Development

New Seoul Tower Features Landmark Photovoltaic System, by Green Building News

File Type: Free Content, Article
Release Date: March 2014
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rooftop solar panels

A new 50-story office building in Seoul, South Korea, home to the Federation of Korean Industries, incorporates an innovative exterior skin designed to reduce heating and cooling loads as well as collect energy through integrated photovoltaic (PV) panels. Designed by Chicago-headquartered Adrian Smith + Gordon Bill Architecture (AS+GG) and completed last December, the massive (170,104-square-meter, 1.8 million-square-foot) tower also includes plant-filled indoor gardens and atriums as well as an expansive rooftop garden with an additional PV system, according to a Feb. 12 article in Green Building News.

The tower “features one of the most efficient solar electric facades in the world in a cost-effective manner, proactively expanding Korea’s goal of advancing renewable energy generation in buildings,” according to Robert Frost, AS+GG partner. The PV panels are angled 30 degrees upward, toward the sun, to maximize energy collection. Glass vision panels are angled 10 degrees downward, generating self-shading and allowing for the use of less reflective glass, resulting in a unique, folded exterior texture —and in less glare and sun radiation for building occupants.

The rooftop PV array also is set up for maximum efficiency, according to Gordon Gill, AS+GG partner. “[W]ithin the limited area of the roof, we determined that a 10-degree angle allowed for more panels to be installed closer together, minimizing the effect of panels casting shadows on each other and ultimately producing more solar energy for the building.”