Author: David Rowlinson
Celebrating the tallest wood-frame building of its kind anywhere in the world, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr recently attended the “topping out” ceremony of the Brock Commons Residence. The new University of British Columbia student housing tower rises 18 stories to reach a stunning 53 meters tall.
Under construction at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, the structure is a hybrid system comprised of cross-laminated timber (CLT) floor slabs, glulam columns, steel connectors, and concrete cores. The building structure was completed less than 70 days after delivery of prefabricated components to the site.
Construction will now turn to completing the building’s interior elements, with completion scheduled for early May 2017, approximately four months (or 18 per cent) faster than traditional high-rise projects.
Expected to welcome students in September 2017, the UBC Brock Commons Residence will house 404 students in 33 four-bedroom units and 272 studio units. Postgrad students will enjoy study and social gathering spaces in the building, and commuter students will also enjoy a beautiful lounge and study space on the ground floor.
By using sustainably sourced wood the new student residence will store over 1,750 metric tonnes of global-warming related greenhouse gasses. This is roughly the same as removing 511 cars from Canadian roads every year.
Recognising forestry’s central role in an innovative fight against climate change, the Canadian government is promoting the country’s richest natural resource as a high-value, high-tech solution.
With the use of advanced wood technologies, wood has become a highly practical and sustainable construction material for tall buildings. New mass timber products are helping the construction industry design new buildings at heights never before imagined possible.