Board of DirectorsScientific Steering CommitteeResearchers

Theme 3: Building systems – fire performance, acoustic and vibration serviceability

The main focus of this theme is the fire performance of mid-rise and non-residential buildings. This theme also covers vibration serviceability and acoustic performance of building systems or sub-systems. The logic for the combined topics in this theme is that construction details that affect fire performance often have an impact on sound and vibration transmission between rooms or between compartments. A major performance attribute impacting on the use of wood in mid- and high-rise buildings is its fire resistance. Even though research conducted over the years has demonstrated that wood structural elements can be incorporated in the design of buildings in a fire-safe fashion, wood products continue to be treated in an inappropriate fashion in prescriptive building regulations. This is particularly true for mid-rise and non-residential buildings.

Theme 3 Leaders:

Dr. George Hadjisophocleous Carleton University
Mr. Christian Dagenais FPInnovations
Dr. Steve Craft (2010-2011) FPInnovations

PROJECT T3–1–C7: FIRE RISK ANALYSIS

The objective of this project is to develop new and modify existing CUrisk sub-models for integration into CUrisk so that it can evaluate fire risks in mid-rise hybrid buildings. New sub-models will calculate the probability of failure to contain the fire of building members and the probability of fire spread throughout the building. The outcome of other Theme 3 Projects will also be used in the model to calculate the probability of failure of building elements and the probability of fire spread throughout the building. This enhanced CUrisk model can develop design guidelines for mid-rise buildings.

Lead Investigator: Dr. George Hadjisophocleous, Carleton University
HQP (PhD): Dr. Xiao Li (2010-2012)
THESIS: Modeling of Barrier Failure and Fire Spread in CUrisk
DOWNLOAD: Abstract

HQP (MSc): Ping Rao, MSc (2013-2014)
THESIS: FIRE RISK ANALYSIS OF COMBUSTIBLE AND NON -COMBUSTIBLE MID-RISE RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS USING CURISK
DOWNLOAD: Abstract

HQP (MSc): Sheeba Vilakkathu Saidu, MENG (2011-2012)
THESIS: Fire Performance of Materials- Wood, Gypsum Board, Limestone, Concrete and Steel
DOWNLOAD: Abstract

FPInnovations Co-Investigator:: Mr. Christian Dagenais
Dr. Steve Craft (2010-2011)

PROJECT T3–2–C9: RATIONALIZATION OF LIFE SAFETY CODE REQUIREMENTS

This project will focus on analyzing code requirements related to fire resistance and the use of automatic sprinklers for mid-rise buildings with combustible or non-combustible construction. This study will determine the level of safety and fire resistance provided by the requirements of the building and fire codes. It will evaluate the contribution of code requirements to the code objectives and find alternative solutions and/or develop new code requirements. Another objective is to develop an appropriate fire load and design fires for mid-rise buildings.

Lead Investigator: Dr. Ehab Zalok, Carleton University
Dr. George Hadjisophocleous, Carleton University
HQP (MSc): Mr. Michael Kruszelnicki, MSc (2010-2011)
THESIS: Rationalization of Life Safety — Code Requirements for Mid-Rise Buildings
DOWNLOAD: Executive Summary

HQP (MSc): Ms. Naki Ocran, MSc (2011-2012)
Thesis: FIRE LOADS AND DESIGN FIRES FOR MID-RISE BUILDINGS
DOWNLOAD: Conclusion & Recommendations

HQP (MSc): Mr. Alpin Kahveci (2013-2014)

FPInnovations Co-Investigator:: Mr. Christian Dagenais
Dr. Steve Craft (2010-2011)

PROJECT T3–3–C7: FIRE BEHAVIOUR OF CROSS LAMINATED TIMBER PANELS

Carleton University and FPInnovations have developed a two-dimensional finite-element model called CUWoodFrame to simulate heat and mass transfer in both gypsum board and wood in order to predict the thermal response of a wood-frame floor assembly exposed to fire. This project will further develop CUWoodFrame to analyse CLT systems. The objective of this project is to develop fire behaviour and determine the fire safety of Cross Laminated Timber Panels by experiments and computer modeling. A series of medium-scale floors and one full-scale wall experiments will be performed to study the behaviour of CLT panels exposed to standard and non-standard fires. The results will be used to modify CUWoodFrame for CLT panels.

