Have you heard of the largest wooden building in the world? This is the Brock Commons Tallwood House, an 18-story student residence at the University of British Columbia, designed by Acton Ostry Architects (AOA) in Vancouver. This building is located in Canada and was opened in 2017.
Wood is a light and clean material and also allows for the rapid construction of the building. It is an environmentally friendly material that helps to boost Canada’s forestry sector. However, building code regulations do not allow many more such buildings to be built.
This building uses an extraordinary amount of wood that stores about 1,753 tons of carbon dioxide and avoids the production of 679 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
This construction is a hybrid solid wood and concrete structure. This last component is used on the ground floor and in the core of the stairs and elevators, as it is required by law to do so. The remaining structure consists of a bidirectionally cured laminated slab supported by glue-laminated columns and steel joints. The divisions are constructed of prefabricated steel pin panels and the windows are pre-inserted into the high-pressure laminate coating. In order to meet the fire and acoustic protection requirements, the wooden structure is covered with several layers of Drywall and roofing is made of concrete.
The architecture of the largest wooden building in the world is characterized by forming a slender and straight silhouette. We can find two main entrances, one of which is for first-year students attending the Tallwood Collegium. This is one of the flexible campus spaces that aims to ease the transition to college life as a club. This space is characterized by a long open lounge fully glazed and with a central kitchen on a large island. It also has a two-sided fireplace that segments the space.
The second entrance is for residents and allows movement through various spaces of the building, such as laundry, meeting rooms and lounge. This is where the 272 housing units are located, distributed along the floors and on the 18th floor, we can find a common study room.
The world’s largest timber building has set the tone for the construction of more buildings of its kind. The next project for a wooden building planned for construction in Vancouver is a 19-storey building designed by Shigeru Ban for the construction of luxury housing.
Already under construction is also what will become the largest wooden building in the world, with 24 floors, located in Vienna and will house a hotel, apartments and offices.