21 jun 11  | inhabitat.com

AS+GG’s Aerodynamic Wuhan Greenland Center to be World’s 4th Tallest Building

by Bridgette Meinhold

Today, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture unveiled their competition winning design for the Wuhan Greenland Center, set to be the world's 4th tallest building. The nearly 2,000-foot eco-tower is an elegantly tapered structure featuring softly rounded corners and a domed top designed to reduce wind resistance and vortex action that builds up around supertall towers. Besides reaching for the sky, the green tower aims to provide for China's ever increasing population, all while reducing energy use and carbon emissions.

Clocking in at 119-levels, the Wuhan Greenland Center will have about 3,230,000 sq ft of floor space and include about 2,153,000 sq ft of offices, 538,200 sq ft of luxury apartments and condominiums, a five-star hotel, and a 90-foot-tall private club with views at the tower’s penthouse level. A tripod like base forms the foundation of the tapered building and an extremely efficient, aerodynamic profile will reduce wind loading, thereby minimizing the amount of structural material required for construction. Apertures located at regular intervals in the curtain wall will assist in venting wind pressure and will also house window washing systems and air intake and exhaust systems.

As for energy efficiency AS+GG has included energy recovery using an enthalpy wheel integrated into the ventilation system that will capture energy from the building’s exhaust systems, using it to pre-heat or pre-cool air entering the building. A high-efficiency lighting system will be combined with a daylight-responsive control system to reduce electric lighting whenever possible. A grey water recovery system will take waste water from the hotel laundry, sinks and showers and then reuse it in the building’s evaporative cooling system. Water-efficient fixtures will minimize water usage and reduce the energy needed to pump it up the building.

Construction is expected to begin on the Wuhan Greenland Center some time this summer, with an expected completion in about five years. Upon completion, the skyscraper will be the 3rd largest tower in China, and the 4th in the entire world.

AS+GG is working with the structural engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti as well as PositivEnergy Practice, an energy services, engineering and consulting company.