Pearl River Tower: Guangzhou, China

How Far Can You Go?



Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

Guangzhou, China, has leaped the hurdle of energy-efficient buildings with a single bound, moving into a new era of efficient super-tall towers. The port city of 6.6 million, about 100 miles from Hong Kong, will soon have a new symbol of progress — a 71-floor office tower using wind turbines, photovoltaics and about 60% less energy than an ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings base case. The Pearl River Tower, which will be the corporate headquarters for the CNTC Guangdong Tobacco Company, was first designed as a carbon-neutral tower. Radiant cooling panels in the ceiling provide cooling; ventilation air is delivered from below the floor. Air space between the two layers of the façade traps heat, which is vented out of each floor before it can radiate into the space. Pearl River Tower design was based on a turbine by Quiet Revolution. Four openings in the façade house the wind turbines and reduce pressure on the tower structure. At the crown, PV technology is integrated into the façade glass.

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