Will Trapezoidal Glass Impact Efficiency for the Beijing Greenland Center?

Beijing tower reflects on energy efficiency with trapezoidal glass facade

Gizmag, June 27, 2016

From a distance, the Beijing Greenland Center recently-completed by the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) may look like any of the other rectangular skyscrapers that dot China’s capital city. Look a little closer, however, and you’ll see that the tower features an elegant trapezoidal glass facade that’s claimed to improve its energy performance.

The pattern of the glazed facade is inspired by the bas-relief sculpting technique and comprises two types of trapezoidal Low-E (efficient) glass modules. One tapers upward, the other downward, with the two alternating across the facade, refracting the daylight inside and out.

SOM says that the trapezoid glass facade improves the building’s thermal performance, cutting down on solar heat gain compared to a completely flat glass facade.

Indeed, the firm aims for the Beijing Greenland Center to achieve a 30 percent reduction in energy use and water consumption compared to a baseline building, however it’s not clear exactly what this baseline is. Architectural Digest reports that it refers to other towers throughout China, but we’re awaiting comment from SOM.

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Image credit: Credit: Courtesy SOM © LV Hengzhong