The Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou City, China, is one that architects call the most energy-efficient skyscrapers in the world.
It was designed by Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) as a “net zero-energy” building that would sell its excess power to the local electrical grid. The wind is drawn through the building’s body and into a series of turbines, which generate electricity for the offices within. In addition to driving turbines, the wind that is pulled in is also routed throughout the tower’s ventilation system.
Moreover, large scale solar panels are installed on the building’s façade to generate energy from sunlight. Use of natural lighting is maximized via controls that respond to light and are integrated into a system of automated blinds.