather performance assessment of construction materials and assemblies. There are several such facilities in use around the world but none in a climate comparable to that of coastal British Columbia. The feasibility study included a review of existing similar facilities, determination of criteria for a successful Vancouver facility, investigation into research grant opportunities for funding the facility's construction, development of a conceptual design for the facility and its experimental capabilities in order to determine a cost target for fundraising, sampling of a pool of potential paying users of the facility, identification of possible sites and project custodians, and development of a project development plan. The study indicated that the concept for a Vancouver test facility is viable enough to warrant movement into the next phase of project development: handover to a project development team and initiation of fundraising.
Builders’ risk insurance (also known as course of construction insurance) is the insurance that a builder buys to protect himself in the event of a loss on a building during construction. This project examines the scope and possible causes of recent increases in builders’ risk insurance in Alberta, with a particular focus on insurance premiums specific to wood construction. In addition, the project explores the potential for tools or information, targeted to builders or to insurance brokers, that could lower builders’ insurance costs. Although insurance represents only a small portion of total construction costs, significant increases recently in builders’ risk premiums in Alberta have attracted attention and have placed added pressure on Alberta builders with respect to their competitiveness. Increases in builders’ risk premiums could represent a threat to the market for wood products if builders turn to non-combustible alternatives in order to save insurance costs. Furthermore, market development activities for wood in the non-residential construction sector will be hindered as increased builders’ risk costs represent a barrier to entry.
Alberta Alliance Project No. 5130-06 pertaining to Building construction - Cost; Business management
A concept for an outdoor test facility in Vancouver for building enclosure materials and components has been under study by Forintek and others since Fall 2000. Phase One - a preliminary feasibility study - was previously completed. This report describes accomplishments to date of Phase Two, a transition phase involving identification of a project custodian, further concept development, development of a business plan, preparation for fundraising and identification of potential sites.
1re partie Empreinte environnementale du CLT – résultats préliminaires
Dans la présente partie, nous déterminons expérimentalement certaines caractéristiques environnementales quantifiées du CLT en tant que matériau de construction, sans toutefois effectuer une analyse du cycle de vie (ACV) exhaustive. Puisqu’il n’existe aucune documentation comparative sur le CLT, nous utiliserons plusieurs approches pour estimer son empreinte environnementale et pour le comparer au béton. À l’aide des données d’ACV existantes du bois lamellé-collé canadien en tant que valeurs de remplacement, nous examinerons l’empreinte du matériau en soi comparé aux matériaux du béton armé ainsi que des matériaux utilisés dans les bâtiments de moyenne hauteur comparativement au béton. Nous ajusterons ensuite les données de l’ACV du bois lamellé-collé pour qu’elles se rapprochent de celles d’une section de plancher de CLT aux fins de comparaison à une section de plancher en béton équivalente sur le plan fonctionnel. Dans chacun des cas, nous estimons que le CLT surpassera considérablement le béton dans chaque mesure environnementale abordée selon l’ACV.
2e partie Effets potentiels sur la qualité de l’air intérieur de l’utilisation du CLT dans les bâtiments – résultats préliminaires
Cinq produits de bois lamellé-croisé de différentes épaisseurs et lignes de collage ont été testés aux fins d’analyse de leurs composés organiques volatils (COV) comprenant les émissions de formaldéhyde et d’acétaldéhyde afin d’aider les ingénieurs et les constructeurs à mieux choisir les matériaux de construction ayant le moins d’incidence sur la qualité de l’air intérieur. Les émissions ont été évaluées selon la norme ASTM D 5116 et ont été recueillies après que les échantillons aient été exposés dans la chambre d’essais pendant 24 heures.
Aucune corrélation n’a pu être établie entre l’épaisseur du bois lamellé-croisé, les lignes de collage ou la quantité de COV individuels (COVi) émis, comprenant le formaldéhyde et l’acétaldéhyde, ou les COV totaux (COVt). Les cinq produits de CLT ont démontré de très faibles taux d’émissions de COVi et de COVt. La plupart des COV détectés provenaient de composés de terpène de bois résineux utilisés dans la fabrication de bois de construction laminé. Ainsi, lorsque le CLT est employé dans la construction d’un bâtiment, l’effet des COV sur la qualité de l’air intérieur est mineur, voire inexistant.
Lorsqu’on évalue les effets du produit sur la qualité de l’air intérieur, on peut facilement conclure qu’il serait négligeable, sinon nul. Les résultats relatifs aux COVt et aux émissions de formaldéhyde des cinq produits de bois lamellé-croisé après une exposition de 24 heures étaient généralement inférieurs à ceux indiqués dans les systèmes européens de marquage des émissions. En outre, le niveau européen E1 pour les émissions de formaldéhyde des produits de bois, qui est établi à 0,1 partie par million (ppm) ou à 100 parties par milliard (ppb), est de 6 à 20 fois supérieur aux niveaux mesurés pour les produits de bois lamellé-croisé.
