Say what you will about wooden construction, it is sustainable. So it’s great that even large structures are now being built out of wood. One awesome example of this type of architecture is Brock Commons, a University of British Columbia student housing tower. It will rise to an impressive 174 ft (53 m) and will be the tallest wooden residential tower in the world once it is complete. Which it very nearly is.


It took just 66 days to build the wooden tower. It’s not quite finished yet though, but once complete it will contain 33 four-bed rooms, and 272 studios, so the 18-floor tower will be able to accommodate 404 residents. The tower was designed by Acton Ostry Architects.


The structure consists of 16 floors of five-ply cross laminated timber (CLT) floor panels, and has a steel-framed roof, as well as a few concrete sections, namely the base and stairwells. The façade of the tower is made of prefabricated panels that had the windows pre-installed. These panels contain 70 percent wood-based fibers with steel stud framed sections, and form a high-pressure laminate cladding.

The construction went remarkably quickly. At first they managed to build one floor per week, but were able to go faster after that, building two or more floors per week. Not including the concrete sections, they’ve been able to complete the entire structure in just over three months, which given the size of the tower is quite remarkable.


The Brock Commons residence was also designed according to LEED Gold certification standards, and will receive this certification once it is completed. They estimate that it will be completed in May, 2017, which is four months ahead of schedule. They are currently installing the steel roof, which they hope to complete in a couple of weeks.