The Pearl River Tower, located in the city of Guangzhou, China, has integrated wind power generation and is one of the world’s most energy-efficient high-rise structures.
The 309-meter Pearl River Tower’s sculpted body directs wind to a pair of large openings through the building, where wind turbines generate energy for the building. Other integrated sustainable features include integrated solar panels, a double skin thermal insulation curtain wall, under-floor ventilation, and a priority on maximizing daylight.
Together, renewable energy generation and energy efficiency measures decrease the amount of electrical power required to operate the building’s cooling, heating, dehumidification, ventilation and lighting systems. At the time of completion, the full implementation of Pearl River Tower’s sustainability strategies resulted in energy savings of approximately 50% relative to China’s sustainable building code for commercial buildings, according to the company.
Why you should care
As urbanization increases and cities grow worldwide, the design and sustainability of buildings is increasingly important. In USA, for instance, commercial buildings account for nearly 20% of the country’s energy consumption, with more than half the energy use going toward heating and lighting. Energy efficiency coupled with onsite renewable energy generation reduces the need for electricity from fossil-fuel power plants, helping to lower greenhouse gas emissions.