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A Method to Characterize Biological Degradation of Mass Timber Connections

Arijit Sinha, Kenneth E. Udele, Jed Cappellazzi, Jeff J Morrell


Biological durability issues in cross-laminated timber (CLT) have been majorly ignored in North America because of the European origin of the material and careful construction practices in Europe.  However, the risks of fungal and insect attacks are increased by the North American climatic conditions and lack of job-site measures to keep the material dry. The methods to evaluate durability in solid timber are inadequate for use in mass timber (MT) for a number of reasons, such as moisture variation and size being critical issues. This study therefore proposes a method, which is suitable to evaluate the strength of MT assemblies that are exposed to fungal degradation. The objective of the study was to explore a controlled method for assessing the effects of wetting and subsequent fungal attack on the behavior of CLT connections. Two different methods were used to create fungal attack on CLT assemblies. Although they were both successful, one was cumbersome, left room for many errors, and was not as efficient as the other. In addition, a standardized method to evaluate and characterize key performance metric for the connections is presented.



Biological Durability; Fungi; CLT Connections; connection strength

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