Studying vibrations in tall wood buildings

Engineering Assistant Professor Dr. Jianhui Zhou received a Canada Foundation for Innovation grant to purchase equipment to continue his research on how to make wood buildings more comfortable for occupants.

March 30, 2022
Dr. Jianhui Zhou in the lobby of the wood innovation and design centre
Engineering Assistant Professor Dr. Jianhui Zhou is researching how to make wood buildings more comfortable by reducing the sound and vibration in flooring systems.

Whether it is reducing vibrations or improving sound insolation, Dr. Jianhui Zhou wants to make the next generation of wood buildings as comfortable as possible for occupants.

The University of Northern British Columbia Engineering Assistant Professor will soon be taking his research to the next level thanks to grants from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders.

The grants and partnerships worth nearly $250,000 will support the purchase of vibration and sound equipment to enhance Zhou’s research on wood building vibration and acoustics, including mass timber floor vibration, dynamic properties of tall wood buildings, and sound insulation in mass timber buildings. The equipment will include a state-of-the-art sound and vibration data acquisition and analysis system, vibration and acoustic sensors, a vibration shaker and a laser vibrometer.

“The new integrated system will enhance my research in wood building vibration and acoustics, which has already been supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant and a B.C. Forestry Innovation Investment Wood First grant,” Zhou says. “The enhanced research capacity will generate new research opportunities and grants to further the research.”

The equipment will be located in Zhou’s lab at the Wood Innovation and Design Centre and will be used to support research at UNBC’s Wood Innovation Research Lab.

This is the second time that the UNBC Wood Engineering Group received Canada Foundation for Innovation funding in the last five years. In 2018, UNBC received a grant worth nearly $800,000 to equip the Wood Innovation Research Lab.

“These two investments enhance our wood building research at UNBC,” Zhou says. “The equipment purchased with these grants gives researchers the opportunity to discover and test systematic solutions from both safety and serviceability performance perspectives to support the growing wood construction industry in B.C. and Canada.”