Engineering News-Record recently featured Forest Products Laboratory’s (FPL) materials research engineer, Laura Hasburgh and her expert consultation on the Ascent construction project in Milwaukee. At 25 stories, the Ascent building is making history as the soon-to-be tallest timber building in the world. And because of its unprecedented height and exposed mass timber interior, Hasburgh was contacted to lend her fire testing expertise.
The top eighteen floors of the Ascent will be framed in mass timber and the interior architectural design features exposed glued-laminated timber (glulam) framing and cross-laminated timber (CLT) slabs to showcase the natural beauty of the wood. But with these design and material choices, the Ascent’s fire safety planning needed to be carefully considered.
If you live in Wisconsin, chances are that you at least know of Eagle Tower. More likely, you—along with thousands of visitors from around the world—have had indelible experiences of taking in spectacular views of Lake Michigan, the surrounding islands, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Eagle tower offered a captivating and much beloved panorama of Peninsula State Park.
In celebration of 110 years of research at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), we are revisiting blog posts that detail some of our most interesting historic people, places, and projects. Enjoy!
FPL’s pioneering work on the engineering design of glued-laminated construction helped launch the laminating industry in the United States. Much of the research on laminated wood originated at the time of the first World War when the Bureau of Aircraft Production approached FPL with a need for lightweight airplane wings.
Researchers here at the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) wrapped up testing a set of glued laminated (glulam) arches with a bang by breaking the last arch in a series of three. The arches measure 30-feet tall by 30-feet wide. Only ten arches have been tested worldwide.
This experimental work is evaluating the seismic design parameters of glulam arches by simulating the forces of an earthquake and measuring how the arches perform under such stress. The collected data will be analyzed and results published in the near future to serve as a reference for architects and engineers looking to design buildings using glulam arches.
The test took place on the strong floor in FPL’s Engineering Mechanics and Remote Sensing Laboratory (EMRSL). Here, researchers conduct physical and mechanical tests on a wide range of materials, building systems, and structures – from houses to bridges. Results inform the development of building codes and structural design standards.
According to APA’s website, “Manufacturers, distributors, and builders are all reporting a critical need for training as they rebuild from the recession and hire new employees. New hires often lack knowledge and understanding of engineered wood products, design considerations, and installation recommendations. Even experienced sales personnel can benefit from a refresher. APA’s new, comprehensive training series includes six “back to basics” modules that cover key topics related to I-joists, Rim Board®, laminated veneer lumber, and glulam. This training targets distribution sales staffs who can, in turn, share the knowledge and training with their retail and builder customers.”
Six training modules will be offered as a weekly series beginning Friday, April 8. Modules run between 30-90 minutes. The first four are designed to be completed in sequence with progressively complex content, while the last two can be taken as stand-alone presentations.