According to the WHO, Guangzhou is the eighth worst city in the world in terms of air quality index and the worst in China. In order to turn things around, the Chinese government has promoted buildings with zero power consumption. The Pearl Tower has become a landmark in terms of sustainability and innovation.
The American architecture studio SOM (Skidmore, Owings and Merril) along with D. Smith and Gordon Gill designed this skyscraper with the intention of having zero power consumption. The constructor Shanghai Construction Group was in charge to build the 71 floor building, which covers over 670,000 squared meters.
Sustainable architecture and engineering
With the aim of having a self-sufficient building, the architectures decided to take advantage of renewable energies, which surround the building. One of their biggest achievements has been the integration of these technologies within the functional and innovative architecture. Among the most relevant solutions one can find:
1. Turbines to take advantage of wind energy
There are two technical plants on the façade with four wind turbines, which serve to isolate the building from any noise from the street and also vibrations are totally imperceptible. The curved shape of the tower allows for more aerodynamics so that more wind energy can be taken. Therefore, more energy is generated which can be used directly or stored in batteries.
2. Climate control
The majority of skyscrapers use a large amount of energy in keeping the correct temperature inside their premises. However, the Pearl Tower uses an innovative cooling air system through cold-water ducts, which are on the ceiling of each room. The heat from the inside goes up and, when touching the ducts and cooling down, goes down and creates a cycle which allows for significant power saving.
3. Photovoltaic panels to capture solar energy
The orientation of the façade aims to get the largest amount of sunlight through the solar panels, which cover the façade. Moreover, there is a double layer glass wall, which captures the energy and helps isolate the interior of the building and keep the heat coming from the sun. Also, the blinds which track the sun automatically, help minimize the heat that comes in the building and to protect it as well.
The Pearl River Tower is also the world’s largest building with radiant floor system and uses a condensation and water recovery system as well as another storm water system collection and toilets without water which reduce the water demand.
One of the most prestigious energy certificates
The Pearl River Tower has been awarded with the platinum LEED certificate, the highest recognition in terms of energy certificates. It has become a great attraction for multinationals, which have decided to set up their offices in this prestigious building. This certification, given by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) is internationally recognized as a classification of green buildings in order to measure the sustainability of these constructions.
This skyscraper is a clear example of the perfect combination between sustainable architecture and engineering solutions which make this building one of the most innovative in the world, not only for its self-sufficiency but also for its ability to co-exist in harmony with the buildings that surround it.
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