Planning application submitted for 50 storey hybrid timber building Norwest sustainable design principles at the forefront

Standing at 183 metres, the development will be the tallest mass timber building in Australia by a mere 3 metres over Atlassian in Sydney

Grange Developments, a Melbourne-based property developer clearly isn’t shy about pushing the boundaries of their developments. With their mission statement, “We believe in creating landmark projects in a way that adds value to both the environment and humanity,” this development, called C6 (named after atomic number 6, Carbon, on the periodic table), if approved, will catapult the building into the number one position of (very) tall mass timber buildings.

They’ve submitted plans with the City of South Perth for the 50-storey hybrid timber building which will include 245 apartments.

Standing at 183 metres, the $350 million development will assume the mantle of tallest mass timber building by a mere three metres over Atlassian’s approved skyscraper in Sydney’s Tech Central precinct.

If they’re successful with their planning application, the building will be Australia’s second carbon-negative building after the Atlassian tower. It will achieve this through an embedded power network with wind and solar power, and a biophilic design featuring 3500 square metres of floral, edible and native gardens.

The tower will offer apartments in one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom configurations and offer 18sq m of communal space per apartment.

Grange Development managing director James Dibble said that the rapidly shifting climate was the main driver behind the mass timber carbon-negative building.

“The built environment is one of the three major drivers of catastrophic climate change, alongside transport and agriculture,” Dibble said.

“With promising technological advances in both the transport and agriculture industries now working towards drastically reducing global carbon footprints, the property industry is lagging dangerously behind.”

Designed by architecture firm Elenberg Fraser, with timber structural engineering by Melbourne-based mass-timber specialists, Vistek Engineers, the mass timber building will be built from cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated timber (GLT).

Robert Svars, general manager, Vistek Structural Engineers said that the building would be a beacon for others to follow.

“No one is really making inroads in construction at the large and dramatic pace that needs to happen,” he said. 

“It’s about managing the unknown unknowns, and risk,” Mr Svars said. “All materials are widely used, but it will be a unique design process as we don’t have project precedents we can rely upon.” 

“When you mix materials, you have issues about concrete and wood behaving differently over time, with shrinkage rates and so on. Design must have constructability at the front of mind and take a holistic look, and the structural engineer must be hands on. Timber calls for integration with the architects.”

According to company sources, construction of the mass timber building’s core will sequester over 10.5 million kilograms of carbon dioxide compared to a traditional concrete structure of similar scale. All the necessary timber, 7400 cubic metres, required to build the apartment floors, columns and beams will be able to be regrown from just 580 seeds.

The building will also provide its on-site energy production to residents to allow for EV charging.

Dibble said Grange would now be committed to an open-source sharing of the project’s research, design and construction documentation, to encourage other developers to incorporate, evolve and further progress the building’s methodology across other projects.

“Steel and concrete are some of the most energy-dense materials in the world to produce and at the moment the industry relies on it,” Dibble said.

“If we can accelerate a paradigm shift into the use of more renewable building materials such as mass timber in a hybrid nature and see even 10, 15 or 20 per cent of future projects use mass timber in their construction in the next few years, we will have succeeded. 

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Article source: Built Offsite:

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