Seismic Resistance

FACT Sheet

Overview

TimberLab’s involvement in R&D programmes has resulted in new technologies concerning post tensioned multi-storey solutions which have enhanced the resilient performance of timber structures in recent earthquakes.

Post tensioning enables the structure to return to its original position after the earthquake event. Timber’s ability to absorb energy means structural integrity is maintained after the seismic event. Where concrete and steel may shatter or deform, post tensioned timber structures maintain their integrity.

TimberLab’s wide experience in gluing large structural timber members means fabricating large LVL sections is a natural progression. Achieving adequate gluing pressure and dimensional accuracy are prerequisite to achieving the designer’s expectations.

Benefits

» Accuracy – With the use of our 5 axis CNC bridge, TimberLab’s accuracy is unparalleled, removing any uncertainty about rework onsite.

» Pre-fitting – critical connections in the factory make on site assembling so much simpler and quicker.

» Factory Assembled – Full size in-factory assembly ensures a correct fit to prepared site.

» Long lengths – avoid complicated splice joints

» Utilities & Conduits – Can be cut/drilled in factory for easy running of utilities onsite.

» Economical –Fabricated LVL offers an extremely economical structural material.

» Environmental – As TimberLab’s LVL comes from only plantation timber, it is the good sustainable choice.

TimberLab Structure in Earthquake Event

TimberLab was part of the Structural Timber Innovation Company (STIC) that developed the post tension engineered timber experimental building, tested in the laboratory of the Canterbury University.

In 2010 the 2-storey test building was reconstructed in the grounds of Canterbury University as the head office for STIC. 

When the catastrophic earthquake hit Christchurch In Feb 2011, the resilience of this engineered timber structure was rigorously tested; it came through with flying colours. The building suffered no damage to the structure, the interior linings or the exterior cladding.

These findings have paved the way for the new breed of damage limiting engineered timber structures that TimberLab has helped to pioneer following the Christchurch earthquake.

Another First for TimberLab

Hunter Young Building – Architect: Sheppard & Rout.

The first commercial multi-storey post-earthquake timber building in Christchurch using low-damage post-tensioned timber technology was the Hunter Young House in Victoria Street.

This 3-storey building was manufactured and prefabricated in TimberLab’s factory in Auckland complete with steel brackets, disassembled and shipped to site in Christchurch. Once post-tensioned on site, completed frames were craned into position.

Carterton Events Centre – Consultant: Opus

A combination of large engineered timber trusses and a series of rocking shear walls which are secured with centrally located post-tensioned Macalloy bars; allowing the shear walls to rock during the earthquake and re-centre once the event has passed.

It Worked Back in the 70's

Tasman Timber head office was built in the 1970’s in Kawerau, NZ with TimberLab Glulam posts and “I” beams.

In 1987 this building survived a series of earthquakes measuring up to 6.3 -magnitude.