Under the auspices of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, the National Research Council Canada and the National Institute of Standards and Technology jointly conducted a series of cross laminated timber (CLT) compartment fire tests. Technical input and review was provided by the Research Institute of Sweden and a Project Technical Panel.
This study quantifies the contribution of CLT building elements to compartment fires and characterizes the effect of gypsum board on delaying or preventing involvement of the CLT in the fire under varied ventilation conditions. Six compartments (9.1 m long x 4.6 m wide x 2.7 m high) were assembled out of prefabricated CLT panels. Each panel was factory assembled using five plies of 35 mm thick lumber for a total thickness of 175 mm. A polyurethane adhesive was used to hold the plies together. The compartment had a rough opening in Wall W2 (front) of 1.8 m wide x 2.0 m high in four tests and 3.6 m wide x 2.0 m high in two tests. The inside of the compartments was fully or partially lined using multiple layers of 15.9-mm thick Type X gypsum board. Real residential contents and furnishings were used to provide a fire load density of 550 MJ/m2. The fire tests were conducted without sprinklers and without firefighting intervention.
Test 1-1 served as a baseline for the tests with the 1.8 m x 2.0 m rough opening in the front wall of the structure (Wall W2). Three layers of the gypsum board were used to cover the CLT walls and ceiling in Test 1-1 so that the CLT would neither contribute to the fire nor develop char during the test. Test 1-2 served as a baseline for the tests with the 3.6 m x 2.0 m rough opening in the front wall of the structure (Wall W2). An exposed wall (W1) was tested in both ventilation configurations (Test 1-3 and Test 1-5). Test 1-4 and Test 1-6 involved an exposed ceiling and a combination of exposed ceiling and wall, respectively, with the 1.8 m x 2.0 m rough opening.
Information about the overall project can be found on the Fire Safety Challenges of Tall Wood Buildings – Phase 2 website.
Click here to download 360° images. Post-fire images were not collected for Test 1-1 or Test 1-2.
(Images can be viewed using a 360 degree media viewer)
- Su, J., Lafrance, P. S., Hoehler, M., Bundy, M. Fire Safety Challenges of Tall Wood Buildings – Phase 2: Task 2 & 3 – Cross Laminated Timber Compartment Fire Tests , Fire Protection Research Foundation Report, FPRF-2018-01, February 2018.
- Hoehler, M.; Su, J., Lafrance, P. S., Bundy, M.; Kimball, A.;Brandon, D.; Ostman, B. Fire Safety Challenges of Tall Wood Buildings: Large-Scale Cross Laminated Timber Compartment Fire Tests SiF18 - The 10th International Conference on Structures in Fire, June 6-8, 2018, Blefast, UK.