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Shanghai Tower Boasts Onsite Energy

August 6, 2013 By Paul Nastu

Shanghai TowerShanghai Tower, China’s tallest building, will have wind turbines and a natural gas cogeneration system onsite, in addition to an insulated outer ‘skin’ that will reduce energy usage and a rainwater collection system, architecture firm Gensler announced.

The $2.2 billion building will be completed in 2014 and wind turbines at the top will generate 54,000 kWh a year in energy that will power the outer lighting, while the 2,200 kW cogeneration unit will generate power and 640 tons of heat or cooling for the lower floors.

Aside from onsite energy, the landmark building will incorporate several sustainable features that will lower its energy usage. Glass walls will enable natural light, reducing the need for lights. A special coating will provide protection from the sun and reduce heating and cooling loads. It will have intelligent building controls and save more than half a million dollars in energy just from the lighting controls.

The building’s outer envelope, comprised of two curtain walls, creates atriums that act like an insulating blanket, reducing its energy needs. Recycled indoor air will be circulated through the atrium, keeping the heat out in the summer and in during the winter.

The heating and cooling systems will tap geothermal technology to deliver power from fluids maintained at the earth’s constant temperature. Landscaping will also help reduce its energy usage. One-third of the site will have dedicated green space that will lower the heat island effect of paved areas.

Together, all of these green features will lower the building’s carbon footprint by 34,000 metric tons a day, Gensler says.

In January, PNC Bank announced that a new branch in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. will be a net-zero building and that it is partnering with Gensler on the design.

Image credit: David Leo Veksler via Flickr


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