Increasing the Seismic Resistance of Wood-frame Buildings by Applying PU Foam as Thermal Insulation
Wood-frame buildings are very common in regions that are exposed to earthquakes. Most of residential buildings are constructed using this technology; therefore, the seismic resistance of them is really essential in order to prevent human losses and structural damage. The aim of the present article is to show the results of the detailed numerical FEM analysis focused on the seismic behaviour of the wood-frame house with different in-wall insulation materials. The results of the study clearly indicate that using polyurethane (PU) foam instead of mineral wool leads to the increase in the rigidity of the structure and, therefore, to the substantial reduction in the structural response under different seismic excitations. The results also show that, generally speaking, the level of reduction in the displacement response increases with the increase in the magnitude of the earthquake, which even furthermore benefits the application of PU foam as an insulation material. It has also been concluded that the method of using PU foam can be successfully applied not only in the newly constructed wood-frame houses but also in existing ones since replacing the mineral wool with PU foam is relatively easy and not so much expensive.