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High Performing Buildings – October’s Roundup

High Performing Buildings – October’s Roundup
27 October 2022

ThisWeekinFM’s high-performing buildings roundup includes Singapore’s newest biophilic skyscraper,  Europe’s largest coastal park and the first commercial office space built using mass timber in Washington DC.


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CapitaSpring is a 280-meter-tall high-rise biophilic skyscraper with a diverse neighbourhood of restaurants, office space, a serviced residence and sky gardens from the ground all the way up to the 51st floor.

Currently, among the city’s tallest towers, CapitaSpring is designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati who collaborated on its architecture, public space, and digital user experience.

The 51-storey tower is defined by a dynamic interplay of orthogonal lines, lush greenery, and contrasting textures. In addition to the abundant sky gardens and rooftop park, CapitaSpring includes premium Grade A office space, residences, restaurants and public spaces.

The tower reinforces Singapore’s reputation as a garden city, housing over 80,000 plants, with a Green Plot Ratio of more than 1:1.4 – translating to a total landscaped area of more than 8,300 square meters (90,000 square feet), equivalent to 140 per cent of its site area.

At the core of the building between the hardscapes of the offices and residences are four connected levels of organic softscape dubbed the “Green Oasis” – a 35m open-air garden for work, relaxation, exercise, and events. CapitaSpring’ s rooftop garden, with views of the city, is home to Singapore’s tallest urban farm operated by 1-Group.

Currently, over 150 species of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers, are grown across five thematic plots to supply the rooftop restaurants with fresh greens.



Picture: a photograph of a stairwell inside the CapitaSpring skyscraper. Image Credit: Finbarr Fallon


80 M Street


80 M Street is the first commercial office building in Washington DC to feature a vertical extension constructed using mass timber. The 108,000 ft addition, designed by Hickok Cole and Arup, adds three full floors to the existing seven-storey concrete building, including a penthouse level with additional office and amenity spaces and a rooftop terrace.

Arup provided a full suite of engineering design services for the overbuild project, including structural engineering, MEP engineering, acoustic consulting, and fire and life safety consulting.

Three light-filled floors on top of the existing 286,000 square feet building are comprised of over 1,300 tons of mass timber, sourced from forests in the Pacific Northwest and Eastern Canada. The addition was designed to enhance productivity and wellness for the building’s occupants, with 15-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and 3,000 square feet of outdoor amenities.



Picture: a photograph of the interior of 80 M Street, showing a reception area. Image Credit: Ron Blunt


As a renewable material, timber carries a significantly lower carbon footprint than conventional building materials like concrete and steel. Moreover, mass timber’s lighter weight minimised structural strengthening interventions in the existing building below, which saved capital and enabled the building to remain fully operational during construction.

“As a building material, mass timber offers not only unparalleled sustainability but also incredible beauty, and we are proud to have contributed to a project that showcases its many benefits,” said Matt Larson, Arup’s Project Director and Associate Principal.

“Our coordination with the DC code authority in developing robust solutions outside of prescriptive requirements for tall timber buildings helped 80 M become the first building in Washington DC to feature exposed timber above 85ft in height,” added Lauren Wingo, Arup’s Project Manager and Senior Structural Engineer.


The Ellinikon Metropolitan Park


Designs for The Ellinikon Metropolitan Park and Coastal Front in Athens, Greece have been unveiled. The development sits on the site of the former Athens International Airport and hopes to set a new global precedent for ecological restoration and carbon-conscious landscape design.



Picture: a photograph of The Ellinikon Metropolitan Park showing a body of water. Image Credit: Ellinikon 


Spanning more than 600 acres (242 hectares), it will be Europe’s largest coastal park and a world-class public space. In contrast to other European cities, which average roughly 40 per cent public green space, Athens currently offers only about 10 per cent. The Ellinikon will provide a much-needed destination for recreation, outdoor gathering, and immersion in the landscape, and is linked by public transit to serve the larger region.  

The project will repurpose leftover materials for the build, including nearly 30,000 square meters of concrete from the former airport runways. Ellinikon Metropolitan Park will be operationally net-zero carbon at opening and carbon neutral by 2055.

Ecological restoration was another primary objective, with over one million of plants sourced from within Greece and specifically selected to increase biodiversity and establish a regenerative landscape strategy for region.

Picture: a photograph of the CapitaSpring skyscraper taken from below, facing upward. Image Credit: Finbarr Fallon

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 27 October 2022


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