Connections in Mass Timber Construction
Connections are the critical component when designing and building with timber structures. Recent innovations have enabled us to engineer our buildings to increase in scale, while improving safety and productivity of installation and optimising the amount of wood on site. The modern angle brackets and how they transfer shear and tension forces. Recent innovative connections from Rotho Blass include the Alustart, Spider and Pillar connections – Design criteria that enable post and plate construction.
Mass timber installation time is related to the connection design, and engineers will look for practical ways to connect mass timber panels, beams and columns to ensure that installation will be carried out efficiently during construction. In some locations, forces may be so high that hardware cannot be concealed. Whereas buildings with higher fire ratings may require that the hardware be concealed within the wood members to provide additional fire protection through encapsulation (where the wood chars and insulates the steel within). In all cases, the connection design will be reviewed by the supplier and installer to ensure that the construction process is not adversely affected while meeting the building’s performance criteria, particularly when a type of connection is repeated multiple times within a building.