151
Global
Height rank

Pearl River Tower

Guangzhou
Height
1
To Tip:

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest point of the building, irrespective of material or function of the highest element (i.e., including antennae, flagpoles, signage and other functional-technical equipment).

309.4 m / 1,015 ft
2
Architectural:

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment. This measurement is the most widely utilized and is employed to define the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) rankings of the "World's Tallest Buildings."

309.4 m / 1,015 ft
3
Occupied:

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest occupied floor within the building.

289.9 m / 951 ft
1 2 3 Pearl River Tower Outline
Floors
Above Ground

The number of floors above ground should include the ground floor level and be the number of main floors above ground, including any significant mezzanine floors and major mechanical plant floors. Mechanical mezzanines should not be included if they have a significantly smaller floor area than the major floors below. Similarly, mechanical penthouses or plant rooms protruding above the general roof area should not be counted. Note: CTBUH floor counts may differ from published accounts, as it is common in some regions of the world for certain floor levels not to be included (e.g., the level 4, 14, 24, etc. in Hong Kong).

71
Below Ground

The number of floors below ground should include all major floors located below the ground floor level.

5
Height 309.4 m / 1,015 ft
Floors 71
Official Name
The current legal building name.

Pearl River Tower

Type
CTBUH collects data on two major types of tall structures: 'Buildings' and 'Telecommunications / Observation Towers.' A 'Building' is a structure where at least 50% of the height is occupied by usable floor area. A 'Telecommunications / Observation Tower' is a structure where less than 50% of the structure's height is occupied by usable floor area. Only 'Buildings' are eligible for the CTBUH 'Tallest Buildings' lists.

Building

Status
Completed
Architecturally Topped Out
Structurally Topped Out
Under Construction
Proposed
On Hold
Never Completed
Vision
Competition Entry
Canceled
Proposed Renovation
Under Renovation
Renovated
Under Demolition
Demolished

Completed

Completion

2013

Country
The CTBUH follows the United Nations's definition of Country, and thus uses the lists and codes established by that organization.

China

City
The CTBUH follows the United Nations's definition of City, and thus uses the lists and codes established by that organization.

Guangzhou

Function
A single-function tall building is defined as one where 85% or more of its usable floor area is dedicated to a single usage. Thus a building with 90% office floor area would be said to be an "office" building, irrespective of other minor functions it may also contain.

A mixed-use tall building contains two or more functions (or uses), where each of the functions occupy a significant proportion of the tower's total space. Support areas such as car parks and mechanical plant space do not constitute mixed-use functions. Functions are denoted on CTBUH "Tallest Building" lists in descending order, e.g., "hotel/office" indicates hotel function above office function.

office

Structural Material
Steel
Both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning systems are constructed from steel. Note that a building of steel construction with a floor system of concrete planks or concrete slab on top of steel beams is still considered a “steel” structure as the concrete elements are not acting as the primary structure.

Reinforced Concrete
Both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning systems are constructed from concrete which has been cast in place and utilizes steel reinforcement bars.

Precast Concrete
Both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning system are constructed from steel reinforced concrete which has been precast as individual components and assembled together on-site.

Mixed-Structure
Utilizes distinct systems (e.g. steel, concrete, timber), one on top of the other. For example, a steel/concrete indicates a steel structural system located on top of a concrete structural system, with the opposite true of concrete/steel.

Composite
A combination of materials (e.g. steel, concrete, timber) are used together in the main structural elements. Examples include buildings which utilize: steel columns with a floor system of reinforced concrete beams; a steel frame system with a concrete core; concrete-encased steel columns; concrete-filled steel tubes; etc. Where known, the CTBUH database breaks out the materials used in a composite building’s core, columns, and floor spanning separately.

composite

Core
Reinforced Concrete
Columns
Concrete Encased Steel
Floor Spanning
Steel
Height
Architectural
Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment. This measurement is the most widely utilized and is employed to define the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) rankings of the "World's Tallest Buildings."

309.4 m / 1,015 ft

To Tip
Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest point of the building, irrespective of material or function of the highest element (i.e., including antennae, flagpoles, signage and other functional-technical equipment).
309.4 m / 1,015 ft
Occupied
Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest occupied floor within the building.
289.9 m / 951 ft
Floors Above Ground
The number of floors above ground should include the ground floor level and be the number of main floors above ground, including any significant mezzanine floors and major mechanical plant floors. Mechanical mezzanines should not be included if they have a significantly smaller floor area than the major floors below. Similarly, mechanical penthouses or plant rooms protruding above the general roof area should not be counted. Note: CTBUH floor counts may differ from published accounts, as it is common in some regions of the world for certain floor levels not to be included (e.g., the level 4, 14, 24, etc. in Hong Kong).

