World’s tallest wooden tower to be built in Australia

Times postOct 16, 20233
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Australia is all set to build the world’s tallest wooden tower in its western state of Perth. The 50-storey building will be based on a hybrid design consisting of 42 per cent timber and the rest reinforced concrete.

This is the second such timber-concrete hybrid building in Australia, a move towards making sustainable and green buildings. The newly proposed hybrid tower will be 191.2 metres tall (627 foot) and will be constructed in Southern Perth with about 200 apartments.

On Thursday, Perth’s Metro Inner-South Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP) approved Grange Development’s proposal for the skyscraper, currently dubbed the C6 building. It will be twice as high as the current record holder - Ascent Tower in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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The proposed structure will be constructed in Southern Perth at Charles Street. The building will also be taller than another to-be-unveiled Atlassian Headquarters in Sydney. Like Atlassian, the proposed C6 tower will combine laminated timber beams with a steel exoskeleton to support the structure. The building will contain more than 200 apartments and will be Western Australia’s first carbon-negative residential building, as per Grange Development.

“The intent of C6 has always been, at its core, a straightforward proposition,” Grange Development’s director, James Dibble, said in a press release. “Our aspiration with C6 is to shift the focus towards a more climate-conscious approach.” The tower will use 7,400 cubic meters (over 260,000 cubic feet) of timber harvested from 600 trees, according to Grange. “We can’t grow concrete,” Dibble said in a proposal submitted to Perth authorities, calling the plan “a new open-sourced blueprint that utilizes hybrid construction methodology to offset the carbon within our built environment, which is the single biggest contributor to climate change.”

The construction of such multi-storey green buildings will try to solve two problems at once - the climate crises and housing crises, said Dibble. Apart from using timber, Grange’s plan also includes green features such as a rooftop garden, an urban farm and resident access to 80 new fully-electric Tesla Model 3s. Cement, used in construction emits a major chunk of CO2 emissions, so replacing it with biomaterial like timber will reduce the environmental impact of the building significantly.