Shanghai Tower

Located in Shanghai’s Luijiazui financial district, the award-winning Shanghai Tower rises 632 meters (128 stories), making it the tallest building in China. Shanghai Tower & Construction Co., Ltd selected Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group to help create a towering structure that is a benchmark for sustainable design and technological innovation in China.


  • Size: 5,500,000 square feet (510,966 square meters)
  • Client: Shanghai Tower & Construction Co., Ltd
  • Architect: Gensler
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Designed to be a self-contained, vertical city, the project encompasses more than 5,500,000 square feet and includes premium (Class A) office space, restaurants, retail shops, a boutique hotel, and cultural venues. The tower’s uppermost floors house the world’s highest, open observation deck and a conference center. The building’s podium levels include high-end retail stores, and the below-grade levels contain parking, connections to the metro system, and additional event spaces.

Tetra Tech provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering services for this iconic building. Our team also provided telecommunications, audiovisual, and security systems design in close coordination with the firm’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing team.

The client aimed to create a new, regional benchmark for building systems using a bioclimatic design. This design included an intelligent skin, integrated water and waste management systems, ultra-low energy use and low carbon emissions, sustainable materials, and integrated landscape and ecology for improved indoor air quality. The intelligent skin is a double-skin facade that reduces heating and cooling loads by keeping the sun’s heat out in the summer and the building’s heat in during the winter. The building harvests rainwater, recycles grey water, and is equipped with low-consumption toilets, sinks, and other fixtures.

Tetra Tech’s lighting experts designed an advanced system that reduces the building’s energy usage by 30 percent. Our team improved energy efficiencies by incorporating a key card system that turns off lights and shuts down non-critical plug loads when the room is unoccupied, as well as advanced lighting controls and light emitting diodes (LED) fixtures.

Working closely with the project’s architects, our team helped develop an atrium buffer zone to reduce cooling costs and minimize stack effect. Tetra Tech also implemented other sustainable aspects of the building’s design, including features such as heat recovery systems, multiple central plants for low transport energy and effective heat transfer, and overhead variable air volume air conditioning systems with demand-control ventilation. The design also includes wind turbines, a geothermal system for back-of-house spaces in the basement of the tower, an ice storage system, a greywater system, and a 3.0-megawatt combined heat and power system. These systems reduce the building’s energy use and lifecycle cost and contributed to it achieving a LEED Platinum rating, making it one of the most sustainable supertall high-rises.

Tetra Tech’s energy-efficient design included high-quality and high-efficiency equipment to reduce source energy consumption and a building automation system that incorporates control strategies to minimize energy consumption while maintaining user comfort, system reliability, and high indoor air quality. The building’s design strategies helped create a cost-effective, sustainable building. The energy-saving design reduced consumption by 21 percent and reduced the lifecycle energy cost by 45 percent.

Image courtesy of Gensler