Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »
Today Only: 50% off Atlas Obscura books and calendars at Barnes & Noble »
The Perfect Gift for Travelers: Our #1 New York Times® best selling book »

Vancouver, British Columbia

Brock Commons

The "plyscraper" is the world's tallest building made predominantly out of wood. 

While most buildings today are constructed with cement and steel, structures made predominantly from wood are making a comeback. A new 18-story residence hall on the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver is taking the trend to new heights, as the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper. 

At a height of 174 feet, it’s safe to say that Brock Commons is the Burj Khalifa of lumber. The “Plyscraper” is the tallest building with a predominantly wooden structure to ever be built, and it safely and sustainably houses over 400 university students.

Of course, to construct such a towering building entirely out of wood would be practically impossible, so the architects had to use small amounts concrete and steel to construct the building. That said, wood makes up the vast majority of the building’s structure, including wooden floors, columns, and exterior panels. This eco-friendly design reduces the residence hall’s carbon output by 2,432 metric tons of Co2, the equivalent of removing 500 cars from the road for an entire year.