Timber Structures

The Advanced Research in Timber System (ARTS) research group is in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. The research group is led by Professor Dr. Chui, who is a Chairholder of the NSERC Industry Research Chair in Engineered Wood & Building Systems since August 2017. By far, the IRC research program is supported by eleven industrial partners. Our group is also working on research projects funded by many other agencies including NSERC, MITACS, Alberta Innovates and so on.

Our group is active in researching innovative engineered wood products and building system within the areas of structural engineering, wood engineering, building materials and engineering. Currently, we are focusing on the next generation of mass timber constructions with new connection techniques, including its structural performance and serviceability performance, especially on lateral load resistance system, design methods of self-tapping screws, acoustic and vibration performance timber-concrete composites. Our goal to is to help the wood construction industry in Canada to move from light-frame wood to mid- and high-rise mass timber constructions.

Research activities within ARTS include projects funded under the NSERC Industrial Research Chair (IRC) program, and those funded by the industry, and other federal and provincial government programs. The main focus of the activities is on mass timber and its applications in large and tall structures. There are two research tracks under the NSERC IRC in Engineered Wood and Building Systems. Track 1 investigates the use of mass timber panels as lateral load resisting systems (LLRS) in balloon frame construction, while the research of track 2 is intended to develop design procedures and construction details for mass timber panel – concrete composite floor systems that meet the structural, acoustic and fire performance requirements of building codes. While cross laminated timber (CLT) is the main mass timber panel product (MTP) being considered in the research due to current interest in CLT, other MTP products, such as structural composite lumber (SCL) and glued laminated timber (GLT), are also included in the program. Given the critical role played by connections, especially those fabricated with self-tapping screws, in the types of building system considered in both tracks, a number of the IRC projects focus largely on behaviour of self-tapping screw connections.

In addition to the IRC program, there is ongoing research on mid-rise light wood frame building systems, and development of innovative engineered wood products. .

Finally it should be stated that the majority of the research projects are motivated by the needs to address gaps in building codes and design standards, or to develop innovative building solutions for wood construction. As a result, efforts will be made to implement the research findings in codes and standards or to disseminate the findings to industry and practitioners through technical publications.