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UIA 2017 Seoul World Architects Congress

P- 0457

Evaluation Method For Wooden Buildings Disassemblability and Case Verification

Jianmei Wu*1, Liping Liu2,Hongpeng Xu3

Associate Professor, School of Architecture, Harbin Institute of Technology, China
Student, School of Architecture, Harbin Institute of Technology, China
Professor, School of Architecture, Harbin Institute of Technology, China

Considering the problem of architecture design from the perspective of the whole life cycle of a building is
essential under the background of requirements for greener building and circular economy,and the concept of
design for disassembly extends the dimension of architecture design.Since the wooden building has the
typical features of disassembly,it is necessary to introduce the concept of disassembly at the beginning of the
design phrase,aiming to improve the utilization rate of timber and to obtain greater comprehensive benefits
which is particularly meaningful in China being lack of timber resources.This paper takes the disassemblability
evaluation method in the field of products design as a reference.Firstly,the disassemblability evaluation
indexes of the wooden building are determined from three aspects which are technicality,economy and
green.Then,the weight of each evaluation index is calculated through the questionnaire,Delphi method
combined with analytic hierarchy process.Based on the above research results,this paper presents an
approach to quantitatively evaluate wooden buildings disassemblability by calculating the disassembly time.
At last,three typical wooden building cases are selected to verify the effectiveness of the evaluation method.
The research will provide theoretical support for disassembly and design optimization of wooden buildings
and ultimately to achieve the goal of sustainable development of architecture.

Keywords: wooden buildings; building disassembly; disassemblability; evaluation index; evaluation method

1. Introduction

In recent years,with the accelerated pace of urbanization,a large number of buildings were demolished,
resulting in a large number of construction waste,however many have not yet reached the service life.The
current demolition measures are mostly mechanical demolition and controlled blasting.In the era of boosting
energy conservation and pollution reduction,to solve this problem,it is necessary to introduce the concept of
building disassembly.The concept of building disassembly was put forward for the first time in the first meeting
of UBMA (Used Building Materials Association) in1996.Building disassembly is the process of disassembling
different types of components in the building and separating them from each other for the purpose of recycling
building materials.The goal of wooden buildings disassembly is to preserve lumber,doors,windows,and other
components in their whole form so that they can be used again in construction.The concept of building

Contact Author: Hongpeng Xu,Professor,School of

Architecture,Harbin Institute of Technology,China

No.66,Xidazhi Street,Nangang District,Harbin,Heilongjiang
Tel: 13766855117

UIA 2017 Seoul World Architects Congress

disassembly meets the social demand to reduce resource consumption and to improve the utilization of
resources through the recycling of materials and components.Wood is an ideal building disassembly
material.Timber reuse after building disassembly is an effective way to save materials and energy,and to
promote a more friendly and sustainable architecture revolution.The concept of design for disassembly (DfD)
is mainly to recover components and materials for reuse,re-manufacturing and recycling(Guy,2002).The
disassemblability of wooden buildings can be defined as the degree of ease to disassemble.The evaluation of
wood buildings disassemblability is to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate whether the building is easy to
disassemble.Designers can optimize the design according to the results.Therefore,the evaluation of wooden
buildings disassemblablity plays a guiding role in such phrases as conceptual design, construction documents
design,building maintenance,disassembly and recycling.The evaluation of wooden buildings
disassemblability in the design phrase can reduce the cost of disassembly,obtain the maximized recovery
benefits,also be beneficial to save energy and reduce consumption.From the perspective of urban and
architecture,the research will help reduce urban garbage and accelerate the circulation of architecture
materials,also it has a positive impact on urban meteorological environment.

At present,in the field of building disassembly,CIB discussed the building disassembly from building
evaluation,building materials management,construction strategy,strategy of architectural design and other
aspects in the proceedings.The method of design for disassembly and the potential of recycling materials and
components were discussed,some suggestions for disassembly were put forward(Crowther,2005).Design for
Disassemblability (DfD) will increase the cost-effectiveness of material recovery and reuse from the early
design stages(Davison and Tingley,2011).A building information modelling based deconstructability
Assessment Score was developed for determining the extent to which a building could be deconstructed right
from the design stage(Olugbenga O.Akinade,2015).In addition,the methodology for evaluation of products
disassemblability had been explored in the field of mechanical design and products design.The reversibility
and disassembly time of part connections were experimentally examined through the actual disassembly
work of some industrial products(Yasuo Kondo,2002).Although some studies on building disassembly and
evaluation of products disassemblability were developed,there is no concrete implementation of design
principles or specific methods to evaluate a project,the research on evaluation of wooden buildings
disassemblability is still relatively lacking.Laying on this premise,the specific objectives of this paper are:1)To
promote “design for disassembly”of the wooden building,analyzing the main influencing factors of wooden
buildings disassembly.2)To put forward the methodology for measuring the disassemblability of wooden
buildings in the design phase.3)To verify the feasibility of the evaluation method.This research uses Delphi
method,Analytic Hierarchy Process and case study as research methodology to achieve its objectives.The
research procedure and methods are showed in Fig.1.

