WHAT CAN THE HEIGHT PROVIDE?
by Karen Zhang, VerticalCity.org
The emergence of tall buildings was in response to urbanization and people’s demand of space within cities. Supertall building was once the icon of the city and its prosperity. However, nowadays, going green and making effort on energy efficiency become another significant venture for skyscrapers.The supertall body exposing to the wind, air and the sun up in the sky creates not just challenges but also opportunities for it to coexist with the nature in harmony.
Wind pressure has became one of the design drivers for a lot skyscrapers. Minimize the wind load by tapering the building; collect the wind power by venting it through the buildings. The Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou, China is a great example of using internal wind turbines to generate energy for its own electricity.
Warm air rises and cold air sinks. Stack effect design is using this to ventilate and allow the warm air to rise and escape from the top, while cooler and cleaner air flow in to replace it. Therefore, airflow is created by the vertical pressure to improve the indoor air quality.
Besides, day-lighting, the Sun is providing tremendous energy to the Earth. With a massive facade exploding to the Sun, skyscrapers would be able to capture the solar energy, converting it to provide some of the buildings energy consumption. The CIS Tower in Manchester England installs over 7,000 panels on the facade, together with 24 wind turbines on the roof, can produce 10% of its energy needs all on its own.
By extending upwards within the limited building footage, instead of sprawling, skyscrapers will be able to increase the land population capacity for increasing needs of urbanization. To apply the theory to a city scale, more open land will consequently be saved for farmland or greenbelts. Recently, a three-dimensional Eco-City called ‘the Great City’ has been studied and proposed by Vantone Investment Group and AS+GG in Chengdu China with the similar urban concept, hosting about 80,000 people within 1.3 sq km (4,300 sq ft).
With the nowadays integrated design, skyscrapers would be able to increase energy efficiency, provide better indoor environment quality and generate on-site energy for its own use. It can provide a great opportunity for the sustainability venture that the low-density architecture can rarely achieve.
Certainly, there are challenges and concerns about the supertall structure and its safety. What do you think? How do you feel like living in it? We would like to hear your thoughts and discuss about this in our next blog.
风，气流，阳光等自然因素对超高层建筑的影响是挑战，也是机遇。如果能将这些自然因素 - 同时也是能源利用起来，对于人与自然的共生和谐是很有益处的。
This article was archived on December 18, 2015.