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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2018) 63(1): 3–10
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Professional Paper
An overview of the construction of a tall wood building: Brock Commons Tallwood House

Angelique Pilon *,1, Zahra Teshnizi 2 and Diana Lopez 3

1 Director of Urban Innovation Research, University Sustainability Initiative at UBC.
2 Research Project Coordinator, University Sustainability Initiative, UBC
3 Research Project Coordinator, University Sustainability Initiative, UBC
*Corresponding author.

Abstract: Brock Commons Tallwood House is an 18-storey student residence with a hybrid mass-timber structure recently completed at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. Currently the tallest contemporary wood building in the world, Brock Commons showcases innovations in the application of mass-timber products and in design and construction practices, while providing a unique learning experience for academic researchers and the predominantly local design and construction firms. The project team used an integrated design process, enhanced by the use of virtual design and construction (VDC) modelling. Extensive construction planning and sequencing, highly-controlled prefabrication of the building structure and envelope, and detailed coordination of on-site erection and installation activities all contributed to a successful project. The Urban Innovation Research group within UBC’s Sustainability Initiative (USI) develops and manages interdisciplinary research and educational programmes, using UBC’s campus as a living lab for learning opportunities to advance sustainable practices and policies. USI Urban Innovation Research has been leading a multi-year project, working with researchers in the departments of Forestry and Civil Engineering, to study the design, construction and performance of Brock Commons and compile the lessons learned for future projects. Content for this paper was drawn from the Brock Commons Tallwood House Construction Overview and the Brock Commons Tallwood House Performance Overview case studies developed by the USI Urban Innovation Research group (formerly the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability). It was funded by Forestry Innovation Investment, the Government of British Columbia’s market development agency for forest products, and is available on their information resource.
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