Taipei 101 shrugs off loss of tallest skyscraper title

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The Independent Online

The owners of Taipei 101, for the past five years the tallest skyscraper in the world, on Monday shrugged off the loss of its title to Burj Dubai, instead highlighting a new attempt to go green.

"This was to be expected as an increasing number of new skyscrapers have been under construction in the world over the past few years," said Michael Liu, the spokesman for Taipei Financial Centre Corporation in the Taiwanese capital.

"But then again, after all we held the title for five years. That was no easy task," he told AFP.

The 508-meter (1,676-foot) Taipei 101, which cost 58 billion Taiwan dollars (1.8 billion US dollars at current exchange rates), was the world's tallest building when it was inaugurated in December 2004.

But the building has now been dwarfed by Burj Dubai, even though it is unclear exactly by how much, as the owner of the Dubai skyscraper has declined to specify its height, saying only that it is at least 800 metres tall.

"We'd like to give our blessings to Burj Dubai," Liu said, adding Taipei 101 had been working to turn itself into an environmentally friendly building.

Taipei 101 aims to reduce its energy and water consumption by 10 percent under a 60-million-Taiwan-dollar project, slated to be completed before the end of this year at the earliest.

The biggest challenge for the building is to persuade all of the 85 business tenants - about 10,000 employees - to cooperate, the company said.