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The booming construction market in China has come at a very high-energy cost–currently 45% of the country’s energy expenditures can be linked to the manufacturing, transportation, and construction of new buildings. In contrast to those high-energy consumptive practices, JAHN’s Leatop Plaza recycled 75% of its construction waste and further minimized energy costs by using local and regional materials, including 20% recycled wood. In addition, the efficient and strong diagonal bracing system installed on all four faces allowed the architects to minimize the volume of the central concrete core.

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Designed to look as if it were cut from a single block of ice, the clean silhouette of the Leatop Plaza is clad in fritted exterior glass fins that create a superior thermal envelope. The architects also installed controlled ventilation, heat recovery, and high efficiency air conditioning systems to cut down on energy usage. Water efficient fixtures and efficient landscape design and irrigation also reduced typical water usage by 44%.


Images via JAHN