Delphi Analytic Hierarchy Disassemblability Case

Process evaluation method Verification
based on
disassembly time
Determine the Mark the Disassembly Evaluation of
evaluation importance degree Determine the
weight of time disassemblability
indexes of of disassemblability estimation of of three types
wooden buildings evaluation indexes disassemblability Calculate
evaluation indexes three types of of the wooden
disassemblability by questionnaire disassembly time of
the wooden building
the wooden building

Fig.1. Research Framework.

2. The Research Process of Evaluation Method

To study the evaluation of wooden buildings disassemblability,the following researches were carried
out.Firstly,the disassemblability evaluation indexes of the wooden building are determined from three aspects

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which are technicality,economy and green.Then,the weight of each evaluation index is calculated through the
questionnaire,Delphi method combined with analytic hierarchy process.Based on the above research
results,this paper presents an approach to quantitatively evaluate wooden buildings disassemblability by
calculating the disassembly time.

2.1 Analysis of influencing factors of the wooden building disassembly

The analysis on the factors which influence the process of disassembly is the premise of correctly
understanding disassembly.Based on the products disassembly,we discussed the influence of the wooden
building disassembly from several aspects.(1)The type of connections.The connection types of wood
structures include direct connection,indirect connection and filling connection.Direct connections are
generally difficult to be separated when they are disassembled.Components connected by indirect
connections are relatively independent.Filling connections with adhesives are difficult to be separated as well.
Generally,taking time consumption and component damages into account,mechanical fasteners are better
than adhesives,screws and bolts are better than nails.(2)Structural system.The structural system has the
highest potential to reuse in the whole building.Disassembly difficulty of different timber structural system is
different.For example,the components of light-frame wood structure are lighter,however,it has a lot of nails to
connect,which makes it more difficult to disassemble.(3)The way of disassembly.Hand disassembly and
mechanically assisted disassembly are the main ways of the wooden building disassembly.(4)The state of
building disassembly.It refers to the physical state of a building when it is disassembled.Wooden buildings are
mainly subjected to the following damages during service life stage:wear, deformation,fatigue crack,fracture
and corrosion.(5)Competency of operators.The wooden building disassembly is mainly based on hand
disassembly,so the competency of disassembly operators will have a great impact on the disassembly
efficiency of buildings.For example,the proficiency in disassembly,gender,strength and weight of the worker.

2.2 The key evaluation indexes determination and the weights calculation

According to the evaluation system model characteristics of analytic hierarchy process(AHP),the

disassemblability evaluation system showed in Fig.2 was implemented from three aspects which are
technicality,economy and green.Analytic hierarchy process is usually used to quantify the decision-makers’
experience,and calculate the weights of different indexes of wooden building disassemblability.

disassembly time

standardization degree of timber components

technicality number of connection types

total number of connections

Evaluation indexes of disassembly expenses
the wooden economy
disassemblability recovery utilization ratio

disassembly noise impact

disassembly waste

Fig.2. Evaluation Index System Model of the Wooden Building Disassemblability.

After determining the key evaluation indexes,questionnaires were distributed to ten experts in the wooden
building disassembly or practitioners who had been involved in relevant practices for a long time.According to
the assignment standard of the 1-9 scale,the indexes of criterion layer and index layer were marked through
Delphi method which is often applied to index selection and weight assignment in the process of evaluation

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system establishment.Then the criterion layer and the index level judgment matrices were obtained,the
weight of each evaluation index was calculated by analytic hierarchy process.The mathematical software
Yaahp which provide support for AHP such as model construction,calculation,and analysis was used to obtain
the final results.The weights of evaluation indexes are showed in Fig.3.

Fig.3. The Weights of the Evaluation Indexes.

2.3 Quantitative evaluation method of the wooden building disassemblability

The weight of each evaluation index of wooden buildings disassemblability was calculated by analytic
hierarchy process.Analyzing above results,it was found out that the disassembly time index was
predominately important.Because disassembly time which may reflect other factors such as the number of
connection types,total number of connections,labor costs and so on can be more intuitive and practical to
express the wooden building disassemblability.Thus,this paper quantitatively evaluated wooden buildings
disassemblability based on disassembly time.Disassembly procedure and definition of disassembly time are
showed in Table1.

Table1. Disassembly procedure and definition of disassembly time(From:Reversibility and disassembly time of part connection)
STEP1 Look carefully at joining method and portion
STEP2 Description of disassembly procedure、Preparation of required tools
STEP3 Disassembly of connections(Grip tool、Disassemble all connections、Replace tool) Disassembly time of
STEP4 Dismantle component from wooden buildings connection

When the workers master the wooden building disassembly technology,the time to determine the
connections can be ignored.And the operation time of disassembling the timber components is relatively short
and varied with the changing of component dimension marginally.Therefore,the disassembly time of the
wooden building can be approximately regarded as the sum of the working hours used to disassemble all
connections connecting timber components.This method can be preformed with three steps.Step1:statistics
of variety and number of connections.Step2:calculation of average disassembly time of connections.Step3:
estimation of disassembly time.The calculating formula of disassembly time is: t   t N  , t i is the average
dis i i
i 1

disassembly time of connection i; N i is the number of connections; L is the types of connections.The average

disassembly time of all kinds of typical connections was from the collection of actual data.Experiments show
that the average disassembly time will increase with the growth of the buildings’ service life.Generally,the
screw takes 20s to disassemble,threaded fastener takes 45s,tooth plate takes 60s.

