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Timber-concrete hybrid innovations: A framework to evaluate economical and technical factors for the construction market
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Building Materials.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Nowadays, the focus of the construction market is on sustainability aspects, for which purpose, the employment of wood seems promising. Nevertheless, in countries having high potentiality like Sweden, the timber construction market finds difficulties in growing. The reason lies in the lack of standards for design and industrialization and on the strong competition of the concrete industry. The timber-concrete hybrid solution is presented in this study as a solution beneficial for both the timber and the concrete markets: the former would benefit of a pulling action towards standardization and larger market, while the latter would fulfil the environment-friendly requirements and better differentiate in the competitive landscape.

Therefore, the objective of this thesis is to provide a framework to evaluate innovations in construction market, highlighting the characteristic issues related to the matching of timber and concrete constructions, and detecting the main economic and technical factors to help in the decision-making process. This framework will help to organize and evaluate all the information and the boundary conditions about the introduction of a concrete-timber hybrid construction solution, which eventually would enhance the timber construction market itself through a preliminary association with concrete market.

Firstly, some consideration on the market areas and on the general perceptions towards the timber construction are presented; then, the focus is moved onto the dynamics of concrete and timber supply chains, highlighting similarities, diversities, and possible reciprocal benefits, to finally detect the market indicators to be considered for a decision-making path related to the timber-concrete hybrid construction.

From the technical side, a conceptual design is proposed, considering the industrialization of such hybrid solution. Annex A shows how standardization and modularity of the products would enable compatibility and interchangeability between timber and concrete, on account of the open system within the construction market. Annex B displays a schematic picture of how the exploitation of timber and concrete’ properties, with the industrialization of these two materials, can be best employed for a hybrid building. A preliminary technical evaluation of the timber-concrete hybrid is carried out by dividing the building into modular units and focusing on the main systems (horizontal loadbearing system, vertical loadbearing system, external envelope, inner partitions), while making consideration on structural design, fire protection, building technology details, building service systems integration, construction plan, and costs.

The innovations within the construction market are often hindered by the fear to undertake a high-risk project. The proposed framework allows to increase the awareness on the general factors to be evaluated, and to undertake a gradual adoption of the “new” timber construction solution. The key points underlying the whole timber-concrete hybrid problem are standardization and modularity, necessary for a quality-oriented production. Further studies need to be carried out with an applicative intent: application of the general framework to real cases and pilot projects; automatic tools for the design and construction optimization including economic and technical factors; innovative and original hybrid solutions, which better exploit the timber-concrete synergy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Series
TRITA-BYMA, ISSN 0349-5752 ; 2017:04
Keywords [en]
hybrid construction, timber, concrete, standardisation, modularity, construction market
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-210045OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-210045DiVA, id: diva2:1116788
Subject / course
Building Materials
Educational program
School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE) - Master of Science in Engineering
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-08-21 Created: 2017-06-27 Last updated: 2017-08-21Bibliographically approved

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