The Centre – The world’s most expensive office building

  • Location – Hong Kong
  • Total Area = 140,000 sq m
  • Air Conditioning System: AET Flexible Space System
  • Underfloor supply air, high level return air
  • New build
  • Client = Cheung Kong Holdings
  • Architect = Dennis Lau and Ng Chun Man
  • Engineer = ACE

The Worlds 10th Tallest Skyscraper at the time of construction featuring AET Flexible Space Underfloor Air Conditioning is located in Hong Kong’s Central Business District and standing at 352m high offers panoramic views of Victoria Harbour. This 80 storey building and prominent landmark was the first building in Hong Kong to adopt underfloor air conditioning throughout and recently gained renewed attention having been sold for the world record price for an office building of $US 5.2 Billion (37000$/sqm) attracting rents in excess of £100 per sq foot.

The Column free design offers floor plates of 26000sq ft and permits up to 12 separate tenancies per floor. Each tenancy is provided with its own temperature controlled zone and permits easy out of hours operation. In many cases corporations have taken complete floors and in some cases two or three floors. The modular design included knock out sections in the floor structure to permit internal staircases to be added if desired for such corporations.

Utilising a raised access floor void as a plenum to deliver conditioned air to the work spaces over 10% height saving was achieved when compared with ceiling based Fan Coils or VAV. The Developer Cheung Kong’s FM Company Citybase reported a reduction in energy consumption in the region of 20 per cent when compared with similar buildings, within their portfolio, utilising Fan Coils in Hong Kong.

AET Flexible Space assisted in the initial design and followed through with construction support and a full maintenance agreement to look after the tenants and the 6500 Fantile™ units installed over 59 floors of speculative office accommodation. As a direct result of reducing the building height by 10 per cent, 35m in height was saved offering a saving in cost of Curtain Walling alone of approximately $US 7 million.

Tenants find the system to be extremely adaptable both when meeting space layout changes and personal comfort. Fantiles can be relocated in a matter of minutes to suit the layouts without impacting on the ceiling installation. Commenting on this Anthony Poon of Citybase said that there is no doubt that the Flexible Space System is the most cost effective AC system over time, that he has worked with, when it comes to reconfiguration and upgrade.

The building has gained Class 1 Certification for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and won the Green Building of the Year award.

TAX BENEFIT for UK: A little known but highly attractive feature is that the raised floor, when used as a floor plenum, along with all the air conditioning system attracts capital allowances. With the current Government Investment Allowances of 100 per cent write off up to £1 million of equipment, in the first year, Developers can gain a dramatic cost advantage by adopting Underfloor Airconditioning compared to ceiling based systems in addition to the capital allowance granted for the ceiling plenum used for the return air.

For more information on the system please take a look at or call +44(0)1342 310400