Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product

Title: Moisture monitoring throughout the construction and occupancy of mass timber builidings

Source: In: Proceedings, 1st international conference on new horizons in green civil engineering (NHICE-01). Victoria, BC: University of Victoria: 32-36.

Author(s)Zelinka, S.L. ; Kordziel, S. ; Pei, S. ; Glass, S.V. ; Tabares-Velasco, P.C.

Publication Year: 2018  View PDF »

Category: Conference Proceedings
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4716-1A

Abstract: While wood has been used as a building material for millennia, "mass timber" buildings have only been realized within the past few years within North America. Mass timber refers to a class of wood composites that include glue-laminated timber (glulam), structural composite lumber, and cross laminated timber (CL T). These composites allow multi-story residential and non-residential buildings to be constructed more efficiently than traditional light-framed wood systems. While there are a host of environmental and other benefits to building with mass timber, these buildings are different from steel or concrete buildings as the physical and mechanical properties of wood change with its moisture content. Wood-moisture interactions can lead to difficulties in the utilization of wood such as dimensional instability, cracking, microbial attack, and fastener corrosion. Understanding the amount of moisture and range of moisture fluctuations that could be expected in North American mass timber buildings is necessary for more informed design of mass timber buildings.

This paper presents preliminary findings from an ongoing research program instrumenting CL T buildings to measure wood moisture content. An overview of the research program is presented along with data from first year of moisture monitoring in an 8-story building in Portland, Oregon. This project measures the wood moisture content throughout the construction cycle, including the fabrication, shipping, staging, and erection of the panels. These preliminary field measurements can help characterize moisture changes in CL T during construction and guide the construction of future CL T buildings.

Keywords: Cross laminated timber (CLT); wood; moisture monitoring; construction

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 601 kb(s)

Date posted: 09/28/2018

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 92680
Current FPL Scientists associated with this product (listed alphabetically)
Glass, Samuel V.
Research Physical Scientist
Zelinka, Samuel L.
Materials Research Engineer

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »

Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »

Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »

Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »