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Construction productivity assessment on Brock Commons Tallwood House

Mohamed Kasbar (Ledcor Group, Vancouver, Canada)
Sheryl Staub-French (Department of Civil Engineering, University of British Colombia, Vancouver, Canada)
Angelique Pilon (UBC Sustainability Initiative, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)
Erik Poirier (Department of Construction Engineering, Ecole De Technologie Superieure, Montreal, Canada)
Zahra Teshnizi (Mantle Development, Vancouver, Canada)
Thomas Froese (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 11 April 2021

Issue publication date: 21 October 2021




The purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of the impact of mass timber construction methods on construction performance through the successful delivery of the first-of-a-kind tall wood building, Brock Commons Tallwood House (Tallwood House). This paper is one of a set of papers examining the project; companion papers describe innovations used during the mass timber design and construction processes.


A mixed-method, longitudinal case study approach was used in this research project to investigate and document the Tallwood House project. Quantitative data were collected to perform the following analysis: hook time, the variability of productivity and schedule reliability. Members of the research team observed construction progress, meetings and decision-making, conducted periodic interviews and reviewed project artifacts.


The research presented in this paper is the culmination of a longitudinal study aimed at studying the innovation process on a project where radical innovations of structural systems were developed. Prefabrication, combined with the use of a virtual design and construction (VDC) model for planning and fabrication and early collaboration with trades, construction managers and consultants, increased the labor productivity of the on-site erection of the mass timber structural components and envelope panels and expedited the construction schedule.


This paper details an in-depth investigation into the construction productivity for a unique building project and lessons learned. The case study chosen is the construction of Tallwood House at the University of British Columbia. Tallwood House was the tallest mass-timber hybrid building in the world at the time of its construction.



The authors would like to thank Forestry Innovation Investment for funding the research program on Brock Commons Tallwood House. They would also like to acknowledge the personnel at the University of British Columbia and the project team, especially Acton Ostry Architects, Fast and Epp, Urban One Builders, Structurlam, Seagate Structures, Aspect and Centura, who generously shared their knowledge, time and experiences with the researchers.


Kasbar, M., Staub-French, S., Pilon, A., Poirier, E., Teshnizi, Z. and Froese, T. (2021), "Construction productivity assessment on Brock Commons Tallwood House", Construction Innovation, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 951-968.



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