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“You can easily create a video game out of my job. ‘Food Truck Tycoon’ or something like that, where you get to design your own food trucks, menus, and send them out into a little imaginary world where people could buy from them."

Think an 18-story residence building made of wood sounds like a bad idea in a rainy, earthquake-prone city like Vancouver? Well, you’d be right, so it’s a good thing that UBC’s new Tall Wood Building isn’t actually a wooden building.

Brock Commons is being touted as a very environmentally friendly building. While it’s on track to be a LEED Gold Certified building but the wood building goes way beyond just an energy efficient certification.

BC was the first province to allow for wooden building construction up to 6 storeys high, with legislation that has been in effect since 2009. Then B.C.’s Building Act was passed was 2015, which allows for wood buildings taller than six storeys.

The building will consist of a total of 404 studio and four-bedroom shared units, which will be given a fairly even rental price, estimated at $1,100 per student for the four-bedroom unit and at $900 per student for the studio units.

The architecture firm behind the Tall Wood building is one whose name might not be instantly recognizable to most campus residents, but Acton Ostry’s presence is one which is nonetheless influential in shaping the environments of UBC’s future.

In order for Brock Commons to succeed, it not only had to set a new bar for wood buildings, but also develop new methods for construction which streamlined the process and reduced the actual time spent on site.

“No one around me knew... Getting people to talk about it can really help. That’s why I was so disappointed when I was in a position to talk to a lot of people, but I just couldn’t get myself to bring up my depression."

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