With construction professionals and designers seeking lower carbon building alternatives and renewable materials, there is a growing opportunity to use tall wood buildings as a solution for the built environment, especially communities committed to sustainable development and climate change mitigation.
Building taller with wood is achievable with advanced construction technologies and modern mass timber products such as glued laminated timber, cross laminated timber and structural composite lumber. Around the world, 13 tall wood buildings (seven storeys or taller) are currently underway while 19 have been completed over the past five years.
B.C. – A key player in the advancement of wood use
The province remains a global leader in building taller with wood as in 2014, the tallest contemporary wood building in North America was completed in Prince George, B.C. At 29.5 metres-high (97 feet), the Wood Innovation & Design Centre (WIDC)`s structural system includes a variety of locally manufactured solid engineered wood products including cross laminated timber, glue laminated timber and laminated veneer lumber. As a precedent setting building, the WIDC revealed B.C.’s growing expertise in the design and construction of large-scale wood buildings.
With construction completing last year, the University of British Columbia`s Brock Commons Tallwood House, a 18-storey tall wood residence on campus, is currently the tallest mass timber hybrid building in the world. The integrated design process maximized prefabrication opportunities to increase the speed of construction – two floors completed per week.
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
A performance overview case study of Brock Commons was recently conducted to assess a wide range of factors, including structural elements, building systems, building envelope, durability, moisture protection and fire. By also including a cost analysis, an environmental impact analysis and an assessment of inhabitant comfort, the case study demonstrates that taller wood buildings like Brock Commons can be built economically while also delivering community and environmental benefits.
People spend as much as 90 per cent of their time inside buildings, and for children, adolescents and an increasing number of young adults, most of this time is spent either at home or in school. Given this situation, the design of schools is of clear importance where wood plays a vital role.
Hosted by the University of British Columbia (UBC)’s Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP) and School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA), this technical workshop on robotic fabrication was held October 13 – 17 for students and practicing architects to share knowledge and experience with wood design experts. Using a state-of-the-art eight-axis industrial robotic work […]
Discover the outcomes from this event that taught essential information about wood building fire requirements in the upcoming revised buildings codes.
Leadership in structural and architectural wood use by local governments was recognized recently at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Convention in Whistler. Five local governments were presented with awards for use of wood in their community projects by Wood WORKS! BC. The City of Surrey, Township of Langley, Village of Radium Hot Springs, Village of Hazleton and Town of Smithers were all recognized as being exemplary advocates for wood.
With thousands of names on waiting lists for student housing at British Columbia universities, the skyrocketing demand in an already crowded and expensive rental market has inspired an innovative solution at Trinity Western University.
For over five decades, the BC Forest Discovery Centre remains one of Duncan’s favourite attractions providing education on B.C.’s leading sustainable forest management practices to residents and tourists.