Every year on April 22nd, commemorating the day in 1970 when the environmental movement was founded, light is casted on environmental concerns and environmental issues and break-through are discussed on a global scale. It is Earth Day. On the day of this important observance, we cannot pass up the chance to bring some attention to one of the tallest green buildings in the world – the Taipei 101 in Taiwan.
The Taipei 101 is one of the tallest structures in the world, soaring 1,666 feet (508 meters) above Xinyi Road in Taipei City. When the tower opened on the New Year’s Eve of 2004, it was the world’s tallest building, a title currently held by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The Taipei 101 is still the tallest building in Taipei and it is one of the world’s tallest buildings with a LEED Platinum certification!
The LEED status was achieved in 2011 after applying in November of 2009 and implementing many changes to increase the sustainability in the skyscraper and its operation. Of primary importance is the sustainable air-conditioning technology present at the tower, multiple floors have air handling units that cool down the rest of the building. CO2 levels in the building are monitored, and when these get too high, air from outside automatically flows in to increase the air quality. Measures have also been taken to monitor the humidity and when needed, activate the water system to bring it down. Other sustainable features include low-flow water fixtures and motion-sensor activated bathrooms and sinks as well as motion-controlled lights and energy-efficient lighting.
The tower was designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and has been named as one of the “7 Wonders of Engineering” in the world. Being built in an area where earthquakes and typhoons occur frequently, the Taipei 101 has been designed with an advanced structural system providing support against strong winds. The tower is built to sway in the wind and contains a 660 metric tons tuned Mass Wind damper which hangs in the tower and functions as a counter balance.
The Taipei 101 gets its name from the 101 floors that are inside it and where there is much to discover! Guests can take the high-speed elevator (at the time of opening the fastest in the world) to the 89th floor where a phenomenal 360-degree view of Taipei awaits them in the indoor observatory, or opt for the outdoor viewing deck on the 91st floor. Multiple restaurants, a food court and a shopping mall are all present inside, alongside the Taiwan stock exchange and offices. The exterior design of the high-rise building was inspired by the shape of growing bamboo.