Pearl River Tower
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) and CNTC Guangdong Tobacco Corporation today celebrated the topping out of Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou, China, a 71-story building whose unique structural form is one of the most energy-efficient skyscrapers in the world. "Today we celebrated the innovative structural form of Pearl River Tower as it moves toward completion," said Richard Tomlinson, managing partner, SOM, who attended the topping out ceremony. "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."

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. 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, the Pearl River Tower design represents the first time that they are used collectively. "Pearl River Tower is a special building that stands as a landmark within the Guangzhou skyline," said Mr. Ye Zhi Ming, General Manager of the Construction Office of Pearl River Tower. "SOM's pioneering architectural and engineering vision for this office complex has resulted in a sophisticated, environmentally-smart building." For more than 50 years, SOM has been incorporating sustainable elements into design - long before "green" was called "green." Throughout SOM's history, as early as the 1950s, sustainability has been a part of the firm's design criteria evident in such projects as the Inland Steel Building in Chicago, the Weyerhaeuser Corporate Headquarters in Washington, King Abdul Aziz International Airport - Hajj Terminal and National Commercial Bank in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. With deep architectural, engineering and design expertise in China, SOM has led numerous projects throughout the region, from executing large-scale master urban plans such as the Beijing CBD East Expansion and Chongming Island to designing iconic buildings like China's first super-tall building, Jin Mao Tower, the current sixth world's tallest building, Nanjing Greenland Financial Center, Kingold International in Guangzhou and the award-wining Poly International Plaza in Guangzhou and The New Beijing Poly Plaza. Pearl River Tower is scheduled for completion later this year.


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