Brock Commons, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Courtesy University of British Columbia Brock Commons, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

The University of British Columbia has erected the word's tallest wood building. The university's Brock Commons stands at 18-story, 174-feet tall and is made from a combination of "timber products, such as cross-laminated timber panels, laminated veneer lumber, and glue-laminated (glulam) members, [which rival the strength] of steel and reinforced concrete," Wanda Lau of ARCHITECT reports.

Brock Commons will be used for student housing and has "272 studios and 33 four-bedroom units," Lau says. The building is seeking to have LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Designed by local firm Acton Ostry Architects, local structural engineering firm Fast + Epp, and tall-wood adviser Architekten Hermann Kaufmann, in Vorarlberg, Austria, Brock Commons utilizes a combination of mass wood, concrete, and steel components. The 162,700-square-foot building sits on a concrete foundation and incorporates two concrete stair cores. CLT panels supported by glulam columns make up the 17 floor plates above grade. Steel connectors, at the intersections of the wood floor slabs and columns, transfer the loads between columns as well as provide a bearing surface for the CLT floor panels.

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