Wind-induced vibrations in tall timber buildings : Design standards, experimental and numerical modal analyses

Sammanfattning: Climate change and densification of cities are two major global challenges. Inthe building and construction industry, there are great expectations that tall timberbuildings will constitute one of the most sustainable solutions. First, verticalurban growth is energy and resource-efficient. Second, forest-based productsstore carbon and have one of the highest mechanical strength to density ratios.If the structural substitution of concrete and steel with wood in high-rise buildingsawakens fears of fire safety issues, engineers and researchers are particularlyworried about the dynamic response of the trendy tall timber buildings.Indeed, due to the low density of wood, they are lighter, and for the same height,they might be more sensitive to wind-induced vibrations than traditional buildings.To satisfy people’s comfort on the top floors, the serviceability design oftall timber buildings must consider wind-induced vibrations carefully. Architectsand structural engineers need accurate and verified calculation methods,useful numerical models and good knowledge of the dynamical properties oftall timber buildings.Firstly, the research work presented hereby attempts to increase the understandingof the dynamical phenomena of wind-induced vibration in tall buildings andevaluate the accuracy of the semi-empirical models available to estimate alongwindaccelerations in buildings. Secondly, it aims at, experimentally and numerically,studying the impact of structural parameters – masses, stiffnesses anddamping – on the dynamics of timber structures. Finally, it suggests how talltimber buildings can be modeled to correctly predict modal properties and windinducedresponses.This research thesis confirms the concerns that timber buildings above 15-20stories are more sensitive to wind excitation than traditional buildings with concreteand steel structures, and solutions are proposed to mitigate this vibrationissue. Regarding the comparison of models from different standards to estimatewind-induced accelerations, the spread of the results is found to be very large.From vibration tests on a large glulam truss, the connection stiffnesses are foundto be valuable for predicting modal properties, and numerical reductions withsimple spring models yield fair results. Concerning the structural models of conceptualand real tall timber buildings, numerical case studies emphasize the importanceof accurately distributed masses and stiffnesses of structural elements,connections and non-structural building parts, and the need for accurate dampingvalues.