Up-high – green pumps in Europe’s tallest building, a project of superlatives: Like a crystalline needle, the tower of the Lakhta Centre rises up into the sky in St. Petersburg. The city’s first “supertall” building on the coast of the Gulf of Finland is to become a modern business centre, a sustainable district for life and work. Germany-based Technology Company Wilo takes care of several applications in the futuristic giant – over 530 pumps are in operation to contribute to the “Green features” of the building.
Since the end of the 19th century, skyscrapers are the embodiment of power; monuments that represent financial wellbeing, new technologies and that form a parallax around which people can automatically reorient in a city. They give a recognition value to a place.
Supertall buildings have always been known for using the latest and most advanced construction technology. With a height of 462 metres, the Lakhta Centre is the tallest building in Europe and the 13th tallest building in the world. It broke ground in 2012, the exterior was completed six years later.
The “northernmost skyscraper in the world” will also serve as the headquarters of Russian gas giant Gazprom, which carried out the construction. Capturing the changes in daylight, the main tower’s unique silhouette symbolizes a flame, a distinctive feature of Gazprom’s logo.
With a total floor area of over 400,000 square metres, Lakhta Centre comprises four different facilities. Besides the skyscraper with a 90-degree twist from foundation to top, the complex also provides a multi functional building, the stand-alone arch that represents the entrance as well as a stylobate that hides the parking, warehouses and logistic passages.
High-efficiency in the “Star of St. Petersburg”
Wilo pumps are in operation in several applications – from heating, ventilation and air conditioning to the water supply. For the HVAC applications, the pumps are installed in several district substations in different levels of the tower.
“One of the main requirements was that all pumps should be high-efficient with an internal or external frequency converter”, says Nikolay Samoylov from Wilo Russia. “For example we therefore provided inline pumps with electronic control as well as high-pressure centrifugal pumps.”
The Wilo-CronoLine-IL-E is an electronically controlled glanded single pump in in-line design, used for the pumping of heating water, cold water and water-glycol mixtures in heating, cold water and cooling systems.
The multistage centrifugal pump Wilo-Helix can be used for water supply and pressure boosting as well as cooling water in circulation systems. For a reliable operation in the HVAC applications, the Lakhta Centre also relies on the Wilo-Stratos-D. The glandless double circulation pump increases energy savings due to optimised system efficiency via a volume flow limiter.
Cooling centres are located on four different levels. To make the cooling as efficient as possible, the building uses cold accumulation. The preliminary freezing of a thermal energy storage medium with the aim of shifting refrigeration loads enables a more efficient operation as well as more beneficial energy consumption patterns. This way, energy is accumulated at low peak hours and used when the need increases again.
Horizontal booster pumps (borehole pumps with a horizontal cooling shroud) are in operation for the water supply, to achieve a minimum water level in the storage tank. “The Lakhta Centre is a huge building, so it has water supply systems on different levels”, explains Nikolay Samoylov from Wilo Russia. “By using vertical high pressure pumps instead of horizontal ones, the unusable water volume will be less. Also, borehole pumps have a minimum sound level.”
A flagship of high technology
The smart façade is made from 16,500 individual panes of glass with a system of automatic shutters and valves to reduce heat loss. Due to the double skin façade of the Lakhta Centre main tower, the heating and air-conditioning consumption can be reduced up to 50 percent.
As sustainability is an important topic, innovative technologies such as energy recuperating elevators, a vacuum disposal system and a water reuse and purification system are also a part of the 87-floor building. Substituting conventional heating devices into infra-red radiators and applying this technology to other technical and household devices, achieves additional energy savings.
The tower buffer area will be equipped with sensors that automatically maintain the temperature, as per the number of people being present in a room. In December 2018 this led to the LEED® Platinum certification, according to the results of the assessment of the environmental performance criteria. High-efficient pumps from Wilo contribute to the “Green Features” of the Lakhta Centre.