Chicago-based architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) has recently completed a 530-meter glass skyscraper in Tianjin, making it the tallest building in northern China and the seventh tallest in the world. All glass façades were supplied by CSG Holding, the largest architectural glass manufacturer in China, and produced on machinery from Glaston.
Located in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area in the northeastern port city, the shining, new Tianjin Finance Centre is one of the most recent testimonials to SOM’s commitment to excellence, innovation and sustainability. The building features a beautiful, fluid lyrical shape and a highly efficient and functional all-glass design.
The unconventional, rounded shape of the building required a very elaborate glass curtain strategy. Plus, the client’s requirement to use flat glass was adding to the complexity, where hot-bent or cold-bent glass would be considered the easiest for creating such designs.
To accommodate the challenge, staggered glass panels were used with make-up aluminum pieces added to the mullion system and metal frames – each element of the highest quality.
CSG Holding, China’s largest glass manufacturer, was selected to provide all flat glass panes for the building’s façade. Approximately, 476 unique glass panels, processed using Glaston’s technology, were delivered for the project.
Building with environmental impact
Brian Lee, Consulting Design Partner at SOM, who led the skyscraper architectural design concept, comments: “Part of our success with this particular building was its focus on an efficient, sustainable design concept for the exterior. We utilized a high-performing, double-glazed unit with low-E coating and incorporated an insulated panel between each glass, thereby reducing the percentage of vision glass, cutting heating and air-conditioning costs.”
“Glass is always going to be very much in high demand for any kind of building, because people want to have that engagement – the incredible views and a sense of daylighting – which is very beneficial for well-being. Especially if you are able to mitigate the glare and heat loss or gain, depending on the climate, you can save on energy costs,” he adds.
The glass industry is continuously looking for ways to increase building performance. In cold climates, for example, triple-glazing can be applied successfully. And the solar gain in a building with a glass curtain wall of almost 90% glass can be used to produce the heat in a heating-dominated climate. Plus, it is possible to have a very high percentage of insulation in these buildings. Therefore, high-performance glazing offers a massive potential for energy savings and CO2 reductions.
The new Tianjin Finance Centre is not only a practical implementation of innovation, it also makes a strong statement that skyscrapers can truly meet the trends in sustainable construction.
Reaching over half a kilometer into the sky, the Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Tower will be one of China’s most striking landmarks. Yafei Xing, BIM manager at China Construction Eighth Engineering Division Corp., explains how his team made it happen using BIM.
News courtesy of Glaston