UBC wood building

One of the tallest wood buildings set for UBC

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

One of the tallest wood buildings in the world will soon be constructed at UBC, providing housing for hundreds of students. When completed, the $51.5-million residence building will stand 53 metres tall (about 174 feet).

“This beautiful, new tall wood building will serve as a living laboratory for the UBC community,” said Martha Piper, interim UBC president. “It will advance the university’s reputation as a hub of sustainable and innovative design, and provide our students with much-needed on-campus housing.”

Construction of the 18-storey tall wood student residence will begin later this fall, and the building is set to open in September 2017. It will house 404 students in 272 studios and 33 four-bedroom units, and feature study and social gathering spaces. There will also be a ground-floor lounge and study space for commuter students.

In addition to its primary function as a student residence, the building will serve as an academic site for students and researchers, who will be able to study and monitor its operations.

The tall wood building will consist of a mass timber superstructure atop a concrete base. Wood is a sustainable and versatile building material that stores, rather than emits, carbon dioxide. UBC aims for the building to achieve a minimum LEED Gold certification, a rating system that evaluates how environmentally friendly a structure is in its design and energy use.

UBC Properties Trust is managing the project. The project’s architect, Vancouver’s Acton Ostry Architects, is working in collaboration with tall wood advisor Architekten Hermann Kaufmann from Austria. Fast + Epp, another local firm, is the structural engineer.

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