May 10, 2016
An upsurge of timber towers being proposed or under construction has grabbed the architecture world over the past few years, with heights becoming greater and world records regularly tumbling.
The latest record, at 80 stories high, will be London’s first wooden skyscraper, and another addition to the growing trend for structures made entirely of timber.
Whilst these heights are not yet envisaged in Australia, changes to the National Construction Code mean that architects and engineers will have the opportunity to design timber structures up to eight storeys in height for the first time using deemed to satisfy provisions.
This has created a new situation for structural engineering design with timber connections requiring large capacity lateral bracing, building overturning resistance with tie down and uplift connections, shear walls and moment frames to name a few.
To meet the emerging requirement for specialist connector products, a range of solutions will be available to designers and builders in Australia from major North American supplier Simpson Strong-Tie, to be introduced this year.
At the Frame Australia 2016 conference, Joe Polder of Simpson Strong-Tie North America will present “Design of structural connections for mid-rise lightweight timber framed buildings” covering the building design requirements and provide guidance to engineers for the design and selection of the most effective solutions.
Other presenters on engineering topics include Barry Young of Taylor Thomson Whitting who stated “unless we can deliver a timber building that is more cost efficient than a conventional concrete building the project will not go ahead.
“We must develop systems that will improve floor cycle times and reduce material costs, as builders want systems that will achieve longer spans without secondary trades such as concrete toppings”.