Pearl River tower design integrates wind turbines

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The 309-meter Pearl River tower's sculpted body directs wind to a pair of openings at its mechanical floors, where traveling winds push turbines which generate energy for the building.

Architects of the Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou, China- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)- claim the 71-story building is one of the most energy-efficient skyscrapers in the world.

“Our team was able to design to the forward-looking, ambitious goals that were set out, and this milestone in the building development process is a great achievement for CNTC Guangdong Tobacco Corporation, most importantly, this project can only be successful with the support of the land owner, property developers, interior designers, contractors and the local architect and engineer,” said Richard Tomlinson, managing partner, SOM.

The 2.3-million square-foot tower redefines what’s possible in sustainable design by incorporating the latest sustainable technology and engineering advancements. Due to the unique shape of the building, as well as the wind and seismic loads imposed on the tower, the design integrates structural systems, in both steel and reinforced concrete are utilized. Among the structural innovations are integrated wind turbines. These turbines, which are fed from funnel-like openings in the façade, are supported on floor slabs occurring within the opening zones and are laterally braced against the floor above. The 309-meter tower’s sculpted body directs wind to a pair of openings at its mechanical floors, where traveling winds push the turbines which generate energy for the building.

The 2.3-million square-foot Pearl River tower.

Bill Baker, SOM structural engineering partner, commented, “Structural engineering solutions must be integrated with the architectural and sustainable engineering designs so that they are inseparable. It is the collaboration between our structural engineering, architecture and sustainable engineering practices that allow a building such as Pearl River Tower to become reality.”

A series of other sustainable design and engineering elements, including solar panels, double skin curtain wall, chilled ceiling system, under floor ventilation air, and daylight harvesting all contribute to the building’s energy efficiency. While many of these sustainable attributes have been incorporated individually into skyscrapers around the world, according to SOM, the Pearl River Tower design represents the first time that they are used collectively.

Posted by on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010. Filed under Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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