'Green' Shanghai Tower a model for future skyscrapers

The world's second-tallest building is energy-saving and environmental friendly in water saving and recycling, roof greening and parking spaces for new-energy automobile.

Ti Gong

Fan Hongwu, a senior engineer with Shanghai Research Institute of Building Sciences Group, at the construction site of Shanghai Tower

Shanghai Tower in Pudong’s Lujiazui area is arguably the brightest star of all city skyscrapers. And it is probably also the “greenest” building in the city.

In 2015, the US Green Building Council announced that the world’s second-tallest building, which stands 632 meters, achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum for Core and Shell. It also won the Three-Star Green Architecture title in China, the highest level in the country.

Dr Fan Hongwu, a senior engineer with Shanghai Research Institute of Building Sciences Group, participated in the design of Shanghai Tower. At the BAU Congress China 2017, Fan spoke with Shanghai Daily about Shanghai Tower.

Q: What makes Shanghai Tower “greener” than other skyscrapers?

A: The building is energy-saving and environmental friendly in several aspects, including water saving and recycling, roof greening and parking spaces for new-energy automobile.

The taps and toilets in the building save water. The building collects rain and reclaimed water from the hotel for use in toilets, watering greenery and underground parking wash in the office area. The water-saving rate is nearly 53 percent.

Meanwhile, the roof greening covers more than 10,000 square meters, occupying about one-third of the area, while the greening on top of the annex building covers half the area. The roof greening provides bigger activity space for people and increases the rain seepage rate.

It also has 94 parking spaces for new-energy cars to encourage people to use cars with lower emission.

SHINE

Q: What would people feel about the environment while working in Shanghai Tower?

A: They will benefit from fresh air all the time. Before working on the design of Shanghai Tower, we did a survey of people working in other skyscrapers, asking them what they felt about working in high-rises.

The result was not good. Many of them complained about dizziness or headache at offices. That meant that the air quality inside was worse than expected.

It is mainly because most skyscrapers are enclosed, and people rely on central ventilation for fresh air.

In Shanghai Tower, we divided the interior into different functional areas, but they are connected with each other so that the interior has better natural ventilation. It also has a roof garden that helps in cleaning the air.

Q: What does Shanghai Tower mean for skyscraper construction industry?

A: For us, Shanghai Tower is like a guinea pig. We used many new technologies and products on this project. We will see how they work out. If they work well, we will promote them at least in the city.

Q: Is it worth building skyscrapers now?

A: It is, in fact, a very controversial topic in our business on whether it is necessary to build skyscrapers anymore.

To some extent skyscrapers can save land, but on the other hand high-rises consume more energy and require high maintenance. However, such buildings do have their own commercial value so that, at least in China, the construction of skyscrapers will not stop anytime soon. There are projects coming up in Wuhan, Beijing and other cities.

What we can do, however, is to make them as environmental friendly as possible.



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