The project was selected in the “Researchers at the start of their careers 2.1” call

Contact: Meta Kržan, Tomaž Pazlar

Private company: Jelovica hiše d.o.o.

Modern architectural design of prefabricated timber buildings increasingly comprises of wide open spaces in the ground floors with limited support elements, large wall openings and sometimes of large span cantilevers. In these cases, due to the large static heights needed in case of wooden girders, they are usually replaced by steel girders. With production of light frame timber prefabricated buildings, the manufacturer first lengthwise tailors solid or glue laminated timber from which a frame is assembled. To ensure the load-bearing capacity and rigidity, the frame is sheathed with various types of wood-based or gypsum fibre boards. A substantial amount of residual waste is created with cutting of sheathing boards that cannot further be used in the regular production of wall and floor structural elements.

The proposed research project aims to overcome the exposed issues in the production of prefabricated timber buildings and to develop the concept of using waste boards for the prefabrication of timber composite girders, which could in some cases replace commonly used steel girders. The basic concept of the proposed solution is a (box) composite girder constructed of solid timber flanges and webs made of waste sheathing boards which result from the manufacturing process of prefabricated timber buildings of the partner company; i.e. oriented strand boards, cement-particle boards or gypsum-fibre boards.

The outline of the research project is a comprehensive design and evaluation of composite girders, taking into account all the basic requirements for construction products relevant for the intended use, with an emphasis on mechanical resistance and stability, fire safety and the sustainable use of materials. Furthermore, the design concept will also take into account the limitations of the company’s manufacturing process technology as well as its financial aspects. The R&D work will be iterative: the design of the girders will be optimized by conducting experimental investigations and numerical analyses, whereas the selected solutions will be properly validated upon completion of the project.

The end result of the project will be the numerically and experimentally supported concept of the design and of the prefabrication process of timber composite girders made of waste boards for bridging larger spans (TRL 5 - 6).
2019/04/01 - 2022/03/31
European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport through EU Cohesion Policy 2014-2020