BOMA 360 Reaches New Heights with Shanghai Tower

By: Jessica Bates

Shanghai Tower is often referred to as a vertical city, and this description is barely an exaggeration. Located in the Pudong district of Shanghai in China, the building can comfortably accommodate more than 30,000 people, and it’s easy to imagine spending whole weeks in the tower without ever needing to step outside. In addition to the significant amount of office space it houses, Shanghai Tower features a hotel, a museum, indoor gardens, restaurants, retail, conference space and even an observation deck. At more than 2,000 feet high, the building, which opened to the public in 2017, is literally as tall as a mountain.

Managing and operating the second-tallest building in the world and the tallest building in China is an enormous undertaking—more than 1,000 people support the building’s operations. And, it is a pioneering effort in more ways than one. As China develops a culture of long-term asset management to preserve the value of its latest crop of gleaming new projects, Shanghai Tower Business CBRE Property Management Company Limited, which manages the building, is invested in maintaining the splendor of Shanghai Tower for decades to come.

As part of this effort, in the months leading up to opening the building, the company decided to submit the skyscraper to the BOMA 360 Performance Program due to the program’s renowned reputation for worldwide industry best practices. “The BOMA 360 program laid out industry best practices, giving us an important guide to managing an asset at a high level,” says Gu Jianping, president of Shanghai Tower Construction & Development Co., Ltd., which owns the property. Because the BOMA 360 criteria represent the essential principles of excellent building operations and management, they could be scaled up to meet the needs of the 128-story building. For Shanghai Tower, the BOMA 360 program provided an important framework: “Through the BOMA 360 designation process, Shanghai Tower has based its operation and management system on the best international standards and cultivated a world-class property team,” says Gu. “It was a great honor and an important first milestone for us to earn the BOMA 360 designation.”

And the property team isn’t the only thing that makes Shanghai Tower best-in-class. Boasting cutting edge-technology, Shanghai Tower is the most advanced building of its kind in China and a true architectural wonder. It also is remarkably sustainable—particularly for such a large space—holding a LEED-CS Platinum Certification, among other honors. A double-layer “curtain wall” encloses the building, saving 50 percent more energy than a single-layer façade. Indoor greenery—including the world’s highest Chinese-style garden—is irrigated using greywater, and the majority of the building’s water waste is recycled or reused. The building even boasts its own wind-turbine system.

Shanghai Tower also has been host to significant political, cultural and business events. Athletes took advantage of the tower’s more 3,000 stairs during the International Vertical Marathon—the winner reached the top of the building in under 18 minutes. For those who would prefer to skip the stairs, the building’s elevator is the world’s fastest, moving at nearly 60 feet per second.

Being such a high-profile building, it’s no wonder the property team at Shanghai Tower decided to pursue the BOMA 360 designation. “As a landmark of Shanghai and even China, we are shouldering many social responsibilities,” says Gu. “We want to manage this high-quality asset to the highest standard, make our employees, tenants and tourists happy and attract high-quality tenants.”

The property team is hoping that their focus on operational excellence will be adopted by the building industry across China. “We would like to share our experience in building management and operations with our peers,” says Gu. The team particularly attributes meticulous standard operating procedures, front-line smart building technology and old-fashioned team work to the building’s success. Using BOMA 360 as a baseline, the property team “will be continuously adjusting and improving our methods based on our building’s needs” to keep its operations cutting-edge.

Gu believes the widespread adoption of the BOMA 360 program would accelerate the transition to effective, long-term asset management in China. “Currently, the Chinese real estate market is transitioning to the full lifecycle model of asset management, making sound operations and management practices an important goal for building owners across China,” says Gu. “Shanghai Tower’s BOMA 360 designation will set a new example for other buildings in pursuit of international asset management standards.”