TAIPEI, Taiwan — The owners of Taiwan's landmark skyscraper TAIPEI 101 are teaming up with SL+A International Asia Inc., Siemens and EcoTech International Inc. for an 18-month renovation that project partners say will make the highrise the tallest green building in the world.

The team announced the project this week.

Interior design and consultancy firm SL+A International Asia Inc., a member of the Steven Leach Group, is the project manager of the effort to enhance the energy efficiency of the 101-story building that opened on New Year's Eve in 2004.

The building owners will seek gold-level certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance standards.

EcoTech is serving as the major consultant for work related to the LEED-EBOM application. GreenerBuildings.com Executive Editor Rob Watson, often called "the father of LEED," is the chairman, CEO and chief scientist of EcoTech.

Siemens Building Technologies Division, which equipped TAIPEI 101 with two major building automations systems, also is a key player in the project.

The Taipei Financial Center Corporation expects TAIPEI 101 to become "the paragon in the energy-saving global architecture industry, TFCC Chairman Harace Lin said in announcing the project.

"We believe this project will change the complexion of the building industry in Asia, which so far has focused on the green certification of new buildings," Watson said in a statement.

"TAIPEI 101 will be rewarded based on its actual performance, as opposed to its predicted performance. From an environmental perspective, this is a more important and more impressive achievement than simply designing a green building."

TFCC will invest NT S60 million (about USD $1.8 million) in the project that is expected to yield energy savings of NT $20 million annually when complete, according to the Taipei Times and other news reports from Taiwan.

Images courtesy of EcoTech International.