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May 16, 2019

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Vertical living in Lujiazui

Engineers from the Shanghai Construction Group have won the other special prize.

They built Shanghai Tower as a model for future megacities, redefining what a super-tall building can achieve through environmentally friendly design and pioneering the concept of “vertical urbanism.”

Rising 632 meters above the Lujiazui financial hub, the “crystal spiral” Shanghai Tower is the tallest building in China and the second-tallest in the world, surpassed only by the 828-meter Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

Weighing 850,000 tons, it is almost equal to 85 Eiffel Towers, yet it is built on soft ground.

To avoid noise and pollution during construction, engineers came up with the idea of first digging a massive hole and then putting through the steel pilings.

“When the construction started, there were many skyscrapers around, like Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center,” said Zhu Yimin, technical director of the Shanghai Construction Group.

“Also, there is a Metro line running underground. So we invented a new method to eliminate the effect on nearby structures.

“It also helped save more than 60 percent of the costs. The method is now widely used in construction of skyscrapers.”

The building features the world’s heaviest damper, weighing 1,000 tons, to help it withstand typhoons. “Last year, we closed the damper for a while for testing, and we clearly felt shaking in the elevator,” said Zhu.

The tower incorporates more than 40 energy-saving features, reducing energy consumption by 20 percent since it opened.

Shanghai Tower was the first building over 400 meters in the world to be given a certificate in platinum-level leadership in energy and environmental design by the US Green Building Council. It also holds China’s three-star green architecture title.

Its facade is wrapped in two layers of glass, formed by 20,357 flexible glass panels, each with a different size and shape. Glass saved on the use of steel and is conducive for natural cooling and ventilation. A rain collection system atop the building can recycle 25 percent of rainwater and supply 245,000 cubic meters of water to the tower every year for gardens, toilets, and cooling and heating systems. It reduces the tower’s water consumption by 43 percent.

There are 270 wind turbines spinning at the top of the tower, which can generate up to 1.19 million kilowatt-hours of green power a year, about 10 percent of what’s needed.

The tower stacks shops, offices and cafes on a vertical plane, redefining previously horizontal urban communities.

The tower has nine “vertical communities,” each covering 12 to 15 floors. Every community has “sky lobbies” that function as open-air squares of a “town,” where people can gather and dine. Tenants don’t need to take elevators down to have a cup of coffee or buy a sandwich.

Gu Jianping, general manager of Shanghai Tower, describes the building as a “vertical Bund.”

The first row of buildings on the Bund, between Waibaidu Bridge and Yan’an Road E., take up about 600,000 square meters, while Shanghai Tower covers 578,000 square meters.

“We don’t look at it as a building,” Gu said.

“Instead, it is a vertical city that combines ecology, art and human-oriented designs.”


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