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Design and Construction of Prestressed Timber Buildings for Seismic Areas

Tobias Smith, Stefano Pampanin, Massimo Fragiacomo & Andy Buchanan

This paper describes the structural design of low-rise multi-storey timber buildings using a new and exciting structural system. This system, originally developed for use with pre-cast concrete, combines un-bonded post-tensioning and additional energy dissipaters, providing a recentering capability after the earthquake, while greatly reducing the structural damage. This new structural system can be used in multi-storey buildings, with large structural timber members made from laminated veneer lumber (LVL) or glulam timber, with lateral loads resisted by prestressed timber frames or walls, separately or in combination. A case study of a six storey timber office building in a moderate seismic area is analysed and a virtual design is carried out, allowing investigation of different methods of structural analysis, and development of many construction and connection details for rapid construction. Total building cost is compared to equivalent steel and reinforced concrete options.

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