As the technology around us constantly changes, it’s just as important to recognise the way that buildings are changing too. So, where do you need to visit if you want to see the world’s most advanced buildings? Oasys, experts in building design software, tell us more:
The Burj Khalifa, Dubai
In Dubai is the Burj Khalifa, also known as the Burj Dubai, which is the tallest structure in the world. It stands at 2,722 ft and construction began in 2004. Many decisions had to be made to ensure that this neo-futurism structure was able to serve its purpose, acknowledging that it would be a free-standing building and understanding the hot climate it would be situated in.
In Dubai residents and buildings rely on the desalination of plants to retrieve sea water and turn it into fresh, this is then pumped to skyscrapers, such as the Burj Khalifa, through a series of underground water networks. When the water hits the Burj, it is distributed to every corner of every floor on every level. However, with 163 floors, this can become a complicated process, which shows us just how special the Burj Khalifa actually is in terms of design.
When the four architects were designing the structure, they decided that using one pump would be dangerous, as forcing water high up would take extreme pressure, which could then lead the pipes to explode. To counter this problem, they came up with a plan to help the water flow up the building in different stages.
The water flows up from the tower basement to the 40 th floor. Here, the water continues to a series of 200,000-gallon tanks until it reaches the top of the building. As the water reaches the top, the water then travels back down under its own weight — it is said that 946,000 litres of water are supplied per day which also helps the building stay cool in the hot climate.
Since the building is essentially in the desert, ensuring that the building remains cool is essential. Therefore, another water supply — an ice-chilled water system which is the first of its kind to be used in the Middle East — has also been implemented to enable substantial energy savings.
Taipei 101, Taiwan
Taipei 101 is a platinum certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) build which was once the tallest building in the world before the Burj Khalifa surpassed it in 2008 — but the Taipei 101 did not only compete in height. Up until 2016, the structure had the fastest elevator on the planet, which could travel from the 5th to 89th floor in 37 seconds!
Taiwan is home to a varied range of buildings — from traditional builds, like Fort Provintia, to ultra-modern constructions, like the Tuntex Sky Tower which looks as though it belongs in Batman’s Gotham City. But what makes it so spectacular? Starting construction in 1999 and ending in 2004, the Taipei has 101 floors (if the name had not given it away) and is 1,666 ft in height — but the environmental factors that took over its design has changed the way we build for good.
Unfortunately, Taiwan is a hotspot for natural disasters, from earthquakes to typhoons and architects must design with this in mind. When it comes to Taipei 101, the structure can withstand high winds of 134 mph, which is due to the model prioritising resistance through the use of curtain walls, protected glass and high-performance steel. The walls can provide heat and ultraviolet protection by blocking external heat by 50%.
Taipei 101 is made up of 36 columns of steel, eight of which are known as mega columns which have 10,000 pounds of concrete per inch. Within Taipei 101, there are outrigger trusses every eight floors which connect to the columns within the exterior to ensure secure resistance from probable natural disasters in and around Taiwan.
Apple Park, Campus 2, California
Tech-giant Apple, is known as one of the most influential companies in the world, and it’s recently moved premises. Worth a staggering $234.7bn, the company, which is now one of the biggest on the planet, was able to invest a further $5bn into a new building and move its tremendous workforce into a circular futuristic structure. The new office-space, which opened in April 2017 midway through construction, is made up of 175 acres — and is even bigger than The Pentagon.
The entire roof is made of solar panels too — allowing it to become one of the most efficient buildings in the world in terms of energy saving. The solar panels are capable of generating 17 megawatts of power (75% during peak daytime) and the company has aims to make the complex entirely powered by renewable energy in the future. Another four megawatts are powered through the use of biofuel and natural gas within the complex, using Bloom Energy Servers which are popular within the Californian region, with Google, Yahoo and Wal-Mart using them, too.
The introduction of natural heating, ventilation and air control (HVAC) has been highly prioritised for the design of this structure. To achieve this, air is allowed to flow freely between the inside and outside of the building, which can help assist for nine months of the entire year — highlighting the importance of such features in the DNA of design.
As we can see, there are a range of advanced buildings around the world that represent our advancements in architectural technology. If you ever find yourself in one of these countries on your travels, make sure you stop to see the buildings of the future.