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Seismic response of multi-storey cross-laminated timber buildings

Multi-storey building construction with cross-laminated timber (CLT) is growing around the globe. This increased interest in CLT construction is driven by the numerous benefits it offers over conventional materials in terms of minimum environmental cost, outstanding structural performance, and reduced construction time and cost. Besides, CLT multi-storey construction is an attractive and environmentally-responsive building option to optimise the use of the scarce area in emerging metropolitan cities where an influx of over 2.5 billion people is expected in the following three decades. Furthermore, CLT construction is an appealing building alternative in seismically prone areas due to its in-plane stiffness and potentially ductile structural joinery design. For these reasons, the dynamic response of CLT buildings under earthquake loading has been subject of numerous experimental and numerical research efforts during the last 2 decades. Surprisingly, however, most of past research has been circumscribed to strength estimations and, no comprehensive assessment has been conducted with regards to the expected level of inelastic demands in CLT buildings. In particular, the influence of the ground-motion frequency content, which has long been recognized as determinant on the seismic response, has been usually neglected in studies on CLT structures. This thesis aims to provide a detailed characterization of seismic demands in multi-storey CLT buildings and their dependency on the frequency content of the ground-motion. Attention is given to the evolution of inelastic deformations, base and inter-storey shear forces, and peak floor accelerations and their relationship with salient building and ground-motion characteristics. A comprehensive building database including 60 multi-storey CLT buildings representative of a wide range of structural configurations is constructed. To study the influence of ground-motion frequency content on peculiar design practices, a suite of 1656 real ground-motion records is used. Subsequently, a parametric study is conducted by means of a probabilistic demand assessment and non-linear regression models are proposed for the estimation of seismic demands in multi-storey CLT buildings. In addition, the use of multiple sliding sections as a potential means of mitigating the large peak accelerations observed in taller CLT buildings is also investigated. Finally, practical implications of the findings on available seismic design and assessment provisions are highlighted throughout the thesis and recommendations on future work are summarized at the end.

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