Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Master of Engineering Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering


El Damatty, Ashraf A.


Increasing global demand for a sustainable society is driving the development of multi-storey light-frame wood structures (LFWSs). A high-resolution finite element modelling (FEM) procedure for three-dimensional multi-storey LFWS buildings is developed. This tremendous effort is carried out to have a benchmark model that can be used for the validation of simpler models and for the assessment of the structural performance considering system effects. High-resolution FEM of all components of a building is not practical. A simplified FEM procedure is developed based on equal work principle. Verification of the accuracy of the high-resolution model is undertaken by comparing the natural frequencies predicted by the high-resolution model and a full-scale field measurement. Also, pushover curves obtained from both the simplified and the high-resolution building models are compared. It is demonstrated that the simplified FEM can predict accurately the behaviour of multi-storey single walls as well as an entire building with good accuracy compared to the high-resolution FEM.

Summary for Lay Audience

About ninety percent of North America’s residential buildings consist of light-frame wood structures (LFWSs). Wood is a renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable material. Promoting the development of LFWS buildings aligns with the global demand for a sustainable society. Current limitation on the advancement of LFWSs is the deficiency of the design method, which is a hand-calculation-based design at the individual member level rather than an advanced computer-aided design at the entire building level. Hand-calculation-based design makes the LFWSs either unsafe or too conservative (costly), thus unideal. However, due to the complex structural details of LFWSs, computer-aided design of LFWS buildings with all structural components modelled are not practical. This research aims at finding an effective simplified computer-aided design approach for LFWSs so that practical engineers in industry can easily perform the design process without modelling all complex structural details. To fulfill this objective, a high-resolution model with the consideration of all structural components is first completed with the help of a computer. This tremendous effort is carried out to have a benchmark model that can be used for the validation of simpler models. The accuracy of this high-resolution model is verified through a full-scale field test. The structural behaviour of this high-resolution model is also investigated to better understand the performance of LFWSs at three-dimensional level. Subsequently, a simplified model is proposed with the help of a computer. The simplified model is validated capable of yielding similar lateral displacement prediction compared to the high-resolution model if a lateral force is applied to the model that simulates a LFWS building.