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Improved fire design of engineered wood systems in buildings

Coordinator: Tian Li, RISE Fire Research, Norway
tian.li (at) risefr.no

Other partners: CH, DE, EE, SE
Project duration: 04/2019-09/2022

Project abstract:

There is a growing use of wood in construction, which substantially contributes to developing a more sustainable construction sector. Although fire safety is considered important, the adhesive properties of glued products at elevated temperatures and in fire conditions are not fully understood.

FIRENWOOD aimed to fill knowledge gaps regarding the fire-safe use of engineered wood systems, focusing on structural joints and adhesives in cross-laminated timber (CLT), glued-laminated timber (GLT), glued-in rods, and wood-based I-joists.

Benefiting from the close collaboration between adhesive manufacturers, engineering wood providers, research institutes, and universities, FIRENWOOD delivered more than 2000 experiments using eighteen selected adhesives covering all common adhesive families. Many adhesives were studied using different experimental methods and at different scales. To our knowledge, such a comprehensive experimental campaign has never been performed and reported openly. Furthermore, extensive efforts were made to make sure a direct comparison could be made from different experiments. The vast amount of high-quality experimental data enabled us to understand better the behaviour of bond lines of engineered wood in fires. Several fire design models for CLT, GLT, glued-in rods, and I-joists were proposed, some of which have been included in the new draft of European standards for the design of timber structures (CEN/TC 250/SC 5 – Eurocode 5). New adhesive classification methods using only small-scale apparatus were also proposed in FIRENWOOD, which will be considered by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN/TC 193/SC 1) in developing future European standards for wood adhesives.

With the developed fire design models and classification methods from FIRENWOOD, the costs and difficulties of establishing engineered wood constructions, especially with taller buildings, can be significantly reduced without sacrificing fire safety. Hopefully, the outcome of FIRENWOOD will facilitate increased production and demand of wood and glued elements, allowing for broader use of the raw material and supporting regional wood processing companies.

Project website: link
ResearchGate: link
Project presentation at ForestValue kick-off seminar 23-24 May 2019: pdf
Stakeholder Article_1_FIRENWOOD – Medium and large scale fire tests
Stakeholder_Article_2_FIRENWOOD – Final workshop
Stakeholder_Article_3_FIRENWOOD – Engineered wood and fire from research to practice