The world’s tallest wood building with 18 storeys and measuring about 174 feet in height has been constructed at the University of British Columbia in Canada, four months ahead of schedule, the varsity said.

The mass wood structure and facade has been completed for University of British Columbia (UBC)’s Brock Commons student residence. The structure, showcasing the advantages of building with wood, was completed less than 70 days after the prefabricated components were first delivered to the site.

Construction will now focus on interior elements, with completion expected in early May 2017 – 18 per cent (or four months) faster than a typical project. The building is expected to welcome more than 400 students in September next year.

Brock Commons is the first mass wood, steel and concrete hybrid project taller than 14 storeys in the world. The building has a concrete podium and two concrete cores, with 17 storeys of cross-laminated-timber floors supported on glue-laminated wood columns.
The cladding for the facade is made with 70 per cent wood fibre.

“Wood is increasingly recognised as an important, innovative and safe building material choice,” said UBC President Santa J Ono.

The project is expected to cost about USD 51.5 million. Wood is a sustainable and versatile building material that stores, rather than emits, carbon dioxide, the university said in a statement.

By using wood, the impact is a reduction of 2,432 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide compared to other construction materials, the equivalent of taking around 500 cars off the road for a year, the statement said.

The building is targeting LEED Gold certification, a rating system that promotes environmental responsibility for building owners and operators. It will exceed required fire ratings and standard seismic safety requirements.