China’s Shanghai Tower, which is scheduled to be completed in 2014, will be the country’s tallest building and the second-tallest in the world, after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. It will also have the distinction of having the world’s fastest elevator, which will be able to reach speeds of 40 miles per hour. The building will incorporate 106 elevators and will set a world record for furthest-traveling single elevator, at 1,898 feet. It will be the third-tallest building in the world after Sky City in China is completed next year.
Shanghai Tower was designed by the American architectural firm Gensler, let by U.S.-educated Chinese architect Jun Xia. It has an 18-foot deep foundation and a 90-foot-by-90-foot concrete core. The building topped out in August 2013 at 2,073 feet. It have 121 floors and atriums tall enough to house trees up to 30 feet tall. It will contain over six million square feet of office and retail space and is expected to draw 16,000 people per day. The building will have nine indoor zones of public space with gardens, cafes, restaurants, and retail space and 360-degree views of the city.
Shanghai Tower incorporates several types of green design. It consists of nine cylindrical buildings stacked on top of each other and surrounded by an outer layer that twists as it rises. The two glass layers of the façade will be transparent, which is unique. This will allow the building to resist changes in temperature and reduce the need for air conditioning. The building used 25 percent less structural steel than a conventional building of a similar height because the design of the glass façade reduces wind loads by 24 percent. This saved $58 million in material costs. Vertical-axis wind turbines near the top of the tower will generate supplemental electricity. The heating and cooling systems will rely on geothermal energy.
Shanghai Tower, Jin Mao Tower, and Shanghai World Financial Center will be the world’s first group of three adjacent supertall buildings. Changsha’s Sky City is expected to be completed next year. It will surpass Shanghai Tower, rising to a height of 2,749 feet.