Can pinus radiata pole floor beams and joists make useful floors for multi-storey building?
Authors: Chapman, John ; Dodd, George
Abstract: The overall aim of our research is to eventually develop a viable system for building
multi-storey timber buildings that uses radiata poles for the main structural elements. The main
issues, to be hopefully solved by the research, are achieving floor plans, building elevations,
and jointing systems that are architecturally elegant and structurally reliable; and to ensuring
viable arrangements for achieving floor sound insulation.
This paper describes preliminary testing for shear jointing in built-up pole floor beams. Also, it
reports on the testing of a prototype floor with radiata pole joists for sound insulation properties,
and economic viability.
A major question of the floor was not only ‘would it achieve the sound insulation performance
that is required by the New Zealand building code (NZBC)?’ but also ‘would it provide
subjectively satisfactory insulation at low frequencies – i.e. below the range assessed by the
current NZBC performance requirement’? Measurements therefore have been made of the
objective performance and complemented by subjective comparisons made in a purpose-built
IEC Listening room. The results indicate that the floor meets code requirements – even when it
has a hard surface. The subjective assessments are still underway and the results will be
reported at the conference.
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