Northeast Asia Trade Tower

Songdo IBD, Incheon, Korea Gale International Heerim, Associate Architect Mixed-Use, Office, Supertall 1.5 million ft2 / 139,000 m2 308 meters

A landmark on the skyline of Songdo IBD, the Northeast Asia Trade Tower aims to both symbolize and embody the tenants of an international business hub in a free-trade zone. Occupying a site at the southern edge of Central Park, the tapering volume is a mixed-use development that combines office, hotel, and service apartment components, each with its own entrance lobby. The 1,010-foot-tall (308-meter-tall) tower offers views of the Yellow Sea, the city of Incheon, and the surrounding mountains.

It serves also as a model of sustainable design strategies. The 68-story tower, known as the NEATT building, carefully balances energy conservation, increased indoor environmental quality, and occupant comfort. The exterior glazing allows for abundant daylight penetration and expansive views. The high-performance glazing, together with exterior shading devices, limits solar heat gain and reduces cooling loads. Like other buildings in Songdo IBD, the NEATT tower purchases district hot water from a new, highly efficient cogeneration facility located nearby. The hot water, used for heating and cooling via absorption chillers, is generated from waste heat recovered during the process of producing electricity. The building is estimated to reduce source-energy CO2 emissions by 6,000 tons per year when compared to a “standard” code-compliant office tower with on-site electric chillers and a natural-gas boiler plant.

Because water conservation is a chief concern in Korea, the new tower addresses this issue in several ways. First, low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce water usage by more than 20 percent in comparison to the consumption rate of a typical office building. Second, a graywater collection system is used for flushing toilets and urinals to further decrease potable water demand and reduce sewage conveyance. Third, the building utilizes collected stormwater for site irrigation via large storage tanks, reducing potable water used for this purpose by more than 50 percent.

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