Traditional mortise and tenon timber frames have been used in modern construction for a substantial period of time with acceptable performance against weather phenomena and other hazards. However, performance criteria for this style of timber framing are not well defined in current codes and standards. To determine performance criteria for free-standing timber frames with knee-braces, three tasks were undertaken: (1) Two timber frame specimens were tested under cyclic loads to determine hysteretic behavior, damage states, and to explore rehabilitation of a damaged member using self-tapping screws. Three damage states for were identified: peg shear, tenon tearout, and post or beam splitting. Self-tapping screws were able to restore the strength of the 2-peg timber frame with the damaged beam, but not the stiffness of the frame. (2) Four timber frame mortise and tenon connection specimens were subjected to damp conditions for six months and then tested under monotonic tensile load to determine the effect of joint details. The results indicated that connection types tested had similar strength and stiffness. (3) Twelve free-standing timber frames with knee braces located at various sites across the United States were tested in the field under impulse loading to determine the fundamental period of vibration and to estimate damping. A relationship between the fundamental period and the mean roof height was fit to the test data using a power-law equation, and three sets of parameters were determined: a lower-bound equation for seismic loads, an upper-bound equation for wind loads, and mean equation for human-induced vibration performance criteria.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





timber frames, performance criteria, cyclic loading, vibration, durability



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Engineering Commons