Green Building Excellence

Green Building Excellence

The Brock Commons Tallwood House on UBC’s Vancouver campus is one of the tallest wood buildings in the world.  Angelique Pilon, Research Manager, with the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS), explains what makes this project unique, how it helps influence innovation and advance sustainability.

WHAT IS BROCK COMMONS?

Brock Commons Tallwood House is a residence for about four hundred students with amenities for the campus community. The building is an 18-storey hybrid mass-timber high-rise. It has a concrete foundation and cores, and a structure composed of engineered wood products.

HOW WILL THIS PROJECT INFLUENCE INNOVATION?

Brock Commons is demonstrating the viability of using engineered wood products in high-rise structures. As such, it will become a precedent for other tall wood buildings. CIRS is documenting and sharing information with researchers, students, design professionals, government officials and others in the building industry in Canada and around the world.

As Brock Commons is being delivered by a team of local firms, trades and suppliers, it is increasing the level of knowledge and experience in mass-timber design, construction and manufacturing in British Columbia.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SUSTAINABILITY BENEFITS OF BUILDING WITH WOOD?

Benefits include the use of prefabricated elements which reduces on-site construction waste and speeds up construction timelines. Moreover, carbon is stored within the wood products of the building structure.
The amount of carbon stored is calculated to be 1,753 metric tons of CO2 which, in addition to 679 metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions, is equivalent to taking 511 cars off the road for a year.