Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
The Korean CTBUH Conference 2010

August 27, 2010 - Report by Dr. Young Kyu Ju (Professor in Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, Korea University)


The Korean CTBUH Conference 2010 was held at Seoul Olympic Parktel Olympia Hall and hosted by CTBUH Korea on August 27, 2010. The conference was deemed a success with 350 experts and professionals participating from a variety of disciplines, including academia, architecture, and building construction. Many tall buildings, such as “Shanghai Tower”, “Kingley Finance Tower”, and “Incheon 151 Tower”, were discussed under the conference topic “A New Generation of Tall Buildings in Asia”. The strong participation and support of industry leaders provided a conference filled with in-depth speaker presentations, sharing opinion and expertise on the current progress and
future development of the tall building industry in Asia.

After the conference CTBUH Country Representatives from the East Asian region (China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, and Thailand) shared a dinner to promote friendship and conversation on industry technology and best practice information from each country. In addition, CTBUH Korea held a social program the next day to introduce Korean culture and facilitate networking of conference participants.

Conference Organizers and Speakers

The Conference was made possible by sponsorship from many companies including Lotte Engineering & Construction, POSCO, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Hanhwa Engineering & Construction, Chinhung International Inc, Posco Engineering & Construction, Dongbu Corporation, Daewoo Engineering & Construction, Daelim Engineering & Construction, Taeyoung Corporation, Heerim Architects & Planners, Hanil MEC, Dongyang Structural Engineers, TSEC, and IST. The conference's influential speakers and their expertise made the conference a success and provided another important step in the development of tall buildings and technology in Asia.


1. Shanghai Tower: A Timeless Reflection of China’s Future
     Jun Xia (Gensler, China)
2. Design Challenges of the Shanghai Tower, One of the World’s Tallest Buildings (632 meters tall)
     Dennis Poon (Thornton Tomasetti, Inc, U.S.A)
3. Reaching New Heights, the Incheon 151 Tower
     Hi Sun Choi (Thornton Tomasetti, Inc, U.S.A)
4. New Developments in Tall Building Design
     David Scott (Arup, U.S.A)
5. Case Studies of Innovative Structural Solutions for Overcoming Tall Building Project Challenges
     Juneid Qureshi (Meinhardt Pte Ltd, Singapore)
6. Renaissance of High-rise Construction in Russia: Common Sense vs. Political Ambitions.
    Case-studies: Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Novisibirsk, YekaterinburgElena

     A. Shuvalova (Lobby Agency, Russia)
7. Aerodynamic Characteristics of Tall Building Models with Various Unconventional Configurations
     Masayoshi Nakai (Takenaka Corporation, Japan)
8. High-Rise Buildings in Indonesia: How Tall Can You Go?
     Tiyok Prasetyoadi (PDW Architects, Indonesia)
9. Architectural Design of Centumstar Tower
     JuHwan Cho (SIAPLAN Architects & Planners, Korea)
10. The Unique Design Attributes of Kingkey Finance Tower
     Stefan Krummeck (TFP Farrells, Hong Kong)
11. Vertical Urbanism in a Horizontal Urban Sprawl, Philippines
     Felino Palafox (Palafox Associates, Philippine)
12. Research and Practice of High-Rise Steel Residential Buildings in China
     Ye LU (Tongji University, China)
13. Some Critical Problems in the Conventional Seismic Design of Tall Buildings
     Pennung Warnitchai (Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand)
14. Key Factors in Determining Tall Building Systems: Technology, Culture, Construction Market
     Kwang Ryang Chung (Dongyang Structural Engineers, Korea)

Brief of speeches

Created for the people of Shanghai by a local team, lead by Gensler Architects with structural engineers of Thornton Tomasetti, the 632-meter-tall, 124-story Shanghai Tower will complete the city’s supertall precinct. The new Tower takes inspiration from Shanghai’s strong tradition of neighborhoods, reformed into a high-density urban form. By incorporating numerous structurally efficient design elements, Shanghai Tower is at the forefront of a new generation of supertall towers. Jun Xia explored the design inspiration and concept behind China’s most significant supertall building to date. By maximizing high-performance sustainable technology and unique design solutions, the Shanghai Tower seeks to raise the bar for a new generation of supertall towers. It offers an unprecedented sense of community tied to its local culture, while symbolizing the country’s aspirations and leadership in the future of urban development. Dennis Poon discussed the building concept, the framing, the structural analysis, its geotechnical conditions and the unique design challenges of this structure.