71

Floors Below Ground
The number of floors below ground should include all major floors located below the ground floor level.

5

# of Parking Spaces
Number of Parking Spaces refers to the total number of car parking spaces contained within a particular building.

852

# of Elevators
Number of Elevators refers to the total number of elevator cars (not shafts) contained within a particular building (including public, private and freight elevators).

29

Top Elevator Speed
Top Elevator Speed refers to the top speed capable of being achieved by an elevator within a particular building, measured in meters per second.

9 m/s

Tower GFA
Tower GFA refers to the total gross floor area within the tower footprint, not including adjoining podiums, connected buildings or other towers within the development.

165,840 m² / 1,785,087 ft²

Rankings
#
151
Tallest in the World
#
96
Tallest in Asia
#
82
Tallest in China
#
7
Tallest in Guangzhou
#
57
Tallest Office Building in the World
#
39
Tallest Office Building in Asia
#
34
Tallest Office Building in China
#
5
Tallest Office Building in Guangzhou
#
92
Tallest Composite Building in the World
#
80
Tallest Composite Building in Asia
#
74
Tallest Composite Building in China
#
6
Tallest Composite Building in Guangzhou
Construction Schedule
2005

Proposed

2006

Construction Start

2013

Completed

Architect
Design

Usually involved in the front end design, with a "typical" condition being that of a leadership role through either Schematic Design or Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

Structural Engineer
Design

The Design Engineer is usually involved in the front end design, typically taking the leadership role in the Schematic Design and Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

MEP Engineer
Design

The Design Engineer is usually involved in the front end design, typically taking the leadership role in the Schematic Design and Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

Contractor
Main Contractor

The main contractor is the supervisory contractor of all construction work on a project, management of sub-contractors and vendors, etc. May be referred to as "Construction Manager," however, for consistency CTBUH uses the term "Main Contractor" exclusively.

Other Consultant

Other Consultant refers to other organizations which provided significant consultation services for a building project (e.g. wind consultants, environmental consultants, fire and life safety consultants, etc).

Façade

These are firms that consult on the design of a building's façade. May often be referred to as "Cladding," "Envelope," "Exterior Wall," or "Curtain Wall" Consultant, however, for consistency CTBUH uses the term "Façade Consultant" exclusively.

Landscape
Wind
Material Supplier

Material Supplier refers to organizations which supplied significant systems/materials for a building project (e.g. elevator suppliers, facade suppliers, etc).

Façade Maintenance Equipment
Paint/Coating
Owner/Developer
The Guangzhou Pearl River Tower Properties
Architect
Design

Usually involved in the front end design, with a "typical" condition being that of a leadership role through either Schematic Design or Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

Architect of Record

Usually takes on the balance of the architectural effort not executed by the "Design Architect," typically responsible for the construction documents, conforming to local codes, etc. May often be referred to as "Executive," "Associate," or "Local" Architect, however, for consistency CTBUH uses the term "Architect of Record" exclusively.

Guangzhou Design Institute
Structural Engineer
Design

The Design Engineer is usually involved in the front end design, typically taking the leadership role in the Schematic Design and Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

MEP Engineer
Design

The Design Engineer is usually involved in the front end design, typically taking the leadership role in the Schematic Design and Design Development, and then a monitoring role through the CD and CA phases.

Contractor
Main Contractor

The main contractor is the supervisory contractor of all construction work on a project, management of sub-contractors and vendors, etc. May be referred to as "Construction Manager," however, for consistency CTBUH uses the term "Main Contractor" exclusively.

Other Consultant

Other Consultant refers to other organizations which provided significant consultation services for a building project (e.g. wind consultants, environmental consultants, fire and life safety consultants, etc).

Acoustics
Shen Milsom Wilke, Inc.
Façade

These are firms that consult on the design of a building's façade. May often be referred to as "Cladding," "Envelope," "Exterior Wall," or "Curtain Wall" Consultant, however, for consistency CTBUH uses the term "Façade Consultant" exclusively.

Landscape
Vertical Transportation
Fortune Shepler Consulting
Wind
Material Supplier

Material Supplier refers to organizations which supplied significant systems/materials for a building project (e.g. elevator suppliers, facade suppliers, etc).

