18-Story Mass Timber Hybrid Student Residence, Canada

Customer Project

Structural Engineering Fast + Epp
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Architects Acton Ostry Architects Inc.
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Architekten Hermann Kaufmann ZT GmbH
Schwarzach, Austria
Investor University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Brock Commons is an 18‑story mass timber hybrid student residence currently under construction at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

When completed in summer 2017, it will be the tallest mass timber hybrid building in the world at 53 meters high.


The structure is comprised of 16 floors of five‑ply cross laminated timber (CLT) floor panels, a concrete transfer slab at level 2, and a steel framed roof. The CLT panels are point supported on glulam columns at a 2.85 m x 4.0 m grid.

Beams were eliminated from the design by utilizing CLT’s two‑way spanning capabilities. Two full‑height concrete cores, for lateral stability, complete the structure.

The structural analysis for the CLT components was completed by Fast + Epp using RFEM in conjunction with the RF‑LAMINATE add‑on module.

Modeling and Calculation

Individual floors were modeled in RFEM with the RF‑LAMINATE add‑on module, to best determine the flexure/shear demands in the panels, as well as the serviceability performance of the two‑way, point supported system.

The stress analysis and detailed design of the CLT panels themselves was carried out separately. Full scale tests were used to confirm the modeling and design assumptions.

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RFEM Main Program
RFEM 5.xx

Main Program

Structural engineering software for finite element analysis (FEA) of planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells, members (beams), solids and contact elements

Price of First License
3,540.00 USD
RFEM Other

Add-on Module

Deflection analysis and stress design of laminate and sandwich surfaces

Price of First License
1,120.00 USD