Identification of Cost-effective and Resilient Envelopes for Wood Constructions

The interest for the use of wood in urban buildings is growing. In order to preserve and develop the chances on the market, wood construction must be reliable, durable, flexible and strong in off-site production/prefabrication. To fulfil most of these requirements a prolonged moisture-safety is necessary, which is in the focus of Tall Timber Facades project, short TallFacades.
With an increasing height of timber buildings the challenge is to provide dry conditions for the expected lifetime of the building. Tall buildings are particularly exposed to high wind pressures combined with driving rain. Additionally, large buildings require longer times of construction in which the structural elements are especially exposed to moisture. Last but not least inspection, maintenance and repair possibilities are limited in high rise structures.

Compared to fire safety and structural questions, the risk of moisture damages is today dramatically underestimated in planning and building processes and in quality management. This may lead to an image risk for timber buildings, if damages will increase in future. Therefore ‘safety concepts’, similar to those in static calculations, are necessary to improve construction and prevent damage by moisture.

The variety of configurations of the building envelope and the diversity of the effects of external and internal climate need assistance in selection of material and design options. Based on risk analysis methods, moisture protection verification will be developed. That will enable planner and producer to make substantiated decisions for specific constructions. In addition, the tool is used to create a guideline for Tall Timber Facades – envelope constructions.

The main objective of the project is to facilitate confident design of durable and therefore cost-effective solutions for tall timber facades. Moisture safe envelopes will be enabled by a risk based design tool taking into account exposure and vulnerability of façade components and systems consistently.

Start: September 2014
Duration: 30 months
Total budget: € 1.8 Million
Funding: ERA-Net Woodwisdom-Net, JC04, EU 7th Framework Programme