Hong Kong's New Tallest
The floors areas are somewhat smaller near the top, giving the structure a gently tapering appearance on the skyline. It is topped by a sculptural "crown" reaching inward and upward. At 1400 feet (420 meters), the building is the highest in Hong Kong, a city known for its many highrises.
Building services engineering firm J. Roger Preston devised a cooling system using seawater and a system of 62 elevators that satisfies a target waiting time of only 30 seconds despite a projected building population of 15,000. Two independent permanent power supplies serve the building with dual risers to each floor. Despite this redundancy, there are also backup generators.
During the tower's construction in 2001, the World Trade Center in New York was attacked, causing the Two ifc structural engineers from Arup to review the safety of their design. Leslie Robertson assured clients that the Hong Kong building had been engineered to withstand far greater pressures than the older New York highrises.
Quoted in the South China Morning Post on the event of the building's opening in December 2003, Robertson said: "Life is a risk and you cannot base engineering decisions on severe catastrophic events, like an airliner hitting them or an atomic device going off. The biggest realistic risk in any building is fire, and I believe Two ifc has extremely good measures both structurally and in terms of regulations and evacuation. It can also withstand huge wind loads. I would say if not the safest, it is one of the safest buildings on the planet."
Wind loads governed the original structural design, which should be able to withstand the force of 200-year typhoons. The extensive use of concrete for the core and mega-columns provides superior robustness against impact and fire-resistance compared to other common types of highrise construction.
Structural redundancy is such that large sections of the building could be damaged without resulting in collapse. There are four stairwells for emergency evacuation, which could be accomplished in less than half an hour in the event of extreme events.
This will leave the building's occupants free, no doubt, to work in peace and to enjoy the amenities of upscale shopping and dining in a beautiful location within easy access to Hong Kong's airport, trains, and ferries.
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Developers: Sun Hung Kai Properties, Henderson Land Development, The Hong Kong and China Gas Company, and The Sun Chung Estate Company
Architects: Cesar Pelli & Associates and Rocco Design Ltd.
Structural engineer: Arup
Civil engineer: Maunsell Consultants Asia Ltd.
Building services engineers: J. Roger Preston Ltd.
Quantity surveyor: Levett & Bailey
General contractor: E. Man-Sanfield JV Construction Co., Ltd.