Skyscrapers and Environment

In the late 1960's, many people in North America turned their attention to environmental problems, and new steel-and-glass skyscrapers were widely criticized. Ecologists pointed out that a cluster of tall buildings in a city often overburdens public transportation and parking lot capacities.

Skyscrapers are also lavish consumers, and wasters, of electric power. In one recent year, the addition of 17 million square feet of skyscraper office space in New York City raised the peak daily demand for electricity by 120, 000 kilowatts -- enough to supply the entire city of Albany, New York, for a day.

Glass-walled skyscrapers can be especially wasteful. The heat loss (or gain) through a wall of half-inch plate glass is more than ten times that through a typical masonry wall filled with insulation board. To lessen the strain on heating and air-conditioning equipment, builders of skyscrapers have begun to use double-glazed panels of glass, and reflective glasses coated with silver or gold mirror films that reduce glare as well as heat gain. However, mirror-walled skyscrapers raise the temperature of the surrounding air and affect neighboring buildings.
玻璃表面的摩天大楼特别地浪费。 通过半英寸的平板玻璃墙壁损失(或增加)的热量是典型的加入绝缘板的石墙所允许的热量损失(或增加)的十倍以上。为了减轻取暖设备或空调设备的压力,摩天大楼的建造者们已经开始使用双面上釉的玻璃镶板和涂上了金色或银色反光薄膜的反光玻璃,来减少强光照射和热量的增加;但是,镜面的摩天大楼会提高周围空气的温度并会对附近的建筑物产生影响。

Skyscrapers put a severe strain on a city's sanitation facilities, too. If fully occupied, the two World Trade Center towers in New York City would alone generate 2.25 million gallons of raw sewage each year -- as much as a city the size of Stanford, Connecticut, which has a population of more than 109, 000.
摩天大楼也对城市的卫生设施造成了沉重的压力。单单纽约市的二个世界贸易中心大楼如果完全被占满的话,每年就会产生2,250,000加仑的污水。 这相当于康涅狄格州的斯坦福市这样大的城市一年所产生的污水量,而康州的斯坦福市拥有109,000人口。