Earlier this month, UBC made an exciting announcement that construction will begin on one of the tallest wood buildings in the world. When completed the 18-story building will stand 53 metres tall (about 174 feet) and will provide housing for hundreds of students.
Although a number of tall wood projects have been completed around the world in recent years, this announcement highlights that tall wood construction in gaining traction in North America as a safe, sustainable and cost-effective construction option.
Just a week prior, the two prize winners of the U.S. Tall Wood Building competition were announced. Their proposals will result in a 12-story (130 feet) structure in Portland, OR and a 10-story (120 feet) structure in New York City, NY.
UBC’s structure will not only result in an increased confidence in tall wood building construction in Canada but it will also set a precedent in height with the final structure standing at 18 stories (174 feet). The world’s current tallest wood building is a 10-story (105-foot) apartment building in Melbourne, Australia. North America’s tallest wood building is Prince George’s Wood Innovation and Design Centre, which is 97 feet tall. As well, construction is currently underway in Norway to build a 14-storey ((167-foot) apartment building.
We are excited to learn of these new projects and increased use of wood in tall wood construction. Not only is it suitable as a beautiful finishing material, wood is also a structural material that meets safety and performance requirements.
The 18-story tall wood student residence is set to be completed in August 2017. Photo Courtesy UBC infrastructure and development.