Xuan Zhao

PhD Student
Timber construction largely helps reduce CO2 emission and improve environmental sustainability, making timber a potential construction material for tall buildings, challenging against steel and concrete, in particular with the development of modern engineered products (Glulam, LVL, CLT), advanced connections (nails, screws, glues, punched plates) and modern construction technology. However, a number of issues need to be raised urgently, such as long-term movement, seismic safety, wind induced lateral movement and vibration, fire safety and secondary structural effects. Strict prescriptive rules have historically prevented the development of tall timber buildings, but the move to performance-based fire engineering makes it possible to design and construct tall, fire-safe timber buildings. This research aims to develop performance-based fire engineered solutions for tall timber buildings through current design practice review, experimental examinations of engineered timber products and connections, and performance-based fire safety modelling so as to eventually plan, design and construct tall timber buildings. The objectives include conducting literature review, investigating the feasibility and challenges, selecting suitable engineered timber products and connections, exploring fire safety design approaches, strategies and protections, conducting physical fire testing, establishing limit states design philosophy and procedure, exploring structural design options, numerically simulating structural performance under fire and finally conducting case studies.