Commercial Applications

Case study: Taipei Financial Center

The challenge was to design a light control system that can stand up to the architectural demands of the world’s tallest building while weathering the unpredictable forces of nature.

Topping out at a height of 508 meters, incorporating 101 floors and occupying an area of over 30,000 sq. meters, the Taipei Financial Center even surpasses the famed Twin Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Located in Shi Fu Road, the center of the newly developed Hsin Yi Area, the Taipei Financial Center is a major landmark in the ongoing transformation of the old Taipei Train station area into a new business district. Officially named ‘Taipei 101 Tower’, the building has a 7-floor podium boasting major shopping mall complex and restaurants, 5 underground car park levels, office floors and an observation deck. Taipei 101 holds 3 of the world’s tallest building titles: tallest to structural top, tallest to roof, and highest occupied floor.

Taipei Financial Center Concourse

Taipei 101 Tower is one of the few skyscrapers in the world in which the design inspiration comes from traditional Chinese buildings. Divided into eight canted sections like a piece of bamboo, its external walls are embellished with a ‘ruyi’, a traditional Chinese symbol of fulfillment and content. A hundred and one floors is an auspicious symbol signifying that the building is more than perfect.

Due to the building’s impressive height, the building structure is based on steel with only the lower five levels of the tower built using reinforced concrete. Exterior wall is glass curtain wall with double glazed heat reduction clear glass, and the base of the building is built using granite. In terms of the structural system, the “mega-column” approach was adopted, which ensures the tower’s integrity in earthquakes and typhoons. It is one of the few buildings in the world equipped with double-deck elevators, which are the fastest in the world, traveling upwards at 1,008 meters/minute and downward at 610 meters/minute.

Litenet Corporation, the lighting control contractor and supplier for this project, chose the Lutron GRAFIK 6000 processor to provide a centralized lighting system for the building. The Lutron GRAFIK 6000 is a first-of-its kind central control system that allows today’s best-available lighting automation technologies to be easily customized.

Taipei Financial Center Exterior Lighting

Lutron light control systems are deployed at the public podium, main lobby of the tower, and the exterior of the tower - from the 25th floor to the top of the tower. The podium has seven stories with 14,480 sq. meters and encompasses the Taipei 101 Shopping Mall. The podium is enclosed by a 42-meter high glass dome that covers an indoor space of 2,865 sq. meters, which is one of the world’s largest, and certainly Taipei’s largest indoor public space where presentations, tradeshows, and all sorts of social activities and performances take place.

The lighting of the building was designed in such a way that different lighting effects are created no matter whether it is viewed from any distance; moreover, it has to offer a high-tech impression. The lighting effect was established in such a way that, at a distance of 2 meters from the tower, fluorescent lights are useful for lighting up the vicinity; at 10 meters, it looks like a beautiful light tower and at 200 meters it gives an impression of a building that appears to touch the skyline.

Taipei Financial Center Entrance
The complexity of this project brings out the beauty of the GRAFIK 6000 system. Designed for optimal scalability, the GRAFIK 6000 PC-based control allows full automation. Every aspect of lighting can be controlled through the main control center located in the basement of the building or through remote control stations with PC jacks, allowing the user to simulate actual on-site atmosphere and receive feedback during scene setting. The system has built-in

lightning protection devices to prevent high altitude short-circuit problems and pre-programmed time clock functions that enables automatic lighting resetting in case of a power blackout.

As the tallest building in the world, energy conservation is also on the top of the shopping list for the management of Taipei 101. Lutron systems can measure and monitor lighting system energy usage and peak demand, allowing the facilities team to minimize energy charges.

The biggest challenge of the project is associated with ‘Mother Nature’, as Taiwan is located in an active earthquake zone with frequent typhoons during summertime. To alleviate wind pressure and to provide the best safety measures and efficient services, a mechanical floor is created with every 8 floors of office, totaling 11 mechanical floors in the building. With maximum wind speed expected to be over 250 km per hour, the architect installed two wind dampers - a 680 ton swinging pendulum suspended from the 89th floor, and another designed as a 15 meter high tower sitting atop the building. These dampers will reduce wind movement during a typhoon and automatically lock up when an earthquake hits.

Chris Liu of Litenet Corporation found Lutron extremely helpful when coping with the challenge. Lutron products are all lightning-strike protected, eliminating chances of short circuits, and the high durability of its products can withstand exposure on the exterior of the building where wind pressure is estimated to be above 250 km per hour.

Liu enjoyed using Lutron systems, and considered them the best in the market; he actually started using Lutron products 18 years ago and has adopted them in many key projects he undertook in Taiwan.

“Quality, innovation and user-friendliness are the three reasons I picked Lutron,” said Liu. “Lutron’s products have zero defects, and its technology is constantly challenging the boundaries of the lighting market, while its user-friendly features allow anyone to master in a short time. For an important project like the Taipei Financial Center, I wouldn’t trust any lighting control specialist other than Lutron.”