Plate Effect of Timber Panel Walls with Openings

The main question of this Master's thesis is how wall openings influence the plate-like effect of timber panel walls. In order to answer this question, we will first discuss timber panel construction in general terms and explain its special features with regard to horizontal load transfer. Furthermore, the generally accepted codes of practice are explained, focusing mainly on German standards and construction rules, but a North American design method is also discussed. This design method makes it possible to design timber panel walls with openings with more favorable input values than is the case in Europe, provided that certain design rules are observed.

Josua Sickinger

HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany

The initial question is answered using a parametric study. The methodical approach of the parameter study is based on finite element modeling, which is described in great detail and checked for plausibility. The necessary number of wall models for the parameter study is generated by programming a tool with a visual programming language. The evaluation of the parameter study allows for making correlations between the geometry of a timber panel wall with an opening, and the deformation of the wall under a constant load. In addition to the area of the opening and the geometry of the opening, it has been shown that the positioning of the opening in relation to the rib grid of the wall affects the stiffness. The opening height can also have a strong influence on the stiffness, although it is not included in the design according to Eurocode 5.

Finally, the individual wall structures are analyzed in more detail for possible reinforcement according to the North American construction model. The analysis showed that the reinforcement is particularly useful for walls with high loading. First hypotheses are made for a final evaluation of the significance and the question to which improvement the reinforcement leads. In addition to these hypotheses, data gaps in the field of fasteners that were uncovered during finite-element modeling also provide opportunities for research.