Arup has signed as anchor tenant at GDI Property’s ground-breaking Westralia Square 2 (WS2) timber-hybrid office tower in Perth’s CBD.

Arup will occupy approximately 2,600 square metres over three levels of the innovative premium grade 12-storey, office tower, Perth’s first timber-hybrid office building, which sets a new benchmark in environmental standards and carbon savings for building construction.

A breakthrough collaboration between Arup and GDI saw Arup identify the innovative structural form as the best and most sustainable solution for GDI’s bold vision, achieving maximum use from the constrained site while at the same time accelerating decarbonisation.

The adaptive reuse approach and engineering used capitalised on existing structures and renewable materials to have an effective embodied carbon reduction of circa 85 per cent compared to the construction of an equivalent contemporary reinforced concrete building. This has resulted in a global warming potential reduction of approximately 7 million tonnes of CO2 gas emissions. This is a step change in strategic CO2 management where the focus on carbon savings has been placed on embodied carbon, the far more difficult component of the carbon cycle to solve.

Upon opening and operating, WS2 will also use green power and be one of the most tenant cost efficient buildings in Australia with well below PCA market outgoings.

Arup Principal and WA Leader, Lewis Macdonald, said the move into one of Australia’s lowest carbon buildings aligned with the company’s commitment to sustainable development.

“By using timber as a building material we have been able to deliver a lower carbon building, while extending the tower to 12 storeys - higher than the three storeys achievable with a conventional concrete structure. The solution avoided the demolition of the existing building ensuring a reduction of embodied carbon emissions and setting a new benchmark for sustainable buildings in WA,” Mr Macdonald said.

“Having collaborated with GDI on the innovative design, it made perfect sense to relocate our expanding Perth based operations into the new WS2 tower. We look forward to moving into our new home within this vibrant Westralia Square precinct later this year and creating a new collaborative workspace for our people from which we can continue to contribute to shaping this great city and state through our projects and partnerships with clients.”

GDI Head of Development David Ockenden welcomed the continued relationship with Arup.

“WS2 is a game changer for the way office towers and other buildings are planned and constructed in Western Australia and for tenants who are serious about environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets and obligations,” Mr Ockenden said.

“Reducing embodied carbon, as well as operational carbon emissions, will grow as a key factor for the industry and tenants into the future, given company and governmental emission reduction targets.

“Arup is to be commended for its ability and foresight in choosing to establish itself at Peth’s first timber-hybrid office tower.

“With WS2, GDI has shown that timber hybrid construction is not only feasible in WA, but also has significant benefits. It is a methodology we will continue to explore, refine and consider for our future projects in Perth and the east coast.”

The tenancy was brokered by Propertysolve acting on behalf of Arup.