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Vancouver Builds World’s Tallest Wooden Building

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Vancouver built a massive building, worthy of a slew of superlatives. And it’s made entirely of wood.

The world’s tallest contemporary wooden building is located on Vancouver’s University of British Columbia campus, and is 53 meters tall. The Brock Commons Tallwood House is a student residence, home to 404 upper-level and graduate occupants as of this fall.

The building was designed by Vancouver’s Acton Ostry Architects and finished ahead of schedule. It has a concrete base floor and dual concrete cores, but it’s largely built of timber: 17 wood-framed stories are encased in a wood-fiber façade.

The opening puts Vancouver ahead of the worldwide race to dominate the wood-built construction sector, as sustainability efforts grow. The wood stores rather than emits carbon dioxide, making it a popular building material.

“Wood is increasingly recognized as an important, innovative and safe building material choice. This new tall wood building reflects UBC’s leadership in sustainable construction and our commitment to providing our students with more on-campus housing,” said Santa Ono, president, University of British Columbia, told the Canadian Press.

And yet, the building won’t hold the record for much longer. The new 24-story timber HoHo Tower in Vienna, which will hold a hotel, apartments and offices, will be 84 meters tall by the time it’s completed in 2018.

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