Tallest Wooden Tower in the World is Almost Complete


Say what you will about wooden construction, it is sustainable. So it’s great that even large structures are now being built out of wood. One awesome example of this type of architecture is Brock Commons, a University of British Columbia student housing tower. It will rise to an impressive 174 ft (53 m) and will be the tallest wooden residential tower in the world once it is complete. Which it very nearly is.


It took just 66 days to build the wooden tower. It’s not quite finished yet though, but once complete it will contain 33 four-bed rooms, and 272 studios, so the 18-floor tower will be able to accommodate 404 residents. The tower was designed by Acton Ostry Architects.


The structure consists of 16 floors of five-ply cross laminated timber (CLT) floor panels, and has a steel-framed roof, as well as a few concrete sections, namely the base and stairwells. The façade of the tower is made of prefabricated panels that had the windows pre-installed. These panels contain 70 percent wood-based fibers with steel stud framed sections, and form a high-pressure laminate cladding.

The construction went remarkably quickly. At first they managed to build one floor per week, but were able to go faster after that, building two or more floors per week. Not including the concrete sections, they’ve been able to complete the entire structure in just over three months, which given the size of the tower is quite remarkable.


The Brock Commons residence was also designed according to LEED Gold certification standards, and will receive this certification once it is completed. They estimate that it will be completed in May, 2017, which is four months ahead of schedule. They are currently installing the steel roof, which they hope to complete in a couple of weeks.

Wooden Tower Planned in Holland


Building wooden skyscrapers seems to be gaining in popularity, and now one is going up in Amsterdam. The so-called Haut tower was designed by the Dutch firm Team V Architecture and they plan to begin construction in the later part of 2017.


The skyscraper will measure 240 ft (73 m) in height and have 21 floors. It will be a luxury apartment complex, and Haut actually stands for Haute Couture. Occupants will have lots of options to choose from for their apartments, including the layout, number of balconies (if any) placement of double-height spaces and more. The tower will have 55 units, as well as an underground garage, a bicycle storage area, and a garden, which will also be open to the public. The tower is actually part of a larger housing development project in Amstelkwartier, which will feature around 4,000 new residential units, as well as commercial and retail areas.


Judging from the renders, the apartments will be open plan, with lots of windows to let in plenty of light and offer great views. It will be built out of prefabricated cross-laminated timber panels, which were chosen for their strength, durability, and ease of assembly. They’re also very fire resistant.

The tower will also boast of a number of sustainable features, such as a wastewater purification system and something the designers call “energy-generating facades”. These will either feature solar panels or wind turbines. They are aiming for a BREEAM Outstanding rating, which is the top rating when it comes to green building.

The Haut tower will certainly be the tallest timber skyscraper in the Netherlands and quite possibly the world, for the time being. Though others could steal that title, since it won’t be completed until 2019.