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Revolutionizing Sustainability in Shanghai: Achieving LEED Platinum in a Supertall Building

Breathtaking view of the Shanghai Tower from above

Cosentini, part of the Tetra Tech High Performance Buildings Group, partnered with the client to create a sustainable vertical city, achieving 21 percent energy reduction and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum” rating.


The client’s challenge was to establish a new regional standard for building systems through a bioclimatic design for their ambitious project—a self-contained, vertical city spanning over 500,000 square meters (5,500,000 square feet). With premium office spaces, restaurants, retail shops, a boutique hotel, cultural venues, and the world’s highest open observation deck, the client sought to make a significant impact on the environment, community, and operational efficiency. The Shanghai Tower rises 632 meters (2,073 feet), making it the tallest building in China.


Tetra Tech rose to the challenge with a comprehensive solution that embraced cutting-edge differentiators and innovative approaches. Our team implemented an array of sustainable features, including an intelligent skin that optimizes temperature control by regulating heat exchange with the external environment. By integrating water and waste management systems, utilizing sustainable materials, and incorporating landscape and ecology elements, we enhanced indoor air quality and reduced the building’s carbon footprint.

Collaborating closely with the project’s architects, we devised a cooling-focused atrium buffer zone and introduced state-of-the-art technologies such as heat recovery systems, variable air volume air conditioning, and demand-control ventilation. Notably, we also integrated wind turbines, a geothermal system, an ice storage system, a gray water system, and a combined heat and power system to maximize energy efficiency and sustainability.


Our comprehensive approach yielded remarkable benefits for the client. The building achieved the prestigious LEED Platinum rating, positioning it as one of the most sustainable supertall high-rises. By reducing energy consumption by 21 percent and lifecycle energy costs by 45 percent, our solution not only drove significant cost savings but also exemplified our commitment to sustainable development. Moreover, our energy-efficient design prioritized user comfort, system reliability, and high indoor air quality through the implementation of high-quality equipment and an intelligent building automation system. Cosentini’s transformative work created a cost-effective, sustainable building that will have a lasting positive impact on the environment and the community it serves.

Shanghai Tower achieved a LEED Platinum rating.

At a glance


632 meters (2,073 feet)


Shanghai Tower & Construction Co., Ltd



Completion date



Mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, telecommunications, audio visual, security systems design

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Beautiful Shanghai city skyline during sunset
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