Shanghai Tower, set to be the world’s second tallest skyscraper upon completion, will also exemplify the virtues of green building in a nation struggling to deal with the environmental ramifications of breakneck industrialisation.

The building will stand 632 metres in height, second only to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in terms of vertical scale, and will be a titanic accomplishment even by the impressive standards of the Shanghai skyline.

Featuring over half a million square metres of floor space and 106 elevators, it will weigh around 1,200 metric tonnes and will be able to accommodate as many as 30,000 people.

Just as significant will be the incorporation of green building attributes, which reflect broader efforts to bolster the sustainability of China’s heavily polluted cities.

A full third of Shanghai Tower is dedicated to green space, making the skyscraper a veritable vertical array of gardens and parks.

“When you come into the building the first couple floors are gardens and green walls, and every 14 floors there’s what I would consider to be a city,” says Dan Winey, head of Asia operations for Gensler, the company responsible for designing the tower.

The building features a total of three 14-storey atrium spaces, while sky gardens also line the perimeters of the building.

shanghai tower

Shanghai Tower – The New Second Tallest Building In The World

In addition to loading the floors of the building with green spaces, the designers of Shanghai Tower have also gone to great lengths to vary and elaborate their character.

Each of the parks has a different theme, with one providing a tropic setting, and another serving as host to a range of indigenous fauna.

Winey also points out that the parks will serve as interactive spaces, hosting cafes and restaurants, as well as cultural activities such as art exhibitions.

“The idea is to bring people into the building, to go into public spaces to experience events,” he told FastCompany.

In order to give as many people as possible the opportunity to enjoy Shanghai Tower’s green spaces, the skyscraper will incorporate special security measures which will allow members of the public to access the parks via separate entry points while ensuring that office areas are still restricted.

Other sustainability features will include a transparent skin ensconcing the entire structure, which will regulate the building’s temperature by drawing in external air from the lower floors.