tower will generate zero damage but still offer high
Pearl River Tower cuts a fine figure but it is contemporary in more than
one sense. File photo China Daily 01/25/2010 page17 It may not be the
tallest building in the Pearl River Delta region, but it could be one of
the few that aims for a lofty goal: zero net impact on energy
More and more construction projects have broken ground in China over the
past few years, with billions of dollars being poured into their
budgets. Are they worth such huge investments? People have different
opinions on the matter。
Construction of the Pearl River Tower, located in the booming new
central business district of Guangzhou, which began in 2006, is due to
be completed by the end of this year, said Jaime Velez, a principal
designer from the United States-based Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
The following are the top 10 over-priced buildings in China。
It is expected to become the coastal city’s first commercial building
with zero-energy consumption.
The tower is designed by SOM, one of the world’s leading architecture,
urban design, engineering and interior architecture firms.
“Is it quite an ambitious goal? It is something we should be striving to
achieve,” Velez said.
The designer said making a building green is more challenging than
making it tall.
“Height doesn’t seem to be a problem. Pushing the building from a
sustainability and green perspective is more difficult,” he said.
However, Velez, who has participated in a large number of architectural
and interior projects in the US, Europe and Asia, has many reasons for
achieving this goal.
Located at an end of Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street in downtown
Shanghai, Shimao International Plaza is a 60-floor skyscraper and the
tallest building in Puxi District. The building was completed in 2005
and designed by Germany’s Ingenhoven, Overdiek und Partner and East
China Architecture and Design Institute。
“We attached great importance to using natural resources such as wind
and sun to generate electricity for the building from the very beginning
of the design process,” he said.
The plaza has two spires on its top, making its total construction
height 333.3 meters. The upper floors (11th-60th) house the five-star,
ultra-luxurious Le Royal Méridien Shanghai hotel with 770 rooms. The
building also includes a large shopping mall, restaurants and exclusive
For example, gill-like gaps in the facade of the building will inhale
wind that will propel turbines to produce electricity.
The Pearl River Tower cuts a fine figure but it is contemporary in more
than one sense. File photoThe building will harvest wind and solar
energy, directing and managing prevailing winds so that they become
“invisible braces” that help stiffen the tower, Velez said.
Energy consumption is reduced by maximizing natural day lighting,
reducing solar gain in air-conditioned spaces, retaining rainwater for
gray-water usage, and using the sun to heat the hot water supply in the
SOM’s sophistication in building technology applications and its
commitment to design quality has resulted in a portfolio that features
some of the most important architectural accomplishments, including the
Sears Tower and John Hancock Center in Chicago, Jinmao Tower in Shanghai
and the world’s highest building, Dubai Tower in the United Arab
In China, the company has helped design more than 50 buildings, over 15
of which are skyscrapers. The Pearl River Town is the first
energy-saving building that SOM has designed.
Velez said the Pearl River Tower would help emit less carbon dioxide by
approximately 3,000 tons and achieve an overall energy saving of 30.4
percent a year.
“This is an iconic, high-performance building that is designed in
harmony with its environment,” Velez said. “It is a skyscraper for a new
Baiju Woo, another chief engineer of the tower, said the 309-meter
building was the first one on the Chinese mainland to integrate a high
level of advanced sustainable technologies into its construction,
including wind power, solar power, cooling radiation displacement, a
ventilation system and a dual-layer curtain wall.
The National Stadium is a stunning Beijing landmark. It has been
nicknamed the “bird’s nest” due to the web of twisting steel sections
that form its roof. The building was designed by the Swiss architecture
firm Herzog & de Meuron for use throughout the 2008 Summer Olympics and
Paralympics. It covers an area of 20.4 hectares, with its tallest point
at 69.21 meters。
The tower, with a gross floor area of 210,000 square meters, will become
a landmark office building in the Pearl River Delta region, said Ye
Zhiming, general manager of the Pearl River Tower Real Estate.
The stadium has two independent structures, a red concrete seating bowl
and the outer steel frame 50 feet away. The steel frame is shaped like a
saddle and is an elliptical structure weighing 42,000 tons. The
three-level seating can hold up to 91,000 spectators, and the building
is considered to be the world’s largest enclosed space。
“It is of great significance to develop sustainable green office
buildings in Chinese cities,” he added.
Amenities in the building include exclusive VIP clubs, fine restaurants,
banks and convention and exhibition facilities. They meet top office
requirements, according to Ye.
Colliers International, one of the leading advocates of the green office
environment among real estate agencies, has been appointed as the
marketing and leasing agent for the building, Ye said.
