VisLab Headquarters, Italy
VisLab, a start-up at the University of Parma, is a global leader in autonomous driving system development for various vehicle types. The American company Ambarella became aware of VisLab’s mission in a rapidly developing area characterized by strong competition, and decided to strategically acquire the company. As a result, a new location for headquarters to accommodate this research was required. Ambarella preferred the research center to remain on University of Parma’s campus in Italy.
Parco area delle scienze, 49
43124 Parma, Italy
Studio MFa Architect Mauro Frate
Via Francesco Zanardi, 92/3
40131 Bologna, Italy
26zero15 Progetti Srl StP
ing. Roberto Carboni and Diego Caldarini
Via Inzani, 13
26015 Soresina, Italy
Studio Ergodomus Timber Engineering
Loc. Fratte, 18/4
38057 Pergine Valsugana, Italy
Structural DesignThe research center building consists of 3 floors (including a large mezzanine) and is constructed entirely from timber: load-bearing perimeter and interior CLT walls as well as roof joists and rib beams. The floor system in particular required a special detailed analysis to study the behavior of two different elements acting together: It consists of glulam beams and CLT floor panels which were to remain visible. The elements could not be connected with glue (infinitely rigid connection), but rather connected with screws distributed along the section (semi-rigid connection).
In order to reduce material, a large part of the indoor piping and electrical equipment had to pass through the structure's interior, which posed an additional design challenge. For this reason, specific beam studies were performed using orthotropic shell element models. This analysis optimized the connection screw layout and spacing, as well as additional reinforcement around these openings. This resulted in considerable time and cost savings for the manufacturing company.
As seen in the photos, the building has a large glass façade (approximately 2,150 ft2), which required a special lateral wind bracing system consisting of glulam beams. Seismic consideration was another important design aspect for the entire 3D structure due to the fact that the city of Parma is located in a medium seismicity area and has an irregular building shape. Therefore, RF-DYNAM Pro add-on modules were used to analyze the dynamic behavior in detail and design all connections accordingly. It is important to emphasize that this design did not include any reinforced concrete or steel elements to resist lateral loads, so 100% of the horizontal forces are transferred to the foundation with timber elements only.
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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.
RFEM/RSTAB add-on module RF-/JOINTS Timber-Timber to Timber | Design of direct timber connections according to Eurocode 5
- General stress analysis
- Graphical and numerical results of stresses and stress ratios fully integrated in RFEM
- Flexible design with different layer compositions
- High efficiency due to few entries required
- Flexibility due to detailed setting options for calculation basis and extent
- Based on the selected material model and the layers contained, a local overall stiffness matrix of the surface in RFEM is generated. The following material models are available:
- Hybrid (for combinations of material models)
- Option to save frequently used layer structures in a database
- Determination of basic, shear and equivalent stresses
- In addition to the basic stresses, the required stresses according to DIN EN 1995-1-1 and the interaction of those stresses are available as results.
- Stress analysis for structural parts of almost any shape
- Equivalent stresses calculated according to different approaches:
- Shape modification hypothesis (von Mises)
- Maximum shear stress criterion (Tresca)
- Maximum principal stress criterion (Rankine)
- Principal strain criterion (Bach)
- Calculation of transversal shear stresses according to Mindlin, Kirchhoff, or user-defined specifications
- Serviceability limit state design by checking surface displacements
- User-defined specifications of limit deflections
- Possibility to consider layer coupling
- Detailed results of individual stress components and ratios in tables and graphics
- Results of stresses for each layer in the model
- Parts list of designed surfaces
- Possible coupling of layers entirely without shear
- How does the "Orthotropic Plastic" material model work in RFEM?
- What is the meaning of the superposition according to the CQC rule in a dynamic analysis??
- 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?
- 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?
- How can I calculate a timber-concrete composite floor with cross-laminated timber?
- Is it possible to save the structures of the manufacturer-specific cross-laminated timber plates in the RF‑LAMINATE add-on module?
- How is it possible to display the main support direction graphically in RF‑LAMINATE?
- Is it possible to create a second design case in RF‑LAMINATE?
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
Dynamic analysis of natural frequencies and mode shapes of member, surface, and solid models
Seismic and static load analysis using the multi-modal response spectrum analysis
Timber design according to Eurocode 5, SIA 265 and/or DIN 1052