Development and Validation of a Resilience-based Seismic Design Methodology for Tall Wood Buildings: Capstone Test


With global urbanization trends, the demands for tall residential and mixed-use buildings in the range of 8~20 stories are increasing. One new structural system in this height range are tall wood buildings which have been built in select locations around the world using a relatively new heavy timber structural material known as cross laminated timber (CLT). However, the majority of existing tall CLT buildings are located in non-seismic or low-seismic regions of the world. There is consensus amongst the global wood seismic research and practitioner community that tall wood buildings have a substantial potential to become a key solution to building future seismically resilient cities. The Vision of this project is to develop and validate a seismic design methodology for tall wood buildings that incorporates high-performance structural and nonstructural systems and can quantitatively account for building resilience. This will be accomplished through a series of research tasks planned. These tasks will include mechanistic modeling of tall wood buildings with several variants of post-tensioned rocking CLT wall systems, fragility modeling of structural and non-structural building components that affect resilience, full-scale biaxial testing of building sub-assembly systems, development of a resilience-based seismic design (RBSD) methodology, and finally a series of full-scale shaking table tests of a 10-story CLT building specimen to validate the proposed design. The project will deliver a new tall building type capable of transforming the urban building landscape by addressing urbanization demand while enhancing resilience and sustainability.

The final capstone test for NHERI Tallwood Project funded by the National Science Foundation is scheduled to take place at NHERI@UCSD during 2022~23. The test building will represent the tallest full-scale building structure ever tested on a shake table, as it is shown in the figure. After the building is constructed, the research team plan to conduct multiple seismic tests on the building for two phases of typical design configurations over a period of 5-6 months. Additional details about NHERI Tallwood Project can be found at

The standard building configuration consists of a three story (12'/story) two bay (16'/bay) by one bay (20') frame structure.

Development and Validation of a Resilience-based Seismic Design Methodology for Tall Wood Buildings: Capstone Test
PI Shiling Pei Colorado School of Mines
Co-PI John W. van de Lindt Colorado State University
Co-PI Jeffrey Berman University of Washington
Co-PI Keri Ryan University of Nevada Reno>
Co-PI James D. Dolan Washington State University
Co-PI James Ricles Lehigh University
Co-PI Richard Sause Lehigh University

Contact Person

Shiling Pei

Primary Sponsor(s)