Cladding
Jangho Group Co., Ltd.
Façade Maintenance Equipment
Paint/Coating
Jotun; AkzoNobel

CTBUH Awards & Distinctions

Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia 2013 Award of Excellence

2013 CTBUH Awards

CTBUH Initiatives

First CAF-CTBUH Lecture Series Draws Crowd, Rave Reviews

16 March 2017 - Event

CTBUH Releases Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2012

31 December 2012 - CTBUH Journal

Videos

16 March 2017 | Guangzhou

Building Tall Skyscraper Lecture Series: How High Can We Go?

Thursday, March 16, 2017. Chicago, United States of America. Hosted in collaboration with the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the first lecture of the series Building Tall...

Research

17 October 2016

SOM and China: Evolving Skyscraper Design Amid Rapid Urban Growth

Scott Duncan & Yue Zhu, SOM

China’s rapid urban and economic growth has challenged designers, engineers, and planners to innovate and collaborate to meet the needs of a changing country. Skidmore,...

About Pearl River Tower

Using some of the most sophisticated technologies currently available, the designers of Pearl River Tower created a highly integrated structure that derives its efficiencies by applying previously tested solutions in a combination never before accomplished at such at large scale. It was important to both the client and the design team that a holistic approach be used, so as to avoid an array of solutions that might be conceptually compelling, but would not survive the rigors of design development and future value-engineering exercises. This demanded a design approach that was not form-driven, but performance-based, with all systems having a degree of interdependency.

Thus, the building has been carefully shaped to use natural forces to maximize its energy efficiency. The tower’s sculpted body directs wind to a pair of openings at its mechanical floors, pushing turbines that generate energy for the building. East and west elevations are straight, while the south façade is concave; the north façade is convex. The south side of the building is dramatically sculpted to direct wind through the four openings, two at each mechanical level.

The building’s siting and evocative curving shape work together to drive performance. Its generally rectangular floor plate has been shifted slightly from Guangzhou’s orthogonal grid in order to maximize use of prevailing breezes, and to better capture the sun’s energy through the strategic location of photovoltaics.

The tower’s shading system uses automated, daylight-responsive blinds set within the building’s double-skin façade, thereby reducing the building management’s operational needs. Its ventilation/dehumidification system uses heat collected from the double-skin façade as an energy source. The integrated façade assembly provides very good thermal performance, as well a high level of natural daylight to the space. Low-energy, high-efficiency lighting systems use radiant panel geometry to assist in the distribution of light. The double-skin façade also allows greater flexibility in the layout of office space, as it reduces the amount of internal mechanical chases required for ventilation, heating and cooling.

The tower’s mechanical design approach also allowed architects to reduce the building’s floor-to-floor height from 4.2 meters to 3.9 meters, reducing the number of constructed stories by five. Occupants can be comfortably positioned close to perimeter walls. The radiant cooling, chilled ceiling and decoupled ventilation system provides improved human thermal comfort, efficient heat exchange, and improved office acoustics. The ventilation system is delivered via a raised access floor, providing improved indoor air quality and air change effectiveness. There is also a reduced cost of tenant fit-out and future retrofits due to the absence of fan coils, VAV boxes, filters, ductwork, insulation, and other items typically requiring tenant-specific alterations.

While it is the combination of performance-driven curving shape and exposed vertical-axis wind turbines that fuse Pearl River Tower into the public perception of the Guangzhou skyline, its most significant impact is drawn from the level of integration between sustainable design elements. The combination of turbines, shading systems, a double-skin façade with energy-efficient lighting, ventilation, and mechanical design all work together complementarily, resulting in a substantial decrease in the amount of electrical power required to operate the building’s HVAC and lighting systems. Full implementation of Pearl River Tower’s sustainable strategies will result in an overall energy savings of approximately 30 percent as compared to a conventionally designed building of the same scale, constructed to comform to the Chinese baseline energy code.

CTBUH Awards & Distinctions

Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia 2013 Award of Excellence

2013 CTBUH Awards

16 March 2017 | Guangzhou

Building Tall Skyscraper Lecture Series: How High Can We Go?

Thursday, March 16, 2017. Chicago, United States of America. Hosted in collaboration with the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the first lecture of the series Building Tall...

12 September 2014 | Guangzhou

Building Access Solutions - Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou, China

The Pearl River Tower was designed with energy efficiency in mind. Its roof is lined with solar panels and therefore has no terrace space to...

