Shanghai Tower

Providing engineering support for the tallest building in China that serves as a benchmark for sustainable design

SOURCE: Tetra Tech


Located in Shanghai’s Luijiazui financial district, the award-winning Shanghai Tower rises 632 meters (128 stories), making it the tallest building in China. Shanghai Tower & Construction Co., Ltd selected Cosentini, A Tetra Tech Company, to help create a towering structure that is a benchmark for sustainable design and technological innovation in China.

Designed to be a self-contained, vertical city, the project encompasses more than 5,500,000 square feet and includes premium (Class A) office space, restaurants, retail shops, a boutique hotel, and cultural venues. The tower’s uppermost floors house the world’s highest, open observation deck and a conference center. The building’s podium levels include high-end retail stores, and the below-grade levels contain parking, connections to the metro system, and additional event spaces.

Tetra Tech provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering services for this iconic building. Our team also provided telecommunications, audiovisual, and security systems design in close coordination with the firm’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing team.

The client aimed to create a new, regional benchmark for building systems using a bioclimatic design. This design included an intelligent skin, integrated water and waste management systems, ultra-low energy use and low carbon emissions, sustainable materials, and integrated landscape and ecology for improved indoor air quality. The intelligent skin is a double-skin facade that reduces heating and cooling loads by keeping the sun’s heat out in the summer and the building’s heat in during the winter. The building harvests rainwater, recycles grey water, and is equipped with low-consumption toilets, sinks, and other fixtures.

Working closely with the project’s architects, our team helped develop an atrium buffer zone to reduce cooling costs and minimize stack effect. Tetra Tech also implemented other sustainable aspects of the building’s design, including features such as heat recovery systems, multiple central plants for low transport energy and effective heat transfer, and overhead variable air volume air conditioning systems with demand-control ventilation. The design also includes wind turbines, a geothermal system for back-of-house spaces in the basement of the tower, an ice storage system, a greywater system, and a 3.0-megawatt combined heat and power system. These systems reduce the building’s energy use and lifecycle cost and contributed to it achieving a LEED Platinum rating, making it one of the most sustainable supertall high-rises.

Tetra Tech’s energy-efficient design included high-quality and high-efficiency equipment to reduce source energy consumption and a building automation system that incorporates control strategies to minimize energy consumption while maintaining user comfort, system reliability, and high indoor air quality.

The building’s design strategies helped create a cost-effective, sustainable building. The energy-saving design reduced consumption by 21 percent and reduced the lifecycle energy cost by 45 percent.

The Shanghai Tower received the following recognition:

  • Named one of Popular Science's 100 Greatest Innovations of 2016
  • Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat 2016 Best Tall Building Worldwide
  • Engineering News-Record  2016 Global Best Project – Winner, Retail/Mixed-Use Development

Tweet me: #ShanghaiTower—Tallest building in #China serves as benchmark for #SustainableDesign: #SmartCities @TetraTech

KEYWORDS: Green Infrastructure, Awards, Ratings & Rankings, Tetra Tech, Shanghai Tower, Cosentini, China

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