The nation’s landmark skyscraper Taipei 101 is seeking to become the world’s tallest green building, its owner Taipei Financial Center Corp (TFCC) announced on Monday.
TFCC chairman Harace Lin (林鴻明) said the company plans to apply for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certification for the building. To obtain that certification, Lin said Taipei 101 would invest NT$60 million (US$1.8 million) over the next 18 months to undergo hundreds of building modifications during the certification process. After the transformation is completed, it is estimated that Taipei 101 will save NT$20 million in energy costs each year.
Lin said that the company wants Taipei 101 to not only be profitable, but also to be an international model of environmental protection and social responsibility.
“Taipei 101’s management team is expecting to make it an icon of green building industry in Taiwan and worldwide,” Lin said. “As the world’s tallest building, Taipei 101 aims to raise people’s awareness about our environment and be a pioneer of international green building certification for existing buildings.”
The 509m tall Taipei 101, completed in 2004, was overtaken in height on July 21, 2007 by the Burj Dubai in Dubai, UAE, upon the completion of that building’s 141st floor.
The title of “world’s tallest building” still rests with Taipei 101, however, as international architectural standards define a “building” as a completed occupied structure.
Developed by the US Green Building Council, LEED is the world’s largest and fastest-growing green building certification program that provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Initial results of inspections conducted by energy-saving consultants Steven Leach Associates, EcoTech International and Siemens’ Building Automations Business Unit shows that Taipei 101 installed several green elements during the original design and construction, including the double pane low-emission glass curtain wall — which reflects heat, but lets in light — a waste recycling program, a gray water system and the building energy management system, Lin said.
However, Taipei 101 is still required to make more green improvements, including increasing green landscape, checking the lighting systems thoroughly for where energy-saving light bulbs can be used and tubes can be replaced, as well as maximizing the use of local food in the restaurants in the building to reduce carbon emissions in delivery, he added.
Rob Watson, chairman and CEO of EcoTech International and founder of LEED, said in a statement that given the fact that building construction and use emits more pollution than any other human activity, it is especially important that iconic landmarks such as Taipei 101 take “credible, verified and measured results” to reduce energy and water use.
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