Cross Laminated Timber (CLT)-constructed buildings offer a number of advantages such as the potential for mass production, prefabrication, speed of construction and sustainability as an environmentally friendly and renewable construction product. Good thermal insulation, acoustic performance, and fire ratings are some additional benefits of the building system. Despite these advantages, the lack of design approach is one of the challenges inhibiting widespread adoption of CLT in North America. The strongest interest in constructing mass timber building is in the western, seismic regions of the United States. In this region, most buildings are designed using the equivalent lateral force method which relies on a specific set of seismic design parameters for the type of building being constructed. Currently, the seismic design parameters for buildings constructed with a CLT wall do not exist in the U.S. model building code. This research applied a systematic approach that integrates design method, experimental results, nonlinear static and dynamic analyses, and incorporates uncertainties. Various phases of the project consist of development of the archetypes, design methodology, cyclic and shake table testing, analytic modelling, and analyses.
Results from this USDA Forest Service research has led to specific code change proposals to International Building Code reference standards that are used by the U.S. model building code.