21 September 2012 | Guangzhou

Fire & Life Safety Challenges in Sustainable Tall Building Design

The movement towards sustainable building design can result in unique fire protection challenges and concerns, especially with tall buildings in relationship to traditional prescriptive code...

19 September 2012 | Guangzhou

Climate, Cladding, and Conditioning Systems

This presentation examines the impact of building massing, the window to wall ratio (WWR), and two essential components of high-rise design – building envelope performance...

19 September 2012 | Guangzhou

From Jin Mao to Kingdom: Search for an Asian Supertall Vernacular

This presentation presents the evolution of Mr. Smith’s career as a designer of supertall buildings, from Shanghai’s Jin Mao Tower, completed in 1999, to Kingdom...

03 November 2011 | Guangzhou

Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award: 40 Years of Designing the Supertall

As one of the world’s foremost experts on supertall buildings, Adrian has contributed greatly to the development of this highly specialized building type. Adrian will...

03 February 2010 | Guangzhou

Sustainable Strategies for High-Rise Buildings

High rise buildings present opportunities for passive and active sustainable strategies that are not so readily available to their less tall counterparts. This presentation demonstrates...

23 October 2009 | Guangzhou

Towards Zero Energy in China - Pearl River Tower

The Pearl River Tower was conceived as a ‘net zero energy’ operating skyscraper i.e. it would generate enough energy to offset its own demand. With...

05 March 2008 | Guangzhou

Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou: Fire Protection Strategies for an Energy Efficient High-Rise Building

Fang Li and James Antell, Rolf Jensen & Associates, discussed the 71 stories Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou at the CTBUH 8th World Congress in Dubai....

03 March 2008 | Guangzhou

Overview of Sustainable Design Factors in High-Rise Buildings

Mir Ali and Paul Armstrong from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discussed the critical design factors and strategies that warrant consideration to accomplish sustainable...

17 October 2016

SOM and China: Evolving Skyscraper Design Amid Rapid Urban Growth

Scott Duncan & Yue Zhu, SOM

China’s rapid urban and economic growth has challenged designers, engineers, and planners to innovate and collaborate to meet the needs of a changing country. Skidmore,...

16 September 2014

Closing the Gap between Fantasy and Reality: Pushing Current Technologies Into the Future

Terri Meyer Boake, University of Waterloo

The tall building is a discrete architectural type. The causal aspects of its evolution can assist in determining which aspects will be of the most...

01 June 2014

Case Study: Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou

Richard Tomlinson II, William Baker, Luke Leung, et al. Skidmore Owings & Merrill

SOM’s design for the 71-story Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou, China, was selected in a 2005 competition. The 309-meter-tall high-performance building was designed with energy...

09 May 2013

Tall Buildings: Imaginative Façades Solutions

Mimi Daraphet, Meinhardt Facade

Façades simply taken in isolation can be complex. A combination of design, engineering, fabrication and installation expertise is important to address all aspects of façade...

13 January 2013

Pearl River Tower Guangzhou, China

Acknowledged as the world’s most energyefficient ‘green’ building, the gently curved Pearl River Tower is constantly in the public spotlight and media. Architects Skidmore, Owings...

31 December 2012

Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2012

Kevin Brass, Antony Wood & Marty Carver, CTBUH

For the first time in six years the number of tall buildings completed annually around the world declined as the effects of the global financial...

19 September 2012

From Jin Mao to Kingdom: Search for an Asian Supertall Vernacular

Adrian Smith, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

The paper traces the evolution of Mr. Smith’s career as a designer of supertall buildings, the Jin Mao Tower (1999) to Kingdom Tower, to be...

03 March 2008

Case Study: Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou, China

Roger E. Frechette III & Russell Gilchrist, SOM

This paper will attempt to both define what is meant by ‘carbon neutral’ in the context of building design as well as using the case...

03 March 2008

Fire Protection Strategies for an Energy Efficient High- Rise Building

Fang Li, James Antell & Martin Reiss, RJA

The Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou, China features numerous design strategies to reduce energy demand, which include among others vertical axis wind turbine and radiant...

16 March 2017

First CAF-CTBUH Lecture Series Draws Crowd, Rave Reviews

The CTBUH, in conjunction with the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF), held the first of the four-part “Building Tall” lecture series at the CAF lecture hall.

31 December 2012

CTBUH Releases Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2012

For the first time in six years the number of tall buildings completed annually around the world declined as the effects of the global financial crisis became evident.