Brock Commons Construction

UBC is starting construction on the 18-storey Brock Commons (Tall Wood) student residence near Chancellor Place Neighbourhood on November 9, 2015. The project is expected to take 20 months to complete and is scheduled to open in September 2017.

A key objective during construction of Brock Commons is to minimize the impacts to adjacent residential and academic buildings.

Construction Updates

  • Friday , May 13, 2016 – Contractors will be connecting the underground civil water line between May 16 – May 27 along Walter Gage Road. The work will involve a stone-cutter cutting through and removing the concrete curbs and the operation of a large vacuum truck. There will be intermittent traffic interruptions and redirections that will be controlled with flag persons, signage and road-plates. All construction activity associated with this work will happen weekdays between 7:30 am – 8:00pm and Saturdays between 9:00am – 6:00pm. There will be uninterrupted pedestrian, vehicular, and emergency vehicle access in the area.
  • Friday, April 29, 2016 – Education Centre: To facilitate research and education opportunities, UBC is installing an Education and Outreach Centre on Walter Gage Road from May 2016 to May 2017. Walter Gage Road will be completely closed on April 29 from 7:30am to 2pm, and traffic will be detoured up St. Andrews Walk to Iona Drive with flaggers and signage on site. See the Education and Outreach Centre section below for more information.
  • Thursday, April 28, 2016 – Construction Hours: Working hours are being temporarily extended on the construction site to ensure that concrete pouring for the elevator shafts and installation of prefabricated wood panels is completed on time. See the Construction Activity section below for more information.
  • Thursday, December 11, 2015 – Contractors will be working at the traffic circle on Walter Gage Road. They will be removing concrete and and other materials, so there will be some noise as a result. Traffic Control Personnel will be on site to accommodate vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists safely around the site. There may be some short delays, and the work is only anticipated to take a few days to complete.
  • Wednesday, December 9, 2015 – drilling will take  place at the Brock Commons work site for approximately one week. This will result in some additional noise and vibrations very close to the site.
  • Thursday, November 26, 2015 – increased truck activity along Walter Gage Rd. and in the roundabout throughout the day.

Construction Activity

Working hours have reverted to regular working hours on the Brock Commons construction site as the the roof membrane work is completed.

The hours going into effect mid-November 2016 for the roof membrane work are:

  • Weekdays: 7:30 am – 7:00pm
  • Saturdays: 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sundays: 11:00am– 5:00pm (December 11th and 18th, 2016; and Jan 8th and Jan 15th, 2017 only)

There will be no operation of powered equipment on the site before 7:30am on weekdays or 8:30 on Saturdays. There will be no operation of power equipment or impact tools on Sunday, only the use of roof torches. Standard construction activity such as drilling, cutting and pounding should be expected.


BrockCommons - April2016update

The 18-storey Brock Commons (Tall Wood) student residence will be located on Walter Gage Road, behind the North Parkade.

Road Closures

A section of Walter Gage Road next to the construction site will be closed, between St. Andrew’s Walk and the Allard Hall parking lot.

  • Access will remain open to the Allard Hall parking lot from East Mall, and to St. Andrew’s Walk from Wesbrook Mall.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists will have a detour along the north side of the street, but otherwise not be impacted.
  • Construction signage will be installed to direct vehicle traffic, cyclists and pedestrians appropriately.
  • Traffic Control Personnel will also be on site every day to manage traffic throughout the construction period.

Education and Outreach Centre

UBC is establishing an Education and Outreach Centre near the site to facilitate research and education opportunities. This center will be based in a temporary classroom trailer located on Walter Gage Road from May 2016 to March 2017, and will host group presentations, display information on the project and be used for research purposes by UBC graduate students.

The research trailer will be delivered by trucks and installed by a crane on April 29th. This will mean a full closure of Walter Gage Road from 7:30am to 2pm, and the need to detour some traffic up St. Andrews Walk to Iona Drive with flaggers and signage. A crew will be on the site one day before the installation and 5 days afterwards to prepare and complete the process, but this work will not interfere with regular traffic on the street.

Truck Traffic

Smaller trucks (dump trucks and concrete trucks) will access the construction site from East Mall to Walter Gage Road, then leave the site via Student Union Boulevard in the first six weeks of construction (Nov. 9 to December 24th).

  • During the first six weeks excavators will be digging a hole in preparation for pouring the foundation, and smaller dump trucks will haul materials off site. Once the excavation is completed the foundation will be poured. Both processes will take approximately six weeks.
  • Site and roads will be swept daily as needed.

Starting January 2016, larger flatbed trucks will need to use Walter Gage Road via Wesbrook Mall to access the site for safety reasons.

  • Travel along Walter Gage Road will ensure that trucks do not impact safety on the construction site.
  • The large flatbed trucks, also known as tractor trailers, are not able to make the turn off of Walter Gage Road or along the west side of the Walter Gage Residences to Student Union Boulevard due to their size. Additionally, trucks along this route would have to travel through the active construction site. To prevent issues associated with both of these factors, the safest route was determined to be a one way route from Wesbrook Mall onto Walter Gage Road then onto East Mall to NW Marine Drive
  • Other routes were considered in an attempt to minimize truck traffic beside residential buildings, however, none of alternatives met the safety and logistical requirements required.

Roundabout on Walter Gage Road

In preparation for construction, the roundabout on Walter Gage Road will be altered to better accommodate trucks.

  • The existing curb and grass of the roundabout will be removed to reduce the size of the roundabout to allow larger vehicles to navigate it. The existing pavers and curb will be replaced with a level asphalt surface.
  • The hedge, plants and trees will all be kept, with a new curb being poured next to the hedge.
  • UBC will monitor speeds of regular traffic following these changes and make modifications if necessary.
  • Following the completion of Brock Commons construction, the roundabout will be redesigned to meet the needs of the UBC community. UBC currently spends money every year repairing the roundabout so this is also an opportunity to find a more optimal layout.

Project Background

Tall Wood Render Web

Brock Commons (Tall Wood) is a new student residence that will be one of the tallest wood buildings in the world once completed.

  • It will house 404 students in 272 studios and 33 four-bedroom units, and feature study and social gathering spaces for upper year and graduate students. There will also be a ground-floor lounge and study space for commuter students.
  • This supports UBC’s Student Housing Growth Strategy, which is an aggressive plan to meet the growing demand for on-campus student housing. The strategy will add more than 2,000 beds by 2017, and an additional 640 beds in 2019.
  • About 10,000 students currently live in university-operated student housing on UBC’s Vancouver campus, which offers more student housing than any other Canadian campus.
  • More information is available on the UBC Public Affairs website.


For project related inquiries: UBC Properties Trust

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