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    Author(s): S.L. Zelinka; S. Kordziel; S. Pei; S.V. Glass; P.C. Tabares-Velasco
    Date: 2018
    Source: In: Proceedings, 1st international conference on new horizons in green civil engineering (NHICE-01). Victoria, BC: University of Victoria: 32-36.
    Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (601.0 KB)

    Related Research Highlights

    Monitoring Moisture Levels in Mass Timber Buildings


    While wood has been used as a building material for millennia, "mass timber" buildings have only been realized within the past few years within North America. Mass timber refers to a class of wood composites that include glue-laminated timber (glulam), structural composite lumber, and cross laminated timber (CL T). These composites allow multi-story residential and non-residential buildings to be constructed more efficiently than traditional light-framed wood systems. While there are a host of environmental and other benefits to building with mass timber, these buildings are different from steel or concrete buildings as the physical and mechanical properties of wood change with its moisture content. Wood-moisture interactions can lead to difficulties in the utilization of wood such as dimensional instability, cracking, microbial attack, and fastener corrosion. Understanding the amount of moisture and range of moisture fluctuations that could be expected in North American mass timber buildings is necessary for more informed design of mass timber buildings.

    This paper presents preliminary findings from an ongoing research program instrumenting CL T buildings to measure wood moisture content. An overview of the research program is presented along with data from first year of moisture monitoring in an 8-story building in Portland, Oregon. This project measures the wood moisture content throughout the construction cycle, including the fabrication, shipping, staging, and erection of the panels. These preliminary field measurements can help characterize moisture changes in CL T during construction and guide the construction of future CL T buildings.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Zelinka, S.L.; Kordziel, S.; Pei, S.; Glass, S.V.; Tabares-Velasco, P.C. 2018. Moisture monitoring throughout the construction and occupancy of mass timber builidings. In: Proceedings, 1st international conference on new horizons in green civil engineering (NHICE-01). Victoria, BC: University of Victoria: 32-36.


    Cross laminated timber (CLT), wood, moisture monitoring, construction

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