Thornton Tomasetti Project, Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen, China, Reaches Completion

New York, N.Y. – April 3, 2017 – Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm, announces that Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen, China, has reached completion. The 599-meter supertall tower, for which Thornton Tomasetti provided structural design including performance-based design, has been recognized as the fourth tallest building in the world by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). 

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates provided the architectural design for the 115-story office tower, which is owned by Ping An Life Insurance Company of China, Ltd. The Ping An Finance Center is the second tallest building in China, coming behind the 632-meter Shanghai Tower, for which Thornton Tomasetti also provided the structural design.  

Key Points 

  • The five-million-square-foot Ping An Finance Center comprises offices, supporting facilities, a conference center, and parking. A large public atrium at Ping An’s base creates a new destination in the Futian District with stores, restaurants and transit connections to the city, Pearl River Delta region and greater China. The project is pursuing LEED Gold certification. 
  • The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) recognized the Ping An Finance Center as the fourth tallest building in the world behind the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Shanghai Tower and Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Saudi Arabia. Ping An also features the largest stainless steel façade in the world to date. 
  • The structural system consists of a composite concrete core with four levels of steel outriggers connected to eight super-columns. Given the scale and importance of this project, a sophisticated evaluation of seismic performance during a rare earthquake occurrence was conducted. Engineers performed an extensive nonlinear dynamic time history seismic analysis to satisfy this rigorous seismic review and safety of the building. 
  • The exterior frame is composed of seven double-layer belt trusses at the mechanical and refuge floors. Each of the exterior belt trusses are interconnected with a super diagonal at each exterior face of the building, which increases the building’s stiffness. 
  • Thornton Tomasetti was able to provide a structural design that significantly reduced the steel tonnage required for the building. The design allowed the architect to eliminate corner columns at the base of the tower and create a grand space at the entrance of the building.  

Executive Quote: 

Dennis C.K. Poon, Vice Chairman Thornton Tomasetti 

“Thornton Tomasetti has provided structural and performance based design services for many of the world’s tallest structures and is extremely proud to have been a part of the team that has delivered this latest addition to the Shenzhen skyline and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s list of world’s tallest buildings.” 

Supporting Materials 

Thornton Tomasetti 

Ping An Finance Center 

Structural Design Services

About Thornton Tomasetti

Thornton Tomasetti is a leader in engineering design, investigation and analysis serving clients worldwide on projects of all sizes and complexity. Through its 10 complementary practices, Thornton Tomasetti addresses the full life cycle of a structure. We have supported clients working in more than 50 countries, with projects that include the tallest buildings and longest spans to the restoration of prized historic properties. Thornton Tomasetti comprises more than 1,200 engineering, architecture, sustainability and support professionals who collaborate from offices across North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.



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