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article imageRecently completed Shanghai Tower world's second tallest building

By Karen Graham     Jan 11, 2016 in Environment
Shanghai - After six years of construction, Shanghai Tower was recently completed and open for business. The Chinese 632-metre-high skyscraper takes its place among the world's tallest structures, coming in second behind Dubai's Burj Khalifa.
Shanghai Tower, coming in at 2,073 ft., is officially the tallest building in China, reports Archinect News.
The one notable distinction the mega-tall structure can claim is that it pushed Chicago's Willis Tower, once called the Sears Tower, out of the Top 10 list of the world's tallest structures for the first time since it was completed in 1974.
The Willis Tower (formally the Sears Tower) in Chicago was the world s tallest building from 1974 to...
The Willis Tower (formally the Sears Tower) in Chicago was the world's tallest building from 1974 to 1998.
Wikipedia user Soakologist.
The US $2.4 billion mixed-use structure was designed and constructed by the internationally renowned San Francisco-based architectural firm, Gensler. One thing unusual about the Shanghai Tower is its interesting design that twists the building 120 degrees from its bottom to the top, says Gizmag..
This corkscrew concept was used to mitigate the effects of the wind on the structure, which Gensler says will reduce wind loads by as much as 24 percent. This unusual feature allowed the company to save almost $58 million on construction costs.
The Burj Khalifa  in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)  is currently the tallest skyscraper in the world ...
The Burj Khalifa, in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), is currently the tallest skyscraper in the world since 2009, with a height of 829.8 m.
Shanghai Tower is located in the Lujiazui Financial Center of Shanghai. Only 20 years ago, this area was nothing more than farmland with a clay-based soil. The project was monstrous in its size and complexity. Gensler had to first manufacture 1,079 steel and concrete piles that were laid in the ground to serve as the foundation for the building.
Construction start and interior of the Shanghai Tower
Once the piles were laid, a literal army of concrete-laying trucks moved in, and for 63 hours straight commenced pouring the concrete foundation needed for construction of the building to begin. This initial part of the project was necessary to assure that the clay-based soil would support the huge building.
The tower features 128 floors with a grand total of 420,000 square meters (4,520,842 sq. ft) of floorspace. Nearly all of the occupied space will be taken up by high-end offices, retail shops, and hotel rooms. To get to the highest occupied place in the building, at 561.3 m (1,841 ft) requires using one of 106 Mitsubishi-designed elevators, which travel at a speed of 40 mph (64 km/h).
Gensler has also added what the firm calls an observation point/cultural area so visitors can look out on the city spread below, as well as learn more about the building itself. The building also has been LEED Gold certified. LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification
LEED is probably the most popular green building certification system used worldwide today. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, it offers a set of rating systems for design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods that help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible.
Sustainability Project Manitoba Hydro Place
Sustainability Project Manitoba Hydro Place
Veronica Alvarez
To become LEED certified, a building can receive up to 100 points based on six credit categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation in Design. There are four levels of certification, based on total points. As an example, a LEED Gold certification means a building has between 60 and 79 total points.
The highest rating is the LEED Platinum certification, given only in the case of excellence in the six categories. A great example would be the Manitoba Hydro Place in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. In 2012, it was the most energy efficient office tower in North America and the only office tower in Canada to receive the Platinum rating.
The Shanghai Tower s double-layered glass skin improves insulation and allows plenty of natural ligh...
The Shanghai Tower's double-layered glass skin improves insulation and allows plenty of natural light to permeate inside.
Exterior design innovations
The exterior of the Shanghai Tower is also a marvel of innovation and design and further backs up the reasons why the structure was given a LEED Gold certification. Double-layered glass makes up the exterior skin of the building, allowing light to filter in, as well as greatly increasing the building's insulation.
More amazing is the 270 different wind turbines on the face of the tower. The turbines generate enough power to completely operate all of the exterior lighting on the building. The corkscrew design of the building not only mitigates wind forces, but it actually funnels rainwater into a number of reservoirs where the collected water is used to power heat and air-conditioning throughout the building.
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