If China’s tallest skyscraper is any indication, this reluctance to embrace green building may be changing.
With the completion of said skyscraper – the Shanghai Centre – there is a notable green influence infiltrating the Chinese super-industry. As with many other elements in the Chinese construction sector, the green inclusions are being implemented on an incredibly large scale.
The Shanghai Centre was designed by Gensler Architects with sustainable consultants Aurecon. At a massive 632 metres tall, it towers over the previous tallest tower, the Shanghai Financial Centre, by 100 metres.
Due to the building’s size alone, it makes sense from both an environmental and an economic standpoint to ensure the building is as efficient as possible.
One key element of the tower is its ‘intelligent skin.’ In a unique design, the building’s façade is completely transparent and bioclimatic.
The skin’s clever, multi-functional design helps the site overcome a number of major challenges.
For instance, it has a unique spiral form which reduces wind loads and captures rainwater, the latter of which is then used in the building’s air conditioning and central heating.
The skin also boasts an ability to act as a buffer. The façade actually consists of a double skin glass form, with the space between the internal and external walling creating additional insulation and solar gain control.
That double skin feature offers yet another benefit. Between the spiraling external façade and the internal circular wall is a 12-storey garden atrium. Various sky gardens are divided into nine different zones and add a striking aesthetic while further insulating interiors and promoting environmental inclusion in the building’s design.
Structurally, the façade consists of lightweight steel frames filled with glass mullions. In order to keep the frames from buckling, lateral struts and stainless cables were fixed to the major and minor axes.
The tower boasts a Chinese 3 Star Green Star Green Building Rating and relies on a number of technologically-driven green features in order to run as an environmentally responsible structure.
This includes the inclusion and use of a tri-generation plant, rooftop wind turbines, a greywater recycling system and water deluge system.
When taken as a whole, these design, function and green building elements create a building that is aesthetically one-of-a-kind and that promises to serve as a benchmark for further architecture and construction ventures in Asia.
The fact that one of China’s most notable buildings is a green building comes as very exciting news for global green-focused industry. With one of the world’s largest economies and a booming construction industry, it is important for China to begin delving into green design and technologies so as to set a strong, long lasting and environmentally strong industry foundation.