Diemersteiner Tal - Free Form, Germany
In 2019, an extraordinary pavilion was constructed in Diemersteiner Tal near Kaiserslautern, Germany. The structure is constructed entirely from timber and did not require any metal fasteners.
Technical University of Kaiserslautern, Germany
Jun. Prof. Dr. Christopher Robeller
"Digital Timber Construction DTC"
Technical University of Kaiserslautern
CLTECH GmbH & Co. KG
The pavilion is located at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern Architecture Faculty’s new timber research campus. The structure serves as the building entrance.
The structural analysis and design for this unique, one-of-a-kind building was carried out by PIRMIN JUNG. For the cross-laminated timber (CLT) surface design, as well as the connections, the engineers of PIRMIN JUNG used the RFEM finite element program. The Digital Timber Construction DTC research group at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern was headed by Jun. Prof Dr. Christopher Robeller. This group developed software to manufacture light timber CLT panel structures.
The wooden pavilion is approximately 13 ft high and spans 39 ft. Three large arched wings stem from the domed roof and connect to the foundation. The shell structure consists of 3.94-inch-thick CLT panels. Because the components are subjected to little bending and rather mainly to compression, fewer materials were required.
The pentagonal to heptagonal arch components required a mathematical algorithm. More than 200 unique geometrical surfaces about 24 in wide were created through computer calculations. These small components were manufactured from scrap pieces typically deemed as waste during the production of multi-story building wall elements.
The adjacent panels are connected with glued-in beech dowels and X-fix connectors, which are plywood dovetail-shaped timber-to-timber connectors. The X-fix connectors resist the tension and shear forces resulting from the adjacent in-plane surface displacement. They also ensure gap-free connection for the panels during assembly. The glued-in beech dowels fix the plates and transfer the transverse forces acting perpendicular to the plates.
The entire project was completed in eight short weeks, from the initial planning to the final construction. The production and assembly itself took only eight days. Load tests using six OSB panels with a height of 4.59 ft (corresponding to a weight of about 18.7 tons) were able to verify the dome’s mathematically proven high load-bearing capacity after the completion of the construction.
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The effects due to snow load are described in the American standard ASCE/SEI 7-16 and in Eurocode 1, Parts 1 through 3. These standards are implemented in the new RFEM 6 program and the Snow Load Wizard, which serves to facilitate the application of snow loads. In addition to this, the most recent generation of the program allows the construction site to be specified on a digital map, thus allowing the snow load zone to be imported automatically. These data are, in turn, used by the Load Wizard to simulate the effects due to the snow load.
Lookout Tower Model (Left) and Deformation Image (Right) in RFEM (© Ingenieurbüro Braun GmbH & Co. KG)
Compared to the RF‑/TIMBER Pro add-on module (RFEM 5 / RSTAB 8), the following new features have been added to the Timber Design add-on for RFEM 6 / RSTAB 9:
- In addition to Eurocode 5, other international standards are integrated (SIA 265, ANSI/AWC NDS, CSA 086, GB 50005)
- Design of compression perpendicular to grain (support pressure)
- Implementation of eigenvalue solver for determining the critical moment for lateral-torsional buckling (EC 5 only)
- Definition of different effective lengths for design at normal temperature and fire resistance design
- Evaluation of stresses via unit stresses (FEA)
- Optimized stability analyses for tapered members
- Unification of the materials for all national annexes (only one "EN" standard is now available in the material library for a better overview)
- Display of cross-section weakenings directly in the rendering
- Output of the used design check formulas (including a reference to the used equation from the standard)
- How do I perform stability analysis to determine the critical load factor in RFEM 6?
- Where can I find the materials for the corresponding National Annexes in RFEM 6 and RSTAB 9?
- 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?
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
Timber design according to Eurocode 5, SIA 265, and/or DIN 1052
Stability analysis according to the eigenvalue method
Generation of equivalent geometric imperfections and pre-deformed initial structures for nonlinear calculations