Indonesia: How is Pertamina Tower, Jakarta’s First Energy-harnessing Skyscraper, Made Possible?

pertamina tower

Have you ever seen the tallest building in Jakarta, Indonesia? If you have, imagine a tower twice as tall. According to plan, in six years Jakartans will be able to see it stand in the heart of the city. This building is the 500m-tall skyscraper called Pertamina Tower. Not only this tower will break the record as Jakarta’s tallest building, it also draws attention to its unique energy-harnessing theme.

According to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), the architectural and engineering firm who designed it, Pertamina Tower will be “the world’s first super tall tower for which energy is the primary design driver”. This tower will be a model for sustainability and energy efficiency. It was designed to reduce carbon emissions by 26% and generate renewable energy by 25% in 2020. The goal is to have zero energy use. However, there will always be arguments to factor in, such as how tall a building should stand to be considered as an energy-efficient or even a zero energy building?

Building a Tall Zero-net Skyscraper

In the hot and humid climate, the ideal height of a building to achieve net zero is two or three stories. It may vary, depending on the exact location and environment surrounding the building. Strategy also comes into consideration; which one is implemented in the building to meet the energy demand based on the site condition. Two or three stories will be ideal if completed with solar energy alone. If other energy-efficient devices are added in the building then it allows adding more stories.

However, Pertamina Tower’s 99 stories present quite a challenge: the architects should find ideas to prevent direct sun heat on the higher level, while trying to make use of natural light. Otherwise, building occupants will use air conditioner excessively and it will lead to high energy consumption. So, what kind of innovations and technologies are the architects planning to implement in Pertamina Tower?

Energy-Generating Technologies

Energy Ribbon is one of the many technologies that will be used in the tower. It takes form of a solar-paneled roof walkway throughout the campus reaching the land bridges and gardens as an accessible public space. It will generate energy while providing rain protection. The tower itself looks like a silver bullet with a curved silhouette, which is intended to decrease solar heat gain throughout the year. In addition, there will be exterior sunshades to allow natural light in. This is intended to lessen the use of artificial lighting, hence, minimizing the energy consumption.

Above all, what’s special about this tower lies in the crown. This crown, which resembles the petals of a flower, unveils a wind funnel. It is located at the tapering top of the building to harness the winds at that height and transform it into energy. This energy source is plentiful, renewable and it doesn’t produce any carbon emissions.

The integration of these technologies is estimated to generate enough energy for the tower itself. However, the challenge is to actually build it. If all of the technology works smoothly, Pertamina Tower can be a role model for another high-rise building. Even more, it could break various myths about higher building generates higher carbon emissions. ( — YTA)

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