Innovation That Matters

Natural materials and zero-waste processes should help reduce building emissions dramatically | Photo source SOM - Bezier

A sustainable skyscraper inspired by bamboo forests

Architecture & Design

This mixed-use skyscraper design combines technology with nature

Spotted: With the boom of urbanisation across the globe, increasingly, the world’s biggest cities are looking for ways to increase building capacity. Skyscrapers signify huge architectural accomplishment and there is an ongoing race between nations to construct taller and taller buildings – global skyscraper construction has risen by a striking 402 per cent since the start of the century. However, non-domestic high-rise buildings have huge carbon footprints, generating 140 per cent more emissions during their service lifetime than lower-rise buildings, even when the number of inhabitants remains the same.

Because construction of such buildings is unlikely to stop, the need to create more sustainable equivalents is essential. World-renowned architecture, planning, and engineering company, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), aims to do just this with its 8 Shenton Way project in Singapore, which will become the city’s tallest building, as well as one of Asia’s most sustainable skyscrapers upon its completion. Inspired by bamboo forests, the design centres on a combination of technology and wellbeing, with an abundance of green spaces and direct connectivity to an underground station.

Situated on over 10,000 square metres of land, the 305-metre-high structure will contain 63 stories with space for offices, luxury apartments, retail outlets, a hotel, and public performances and events. Seven garden terraces, including an open-air restaurant on the second level, will provide inviting green spaces and plants will be specifically chosen to attract birds and butterflies.

To make the build as sustainable as possible, SOM will reuse some of the area’s existing infrastructure and foundation, with materials chosen specifically to minimise embodied and operational carbon and much of the concrete also being made with recyclable aggregates. The team plans to finish construction in 2028 and meet the highest sustainability mark in the region – the Building Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA) Green Mark Platinum Certification.

After a significant pause in global construction, the world’s emergence from pandemic lockdowns has inspired new innovations in skyscraper architecture. Springwise has spotted a living high-rise concept made from genetically modified trees and a horizontal skyscraper in China.

Written By: Keely Khoury




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