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Monday, August 29, 2011

Earth's tallest green building: LEED-certified Taipei 101

Taiwan's Taipei 101 skyscraper - the second tallest building in the world - was just awarded LEED Platinum certification, making it the world's tallest green skyscraper! Completed in 2004, Taipei 101 stands 1,667 feet tall above the streets of the Xinyi District in Taipei, Taiwan. A three-year-long green retrofit has successfully enabled the skyscraper to save 10% on electricity and water costs, produce significantly less waste, and use 30% less energy - the building reduced annual utility costs by $700,000 a year.

Read more: Taiwan's Taipei 101 Skyscraper Crowned the World's Tallest LEED Platinum Building! | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World

Taipei 101 (Chinese: 台北101 / 臺北101), formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, is a landmark skyscraper located in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan. The building ranked officially as the world's tallest from 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010. In July 2011, the building was awarded LEED Platinum certification, the highest award in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system and became the tallest LEED building in the world.

Taipei 101 was designed by C.Y. Lee & partners and constructed primarily by KTRT Joint Venture. The tower has served as an icon of modern Taiwan ever since its opening, and received the 2004 Emporis Skyscraper Award.[4] Fireworks launched from Taipei 101 feature prominently in international New Year's Eve broadcasts and the structure appears frequently in travel literature and international media.

Taipei 101 comprises 101 floors above ground and 5 floors underground. The building was architecturally created as a symbol of the evolution of technology and Asian tradition (see Symbolism). Its postmodernist approach to style incorporates traditional design elements and gives them modern treatments. The tower is designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes. A multi-level shopping mall adjoining the tower houses hundreds of fashionable stores, restaurants and clubs.

Taipei 101 is owned by the Taipei Financial Center Corporation (TFCC) and managed by the International division of Urban Retail Properties Corporation based in Chicago. The name originally planned for the building, Taipei World Financial Center, until 2003, was derived from the name of the owner. The original name in Chinese was literally, Taipei International Financial Center (Chinese: 臺北國際金融中心).

The Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world until the 2,717 foot Burj Khalifa was completed in Dubai last year. It houses 101 floors above ground and 5 below, including a multi-level mall and hundreds of restaurants and clubs.

As if the building didn’t stand out enough, Taipei 101 set out to make a name for itself in a new category. With the help of dream team EcoTech International, Steven Leach Associates, and Siemens’ Building Technologies Division, Taipei 101 began to improve its energy efficiency three years ago. Cooling systems were changed and a scientific system of energy modeling and audits made a huge impact on the building’s green persona.

Though the restoration venture was expensive, the outcome is worth every penny. “We started improving energy efficiency in 2007 and in the three years to 2010, we have already made that money back,” said Cathy Yang, vice president of the tower division of Taipei 101.

It’s incredible to see a seven-year-old skyscraper awarded LEED platinum certification – the highest level of achievement in the LEED system. Buildings large and small around the world are now running out of excuses.

Surces: Inhabitat.com, wikipedia.org

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