Photo Credit: Peellden
Even though Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world for only 6 years, from 2004-2010, it is still especially iconic. I like that the design is supposed to resemble bamboo, an icon of Oriental culture which symbolizes learning and growth. Bamboo also happens to be a green building material.
According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer:
Bamboo has many practical applications. It is now widely used for flooring and paneling. Its pulp is used for paper-making and it acts as a raw material for construction and reinforcement.
In some parts of Pakistan for example, they use natural building materials like earth and bamboo. These materials not only are low-cost and more energy-saving than brick and concrete, but are also less susceptible to the weather effects.
But Taipei 101 itself is green. “In July 2011, the building was awarded LEED Platinum certification, the highest award in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system and became the tallest and largest green building in the world.” “The structure is already designed to be energy-efficient, with double-pane windows blocking external heat by 50% and recycled water meeting 20–30% of the building’s needs.”
Photo Credit: Someformofhuman
Taipei 101 is also “designed to withstand the typhoon winds and earthquake tremors common in its area of the Asia-Pacific.”:
Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers along with Evergreen Consulting Engineering designed a 660-tonne (728-short-ton) steel pendulum that serves as a tuned mass damper, at a cost of NT$132 million (US$4 million). Suspended from the 92nd to the 87th floor, the pendulum sways to offset movements in the building caused by strong gusts. Its sphere, the largest damper sphere in the world, consists of 41 circular steel plates, each with a height of 125 mm (4.92 in) being welded together to form a 5.5 m (18 ft) diameter sphere. Two additional tuned mass dampers, each weighing 6 tonnes (7 short tons), are installed at the tip of the spire which help prevent damage to the structure due to strong wind loads.
All these features make the skyscraper stand out among the rest.
But it’s not just this edifice that stands out. The capital city of Taipei also tops the world in another green thing — recycling.
Photo Credit: Miniwiz SED
It “has become such a good international precedent that other countries have sent teams to study the recycling system. After the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) established a program in 1998 combining the efforts of communities, a financial resource named the Recycling Fund was made available to recycling companies and waste collectors. Manufacturers, vendors and importers of recyclable waste pay fees to the Fund, which uses the money to set firm prices for recyclables and subsidize local recycling efforts. Between 1998 and 2008, the recycling rate increased from 6 percent to 32 percent. This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.”
Photo Credit: 玄史生
Even though the reason for this “precedent” is Taiwan’s limited space, it is also worth noting that according to Geopoliticalmonitor.com, Taiwan “has reduced its per-capita daily waste by 57.5% from 1998 to 2010, a period which coincided with 47% GDP growth.”
So economic progress doesn’t mean we have to turn the world into a wasteland after all.
Photo Credit: Trcheng at en.wikipedia