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 87,500 ft² includes three schools 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 depth varying 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.
Do you have questions or need advice?
Contact our free e-mail, chat, or forum support or find various suggested solutions and useful tips on our FAQ page.
In this article, the adequacy of a 2x4 dimension lumber subject to combined bi-axial bending and axial compression is verified using RF-/TIMBER AWC add-on module. The beam-column properties and loading are based on example E1.8 of AWC Structural Wood Design Examples 2015/2018.
3D-Modelle in RFEM: "Zipper girders" connecting to a steel truss (top) and wood-concrete composite girders with modeled steel connectors (bottom) (© Equilibrium Consulting Inc.)
RF-/DYNAM Pro - Natural Vibrations Add-on Module for RFEM/RSTAB | Determination of natural frequencies and mode shapes
RF-/PLATE-BUCKLING Add-on Module for RFEM/RSTAB | Plate Buckling Analysis for Plates with or Without Stiffeners According to 1993-1-5
RFEM/RSTAB Add-on Module RF-IMP/RSIMP | Generation of Geometric Replacement Imperfections and Pre-deformed Replacement Structures
Extension of the RF-/STEEL Warping Erosion module | Lateral -torsional buckling analyzes of members according to the second -order theory with 7 degrees of freedom
RFEM/RSTAB add-on module RF-/JOINTS Steel-Tower | Hinged connections of lattice tower members according to EC 3
RFEM add-on module RF-CONCRETE NL | Nonlinear reinforced concrete calculation for the serviceability limit state
RFEM/RSTAB add-on module RF-/TIMBER AWC | Design of members made of timber according to ANSI/AWC NDS-2015 (US standard)
RFEM/RSTAB add-on module RF-/JOINTS Timber-Timber to Timber | Design of direct timber connections according to Eurocode 5
RFEM/RSTAB add-on module RF-/JOINTS Steel-Column Base | Hinged and restrained column bases according to EC 3
RF-/DYNAM Pro-Natural Vibrations Add-on Module for RFEM/RSTAB | Determination of Natural Frequencies and Mode Shapes
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.
- In RF‑/STEEL EC3, I get an error message saying that the node with a support does not exist in the set of members. What is the reason?
- Can I use RFEM to calculate a log house three-dimensionally?
- How do I display some results of all load cases in the printout report, but other results of the selected load cases only?
- Is it also possible to subsequently deactivate the symbols for the FE mesh refinement in an existing graphic in a printout report?
- What is the difference between SHAPE‑THIN 9 and SHAPE‑THIN 8?
- SHAPE‑THIN calculates a very small shear area. Why?
- I would like to carry out the flexural buckling design for timber components with imperfections and internal forces according to the second-order analysis. Is it sufficient to activate this in Details of the RF‑/TIMBER Pro add-on module or is it necessary to make additional settings?
- Can I design laminated veneer lumber with RFEM/RSTAB?
- When calculating a connection using the FRAME‑JOINT Pro add-on module, a message appears saying that the value is out of the valid range (existing value: 108, minimum value 100, maximum value 100). What does this message mean?
- I have a trapezoidal roof structure supported by beams. However, the moments on the beams are smaller than they should be. What could be the reason for this?
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