It is well known that timber structures succeed or fail in their connections and significant technical advances and developments in the field of timber connections have fostered the recent renaissance of timber as a structural material. Self-tapping screws are prominent amongst these innovations. They increase timber’s potential by enabling strong, stiff and economic connections, widening the range for structural applications. An increased range of connection types and corresponding applications gives designers both opportunity and challenge. The result is a noticeable trend towards systemized solutions enabling quick and reliable assembly on site.
The behaviour of structures must be both reliable and safe and, for this reason, construction is highly controlled. This poses the challenge that innovation has to take place inside a framework of regulation. A lack of standardized design and construction principles for new developments could result in a variety of applied approaches that might lead to a lower reliability of structures at higher cost. A core objective for COST Action FP1402 is to provide the knowledge and methods necessary to bring these new developments into regulated building practice.
The objective of this Conference is to record the current state-of-the-art for connections in timber engineering, and to illustrate how new developments will be adopted in the next generation of Timber Design Standards (e.g. Eurocode 5:2022). It is an opportunity to hear presentations from some of the world’s leading experts and to join discussions on the design, application and performance of Connections in Timber Engineering. There will be presentations on current performance indicators, (e.g. strength, stiffness and ductile vs. brittle failure modes), as well as applications of connections in cross-laminated timber and timber-concrete composite structures. The Conference will also include presentations on current developments of design rules (e.g. for brittle failure modes, reinforcement and seismic design) and give an outlook on the potential of numerical modelling and probabilistic methods for future design of efficient and reliable connections.
It is intended that this COST Action FP1402 Conference will contribute to a high-quality and open scientific and technical dialogue within the timber engineering community. It thereby adheres to the main principle of the COST Programme, which is to strengthen Europe in scientific and technological research, for peaceful purposes, through the support of cooperation and interaction between researchers and practitioners.
For many years, the team of the Institute of Timber Engineering and Wood Technology at Graz University of Technology has been working at the forefront of timber engineering research and innovation. In 2013, in collaboration with COST Action FP1004, they hosted a very successful “Conference on Cross Laminated Timber”. For this current Conference on “Connections in Timber Engineering”, Graz University of Technology, with COST Action FP1402, is once again bringing together researchers and practitioners from around the world to increase understanding of current and future timber connection research and to discuss applications.
Philipp Dietsch, Chair COST FP1402