Mass timber construction has captured the Vancouver construction market due to its minimal environmental impact and affordable costs. With the rise of these timber-based structures, many are beginning to wonder how much seismic resilience they provide.
On the west coast, we hear all about “The Big One” and the threat of earthquakes. To prepare for them, we need to know if mass timber structures are seismic resilient.
The Impact of Earthquakes on Mass Timber Structures
Wood structures are normally very secure from earthquakes, with timber now being used in schools and hospitals as a way to fortify structures from potential earthquakes. If an earthquake were to occur, buildings composed of timber would likely remain intact. This is due to the way they distribute the vibration from the seismic activity.
Multiple tests have shown that a mass timber frame will likely withstand earthquakes that register high on the Richter scale. There is a chance that serious damage may occur, however.
Additional Benefits of Mass Timber Framing
Mass timber framing is possibly the most sustainable and environmentally friendly construction material in recent years. But that’s not all the benefits it provides. When it comes to seismic resilience, mass timber framing provides unmatched durability and vibration-resistant properties.
Compared to other construction materials, timber is one of the best choices for earthquake-proofing. Wood structures are lighter than steel or other metals, leading to a lower overall weight. Studies have concluded that wood structures performed better than steel and concrete during earthquake tests.
The research done on this subject shows that mass timber structures exhibit minimal seismic damage upon impact from earthquakes, even in older wood construction buildings.
Wood Construction is Often the Best Choice
Mass timber construction is an environmentally friendly way to construct a building for a lower cost. Plus, it provides higher seismic resilience than traditional materials such as concrete and steel. If you want to learn more about incorporating mass timber into a construction project, contact us.
Seagate Mass Timber is leading the revolution in “Big Wood” being used in all areas of construction. Seagate has offices in British Columbia, Canada and the US in Washington state.
If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about your construction project, please call us at (604) 529-7685.