CAD/BIM Tips & Tricks
Building a Giant with BIM: The Shanghai Tower
18 April 2023
Towering over the hustle and bustle of Shanghai’s financial district is a gleaming giant. The Shanghai Tower is an awe-inspiring sight, but what’s even more impressive is the story of how it was designed and built using BIM.
When it comes to cutting-edge architecture, few buildings can rival the Shanghai Tower in China. Standing an impressive 2,073 feet (632 meters) tall, it’s the third tallest building in the world — and it’s all thanks to BIM.
It’s the third tallest building in the world — and it’s all thanks to BIM.
The spiraling Shanghai Tower is a mega-tall skyscraper located in Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai, and is China’s tallest building. If you include the five below-ground floors, plus the 128 stories above ground, it is, technically, the tallest building in the world, although the Burj Khalifa officially holds that title. The Shanghai Tower also sports the world’s tallest observation deck, with an indoor height of 1,844 feet (562 meters).
The building was designed by the American architectural firm Gensler, and its construction began in 2008. The tower was completed in 2015 and opened to the public in 2016. The Shanghai Tower’s unique design is composed of nine cylindrical buildings stacked on top of each other. The tower is multifunctional, with nine different functional zones containing 12 to 15 floors in each zone, and features entertainment venues, retail spaces, a luxury hotel, office space, cultural venues, and a conference center.
With the support of BIM, the building’s design makes a 120-degree spiral turn that is optimal for minimizing wind loads, while directing the airflow toward turbines that contribute to a 21% reduction in the building’s energy costs.
The Shanghai Tower is a shining example of sustainable design and is the world’s most energy-efficient supertall building. The outermost layer of the building features 270 of the above-mentioned wind turbines that generate electricity for the building. The tower features a double-skin facade which helps to regulate the interior temperature, and it also collects rainwater which is used to flush toilets and water indoor plants. The building has been awarded LEED Gold certification.
The Difference BIM Made
Projects that require a greater degree of coordination and collaboration between the architects and engineers and all the different disciplines involved in a construction project can definitely benefit from 3D modeling in BIM. The use of BIM enabled the construction of the Shanghai Tower to be completed faster and with fewer problems than traditional methods — such as relying primarily on 2D drawings — as 3D models can typically contain more information than their 2D counterparts.
In fact, it’s estimated that using BIM 3D models saved around 32% on construction costs over traditional 2D projects.
In the case of the Shanghai Tower, both Revit and AutoCAD were used to create a highly detailed BIM model that contained all the information necessary to build the tower, including its structural, mechanical and electrical systems. The result is a masterpiece of engineering and a testament to the power of BIM.
Saving Time With Revit or AutoCAD
The Shanghai Tower is an excellent example of how BIM is revolutionizing the construction industry thanks to its ability to streamline the design and construction process.
These tools can reduce or eliminate the time spent on repetitive tasks, increase productivity and reduce frustration.
In keeping with our company philosophy that architects, engineers and designers are the driving force behind the creation of a better future on Earth, Axiom develops tools for Revit and AutoCAD that can help streamline your workflows. Used by top architects and engineers around the world to achieve significant time savings, these tools can reduce or eliminate the time spent on repetitive tasks, increase productivity and reduce frustration.
Axiom offers a range of Revit and AutoCAD plugins that can help to improve production times and accuracy, making them a key part of your design process. For more information or to discuss your particular situation with a knowledgeable Service Consultant, call 727-442-7774.
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