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World's Tallest Mass Timber Building Opens At UBC

Brock Commons Tallwood House
UBC's new Brock Commons Tallwood House now ranks
as the world's tallest mass wood building.

The world’s tallest mass timber building has opened at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. 

The Brock Commons Tallwood House is an 18-storey mass timber hybrid residence housing 404 students. Finished in time for the 2017-18 academic year, the 162,700 SF building stands at 54 metres. 

Designed by Acton Ostry Architects, the structure is composed of cross-laminated timber floor slabs, glulam columns, steel connections and concrete cores. By using the hybrid structural system, construction time was about four months shorter than for a typical project of this size.

The building is on a concrete foundation and incorporates two concrete stair cores. The tower is topped by a roof comprising steel beams and decking, and clad in prefabricated wall panels, 70% of which are made from a wood fibre high-pressure laminate.


There are 272 studios and 33 four-bedroom quad units in total. Each unit contains a kitchen and a bathroom.

Brock Commons Tallwood House was designed to meet LEED Gold certification.

“[Brock Commons] reflects UBC’s leadership in sustainable construction and our commitment to providing our students with more on-campus housing,” UBC President Santa Ono said in a university news release.