3.Case Verification

The modern wood structures are mainly divided into three kinds:beam-and-column wood structure,light-
frame wood structure,plate-type wood structure.In order to quantitatively measure the disassemblability of
different wood structures used the proposed method and to verify the feasibility of the method,a wooden

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teahouse with the same plane size 9m*6m was designed,three structure systems were selected.The
foundation design,floor design,roof insulation and waterproof of three structures were supposed to be
same,therefore,the disassembly time of those parts wouldn’t be calculated.Finally,the disassemblability of the
wood structures was evaluated after estimating the disassembly time.

3.1 Modelling with three types of structures

(1)The beam-and-column wood structure.In this case (Fig.4),200*200mm columns and 200*180mm beams
were used.Different types of steel members using high-strength bolts were selected to be the connections
among the beams,columns and roof truss.Components and connections design were in accordance with

Fig.4. The Beam-and-Column Wood Structure. Fig.5. The Light-Frame Wood Structure.

(2)The light-frame wood structure.In this case (Fig.5),38*89mm wall columns were used,the spacing was
406mm.The timber components were connected by screws.The number of screws was designed according to

(3)The plate-type wood structure.The SIP board

which is a kind of composite boards made up of 2
layers of OSB board and 1 layers of 100mm
insulation board was used in this case(Fig.6).The
72*100mm vertical timber components between
two plates formed a restraining effect on the
wallboard to improve the bearing capacity and
overall performance.

Fig.6. The Plate-Type Wood Structure.

3.2 Estimation of disassembly time

Table 2. Disassembly Time Statistics of Three Types of Structures

the Beam-and-Column Wood the Light-Frame Wood Structure the Plate-Type
Structure Wood Structure
Connections Node A (Beam and Column) Node A (Stud and Sill Plate/Reasonpiece) Node A
Node B (Column and Foundation) Node B (Sill Plate and Floor) (The Roof Panels)
Node C (Beam and purlin) Node C (Trusses) Node B
Node D (Main Beam and Purlin) Node D (Roof Joist and Reasonpiece) (The Wall Panels)
Node E (Connecting Rod and Purlin) Node E (Rafter and Ridge Board) Node C (Sill plate and
Node F (Connecting rods) Node F (Double Reasonpieces) Foundation)
Node G (Lintel and Stud)
Node H (Joist and Edge Banding Joist)
Node I (Roof Truss)

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Type and Size Steel Members Screw:82mm long 3.8mm diameter Screw:65mm long
Bolt:12mm diameter Truss Plate:50mm* 75mm 3.3mm diameter
Screw:60mm long 2.8mm diameter Foundation Anchor Bolts:
12mm diameter
Total time(h) 10.2 13.6 17.5

3.3 Evaluation of disassemblability

Judging from the estimation results,the disassembly time of beam-and-column wood structure is shorter
than light-frame wood structure.It is faster to disassemble.Although the disassembly time of plate-type
wood structure is the longest,but the disassembly time of wall panel has been included.Therefore,the
light-frame wood structure is most difficult to disassemble.Analysis the above results,the beam-and-column
wood structure has few structural components,and the connections are usually connected by heavy fasteners
such as steel plates,bolts and so on,which are easy to disassemble.The component section size of
light-frame wood structure is small,and a large number of screws are used to connect,which makes it more
difficult to disassemble.The plate-type wood structure is light and easy to disassemble.Based on the analysis
of the disassembly time of the cases,the suggestions of wooden buildings design are put forward.(1)Choose
the right structure system.(2)Minimize the number of types of components.(3)Design the connections that are
easy to disassemble and repair.(4)Use standardized and reusable connections to reduce disassembly time.

4. Conclusion

In this context,the paper presents a method to quantitatively evaluate wooden buildings disassemblability
so that the design of wooden buildings can be easily and effectively aided.The research shows that
disassembly time is relatively important for the evaluation of wooden buildings disassemblability,therefore,an
evaluation method based on disassembly time is proposed.Wooden buildings disassemblability can be
compared by calculating the disassembly time so that the project can be optimized in the design phrase.The
cases study demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed method.Researches will bring into more indexes
(economy,green,etc.) in future to study the evaluation of wooden buildings disassemblability more deeply.


This research is funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China(51478137):Green Material

Efficient Technologies of Wood Structure Building Wall in Cold Region with a Collaborative Approach of Public
Participation and Scientific Experiments.The research is also supported by the project of Nature Scientific
Foundation of Heilongjiang Province(E2015010):Application Method and Technology of Straw in Wooden
Building Wall in Cold Area.The paper has been possible thanks to the collaboration of the project partners.


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