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January 18, 2012

SOM to design Greenland Group Suzhou Centre in China

Marriott International has confirmed plans to open at least five new hotels at Simon shopping centres over the next several years in the US.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has won an international competition to design the Greenland Group Suzhou Centre in Wujiang, China.

The 358m-tall, 75-storey Wujiang Greenland tower will house offices, service apartments, a hotel and retail space on a 37,000m2 area. SOM design director Ross Wimer said the design is the result of major interdisciplinary collaboration at the company’s Chicago office.

"Like a high-performance car, the digital modelling of aerodynamics was critical to the shaping of the building. The design team included structural and mechanical engineers from the very beginning and their input helped to define all aspects of the tower," Wimer said.

The tower will be located along Taihu Lake in the Jiangsu province of China and designed as a curved and tapered form to house the facilities within a single volume. The building’s design features include a 30-storey operable window corresponding to the hotel and residential floors to help drive environmental performance. SOM Sustainable and MEP Engineering director Luke Leung said the building will use an atrium as the lung of the building to provide ventilation.

"It will incorporate a series of high-efficiency measures with the objective to achieve a 60% saving in energy consumption compared to a conventional US high rise and a 60% reduction in potable water use," Leung said.

The atrium of the building maximises daylight penetration, facilitates mixed-mode ventilation in the lobbies and public spaces, and acts as a fresh-air supply source for the tower. The Wujiang Greenland tower’s split-core configuration of the upper floors is intended to increase the efficiency of the building structure. The energy-saving measures in the building also include a high-performance façade that uses cooler outside air at upper levels for natural ventilation of the atrium.

The design incorporates a natural-light-harvesting system that uses daylight-responsive controls, and optimises lighting energy through efficient fixtures, occupant controls and energy-recovery systems. The demand-controlled ventilation and an on-site energy centre with a combined heat and power plant also minimise energy use.

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