How One of World’s Tallest Buildings Minimizes Energy Consumption

One of the central challenges facing supertall towers is that they are prodigious consumers of energy.

The Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea, shows the path forward for urban density. It is far more than a high-performance supertall building. It demonstrates how to successfully accomplish commercial, sustainability and civic goals within a supertall vertical structure within urban centers.

The slender tower soars 1,821 ft and is the world’s sixth tallest building.

To minimizing energy and water consumption, the MEP design incorporates:

  • Displacement air and a radiant floor cooling/heating system for the eight-story atrium lobby rather than traditional—and highly inefficient—air-conditioning. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis was carried out for the lobby to investigate system performance.
  • 100-percent outside air units with energy recovery wheels to capture spill and exhaust air.
  • Variable-frequency drives for the majority of the HVAC equipment.
  • Geothermal, photovoltaics and Windspire turbines to provide a renewable source to support the building’s energy needs.
  • Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system to monitor and control power usage.
  • External shading and dimming systems to control interior light levels.
  • Water-saving features, including low-flow fixtures and greywater reuse, to yield anticipated water savings of 30 percent.
  • Independent but connected telecommunications, technology, security, audiovisual, lighting and control systems for resilience and integration into the building’s complex systems.