Thornton Tomasetti announces topping out of Shanghai Tower, China’s tallest building, after four years of construction

Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm, announces the topping out of Shanghai Tower, the 2,073-foot-tall, 4,090,285 square-foot, mixed-use tower currently under construction in Shanghai, China, for which the firm provided structural services. Shanghai Tower was designed by Gensler, the global design and architecture firm and developed by Shanghai Tower Construction & Development Co. Construction began on the tower in 2008, and is slated for completion in 2014.

Key Points:

Located in Shanghai’s “super tall district,” Shanghai Tower accompanies Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center, creating a trio of super tall buildings in the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone.

The tower will have Class A office space, retail, a luxury hotel, and cultural venues. The world’s highest observation deck will sit atop the uppermost floors.

Shanghai Tower is the second tallest building in the world, and the tallest building in China once completed.

Thornton Tomasetti provided structural engineering and curtain wall peer review services for Shanghai Tower, creating a structural system that enables the tower to have its distinctive twisting, tapering shape, rotating 120 degrees as it rises.

The exterior of the tower drapes around an inner concrete structure, comprising nine cylinders stacked atop each other. The super-columns with outriggers support the twisting-form curtain wall, offering an effective system for resisting wind and seismic loads for super tall buildings.

Shanghai Tower’s outer skin features laminated glass panels that filter the sun, wind and rain. Its inner skin encloses the interior space with a conventional unitized low-E coated insulating glass curtain wall with operable solar control devices. The double curtain wall provides natural ventilation and cooling, and collects and recycles rain water.