Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 1961–1985 | Cite as

Innovative timber building systems: comparative testing and modelling of earthquake behaviour

  • C. SandhaasEmail author
  • P. Schädle
  • Ario Ceccotti
Original Research Paper


Several innovative timber building systems were developed in the past few years, among which dowel-laminated timber, CLT with interspaces and prefabricated timber wall elements, whose design requires also verification of the lateral load-carrying system. Therefore, shear wall tests on these three building systems were carried out. Timber frame shear walls were also tested to compare load–displacement behaviour, failure modes and energy dissipation capacity. The four investigated systems exhibit similar shapes for load–displacement curves albeit reaching different stiffness and capacity values. Based on the test results, 2D models of shear walls and a case study building were developed in order to investigate the seismic behaviour of the discussed timber building systems. The hysteretic behaviour of the shear walls and of the case study building was assigned to non-linear hysteretic springs. The building models were then subject to accelerograms whose intensities were increased until the near-collapse state was reached. Via these nonlinear dynamic simulations in the time domain, design behaviour factors valid for force-based seismic design were established. Based only on a few common tests on shear walls, a general statement regarding the seismic behaviour of novel systems can be given using this procedure. The three investigated innovative timber building systems proved to be suitable for the use in seismic active areas and can cover the same application range as conventional timber frame buildings.


Timber construction systems Shear walls Earthquake behaviour Nonlinear dynamic modelling 



The DLT project was financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy within the “ZIM”-programme (Central innovation programme for small and medium-sized enterprises) under grant IDs KF2007011US2, KF2007003RH8 and KF0352101K6. Cooperating partners were Kaufmann GmbH (DLT), Lignotrend GmbH (CLTi) and Holz-Isolier-Bau GmbH (PFTE), respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Timber Structures and Building ConstructionKarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Ingenieurgruppe Bauen KarlsruheKarlsruheGermany
  3. 3.University of Venice IUAVVeniceItaly

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