Supertower Offers Glimmer of Hope in Polluted Chinese City

The Guardian reports on an effort to implement green technology amid China’s construction boom:

The country is in the middle of the greatest building boom in human history. Six of the world’s 10 tallest buildings completed last year were in China, including the 492-metre-tall Shanghai World Financial Centre. Even taller structures are on their way – such as the Shanghai Centre, 632 metres, and at 600 metres, the Goldin Finance 117 in Tianjin.

But among the giants there is one that could hold out hope for a low-carbon future. The Pearl River Tower, now being erected in Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong province, is being billed as the most energy efficient superskyscraper ever built.

With wind turbines, solar panels, ­sun-shields, smart lighting, water-cooled ceilings and state-of-the-art insulation, the 310-metre tower is designed to use half the energy of most buildings of its size and set a new global benchmark for self-sufficiency among the planet’s high rises.

Engineers say the tower could even be enhanced to create surplus electricity if the local power firm relaxes its monopoly over energy generation.