Lead Investigator: Dr. George Hadjisophocleous, Carleton University
Institution Co-Investigator: Noureddine Benichou, NRC – IRC
HQP (MSc): Mr. Marc Aguanno, MSc (2010-2011)
THESIS: FIRE RESISTANCE TESTS ON CROSS-LAMINATED TIMBER FLOOR PANELS: AN EXPERIMENTAL AND NUMERICAL ANALYSIS
DOWNLOAD:Abstract

HQP (MSc): Mr. Cameron McGregor, MSc (2011-2012)
THESIS: CONTRIBUTION OF CROSS LAMINATED TIMBER PANELS TO ROOM FIRES
DOWNLOAD:Abstract

HQP (MSc): Mr. Alejandro Medina, MSc (2011-2012)
THESIS: FIRE RESISTANCE OF PARTIALLY PROTECTED CROSSLAMINATED
TIMBER ROOMS

DOWNLOAD:Abstract

FPInnovations Co-Investigator:: Mr. Christian Dagenais
Dr. Steve Craft (2010-2011)
Industrial collaborator: Nordic Engineered Wood

PROJECT T3–4–C5: FIRE PERFORMANCE OF TIMBER CONNECTIONS

The experimental activities will include fire resistance tests on timber connections and thermal property tests on engineered wood materials and products, which will be required as inputs to the mathematical models. A three-dimensional heat transfer model will be developed to predict the temperature distribution of hybrid timber connections during fire exposure by using a general purpose finite element program, ABAQUS. The model will be validated by comparing the predictions with the test data. The validated computer models will be used to predict the performance of connections and assist with the development of design specifications for hybrid timber connections. These specifications will be submitted to code committees for incorporation in design standards and building codes. In addition, recommendations will be made to the appropriate technical committees on contextualized acceptability of certain types of timber connections to resist fire of a certain intensity and duration.

Lead Investigator: Dr. George Hadjisophocleous, Carleton University
HQP (PDF): Dr. Shivanand R. Wasan (2010)
HQP (PhD): Mr. Sabah Ali (2010-2012)

HQP (MSc): Mr. Akotuah Aaron Ohene, MSc (2011-2012)
THESIS: Modelling the Fire Performance of Hybrid Steel-Timber Connections
DOWNLOAD:Abstract

FPInnovations Co-Investigator: Mr. Christian Dagenais
Dr. Steve Craft (2010-2011) &
Dr. Mohammad Mohammad
Industrial collaborator: Nordic Engineered Wood

PROJECT T3–5–C5: VIBRATIONAL PERFORMANCE OF CLT FLOORS

The objective of this project is to develop an understanding on how building system effects, primarily wall and support stiffness, and multiple-span support affect dynamic characteristics of CLT floors. The ultimate goal is to produce recommendations on floor vibration serviceability design of CLT floors against excessive floor vibration.

Lead Investigator: Dr. Ying-Hei Chui, University of New Brunswick
HQP (PhD): Mr. Saul Hernandez (2012-2014)
FPInnovations Co-Investigator: Dr. Lin Hu
Dr. Ciprian Pirvu
Industrial collaborator: Nordic Engineered Wood

PROJECT T3-6-C2: SOUND INSULATION OF WOOD BUILDINGS IN MID-RISE BUILDINGS

This proposed research aims to study the acoustic performance of traditional and innovative wood constructions in mid-rise buildings, and to develop associated models that will lead to cost-effective construction solutions that meet the requirements for sound insulation without compromising strength, fire resistance, vibration serviceability and durability. The initial focus of the project will be on light wood frame construction in mid-rise buildings. As innovative systems are developed in this Network, additional acoustic project may be developed

Lead Investigator: Dr. Trevor Nightingale, Carleton University
HQP (PhD): Mr. Armin Eslami, MSc (2010-2012)
THESIS: Air-Borne Sound Transmission through Triple-Leaf Walls
DOWNLOAD:Abstract

FPInnovations Co-Investigator: Dr. Lin Hu

PROJECT T3-7-C2: INNOVATIVE WAYS TO MAKE CLT PANELS SOUND ABSORPTIVE

The objective of this project is review current methods for measuring the random-incidence absorption coefficient (RIAC) of architectural panels, the theory for predicting HR absorption, and the current design/construction specifications for CLT panels, establish sound-absorption performance targets and design criteria, develop two or three prototype designs for the target applications, create test panels and measure their sound absorption, refine designs, retest to establish commercially-viable designs and investigate other aspects of performance of the prototype designs.

Lead Investigator: Dr. Murray Hodgson, University of British Columbia
HQP (MSc): Mr. Banda Logawa (2013-2014)
FPInnovations Co-Investigator: Dr. Ciprian Pirvu