Reaching for the sky in Shanghai
Reaching for the sky in Shanghai
Shanghai Tower is China’s tallest building – and that’s not by any means the only impressive thing about it.
Few images embody China’s success as impressively as the skyline of Pudong, Shanghai’s financial district: a rural area a mere 30 years ago, since the 1990s it’s been transformed into a densely populated city area with one skyscraper after another.
Three towers dominate this sea of buildings: the Jin Mao Tower, the World Financial Center and – the most recent and tallest of them all – the 632-meter-high Shanghai Tower. The tallest building in China, it’s literally the high point of the megalopolis’s skyline.
A tall order
For the builder-owner – the Shanghai Tower Construction and Development consortium – the tower posed a special challenge. Such an exposed edifice, more than any other, has to meet the very highest quality, environmental, and safety standards.
They went to particular lengths to make Shanghai Tower the most environmentally friendly mega-skyscraper in the world.
“For this reason we chose the stablest and most reliable solutions across the board,” explains Sun Jun, Shanghai Tower’s technical director. “We applied the same criteria when selecting our partners.” This included Siemens.
Central nervous system
Siemens’s involvement concentrated on especially critical aspects of the tower’s operation, and meeting the environmental requirements.
The company supplied products, advice, designs and components for four particularly crucial systems: electric power distribution, energy automation and fire alarm control systems, and intelligent lighting management.
“Shanghai Tower represents a highly complex network, especially given the large number of different establishments it houses, including hotels, a parking garage, stores and retail space,” says engineer Sun Hua, who is responsible for electric power distribution at Shanghai Tower. “You could compare the energy supply system in a building like this with the human body’s central nervous system.”
To serve as the center of this nervous system, Siemens installed high-voltage switchgear meeting the highest standards of safety, reliability, and energy efficiency. To keep transmission losses to a minimum, the compact unit was installed in the basement. Standard switchgear would normally take up the space of four football fields.
Shanghai Tower and Siemens have managed considerable reductions in energy consumption using a state-of-the-art energy automation system, which among other things enables a real-time overview of the complex building’s entire energy consumption.
Intelligent lighting management also does a great deal to ensure energy efficiency. “Lighting is the second-largest electricity consumer after air conditioners,” says Li Xiang, the person at Siemens responsible for lighting management at Shanghai Tower.
Safety and stability
Naturally the systems for controlling fire alarms also have to be absolutely reliable, particularly in a building of this size. The Siemens FS720 system meets the especially demanding requirements that apply to large surfaces in terms of factors such as smoke detection, the placement of extinguishers, and safe evacuation in a fire.
“We wanted a stable partner we could rely on,” explains Chen Hui, technical manager at Shanghai Tower. “This is why we chose Siemens.”