10/05/2015 05:25 EDT | Updated 10/06/2015 10:59 EDT

UBC Residence Building Would Join World's Tallest Wooden Structures

The tower will be 18 storeys tall once complete.

A new residence tower proposed for the University of British Columbia (UBC) is set to join the ranks of the world's tallest wooden buildings.

The $51.5-million building will stand 53 metres (174 feet) high once finished, according to a UBC media release.

Its 18 storeys will house over 400 students in nearly 300 studio apartments. The tower designed byActon Ostry Architects will also feature more than 30 four-bedroom units, as well as several common areas, lounges, and study spaces.

The building will consist of a mass timber superstructure atop a concrete base, said the school.

Construction at UBC is scheduled to begin this fall, and with the grand opening set for September 2017.

Using wood for tall buildings instead of concrete and steel is gaining traction as the industry looks for sustainable and cost-effective options.

In June, Vancouver architect Michael Green proposed the world's tallest wooden building for Paris. The tower at 35 stories tall would be about half as high as the Eiffel Tower if accepted.

Green also designed British Columbia's tallest wooden building. The Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George is nine storeys (20 metres) tall.

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