Brock Commons is not your average student residence. Rising to a height of 53 m (174 ft) above the campus of the University of British Columbia in Canada, it's the world's tallest wooden residential tower – and it recently topped out several months ahead of schedule.

The cutting-edge student digs will contain 33 four-bed units and 272 studios spread over 18 floors, housing a total of 404 residents. Structurally, it comprises 16 floors of five-ply cross laminated timber (CLT) floor panels, a steel-framed roof, and concrete sections, including a base and stairwells.

The building's attractive facade consists of prefabricated panels which have the windows pre-installed. The panels are a high-pressure laminate cladding which contain 70 percent wood-based fibers, with steel stud framed sections.

It rose remarkably quickly. After managing a single floor in the first week, the project then hurried along at a rate of two or more floors each week, with the entire wooden structure (not including the concrete sections or steel roof) finished in a mere 66 days.

Brock Commons is designed to attain the LEED Gold certification green building standard once it's complete. This is going to happen sooner than expected – Acton Ostry Architects' Russell Acton told us that the tower is now slated for completion in May, 2017, four months ahead of schedule.

Work installing the steel roof structure is currently ongoing, and should be finished in a few weeks.

View gallery - 5 images