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Outdone by Dubai, Taiwan tower seeks green award

OUTDONE by an tower extending over 800 metres in Dubai, the world's former tallest building, Taipei 101, wants to become the highest green structure by completing a checklist of clean energy standards, a spokesman said today.

Taipei 101 will spend T$60 million (US$1.9 million) over the next year to meet 100 criteria for an environmental certificate that it would hold over Dubai, spokesman Michael Liu said.

The office-commercial tower that reigned for five years as the world's highest building at 509 metres (1,670 feet) expects the US-based Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design to give it the certificate in 2011.

"We're focused now on becoming a Taiwan landmark, that won't change, and on going green. We'd be the tallest building to get a green certificate," Liu said by telephone.

Taipei 101, he said, would work with its 85 office tenants to cut electricity and water use, while encouraging them to recycle more refuse. Annual utility savings should total T$20 million.

Restaurants would be asked to bring in supplies from as close as possible to reduce transportation.

"We can reduce power, trash and water by more than 10 percent," he said. "We're already pretty green. In principle there's no major problem."

The Taiwan skyscraper, complete with an observation deck popular with tourists, has already met 60 of the checklist items, including double-paned windows to retain cool air.

Green towers are unusual in Asia, a region with the world's busiest construction sector yet one of the poorest records for eco-friendly building.

Burj Dubai, started at the height of the economic boom and built by some 12,000 labourers, will now become the world's tallest building. It was set to open on Monday as Dubai seeks to rekindle optimism after its financial crisis.


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