Case Study

Astra Tower A Towering Model of Sustainable Urban Living

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

The Challenge

In the era of urban renaissance, rapid population growth, and climate change, residential high-rise buildings are not only expected to provide high-density urban lifestyle living, but minimize their impact on the environment and be resilient to the changing climatic conditions. The Astra Tower seeks to take this challenge to the next level by developing a unique urban community focused on health and wellness that will tackle one of the region’s most imminent environmental threats, air quality.

The Design Solution

Poised to promote wellness and resiliency at a variety of scales, the HKS design team will focus on the physical and cognitive well-being of Astra Tower residents through an extensive amenity program in connection with natural surroundings and biophilic design to encourage an active, healthy and restorative lifestyle.

At the building level, Astra Tower will minimize its carbon footprint, energy consumption and the use of natural resources through an efficient vertical organization and performance-based design for all major building systems. The structural system followed performance-based design rather than code prescriptive requirements and was engineered to withstand an earthquake that happens once every 2,000 years.

At the macro level, the project will filter the polluted outdoor air and improve its quality before releasing it back into the atmosphere, acting as an air purifier for the city.

The Design Impact

As the new tallest building in Utah, Astra Tower aspires to become a model of sustainable urban living with a focus on resilience, sustainability and wellness that will make an impact on a variety of scales. The project will maximize the indoor air quality for the residents , raise community awareness of outdoor air quality and set a unique example of environmental stewardship.

Project Features

  • 40,000 sf (3,716 sm) of communal amenities and outdoor terraces
  • Central air intake with a filtration system and ducted supply to all units
  • Air quality sensor connected to the elevator and lobby screens
  • Air quality sensor connected to the elevator and lobby screens
  • Exterior lighting connected to the air sensor to signal the outdoor air quality
  • On-site electric bikes and vehicles
  • Operable windows for natural ventilation
  • Demand control ventilation
  • Air-side heat recovery system
  • Water-side heat recovery system
  • Chiller in series to reduce power demand
  • 35% water use reduction
  • High efficiency boilers