Shanghai Tower, China

At the time of its topping out in August 2013, the Shanghai Tower was China’s tallest structure and the centrepiece of the city's skyline.  

With a distinctive helix-like façade, it will also become the world’s tallest double skin building.

Aurecon was engaged to provide engineering design for mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) services, as well as facade engineering design with Gensler Architects and building science services.

This involved integrating services design with environmentally sustainable design objectives, the structural framework and varying surface geometry. To achieve this, we undertook extensive analysis to address the building’s complex design issues.

Aurecon also undertook extensive building science, geometric analysis and wind tunnel testing to address the building’s complex design issues, integrating sustainable design objectives, the structural framework and varying surface geometry. The project’s unique double layer system combines an inner façade with a fully unitised curtain wall with a warped outer surface. The façade system design achieves tolerances from -10 millimetre to +19 millimetre from thermal, wind pressure, seismic load, fabrication and installation movements.

The tower’s intelligent skin is setting new benchmarks in tall building façade design, with the innovative upward spiral design reducing wind loads and capturing rainwater for air-conditioning and central heating.