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An Investigation into the Effect of Exposed Timber on Thermal Load

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Abstract

Recent buildings and research projects have demonstrated the benefits of using engineered timber as a structural material; in addition, changes to codes around the world (including the BCA) are facilitating the use of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) as a construction material for medium and high rise buildings. As the material becomes more widespread, the benefits associated with careful engineering of every component of the structure become greater. The loads that a structure experiences during a fire are one such aspect of the design, and this paper presents an assessment of the thermal load that may result from using exposed CLT panels within a building. The thermal load associated with “conventional” compartment fires is already known; however, there is little data on compartments where elements of the timber structure are exposed. This paper therefore presents the results and analyses of a series of small scale tests on Cross-Laminated Timber compartment fires and seeks to give a more comprehensive study of the thermal penetration in depth of the timber structure. Com- parison will be made against “conventional” compartments to analyze how a timber structure contributes to the fire by adding more fuel load, and resulting in a different thermal load that the structure has to resist.

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