Funded Research Programs

Phase I: Innovative Solution for Hybrid Wood-Concrete Tall Buildings

Title: Innovative Solution for Hybrid Wood-Concrete Tall Buildings

Principal Investigator: Carlos E. Ventura

PI’s Affiliation: University of British Columbia

Co-PI at Tongji University: Haibei Xiong


The purpose of this project is to explore the adequacy of an innovative concept for wood-concrete tall buildings. The key idea of the proposed system is to take advantage of the benefits inherent in concrete and wood frame buildings to provide a structural system that will perform well during strong earthquakes and/or strong winds and at the same time it will be economic, easy and fast to build. Additional advantages of the proposed system include the use of sustainable resources, a low carbon footprint, excellent life cycle characteristics and the use of recyclable materials. The work to be conducted in this project includes a series of experimental and analytical studies to determine the seismic resilience of the proposed system.

The key idea of the proposed concept is to build a concrete structure, as is normally done but the floor slabs will only occur every three stories. Modular wood frame structures will be used to form the intermediate floors between concrete floors. Due to fire regulations in China, wood frame structures are limited to three-stories high, so as to comply with this regulation the concrete floor spacing will be limited to three stories. The concrete structure will provide the necessary stiffness and strength to resist gravity and lateral loads, as well as, the required fire protection for the occupants of the building. The wood frame modules will be used to create the habitable spaces in the building, and will be used for controlling the lateral vibrations of the building acting as tuning devices.

The experimental studies will include component and shake table tests of a building model incorporating the proposed concept. The experimental results will be used for detailed analytical studies of proposed tall buildings. The outcome of the research will be a set of guidelines for design and construction of tall buildings incorporating the proposed concept.