New campus building uses NZ timber tech

Innovative, tall timber framing has risen on the University of Canterbury’s Ilam campus, as a new building, honouring alumna ‘Queen of the Cosmos’ Beatrice Tinsley, advances multi-storey timber-framed construction in New Zealand. Construction of the Science precinct’s impressive new four-storey, timber-framed Beatrice Tinsley building contrasts with the steel framing typically seen in buildings of similar height and size.

The patented, tall timber-framing technology was developed at UC by Civil and Natural Engineering professors Alessandro Palermo and Stefano Pampanin with support from Emeritus Professor of Timber Design Andy Buchanan. The structure uses timber-framing technology called Pres-Lam and is a post-tensioned seismic damage resistant system that pushes the boundaries of multi-storey timber-framed construction in New Zealand using laminated veneer lumber, which has incredible strength.

It will be the first multi-storey building combining timber moment-frames and cross-braces in New Zealand. A moment frame is a two-dimensional series of interconnected members that uses rigid connections. It can resist lateral and overturning forces, is more flexible than other framing and allows larger movements in earthquakes.

"The post-tensioning rods act as rubber bands and re-centre the structure during an earthquake. Additionally, steel angles act as dissipative fuses that will absorb the energy of an earthquake. The angles are external to the timber members and replaceable allowing for reduced disruption following an earthquake," Professor Palermo says. This UC-designed technology is being taught to UC engineering students and is being used in buildings world-wide.

"New Zealand is a world leader in this sector. By teaching our next generation of engineers this technology and similar earthquake design philosophies applied to other materials, we will make our built infrastructure more resilient," Professor Palermo says.


Share |

Copyright 2004-2019 © Innovatek Ltd. All rights reserved.