The UBC Brock Commons Tallwood building is making waves in the design community for its impressive sustainability and the speed at which it was built. Completed in 2017, the University of British Columbia's 18-story building is currently the tallest mass lumber building in the world and showcases the advantages of building with wood.
Working with wood is great for the environment as it is sustainable and stores, rather than emits, carbon dioxide. That is an astonishing reduction of 2,432 metric tons of carbon dioxide which is the equivalent of taking around 500 cars off the road for a year! However wood does come with its own challenges.
Since wood is very susceptible to the elements, especially rain, a major concern when building the UBC Tallwood building was how to keep the wood protected. That’s where Trespa’s exterior curtain façades came into play. The panels formed a curtain envelope around the structure, keeping the interior safe from the damaging effects of moisture. Not only did the façades curtain envelope allow for the timber elements to be constructed and protected from the elements, the panels were central to the building being built at a rate 2 floors per week! The mass wood structure and façade for UBC’s Brock Commons student residence was completed 4 months ahead of schedule and in less than 70 days after the prefabricated panels were first delivered to the site.
The Trespa® façades are made with 70 percent wood fiber, which also helped make the Tallwood building even more sustainable and environmentally friendly. The building is targeting LEED Gold certification, a rating system that promotes environmental responsibility for building owners and operators.