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Bio-diverse tower to attract business in China's Eco-City

Architect Kevin Kennon unveiled the design of a new 90,000-square-meter mixed-use commercial building for the new "Eco-City" in Tianjin, China.

Another green building touches the sky in China.

Architect Kevin Kennon on Wednesday unveiled the design of a new 90,000-square-meter mixed-use commercial building for the appropriately named "Eco-City" in Tianjin, China.

(Eco-City is a joint partnership between China and Singapore.)

The project is 200-meter (about 656 ft.) tall office tower surrounded by a luxury shopping center. The building employs "advanced biophilic design technologies" -- that is, it's geared toward celebrating the environment around it -- with the goal of "reconnecting people with nature."

That manifests itself in the design of Tian Fang tower, which the architect says incorporates algorithms that "mimic the form and growth of bamboo forests."

That's all well and good, you might say, but what about the efficiency side of things?

According to the architect, the tower will generate 20 percent of the energy it needs from clean sources located on site, through a combination of hydrogen fuel cells, solar panels and wind turbines.

The tower's dependence on the grid is approximately 60 percent of that of a conventional mixed-use tower of similar dimensions.

More sustainable features:

  • Solar and wind studies influenced the site orientation and building massing.
  • 50 atriums allow for green space and natural light to enter the building.
  • The use of natural convection to heat and cool the building with filtered fresh air.

That's not to say the office tower isn't geared toward traditional business trappings, however: while a typical office building has four corners, Tian Fang has 18 to provide "prime real estate in corner offices." The luxury retail and fine dining restaurants on the top floor don't hurt, either.

"This project is the culmination of years of thinking about tall building design combining environmental strategies and adaptive innovation to create signature architecture," Kennon said in a statement. "Considering pollution is a foremost challenge in this rapidly industrialized nation, the goal of this particular project is to act as a catalyst for green design in China."

The complex will be developed by Tianjin Real Estate Development & Management Group in conjunction with Beijing Victory Star Executive Architects. It's planned for completion in early 2013.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com