Fri, Jul 29, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Taipei 101 receives top certification from green rating council

By Wu Li-sha  /  Contributing Reporter

An operator in the Taipei 101 control room monitors the temperature, humidity and energy consumption levels in the building. A ceremony was held yesterday to mark Taipei 101 receiving a platinum certification from the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards for an existing building, and management.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

Taipei 101 became the tallest building in the world to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification yesterday at an award ceremony in the building’s lobby.

In cooperation with SL+A International, EcoTech International and Siemens Limited Taiwan, staff at Taipei 101 worked for more than 20 months to implement changes that would allow the building to meet the increasingly stringent certification standards.

Developed by the US Green Building Council, LEED is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Taipei 101 achieved the platinum level certification in the Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance category.

With a total floor space of 357,721m2, 90 tenants and a day-time population of more than 10,000 people, the project posed a number of challenges to implement, not to mention the NT$60 million (US$2.08 million) price-tag.

However, it was well worth it, Taipei 101 officials said.

“We started improving energy efficiency in 2007 and in the three years to 2010, we have already made that money back. From now on, we expect to save NT$36 million or US$1.2 million each year on energy costs, compared to 2007 levels” said Cathy Yang (楊文琪), vice president of the tower division of Taipei 101.

As for the wider impact of the project, green building experts said the assumption was that only newly constructed buildings could meet LEED standards, but Taipei 101’s certification could be the “lighthouse” project leading the way for other existing buildings to follow suit.

“When a world celebrity building like [Taipei] 101 achieves the highest level of certification, you know that every tall building on the planet as well as every little building on the planet is going to be looking somehow to emulate the achievement,” Rob Watson, chairman, CEO and chief scientist of EcoTech International and the “father of the LEED” certification, said yesterday.

Mark MacCracken, chairman of the US Green Building Council, said the achievement by Taipei 101 at the platinum level has taken away the excuses from other buildings around the world for not being able to do so.

“[People would say] ‘oh, we can’t do that. We’re too tall, we’re too this, we have too many tenants,’ this sort of thing — that discussion is now off the table because of this building and I think that that’s the biggest statement this building has made for the industry,” MacCracken said.

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