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Published on January 4th, 2015 | by Steve Hanley


Pertamina Builds Net Zero Skyscraper In Jakarta For HQ

January 4th, 2015 by  

Originally published on Green Building Elements.

Indonesia’s state-owned energy company, Pertamina, began construction on its new headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia in January, 2014. Designed by US architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the 1740′ tall, 99-story net zero skyscraper will generate as much energy as it uses, have zero waste discharge, and feature reduced water demand. The architects say this is “the world’s first supertall tower for which energy is the primary design driver.” JakartaThe tower’s design is heavily influenced by its location close to the Equator. Exterior sunshades block solar gain while letting sunlight through to illuminate the interior. The tapered top of the building creates a wind funnel that will harness the higher winds aloft. Solar panels are positioned around the perimeter of the building to capture the sun’s energy at all times of day and in all seasons.

The Pertamina Energy Tower and surrounding building will have about 20,000 employees. This will be a “city within a city, blending together living, working, and playing, while serving as a model of sustainability, efficiency, and collaborative workplace design,” said the design firm. An outdoor covered walkway called the Energy Ribbon will connect the public spaces around the tower such as an auditorium, gardens and a mosque. Its roof will support a large installation of solar panels.

The building will have a self-contained central power facility and will utilize geo-thermal energy to supplement the wind and solar energy systems. It is intended to be a model for sustainable construction and development throughout Indonesia.

Source | Images: EcoBusiness; Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Reprinted with permission.

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writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island. You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.

  • David in Bushwick

    Okay, am I the only one who wonders how such a densely stacked building in a dense city can be truly energy independent? It needs to be copied everywhere, if it proves successful.

    • Larmion

      The company plans to drill a geothermal well (Jakarta is on seismically active site, they only need to go a few hundred feet deep) and run a power plant on that.

      So it’s not actually building integrated energy generation, they’re ‘just’ building a power plant alongside the skyscraper.

  • Philip W

    Could you please also post the height in metres (same goes for car range) for international readers? It really gets quite annoying to have to convert miles and feet to metres/kilometres in every second article.

    • Yes, this is something I’ve committed to getting us doing in 2015. Need to start with that long Electric Car page… 😛

      • Philip W

        Very appreciated!

      • Larmion

        For cars, there’s a bit of a hurdle towards making the numbers meaningful for a non-American audience: different test cycles.

        If you were to simply take, for example, the e-Golf’s American MPGe and translate that into European ‘litres per 100km equivalent’ or American range in miles to km, you’d get a lot of people saying that your numbers are wrong because VW’s European sites advertise a far higher value.

        And you’d both be right: the American, much stricter, test cycle would give a lower range.

        Same for Japan, China and other major car markets.

        In short, save yourself the trouble. The numbers only apply to Americans anyway, so why try translate them into the metric system?

        • Yes, that’s why I initially didn’t do it. However, we get the request pretty often, and the official European range is so far from reality that I don’t it is useful, whereas providing the EPA range can at least tell someone, more or less, how far the car can go on a charge.

          • rocket science

            give me a break. they’re sitting in front of a computer that can either be used to calculate the conversion if they have the factor in their head, or google the conversion table like everyone else, including me, does when there is a unit of measure that I cant quickly do in my head. I’m sure Wolfram Alpha could probably help too. even better, you can bookmark pages, open a link in a new tab. really, it’s quite simple.

            additionally, the nice thing about when the units are in one form or another gives me a quick clue about what geographical location is being written about or in which sometimes helps understand a point of view or why a certain situation in an article might exist.

          • nakedChimp

            every time I read an article with just Fahrenheit, Miles, Pounds or Gallons and no metric units it flags it for me on an instant as being written by someone who stayed in the past and belongs to a minority on this planet..

  • Larmion

    Excellent, but let’s not forget that the vast majority of a building’s energy use comes from its embodied energy (the energy necessary to produce the building materials).

    Ultra-tall skyscrapers have extremely high embodied energy per square metre, especially when fancy architectural techniques such as vast glass facades are used. It’s quite possible for a skyscraper built to the highest standard to have a higher environmental impact than a poorly built modest five story building.

    Oh well, as long as tall buildings equate prestige, they’ll always be built. Until society’s perception changes, this is the best we can hope for.

    • Matt

      These are always complex questions. If you instead build 5 story buildings, then the land used would have been 20 times greater, well even more since you need space between them. Which also has negatives. Think a city that takes 20-25 times more area! Energy cost of roads, utilities, transportation, etc; all go up. I’m not saying which has more embedded and maintenance needs for energy; just saying the question is more complex than you imply.

      • Larmion

        Actually, it’s even more complex than you imply 😉

        Few people want to live in skyscrapers. Districts with a lot of them tend to give rise to business districts visited only for work, surrounded by large suburbs for residential/commercial use.

        Meanwhile, cities that have little high rise construction are subjectively experienced as more liveable, thereby encouraging the rise of mixed use neighborhoods where work, entertainment and living can occur in close proximity.

        Old European cities combine very high population densities with higher reported quality of life than more modern cities in Asia and America of comparable size with many high rise buildings. This is in part due to mixed use, but also due to overall better urban planning and more organic growth.

        In short, high rises tend to give rise to functionally segregated cities where the functions of an urban environment (living, working, entertainment, culture,…) are separate. The result is lower quality of life and to higher overall land and resource use, despite what the theorists of the twentieth century who spawned urban America assumed. More and more, the old ideas that shaped the centuries old cities of the Old Continent are making a comeback.

        TreeHugger, a site where many CleanTechnica writers occasionally post contributions, often does very interesting posts on urban planning and architecture. Check them out, they’re a good antidote to the outmoded belief of top-down urban planning with lots of megaprojects.

        • Offgridman

          I understand your concern with high rise buildings that were dedicated to just business use so resulted in expanded areas for housing, entertainment, and recreation. It would seem that this structure is attempting to avoid that though.
          “This will be a “city within a city,
          blending together living, working, and playing, while serving as a model of sustainability, efficiency, and collaborative workplace design,” said the design firm. An outdoor covered walkway called the Energy Ribbon will connect the public spaces around the tower such as an auditorium, gardens and a mosque. Its roof will support a large installation of solar panels”
          So not just a building for people to work at, but an area for them to live and work in.
          At some time in the future the concerns of imbedded energy might cause the demise of high rise buildings, but with world population so high for the time being we need concentrated areas of population in order to maintain the limited areas of wild space left.
          The population concentration for land area of some countries is much higher than what you have in Europe, or at least much higher for the practically usable spaces. While the European design of cities might be practical for those countries it also makes sense that other countries around the world might need to find ways to have higher concentration of people in smaller areas. So if a building such as this makes it possible to not only work but have a good lifestyle in the same space, why not? Even in recent articles on this site different building styles in Europe that win awards for efficiency incorporate living, business entertainment, and outdoor space all in the same same building. This is just doing it on a larger scale.

  • Marcelo

    Sounds great and well done for Indonesia on an admirable first in the world achievement, should it all come together.

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