The University of British Columbia has just completed an architectural feat.

The final wood panel was installed on Tuesday on the world's tallest timber building, an 18-storey tower that will eventually become student housing.

Timber buildings usually aren't permitted to reach those heights, but the firms involved in the building's construction used new laminated panels that helped the structure meet seismic code.

"It was courageous of them and really groundbreaking," said Paul Fast, founder of Fast+Epp Structural Engineering.

The building, which will end up costing more than $50 million, is part of UBC's strategy to alleviate on-campus housing demands.

It is expected to be finished by the spring.