D’ici juillet 2012, l’application de la phase 2 des normes du CARB (organisme de réglementation de l’État de Californie) relative à tous les produits composites sera complétée et les limitations d’émissions de formaldéhyde seront établies à des valeurs variant entre 0,13 ppm (130 ppb) pour les panneaux de MDF (panneaux de fibres de densité moyenne) minces et 0,05 ppm (50 ppb) pour le contreplaqué de feuillus avec noyau de composite (HWPW-CC). En comparant ces limitations à celles des produits de bois lamellé-croisé, on peut conclure que ces produits respectent amplement les limitations les plus rigoureuses du CARB, qui sont de 50 ppb.
This report summarises those issues embodied in building codes and product standards with implications for marketing solid wood siding in Canada and selected other countries. The intention is that technical knowledge gaps can be identified and possibly filled before marketing white spruce siding. Literature searches were done and personal contacts with experts in these countries were made in order to place siding in the context of international codes and standards. However database searches identified only a few documents related to the performance requirements of solid wood cladding products. These issues are discussed under three main headings: material and construction, fire resistance and durability, and weather protection. Apart from fire there is very little reference to solid wood siding in either North American or international building codes. It appears that the long use of the product has effectively been grandfathered in traditional siding application and use. This is, however, not the case for non-solid wood siding where a number of material-specific standards exist which ensure that the products have comparable performance to traditional products or to address performance deficiencies that are specific to that material. Wood siding use in new markets will not be grandfathered in, and there will probably be a need to develop standards and data similar to those for non-wood products.
This is a discussion paper addressing the factors involved when considering the total environmental footprint of wood doors. The discussion is within the context of a new amendment to BC energy regulations affecting doors and the subsequent market shifts that will occur as a direct result. The energy regulation applies a U-value threshold to doors. U-value is a physical (thermal) property of an assembly indicating the rate of conductive heat flow through the assembly. A maximum U-value for doors is being specified in BC that cannot be met by the current commonly-manufactured configuration for solid wood doors. In this paper, a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach is used to discuss the broader environmental picture beyond the single criterion of U-value, specifically focusing on the trade-off between embodied energy in a product and the impact of that product on the operating energy of the building in which it is installed. Any change to the current manufacturing process for wood doors for the purpose of improving thermal characteristics should be done within an LCA perspective so that the changes don’t inadvertently lead to a net increase in total lifetime energy consumption. Similarly, any market shift to non-wood alternatives for doors should also be done within an LCA perspective for the same reason. A detailed and precise analysis of door footprints requires LCA data and energy simulation results, both of which are beyond the scope of this study. In place of full LCA data, we accessed existing literature and existing partial LCA data (from the Athena Institute) to roughly estimate the embodied energy differences between door types, and to discuss the other environmental impacts of a substitution from today’s common wood doors to non-wood alternates. Three generic door types were compared: wood, steel and fibreglass. In all the environmental metrics examined, including embodied energy, the wood doors have the lowest impact. Although insulated steel and fibreglass doors typically have a lower U-value than wood doors, they involve more energy consumption in their manufacturing. This means that the added energy investment in steel and fibreglass doors will require some time to be paid back through reductions in a home’s heating and cooling costs. Similarly, an improvement to wood doors to reduce U-value may increase the embodied energy, requiring a payback period that may or may not be reached within the lifetime of the door.
Critical times, moisture contents and temperatures for detectable strength loss in plywood and oriented strand board : planning and proposed work|IN: Limiting conditions for decay : compilation of reports.
The project objective is to identify the wood-rotting fungi causing decay in Canadian buildings, and to provide data for a numerical model which will provide an indication of the time required for initiation of strength loss in wood-based panels when exposed to a range of moisture contents and temperatures.
The MEWS consortium led by the National Research Council's Institute for Research in Construction is developing a computer model to predict the moisture and temperature conditions within a construction assembly in service. By including a damage function calculation for the various building components, the model can predict the consequences of these conditions in terms of strength loss.
We do not have strength data on North American wood species exposed to decay fungi under limiting conditions (20-30%). There is also no standard protocol for assessing strength loss due to decay in non-ideal conditions. Forintek's role is to develop an experimental protocol that will be universally acceptable in the field of wood science, and generate a data set from which one could derive a damage equation for wood decay as a function of time, temperature and moisture conditions. Discussions have established that strength loss in sheathing is the first priority.
A series of proposed test methods were examined. In consultation with members of the consortium task force, a method was selected which was felt would provide suitable strength loss data within the constraints of the funding available.
For several years, Decision Aids has been addressing knowledge and technology transfer gaps in the design and construction sector that have had negative consequences for the image of wood. Since June 2000 we have been operating a public web site, together with the Canadian Wood Council, as a primary mechanism for conveying information to the building industry on wood durability. The web site’s popularity is growing, with October 2002 a record month for visits (3,748). In 2002/2003, we added substantial new material to the site, we brought the French side fully up-to-date, and we reconfigured the site’s appearance and structure. In 2002/2003, we also continued to develop our participation in building science academic development at UBC and BCIT. This kind of involvement with the universities that are teaching tomorrow’s building designers and consultants has become the preferred route for Decision Aids to meet its mandate for filling current knowledge gaps in durability. In particular, we have stayed closely aligned with BCIT in its pursuit of funding for the development of an outdoor test facility for building envelope assemblies. Such a facility will be an important tool for filling information gaps regarding best practice design with wood in rainy climates.