UBC's Brock Commons: Student Residence

UBC's Brock Commons: Student Residence

Trespa® Meteon® Selected to Clad World's Tallest Wood Building!

University of British Columbia Brock Commons

The University of British Columbia consistently showcases its interest in building innovation. UBC’s enrollment growth meant that new student housing was needed. Additional housing for over 400 students called for a quick, sustainable and cost-effective building solution. The building was completed less than 70 days after the prefabricated panels were delivered to the site, with the installation rate averaging two floors per week. Adhering to the province’s “wood first initiative”, Brock Commons is the first mass wood, steel and concrete hybrid project over 14 storeys tall in the world. Due to the upkeep costs of natural wood, Trespa® was introduced as a substitute to eliminate any additional life cycle costs while preserving the desired aesthetics. 


The choice of colours was another factor in selecting the cladding material. As a signature structure on campus, a beautiful and low maintenance facade was mandatory. Trespa® fulfilled the requirements creating a building that will continue to be an architectural gem on campus for many years. In order to house over 400 students, the tower includes 404 beds within 33 four-bedroom suites. Centrally located with stunning campus and ocean views, it is the pinnacle of student housing and was completed in the spring of 2017.


Standing at 53 metres (174 feet) high, Brock Commons is currently the world’s tallest mass timber structure. The entire façade of this student residence is constructed with steel stud framing with exterior sheathing, insulation and Trespa® Meteon® for the rainscreen. The use of modular construction reduced the build schedule by over 10% and improved installation quality using a controlled environment.


Trespa’s patented Electron Beam Curing (EBC) process creates the industry’s most colour stable and homogeneous phenolic panel. Resistance to weathering, UV exposure, dirt accumulation, scratches and dents means the panels will look as beautiful today as they will in decades to come. Trespa® helped reduce the façade life cycle costs which would have included cleaning, re-staining or re-painting every 3–5 years. This was essential in meeting budget requirements over the life of the building.

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