© Copyright ATA Architects Inc.
All rights reserved. 2012
ATA has added to its expanding international portfolio with a new assignment – the Shunde Towers in China. This flagship project for TFC Developments and the city of Shunde in China provides a solution that harmonizes the innovative architectural structure with the local environment.
Like many of the urban areas in China, Shunde has undergone rapid industrialization in the past ten years, straining the existing infrastructure (the city is presently under daily rolling blackouts). Because of these limitations, energy conservation is a critical requirement, not an option that can be cut out in “value engineering.” As a result, the Towers are designed to efficiently shed away the sun’s energy. Shunde, being primarily in a temperate climate, requires cooling for ten months a year and limited heating in the winter months. The larger 63-storey office tower, situated to the south of the site, retains a large sail that reflects the harshest incoming solar rays away from the building, while providing shading for the smaller 38-storey hotel, condo and conference facility located to the north. This sail effectively creates a partial “double-skinned” facade that is incorporated into the natural ventilating system of the building.
The solar sail itself curves around the interior core of the office tower, creating a vertical aerofoil. Using Bernoulli’s principle and the incoming winds, a natural ventilation flow is created, exhausting hot air in the low-pressure zone at the upper levels of the sail. The replacement air is brought in through a labyrinth of pre-cooled thermal mass several levels below the building and within the foundations. Cooled air is thus provided through natural systems to all floors from the north sides of the buildings.
In the hotter summer months, the concrete slabs at each floor level are “pre-charged” at night (when the electrical supply is plentiful) with the cooler air from the foundation, therefore reducing the air conditioning requirement during the day. The top tiers of the 4-storey shopping mall at the base of the building are equipped with photovoltaic panels to help offset the air conditioning costs of the complex. In the cooler months, the office building actually has no heating requirements, as the office equipment and the people within the building provide more heat than is required. This excess heat is transferred through the connecting walkway where it can be shared with the hotel and condo building.
This project is easily the largest development in the history of Shunde and it is TFC Developments’ intent to establish a new benchmark for renewal and leave a legacy for the next generation.