Design of innovative modular-based multi-storey timber buildings based on advanced modelling and full-scale tests
Other project members
Marie Johansson, Johan Vessby and Le Kuai
Linnaeus University, OBOS, Moelven Byggmodul, Derome and Vida Buildings
The Knowledge Foundation
1 Jan 2018–30 June 2021
Building technology (Department of Building Technology, Faculty of Technology)
More about the project
There is a great interest in Sweden to explore new ways of using wood as the main load-bearing material in different types of multi-storey timber buildings. Building with prefabricated, light-frame volume modules is a prevalent and innovative construction method for low and mid-rise timber buildings.
A number of housing manufacturers that have delivered volume modules, primarily for single-family homes, are now expanding their production to multi-storey buildings (up to 6–8 storeys). From many aspects, this is a favourable production method due to its high prefabrication level, fast on-site assembly, increased productivity, higher product quality, reduced costs, shorter construction time, smaller environmental footprint, and healthier environments for workers and occupants. The four Swedish house producers that support and actively participate in the project are OBOS, Moelven Byggmodul, Derome and Vida Buildings.
Short project description
Constructing multi-storey buildings with light-frame timber modules is challenging because of the wood’s low weight. Structural safety, horizontal stability, lifting of modules (with large openings), and connection design concerning sliding, tilting and overturn of the entire building are some of the topics studied, both numerically and experimentally, in this project.
The general purpose of the project is to improve the understanding and perhaps optimize some construction parts without risking the structural safety of the buildings. The objective is to investigate, determine, compare and analyse the racking stiffness and strength of the different light-frame timber modules used for multi-storey buildings. To study this, we are developing an efficient three-dimensional finite element model that will simulate both the global and detailed structural behaviour of special test-modules manufactured by the house manufacturers and tested in the new testing facility at Linnaeus University.
When simulating complex 3D structures, the numerical models can easily become too large and computationally heavy. Therefore, various types of low order and effective structural elements (springs, beams and shells) are used here to simulate the test modules. The main challenge is to model the different types of mechanical connections properly and efficiently. To streamline the model creation, a parameterized finite element model was created in which the structural geometry and assembly can easily be defined with relatively few input parameters.
The project is part of the research in the Wood Building Technology research group.