Improved fire design of engineered wood systems in buildings

Four minutes pitch: Everything you need to know about FIRENWOOD: (link)

Publications and current updates from the project may be found at Research Gate: (link) 

The requirements for more environmentally friendly building materials in constructions are growing internationally. Wood is traditionally appreciated as a construction material due to its flexibility, strength, environmental friendliness, esthetical nature and good fire technical properties.

There is a high focus on development and use of innovative wood systems in construction, commonly used as loadbearing elements and, in some cases, as fire separating walls and ceilings, as substitutes for traditionally used incombustible products. There is also an increasing motivation to extend the application areas of such products to taller and larger buildings. To support this development, new fire risks must be sufficiently addressed.

FIRENWOOD will fill knowledge gaps regarding fire safe use of engineered wood systems, with focus on structural joints and adhesives in cross-laminated timber (CLT), glued-laminated timber (GLT) and wood-based I-joists, and develop validated and relevant fire design models for these systems as well as classification methods for adhesives. A key point is to investigate the behaviour of adhesives used in structural applications, as many of these innovative systems utilise different adhesives. 

The societal perception of fire safety of timber buildings is influenced by the media, which is addressing the topic with controversy, also tending to be pessimistic, and the FIRENWOOD project aims to facilitate change in a general negative public opinion of timber structures in fire.

The main goal in FIRENWOOD is to ensure fire safe use of innovative, engineered wood systems in taller and larger buildings, by providing 
- Improved fire design models, validated by small- and full-scale fire tests, and 
- Classification and test methods for adhesives with regard to elevated temperatures and fire. The main focus will be the effect of structural joints and adhesives in cross-laminated timber (CLT), glue-laminated timber (GLT) and I-joists.

- Develop and implement game-changing strategies to reduce obstacles for innovation, design and use.
- Develop small-scale test method for classification of temperature and fire behaviour of wood adhesives for bonds in finger joints as well as for CLT and GLT face bond applications. The classification of adhesives will also be included in the design methods developed as part of the project.
- Determine the relation between the behaviour of engineered wood systems and their components in elevated temperatures and real fire conditions.
- Provide improved, validated models for standard fire design of:
-wooden I-joists,
-CLT and GLT
-glued structural connections (glued-in rods, glued-in connectors)
- Provide technical knowledge base that can be used by authorities and industries in future design standards.
- Contribute to transnational collaboration in the field of fire safety of innovative engineered wood systems.

Work packages: 
WP1: Obstacles and new strategies for implementation and use of engineered wood systems in construction
WP2: Improved fire design models for engineered wood systems
WP3: Experimental validation
WP4: Dissemination, communication, exploitation and transnational collaboration
WP5: Management and monitoring
FIRENWOOD is funded by the ForestValue Research Programme which is a transnational research, development and innovation programme jointly funded by national funding organisations within the framework of the ERA-NET Cofund ‘ForestValue – Innovating forest-based bioeconomy’. National funding by Research Council of Norway, project number 298587. The project is coordinated by RISE Fire Research in Trondheim, Norway.

For more information, please contact the project manager Tian Li (link to contact info).