“The tower, with its high level of environmental protection, will help
demonstrate that office buildings in China are on a par with
international standards,” said Jamie Horne, president of Asia Pacific at
Chinese experts are calling for more construction of eco-friendly
building such as the Pearl River Tower to help save energy.
Late last year, China set a goal of slashing carbon emission per unit of
economic output by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 compared with the 2005
“Worldwide, buildings consume about 40 percent of energy, so it is very
urgent to develop environmentally friendly buildings to reduce energy
consumption,” said Meng Qinglin, a professor with the Architecture and
Design Institute at South China University of Technology.
Yuanwang Mansion, also known as the “City in the Sky,” is a super
skyscraper located in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan Province. It
will stand at 838 meters in height and have 220 floors, 10 meters higher
and 50 floors more than the world’s current tallest building, Burj
Khalifa in Dubai. It is designed to contain residential units, hotels,
schools, a hospital and offices buildings. It can be a home for 30,400
people and will have 16 panoramic and 31 super high speed elevators. The
construction period will only last for seven months and it is expected
to be completed in 2013.
Meng suggested more energy-saving technologies be adopted in buildings,
including residential houses and sports facilities.
“They should be designed in harmony with the environment,” Meng said,
citing technologies used in the building of the Guangzhou Asian Games
The town, which is situated in Panyu district, is equipped with a
renewable energy system that could generate electricity through
collecting sunlight to help provide water heating and air conditioning
if there was a power cut during the games. It would also help reduce
energy costs for the town’s residents after the games.
Various renewable energy resources will be employed, such as solar
energy and hydropower – produced in nearby rivers – while solar energy
will be collected through systems placed on the top of each building in
“Such buildings will help reduce carbon emissions,” Meng said, citing
that China has become the world’s largest carbon dioxide emitter.
According to the Chinese Academy of Engineering, China produced as much
as 5.96 billion tons of carbon in 2007, 140 million tons more than the
The country faces a very difficult challenge in saving energy, with the
per capita carbon emission surpassing the world’s average of 4.18 tons
to reach nearly five tons in 2008, said Meng.
Buildings in China will likely consume 2.6 billion tons of standard coal
by 2030 if the country does not introduce stricter controls on projects
with high-energy uses, Meng said.
Located on Beijing’s East Third Ring Road, China’s New Central
Television headquarters is located at the heart of the city’s Central
Business District. The building was designed by the Dutch company OMA, a
leading international partnership practicing architecture, urbanism, and
Wang Yao contributed to this story
The building twists the idea of a skyscraper quite literally into a
49-story-tall gravity-defying loop, which poses a truly
three-dimensional experience. The site primarily consists of the main
building, the TV Cultural Center and auxiliary facilities. It covers a
total floor area of 550,000 square meters, with its tallest point at 230
Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3 was designed by the
famous British architect Norman Foster. Its construction started on
March 28, 2004 and took four years to complete. It is a major landmark
in Beijing representing the growing and developing Chinese city。
Covering a total area of 986,000 square meters, the terminal is the
world’s largest building and most advanced airport. Its roof adopted a
large-span hyperboloid steel grid structure, in the shape of a plane. It
measures 958 meters from north to south, and 775 meters from west to
The terminal offers an unparalleled travelling experience, not only
technologically, but also in terms of operational efficiency, passenger
comfort, sustainability and access to natural light. It features a main
passenger terminal (Terminal 3C)， two satellite concourses (Terminal 3D
and Terminal 3E) and five floors above ground and two underground。
Built in 1958, Beijing Capital International Airport, known as the
“China Gateway,” is the largest and busiest international aviation hub
with the most advanced facilities in China. It is the first airport in
the Asia-Pacific region that has three terminals, three runways, and two
towers operating simultaneously。
China Zun is a skyscraper under construction in the Central Business
District of Beijing. It is named after the Zun, an ancient Chinese wine
vessel, which inspired the design. The building will reach a height of
528 meters with 108 floors after completion in 2016. It is expected to
surpass China World Trade Center Tower III by 190 meters to be the
tallest building in the city。
The Wuhan Greenland Center being built by the Greenland Group will not
be the highest building in the world, but the investment on its
construction is much more than the Burj Khalifa Tower’s US$1.5 billion
and Taipei 101’s 12.8 billion yuan (US$2.02 billion)。
Designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the Wuhan Greenland
Center is going to be the world’s 4th tallest building. It will reach a
height of 606 meters with 119 floors. This tower is an elegantly tapered
structure featuring softly rounded corners and a domed top designed to
reduce wind resistance and vortex action that builds up around super
tall towers. It also aims to reduce energy consumption and carbon