An apartment building in South Perth is set to be the world’s tallest hybrid timber tower, after Melbourne developer James Dibble’s Grange Development got the go-ahead from Western Australia’s Joint Development Assessment Panel to build it.
The 191.2-metre, 50-storey structure, designed by architects Elenberg Fraser, will be built at 6 Charles Street near the Perth Zoo, It will be notably taller than Atlassian’s hybrid timber tower in Sydney, which is under construction and set to top out at 180 metres when completed in 2025. No time frame for the construction of the C6 apartments has been given.
The hybrid timber tower would be the highest in the world if constructed. 
The world’s tallest completed timber building is Mjøstårnet, a mixed-use tower in Brumunddal, a small town in Norway. At 18 floors and 85.4 metres high, Mjøstårnet is built entirely of timber.
The South Perth tower is projected to be valued at $350 million once completed. It will also be one of Australia’s first carbon-negative residential buildings, meaning it locks up more carbon (through timber, plants and other elements) than it generates.
C6 will incorporate 7400 cubic metres of mass timber in its construction – equating to more than 40 per cent of the total structure, alongside concrete, steel and other materials – and will sequester 10.5 million kilograms of carbon dioxide during the building phase, the equivalent of carbon cost of 4885 economy-class seats on flights from Perth to London.
Mr Dibble said that taking into account the growth rates of each region of sustainably harvested plantations, the timber needed for the structure could be regrown in less than an hour from just 600 sustainably forested trees, and the seeds for these trees could fit in two cupped hands. “We can’t grow concrete,” he said.
The project will offer 237 apartments and include 3500 square metres of edible, floral and native gardens and 18 square metres of communal space per apartment. All energy is to come from renewable sources.
Owners and residents will have access to a fleet of 80 self-driving Tesla cars, helping them reduce their carbon footprints.
“The built environment accounts for 39 per cent of global emissions, and our industry is perilously lagging in innovation to address this global challenge,” said Mr Dibble.
“Our aspiration with C6 is to shift the focus towards a more climate-conscious approach to our built environment, rooted in science and engineering.”
A spokesman for Grange Development said the developer intended to launch pre-sales of apartments late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter of next year.
“They unfortunately can’t reveal any pricing as yet – that will come with the launch of pre-sales,” he said.
Development giant Lendlease has been at the forefront of timber building construction in Australia over the past decade. In 2019, it completed its second timber building, at Barangaroo, that it leased to WeWork.
In 2012, Lendlease built what was then the world’s tallest timber building, a 10-storey apartment building called Forte in Melbourne’s Docklands that topped out at 32 metres.
In 2016, Lendlease opened a factory in Sydney with plans to manufacture $1 billion worth of pre-fabricated building material over the next five years, most of it cross-laminated timber. This factory has ceased production.
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