John W. Olver Design Building University of Massachusetts, USA
In September 2017, the Design Building at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst was completed. The $52 million project is one of the largest timber structures in the USA and one of the largest timber-concrete composite projects in the world.
University of Massachusetts Building Authority
Boston, MA, USA
Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects
Boston, MA, USA
Equilibrium Consulting Inc.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
The four-story university building with a floor area of 8,129 m² includes three faculties on the premises of UMass Amherst with offices, studios, lecture halls and laboratories.
Structure and Design
The building is largely exposed and consists of 5 ply CLT concrete composite floor panels supported by a glulam post and beam structure.
The engineers of Equilibrium Consulting Inc. modeled and analyzed two main building components utilizing RFEM including the “zipper trusses” with adjacent steel trusses as well as the timber-concrete composite section trusses.
Each zipper truss converges four 9‑inch diameter timber struts and four varying diameter steel bars at a single point to transfer the load back to the upper glulam beams. The 12‑foot wide trusses vary in span length from 35 feet to 60 feet along with a varying depth between 7 feet and 9 feet.
For the timber-concrete composite section truss design, multiple steel connectors were modeled along the truss length to initiate the composite action between the concrete deck and the glulam timber beam. The timber-concrete composite section truss clear span extends a total length of 25 feet.
The Design Building sets a new standard of quality and performance for institutional timber construction in the USA and demonstrates how state-of-the-art timber construction can meet the demanding performance requirements of large, post-secondary educational facilities.
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This time, we want to look at modeling downstand beams by means of ribs.
3D models in RFEM: Zipper trusses with adjacent steel trusses (top) and timber-concrete composite section trusses with modeled steel connectors (bottom) (© Equilibrium Consulting Inc.)
External Pressure Coefficients, Cp, for Domed Roofs with a Circular Base (according to Figure 27.3-2 )
The model is constructed by means of parameters for geometry and loads and regenerates when the parameters are changed.
RF-/STEEL Cold-Formed Sections Module Extension | Design of cold-formed sections according to EN 1993-1-3
SHAPE-THIN determines the effective cross-sections according to EN 1993-1-3 and EN 1993-1-5 for cold-formed sections. You can optionally check the geometric conditions for the applicability of the standard specified in EN 1993‑1‑3, Section 5.2.
The effects of local plate buckling are considered according to the method of reduced widths and the possible buckling of stiffeners (instability) is considered for stiffened sections according to EN 1993-1-3, Section 5.5.
As an option, you can perform an iterative calculation to optimize the effective cross-section.
You can display the effective cross-sections graphically.
Read more about designing cold-formed sections with SHAPE-THIN and RF-/STEEL Cold-Formed Sections in this technical article: Design of a Thin-Walled, Cold-Formed C-Section According to EN 1993-1-3.
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- In RF‑/STEEL EC3, is the "Elastic design (also for Class 1 and Class 2 cross-sections)" option under "Details → Ultimate Limit State" considered for a stability analysis when activated?
Programs Used for Structural Analysis
Structural engineering software for finite element analysis (FEA) of planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells, members (beams), solids and contact elements