Tallest Hybrid Mass Timber Building Under Construction

Tallest Hybrid Mass Timber Building Brock Commons Phase 1

Vancouver, British Columbia University of British Columbia Point Grey campus



One of the tallest mass timber buildings in the world is under construction at the University of British Columbia Point Grey campus. The 18-story student residence building will provide housing for 404 students with a mix of studio and quad units, as well as social and study amenity spaces.

The structure is a hybrid system comprised of CLT (cross laminated timber) floor slabs, glulam columns, steel connectors and concrete cores. When completed in 2017 Brock Commons will stand 53 metres tall (174 feet).

Brock Commons is being built as a hybrid building — it will have a concrete podium for its first floor, two concrete core structures, and 17 floors of mass-timber components consisting of cross-laminated-timber (CLT) floors and walls held up by pillars composed of glue-laminated wood, commonly called  glulam within the industry. A symmetrical layout has been opted for the floor plan due to limitations of the site and structural considerations in relation with the use of a hybrid concrete and mass wood structure. A metal cornice is designed at the top of the building, which is topped with pre-finished aluminum that appears to be floating above the parapet.

The building will be a hybrid mass wood and concrete structure with a typical gross floor area of approximately 15,200m² (16,3611. SF)  The structural concept will resemble a concrete flat plate slab.



To support 17 stories of mass timber and concrete, the structure will comprise a single-story concrete podium and two concrete cores. The timber structure will carry vertical loads, while the concrete cores will provide lateral stability.



Five ply-cross laminated timber (CLT) panels will be used for the floor structure. The panels will act as a two-way slab diaphragm as they will be point supported on glulam columns on a 2.85m (9.35 ft. )  x 4.0m (13.12 ft. ) grid.


The CLT panels and glulam beams will be enclosed with gypsum board for resistance against fire. A steel connector will be used to avoid vertical load transfer through the CLT panels. A CLT canopy will run through the length of the building.

Pre-fabricated sections of steel beams and metal deck will be used for the roof. The metal deck with the roofing membrane will be pre-applied to achieve quick water tightness during construction.

The ground floor and the two exit stair cores will be constructed of reinforced concrete for safety and fire-fighting purposes.

To enhance the life safety further, a series of repetitive, highly compartmentalized small rooms will be constructed such that the time taken for fire to spread from one place to another is delayed.

Automatic sprinkler system with back-up water supply, smoke detectors and exit stairwells with mechanical pressurization will also be installed.

Extensive Photos: http://www.naturallywood.com/emerging-trends/tall-wood-buildings/ubc-brock-commons



Official Name Brock Commons Phase 1
Other Names Tall Wood Student Residence, UBC Tower
Structure Type Building
Status Under Construction
Country Canada
City Vancouver
Street Address Walter Gage Road, University of British Columbia
Building Function residential
Structural Material wood
Proposed 2015
Construction Start 2016
Completion 2017