Brock Commons Tallwood House is an innovative tall wood student residence at the University of British Columbia (UBC). It is currently the tallest contemporary mass timber hybrid structure of its kind in the world standing at 18 storeys (54 meters) in height.
UBC’s building requirements reflect the university’s commitment to sustainability. Wood, a renewable material, was chosen in part to reflect this commitment, and the building was also designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.
Construction demonstrated that the mass timber hybrid structural system is economically viable, repeatable and adaptable to other building types and uses. Using a crew of nine, the mass timber construction was completed less than 70 days after the prefabricated components arrived on site, approximately two months faster than a typical project of this size.
Extensive construction planning and detailed coordination of the prefabricated elements and installation activities all contributed to a successful project, proving the case for tall wood buildings.
“Wood is increasingly recognized as an important, innovative and safe building material choice. This new tall wood building reflects UBC’s leadership in sustainable construction and our commitment to providing our students with more on-campus housing.”
-Santa J. Ono, President, University of British Columbia
Four case studies and architectural drawings that provide solutions to common issues in mass-timber building design are now available.
Advancements in construction technology, modernized building codes, and a demand for sustainable design are making wood the right choice for a variety of residential and hotel projects. Wood products from B.C.’s sustainably managed forests are also helping to meet the growing demand for affordable housing; wood is well-suited for economical and timely construction — notably in hard to reach places, including downtown sites and remote locations.
More multi-family developers are discovering that the innovative use of wood and mass-timber construction doesn’t just save money, it can be an advantage that sets you apart in a sea of condos that begin to all look the same. Increasingly, both buyers and renters are placing importance on organic materials, sustainability, and warm, inviting interiors—all areas where wood construction excels.
The Shore is a multi-building residential development located a few blocks from the North Vancouver waterfront. The project includes both five and six-storey wood-frame buildings constructed over a single storey concrete parking garage. On completion of the fourth building in 2017, the complex will include 359 apartment units.
Leadership in structural and architectural wood use by local governments was recognized at the Union of BC Municipalities Convention in Vancouver.
People spend the vast majority of their life inside buildings. For children and young adults, many of those hours are spent inside educational institutions. Having wood visible in learning spaces has been shown to lower stress and improve concentration and test performance. Along with health and wellness benefits, wood construction is cost effective and often faster than other methods. Learn more about the benefits of building with wood in schools.