Innovating through structural engineering: multi-dimensional facades and innovative building services at 11 SKIES

Hong Kong

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AECOM’s groundbreaking façade engineering and sustainable building solutions have been integral to the development of 11 SKIES, the largest one-stop retailtainment and tourism landmark in Hong Kong.

Located on Hong Kong’s Airport Island, 11 SKIES stands as a pioneering beacon in retail, dining, and entertainment, showcasing cutting-edge engineering. This structural masterpiece is marked by its intricate façade design, reminiscent of the elegance of paper planes, setting a new standard in façade engineering.

Sustainability is another key focus. 11 SKIES has transformed the urban landscape by integrating advanced technologies, green spaces and sustainable features into building services practice.

Beyond eco-conscious considerations, AECOM is also tasked with augmenting the project’s aesthetics. The distinctive color palette, rendered through dichroic paint, further elevates the project’s visual charm.

The façade — balancing bold design with complex structure

The façade, spanning 92,000 square meters, poses considerable engineering challenges. Inspired by the concept of flight, three unique façades were designed for 11 SKIES, paying homage to the project’s proximity to the airport. The “paper plane form” has been transposed and translated to create a captivating façade. The challenge across all three façade types was to balance the strong visual impact of the design with the complexity of the structural requirements due to their form, including a 15-meter-high glass wall. This was particularly critical for the precise glass wall, waterproofing requirements, and energy-saving goals.

Technical excellence behind the sophisticated façade design

11 SKIES stands for its highly technical and innovative façade engineering. The design was brought to life using Computer Numerical Control (CNC) technology, which enabled precise cutting for the 3D steel frame, a crucial component in achieving the paper plane design. Approximately 400 CNC nodes were integrated into the structure of the skylight and interior glass wall system with parametric geometry, further increasing the project’s complexity.

The project also utilized a modular integrated system, streamlining the transportation and assembly of the structure. The complex shape was divided into 250 assembly modules, painted and packed off-site, then reassembled on-site using “bolt & nut” connections for accuracy and efficiency. This approach not only saved time and reduced construction waste, but also ensured a high degree of quality control as each module was carefully inspected and tested before integration into the overall structure.

3 Platinum certifications — sustainability and environmental consciousness

11 SKIES has earned esteemed green building credentials, achieving three Platinum certifications through BEAM Plus, LEED and WELL. Our green building services features:

  • Direct seawater cooling system > reduces freshwater consumption of cooling tower
  • Seawater flushing and low-flow sanitary fittings > saves potable water consumption and sewage discharge
  • Fresh air demand control integrated into the Air Handling Unit, along with the installation of UV lights, MERV 14 filters and carbon filters > improves indoor air quality (IAQ) and consumes less energy
  • Demand Control Ventilation for carpark > saves energy utilization
  • Harvest rainwater for irrigation > lowers freshwater consumption
  • Electric vehicle charging points > expects to save 53 percent electricity provision and deliver almost 100 percent energy utilization through AI
  • One of Asia’s largest Photovoltaic-Thermal (PVT) installations > simultaneous power generation and water heating
  • Advance MVAC design and low-emitting building materials > achieves IAQ Good Class
  • The skylight system, designed using complex parametric geometry > conserves energy

A resilient and environmentally conscious landmark

Upon its completion, 11 SKIES will stand as a testament to remarkable advancements in various aspects of sustainability and resilience.

  • Façade design can withstand extreme weather conditions like typhoons and heavy rainfalls
  • Seawater cooled chillers with high coefficient of performance can save 335,000 kilowatt-hours
  • Seawater flushing and low-flow sanitary fittings can save approximately 7,700 cubic meters of potable water annually
  • Fully integrated lift destination control turnstiles to enhance the overall access experience
  • Car Finding System to enhance the overall experience, especially for one-off car park users
  • Demand control ventilation for carpark and fresh air demand control of the arcade area for energy consumption reduction
  • The electric vehicle charging points can achieve 53 percent electricity provision saving and deliver almost 100 percent energy utilization
  • PVT installation can generate around 200,000 kilowatt-hours of energy, reducing up to 1.8 million kilograms of CO2 emissions annually

Redefining Hong Kong’s retail and tourism landscape

11 SKIES, opening in phases from 2022 to 2025, is a key component of the SKYCITY project, aligning with the government’s vision for an Airport City transformation. Strategically situated between two major entry points and the new SKYCITY Transport Terminal, 11 SKIES is poised to be a pivotal hub for travelers coming through the Hong Kong International Airport and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, playing a significant role in rejuvenating Hong Kong’s tourism.

Awards and recognition