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July 30, 2009 @ 5:04 pm
More Green Buildings Appearing in China; Grand Hyatt Dalian

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China’s recent ascension to industrialized juggernaut hasn’t been without major environmental sacrifices. I’m sure many have heard the statistic that a new coal power plant needs to go on-line weekly just to keep up with the country’s energy demands. Another alarming fact; 90% of urban surface water is too polluted to be of any use. Luckily, the 2008 Olympics put Beijing on the world stage and instigated change. The government’s 5-year plans require significant energy efficiency improvements from new construction and there are hundreds of green building projects recently completed, underway or being planned. This slideshow from Treehugger features several, including the Zero Energy Media Wall from my recent lighting post as well as one of the Olympics building complexes (the athlete’s village). dalian

Now, I’ll focus on the Grand Hyatt development in Dalian. Dalian doesn’t get as much press as Shanghai, Beijing or some other Chinese cities but it’s a very fast growing, highly industrialized port city in the Northeast (16.5% GDP growth in 2008). It is also a government designated “open-city” which enables significant foreign investment. Interestingly, I first learned of the city because it is home to one of German anatomist Gunther von Hagens’ plastination centers where many of the “Bodies…The Exhibition” subjects are prepared (very intriguing exhibit if you haven’t seen it yet).

Anyhow, Goettsch Partners was hired by Hong Kong-based developer China Resources Land Limited to design the over 1 million ft2 Grand Hyatt tower. In addition to 377 hotel rooms, there will be 84 serviced apartments, three restaurants, ballrooms and meeting facilities, a spa and fitness center, and parking for 225 cars. The tower will be situated on the Yellow Sea next to Xinghai Square. Energy efficient and structural features were designed with geographical and meteorological considerations in mind. Glass curtain walls feature high-performance glazing with integrated horizontal sunshades along all southern exposures. The unique triangular shape of the building minimizes the structural impact of high winds on the Dalian coastline and these same winds are accelerated by the tower’s rounded corners and are harnessed to propel wind rotors. The vertical-axis turbines envisioned are very quiet, bird-safe and should supply electricity to the building year-round with limited maintenance. The scheduled completion date is 2011. See this World Architecture News article for more information.

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