Sustainability climbs the agenda for Asia’s skyscrapers

Sustainable buildings are increasingly making their mark on skylines across Asia as demand for eco-friendly hotels and offices continues to rise.

October 11, 2018

From the use of solar panels and energy-efficient glass, to combining design with forestry, sustainable architecture is reaching new heights in Asia.

High-rise towers have long been common in the region. But in recent years, eco-friendly skyscrapers have been gaining traction, noticeably in China, as governments tackle rapid urbanization and its impact on the environment, says Eric Lee, head of JLL’s Greater China Property and Asset Management business.

“While tall structures typically served as landmarks, they are also increasingly used to showcase businesses’ corporate environmental responsibility,” Lee says.

“Many project owners and developers seek green accreditations such as LEED (Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design) in order to attract businesses and talent who have sustainability goals,” he says.

Another primary driver of the trend is cost reduction. Tall buildings with sustainability features use less energy and water, helping businesses to save on operating costs.

Yet sustainable designs aren’t just doing their part for the planet. Occupiers are increasingly demanding a green working environment, according to Daniel Safarik, an editor at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) and JLL.

“Many people find skyscrapers to be somewhat cold and alienating, but as cities densify and grow, the collision course is set – sustainable design, the concentration of talent, and the high-rise are going to continue to meet,” Safarik says.

Here, Real Views looks at some of the region’s skyscrapers that are pushing the green agenda.