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Taipei 101 seeking to become world's tallest green building
Central News Agency
2009-11-02 06:40 PM
Taipei, Nov. 2 (CNA) Taiwan's landmark skyscraper Taipei 101 is seeking to become the world's tallest green building, its owner Taipei Financial Center Corporation (TFCC) announced Monday.

Harace Lin, chairman of TFCC, told a press conference that the company plans to apply for the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certification for the building, To obtain that certification, Lin said, Taipei 101 will invest NT$60 million (US$1.8 million) over the next 18-month certification process to undergo hundreds of building modifications.

After the transformation is completed, Taipei 101 is estimated to save NT$20 million in energy costs each year.

Lin said that Taipei 101 not only wants to be profitable, but also wants to be an international model of environmental protection and social responsibility.

"Taipei 101's management team is expecting to make it an icon of green building industry in Taiwan and worldwide," Lin said.

"As the world's tallest building, Taipei 101 aims to raise people's awareness about our environment and be a pioneer of international green building certification for existing buildings, " he added.

The 509-meter tall Taipei 101, completed in 2004, was overtaken in height on July 21, 2007 by the Burj Dubai in Dubai, UAE, upon the completion of that building's 141st floor.

The title of "world's tallest building" still rests with Taipei 101, however, as international architectural standards define a " building" as a completed structure capable of being occupied.

Developed by U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is the world's largest and fastest-growing green building certification program that provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Initial results of inspections conducted by energy-saving consultants Steven Leach Associates, EcoTech International and Siemens' Building Automations Business Unit shows that Taipei 101 has installed several green elements during the original design and construction, including the double pane Low-e glass curtain wall, waste recycling program, grey water system and building energy management system, Lin said.

However, Taipei 101 is still required to make more green improvements, including increasing green landscape, checking lighting systems thoroughly for where energy-saving light bulbs can be used and tubes replacement, as well as maximizing the usage of local food among the restaurants in the building in order to reduce carbon emissions in delivery, he added.

Rob Watson, chairman and CEO of EcoTech International and founder of LEED, said in a written statement that given the fact that buildings emit more pollution than any other human activity, it is especially important that iconic landmarks such as Taipei 101 take "credible, verified and measured results" to reduce energy and water use.

"Today is an historic day for green buildings, not only in Taiwan, but Asia and the whole world. Taipei 101 the new 'green giant' is aspiring for the highest recognition in green building by achieving Gold certification through the LEED Green Building Rating System," Watson said.

Watson said he believes the project will set a trend in the building industry in Asia, which so far has focused only on the green certification of new buildings, not that of buildings that have been around for a while.

"We expect that Taipei 101's leadership in this field will set off a chain reaction across Asia to launch an explosion of greening efforts in existing buildings, " he added.

The press conference was attended by Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, Minister of Environment Protection Administration Stephen Shu-hung Shen, the LEED consultants who flew in from Singapore, the United States and Switzerland, and representatives of Taipei 101's tenants.

(By Rachel Chan)



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