Tallwood House – Brock Commons Student Residence, Vancouver

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Currently the single most well-known and iconic tall timber building and most well-documented project this 18-storey building at the University of British Columbia was completed with support from the Canadian federal government. UBC’s Brock Commons Tallwood House is one of a growing number of mass-timber buildings around the world. Tallwood House takes advantage of new engineered wood products and construction techniques to showcase more sustainable building practices.

In 2013, a government agency, Natural Resources Canada, announced financial support to encourage the regulatory and commercial acceptance of tall wood building construction in Canada through the Tall Wood Building Demonstration Initiative (TWBDI). This program and a subsequent initiative in 2017, the Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) Tall Wood Program provided funding support for Canadian developers, building officials and industry stakeholders to resolve some of the critical design and construction issues that come with tall wood structures.

The UBC Brock Commons student residence project was selected as one of two projects to receive federal funding through the TWBDI. These funds were indispensable in bridging the innovation funding gap in the preliminary design, approval and construction phase of the project. The resulting technical knowledge will benefit future teams designing and building mass timber structures and will support the adoption and advancement of tall wood buildings in Canada.

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