The flood resilience of light frame timber structures

  • Alistair Bradley

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The UK faces a significant risk from flooding in the future, however the impact of flooding on structures is an area that has suffered from a lack of research.At the same time, more platform timber frame structures are constructed in theUK than ever before; a construction type that is susceptible to damage from flooding. This thesis explores the effect flooding and assisted drying have on themechanical properties of current timber frame construction methods. A multiscale, experimental approach is taken in order to characterise the response of timber frame to flooding, and to understand the effect that different assisteddrying strategies have on the recovery of the mechanical properties of platformtimber frame. The results provide new insight into the behaviour of platformtimber frame during flooding and recovery. Permanent losses in all mechanicalproperties were observed at all scales tested. Despite the permanent losses, drying can be optimised to reduce the reduction in strength and stiffness of walls. In the wall tests, buckling failure of the OSB sheathing was observed after restoration via assisted drying. This is a change in failure mode to one that has not been observed before and one that is not accounted for during design. This buckling failure is used to partially explain the loss in capacity observed. Finally the experimental results are used to develop a proposed design method for the repair of platform timber frame after flooding.
Date of Award22 Jun 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorWen-Shao Chang (Supervisor) & Richard Harris (Supervisor)


  • flood
  • timber

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