This 18-story building went up in 66 days thanks to the right mass timber products

So Many Stories, So Little Time

This 18-story building went up in 66 days thanks to the right mass timber products

When it came time for Acton Ostry Architects to select a manufacturer for the mass timber components of the 18-story Brock Commons Tallwood House at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, Structurlam stood out.

“Experience, qualifications, supply, schedule, cost” all worked to Structurlam’s benefit, according to Russell Acton, principal at Acton Ostry. Acton explained that along with supplying mass wood structural components, Structurlam provided end-to-end oversight and support by “[collaborating] with the structural engineer, construction manager, and mass wood erector to refine the design and optimize cost, quality, and constructibility considerations for the mass wood components.”

Photo of Brock Commons
The project features custom maple veneer paneling by JSV Architectural Veneering & Millwork as well as slatted albus wood ceiling panels by Linea Ceiling & Wall Systems. (Michael Elkan)

As a result of Structurlam’s comprehensive approach, the hybrid concrete-and-mass-timber structure building was erected in record time: just 66 days. The tower features 1,302 10-inch-by-10-inch Douglas Fir Glulam columns and 464 Douglas fir CLT panels of varying thicknesses, all fabricated by Structurlam.

But don’t think that all that wood is going to be hidden behind the project’s fire-resistant Type X gypsum wallboards. Instead, wood finishes cover the building inside and out. That includes the dormitory’s shared spaces, where JSV Architectural Veneering & Millwork has crafted maple veneer panels and wood grilles for the project. In other areas, 24-inch-by-24-inch albus wood ceiling panels by Linea Ceiling provide a “decorative and functional” alternative to conventional acoustic drop-down ceilings.

Photo of Brock Commons
The building’s interior (Michael Elkan)

Design Architect: Acton Ostry Architects
Construction: Urban One Builders
Mass Timber Fabricator: Structurlam
Facade Fabricator and Installer: Centura Building Systems
Punched Window Manufacturer: Phoenix Glass
Custom Interior Millwork: JSV Architectural Veneering & Millwork
Drop Ceiling Fabricator: Linea Ceiling & Wall Systems
Door Manufacturer: McGregor & Thompson