Now and again a loud horn sounds. A constant stream of freighters, barges, lighters and pleasure craft chugs along the Huangpu. The river running through China’s largest conurbation divides its center into the old and new quarters. On the old side is the famous waterfront area known since colonial times as ‘The Bund’ – the name is an Anglo-Indian term for a river embankment. Many of the bank and merchant house buildings erected here between 1900 and 1940 now accommodate Energy smart hotels, upmarket shops, restaurants and bars. The clock on the Customs House building – the only building never to have changed its original purpose – strikes every hour in the time-honored style. Opposite the promenade on the other side of the river, the buildings of new Shanghai reach skywards. This is the Pudong New Area – Pudong translating as ‘east of the river’. This district did not actually begin development until 1992. Today, the glittering glass towers of Lujiazui, its financial district, house Chinese and foreign banks, the Chinese stock exchange and several five-star hotels.
China’s highest building
The Bund promenade is a favorite spot for tourists and locals alike. The latter turn up either very early in the morning for their gymnastic session, or come back in the early evening for a jog or stroll. During the day, picture-takers dominate the promenade. Using a selfie-stick, a group of newly qualified graduates from a Shanghai university huddle together to take a final group photo in front of the city skyline. “We’ve just finished university, so who knows where we are all headed now,” one of them explains. In the background there is always the river and, on its far bank, the city’s three highest skyscrapers – the Jinmao Tower, the Shanghai World Financial Center, which is nicknamed ‘the bottle opener’ because of the rectangular opening at the
top of the structure, and the recently completed Shanghai Tower. Topping out at 632m and featuring a glass facade with a 120° corkscrew twist, the Shanghai Tower is China’s highest skyscraper and the third highest in the world. “The Shanghai Tower will officially open this summer and is sure to become another star attraction in the Pudong district” says Gua Qianjun, a freelance tour guide who takes visitors from all
over the world around Shanghai. Lujiazui – and the elevated viewpoints across the city it offers – always features in her guided tours. The highest observation point at present is 500 m up in the ‘bottle opener’ – on a clear day you can see the outer limits of the 25-million-strong metropolis and both airports. However from the Shanghai Tower, you will soon be able to look down even on that lofty perch.
Gas-powered CCHP system generates green energy
The Shanghai Tower is in the second row so to speak and not located directly on the waterfront. In 2013, a spokesperson from Gensler – the American firm of architects who designed it – called it the most environmentally-friendly ultra-high-rise building in the world. Its double-glazed facade reduces the need for cooling in the summer, while wind turbines near the top of the tower generate some of its energy. Geothermal
energy is also deployed for cooling and heating. Deep below the tower in a sound-absorbing enclosure, a gas-fuelled trigeneration module from mtu
Onsite Energy waits patiently to be called upon. “Here we’re deploying the most sophisticated and environmentally-friendly technology – including smart energy management. That is why the Shanghai Tower has received LEED certification from the US,” says Xu Ming,
marketing director at Micropower, the engineering company that works with mtu
. “The CHP plant fits in perfectly by saving energy and using eco-friendly natural gas.”