Numerical and Experimental Study on Modular-Based Timber Structures

  • Sigurdur Ormarsson Building Technology, Linnaeus University, Sweden
  • Johan Vessby Building Technology, Karlstad University, Sweden
  • Marie Johansson RISE, Technical Research Institute of Sweden
  • Le Kua Building Technology, Linnaeus University, Sweden


Building with prefabricated light-frame volume modules is a prevalent and innovative construction method for low and mid-rise timber buildings. Compared to traditionally site-built constructions this method is very advantageous due to its high prefabrication level and the fast on-site assembly of the modules. The focus of this project is to study and optimise the global shear stiffness of the volume modules and to secure a large enough shear and uplift stiffness of the mechanical (or friction based) connections between the modules. Some companies assume that the friction between the modules is sufficient to transfer the wind stabilization forces down through the entire building. Regarding structural safety, connection design is an important task that needs to be numerically studied and experimentally verified. The paper presents numerical and experimental results obtained from two ongoing research projects concerning modular-based timber buildings in Sweden. The final aim of this work is to develop an efficient three dimensional finite-element model to analyse both the global and detailed structural behaviour of these types of buildings. To study the overall shear stiffness of the volume modules, eight different test-modules are to be tested. The test results will be used to calibrate the numerical model.