Wood-based concrete: building construction with composite elements of wood-concrete compounds and timber
This project focuses on the development of new principles for load-bearing elements made of wood and wood-based concrete. Alongside the improved static load-bearing capacity, these innovative building elements also offer economic and ecological advantages (weight reduction, thermal and acoustic insulation, fire protection, heat storage, reusability as source of heat and electricity).
Cement-bonded wood products are today mainly used for non-load-bearing purposes, e.g. as noise or fire protection panels. However, wood-based concrete in a new mixture could also be used in ceilings and wall elements and could thus make a contribution also to load-bearing. That said, knowledge about load-bearing elements involving wood-based concrete is still too limited for practical application to go ahead. In particular, data is lacking on the composition of wood-based concrete for specific uses, on the nature of the joints to be used, on how whole ceilings and wall elements can be planned economically and on the dimensioning methods to be applied to these elements.
The project aims to develop mixtures of lightweight concrete with different wood components and to assess their suitability as load-bearing materials. The results will flow into a conceptual structural design of ceilings and wall elements and will be complemented by experiments with joints for the individual components. Applying dimensioning methods that have rarely been used before in wood construction, the researchers will predict the bearing capacity of entire building elements through to fracture and study it in load tests at a large scale. Practice-oriented dimensioning approaches will be derived from the results. Based on further pre-experiments and case studies, the researchers will assess other expected ad-vantages, e.g. for thermal insulation and storage, for fire and noise protection, and with regard to economic competitiveness.
Load-bearing elements containing wood-based concrete are lighter in weight and offer integrated noise and fire protection. Thanks to the high share of wood, these innovative building elements are largely based on renewable resources and provide thermal insulation and storage. They can moreover be used as source of heat and electricity after their dismantling. The dimensioning methods to be developed'so far limited to the traditional building materials steel and reinforced concrete'could make construction with wood and wood-based products more efficient and thus contribute to the appropriate use of Swiss forests and Swiss wood.