Issues and Solutions for Compartments with Exposed Structural Mass Timber Elements

  • David BarberEmail author
  • Robert Dixon
  • Susan Deeny
  • Pascal Steenbakkers
Conference paper


High-rise mass timber buildings with CLT and glulam are being planned and constructed within the globally. As timber buildings are constructed taller, architects and building owners are requesting more timber be exposed. High-rise buildings are required to have fire resistance ratings for the structural elements that can withstand the design fire in the highly unlikely event of a fully developed fire. Addressing how exposed timber and in particular CLT, influences a fully developed fire through to fire extinguishment is a current fire safety issue. The fire heat release rate and fire duration will be increased due to the added combustible fuel available from the exposed timber, when compared to a compartment without any exposed timber, once all the fixtures and furnishings have been consumed. Existing fire test data shows that large areas of exposed timber has a significant impact on heat release rate, but limited areas of exposed timber can be accommodated within a fire safe design. To design a compartment with exposed timber requires an understanding of the susceptibility of the CLT to char fall off and the expected fire duration due to the area and location of the exposed timber.


Mass timber Cross laminated timber Compartment fires High-rise buildings Performance-based design 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Barber
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert Dixon
    • 2
  • Susan Deeny
    • 3
  • Pascal Steenbakkers
    • 4
  1. 1.ArupWashington, DCUSA
  2. 2.ArupDocklandsAustralia
  3. 3.Arup, Scotstoun HouseEdinburghUK
  4. 4.ArupAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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