China : Shanghai Tower, the greenest skyscraper


While skyscrapers are nothing new in China, China’s Shanghai Tower catch the interest to be the world’s greenest to become a distinctive skyline. Running parallel to its increasingly dire pollution problems, China seems to have an obsession with “greenness”.

The Shanghai Tower, the tallest structure of any kind in China was designed by the architecture firm, Gensler, to achieve “Gold” LEED, the US Green Building Council’s green and environmental design standard. With 632m tall, this world’s 2nd tallest building after the 828m tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai, is aspired to transform Shanghai into a futuristic and green global financial hub to rival New York and London.

According to Gensler, the building is set to reduce energy consumption by 21 percent through the use of 43 different sustainable technologies. It is constructed as nine cylindrical buildings stacked on top of each other, creating 121 storeys of office, retail and hotel area.

The façade works like a Thermos Flask with double glass for building insulation. The 24% twist of the structure minimizes the wind loads, which means that the building is lighter.

The spiraling parapet collects rainwater for the tower’s internal heating and air conditioning systems, and wind turbines below it generate on-site power.

On top of it, the landscape architectural firm, SWA Group confirms that The Shanghai tower will also have a garden planted in primary soil mixed with extra nutrients and compost, irrigated by a drip system in each of the nine “sky lobbies” to showcase varieties of plants from China. Each “Sky Garden” will also act as a “buffer zone” into which indoor air will spill before being exhausted from the buildings, helping to cool it.

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