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1999: Taipei 101 – Taipei, Taiwan

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Image Credits: 1,2

Building: Taipei 101
Location: Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan
Year: Construction began in 1999, Completed and Opened in 2004
Owned By: Taipei Financial Center Corporation
Architect: C.Y. Lee & Partners
Structural Engineer: Thorton Tomasetti

Taipei 101 was the tallest building from 2004-2010. It was awarded LEED platinum certification in July 2011 making it the world’s tallest and largest green building. Taipei 101 has 106 floors total with 5 of the floors being underground making it 1,667 feet from ground to the top of the spire. It was the first building in the world to break half-kilometer mark in height. Because of the typhoons and earthquakes common to the area, Taipei 101 was designed to withstand winds of 134 mph and the strongest earthquakes that might occur in the next 2500 year cycle. A 660 tonnes steel pendulum, the largest and heaviest in the world, is used as a tuned mass damper and is suspended from the 87th to the 92nd floors of the building to offset movements in the building from strong wind gusts. The spire contains two 4.5 tonne tuned mass dampers to reduce wind fatigue as well. The repeated segments of the building relate to Asian Pagodas. The influence of pagodas can also be seen in the use of the tuned mass dampers. This technique was used in pagodas to lessen the effect of earthquakes on the structure. [12]

Articles For More Information: 1, 2, 3

Video For More Information: 1

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Written by Megan Shammo

October 4, 1999 at 6:54 pm

Posted in Skyscraper

1998: Creation of the International Space Station

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Image Credits: 1, 2

Innovation: International Space Station
Year: 1998
By: American, Russia, Japan, Europe, Canada Space Programs

First launched in 1998, the International Space Station (ISS)  is a modular structure consisting of external trusses and solar arrays. It serves as a research laboratory for biology, physics, astronomy, and other fields.  It is a joint project between American NASA, Russian Federal Space Agency, Japanese JAXA, European ESA, and Canadian CSA. During the original construction of the International Space Station in November of 1998, the beta angle (the percentage of orbit that the station is exposed to the sun) of the station had to be considered at all times. If the beta angle is too high, the space shuttle would not perform optimally.  The International Space Station spans the area of a US Football field (with end zones) when the solar array panels are included. [1] It is built around a truss that is composed of 12 segments. Modules, solar arrays, heat radiators are connected to this truss. [2] The ISS has been continuously inhabited since November 2, 2000. Materials that are developed for the International Space Station are built to improve performance while reduce fabrication and processing costs. Many of these materials are being used in buildings and structures here on earth as well as a variety of technological spin offs that we use in our everyday lives. [3] [4]

Animation of Assembly: 1

Design Concepts: 1

Written by Megan Shammo

November 7, 1998 at 12:57 pm

Posted in Space

1998: Creation of LEED

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Image Credits: 1

Innovation: LEED
Location: United States
Year: 1998
By: U.S. Green Building Council headed by Robert K. Watson

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, USGBC. It is the sustainability rating system developed in the United States, assessing the operation, design, and construction of buildings. It is intended to provide a concise list of ways to implement and measure green buildings. Nine rating systems exist today. Ratings are based off 110 point distribution across five credit categories. These categories include sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation in design, and regional priority. If a building receives 40-49 points it is rated as ‘Certified’, 50-59 points is ‘Silver’, 60-79 points is ‘Gold’, and any building receiving more than 80 points is Platinum LEED certified. This has caused a push in sustainable building and design as well as a successful guideline for designers, operators, and constructors of buildings on how to make green buildings.  This process has been used in over 7,000 projects in the United States alone and projects can be found in more than 130 countries. It has been estimated that 50,000 commercial projects are participating in the LEED green building program with over 2 million square feet of commercial building space being certified every day. [1] [2]  `

More Information: 1

Written by Megan Shammo

October 4, 1998 at 7:52 pm

Posted in Sustainability

1997: Creation of the Kyoto Protocol

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Image Credit: 1

Innovation: Kyoto Protocol
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Year: Adopted in 1997, Enforcement began in 2005
By: United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change

The Kyoto Protocol is a treaty to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) that obligates industrial countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It was adopted on December 11, 1997 in Kyoto, Japan and enforcement began on February 16, 2005. Industrialized countries, called Annex I countries, are required to submit annual reports of their quantity of gas emissions. These countries must prepare policies and measures for reduction and increase absorption of these gases. Industrialized countries can be rewarded with credits from their policies and reduction measures that would allow higher concentrations of gases. The protocol wants to return emission levels back to the level of specified base years, which in most cases is 1990 although it differs from country to country. If a country does not reach its emission limitation, the country must make up the difference plus an additional 30% during the second commitment period and their ability to make transfers under an emissions trading program will be suspended. This protocol has made the reduction of greenhouse gases a bigger priority and brings light to the importance and effects of these gases. Countries feel more pressure to reduce harmful gas emissions as rules are now enforced concerning them. [1]

Written by Megan Shammo

October 4, 1997 at 8:16 pm

Posted in Sustainability