Hi Sun Choi described the Incheon 151 Tower as a landmark project expected to be completed in 2014. At approximately 600m (2000 ft) the project will be the tallest building in South Korea. Two major design challenges are the tower’s shape and foundation. The tower intensifies wind loads due to vortex shedding at the upper levels, inducing vibrations and magnifying wind load along the crosswind direction. Ultimately, optimum slotted openings were designed to create an alternative path for the wind, therefore improving the building’s aerodynamic performance.

David Scott is the immediate past Chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and the Global Tall Building Leader at Arup. He talked about new developments in the design and construction of tall buildings. In the construction industry today, clients often demand that their tall buildings are taller, safer, and more sustainable while also being more complex and less costly.  In addition, they want them to be designed and built faster and with less risk than ever before. Mr. Scott illustrated ways of reconciling these competing demands with examples of recent work from the Arup design studio in New York.

Juneid Qureshi, CTBUH Country Representative for Singapore, presented case studies of some of the most recent tall buildings in Singapore, engineered by Meinhardt, focusing on innovative and best practice structural engineering solutions to address challenging project constraints. The projects Mr. Qureshi discussed included One Raffles Quay, The Sail @ Marina Bay and The Marina Bay Financial Centre with towers ranging from 29 to 70 stories. The case studies cover the structural engineering processes from conceptual design to construction and exemplify novel solutions adopted for efficient building.

Presentation in progress

Elena A. Shuvalova, CTBUH Country Representative for Russia, described tall buildings in Russia. Because of several severe months of economic crisis, Russia's rapid high-rise construction has experienced a dramatic pause. The first signs of it were acknowledged in Moscow and in many other progressive regions and eastern cities of Russia. Many current projects tall building projects look to the iconic Hong Kong or Shanghai landscapes for inspiration. Others choose methods of integration of high-rise construction in their city context. This choice has gained much support as well as criticism.

CTBUH Country Representative for Japan, Masayoshi Nakai presented “Aerodynamic Characteristics of Tall Building Models with Various Unconventional Configurations”. This process includes a series of wind tunnel tests that are carried out to determine wind forces and wind pressures acting on tall building models with various configurations: square plan, with corner cut, with setbacks, helical etc. The results of these tests have led to comprehensive discussions on the aerodynamic characteristics of various tall building configurations. In addition, the current near-future tallest building in Japan was briefly introduced.

Tiyok Prasetyoadi, CTBUH Country Representative for Indonesia, described tall building methodology in Indonesia. Indonesia has been in a progressive economic development for the past 40 years. This progress was held up by the Asian financial crisis of 1998, which caused a rapid decrease in the value of the money. However, after three years, development began to increase, and now has resumed. Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, is where most of the development was focused. The challenge for Jakarta is interesting. Jakarta definitely needs high-rise development; however, many dividing questions remain: how dense, how tall, and what is the city's population capacity?

CTBUH Country Representative for Korea, JuHwan Cho, described the Architectural Design of Centumstar Tower. Centum Star Tower is a high-rise residential tower which seeks to represent the daily lives of Korean people in its design and form. It has also solved the issue of the structural system efficiently and as well as economically. The sculptural form and spaces of the tower are designed with types of housing modules and balconies, and with the use of multiple materials. By providing a community center as the main program within the building, the project promotes a goal of increasing the quality of life of its occupants.

Stefan Krummeck, CTBUH Country Representative for Hong Kong, lectured on the unique design attributes of Kingkey Finance Tower: 1) Elaborating on design and construction challenges; 2) Geometry of the tower, vertical transportation, viewing deck and façade; 3) Strength and Capability: Visual and technical solutions for wind, seismic load and sustainability considerations.

Felino Palafox, CTBUH Country Representative for the Philippines, described the issue of vertical urbanism in a traditionally horizontal urban sprawl environment of the Philippines.  Like the entire world, the Philippines is facing environmental challenges as human activities and urban development must become more sustainable. Creating more open-spaces and reducing the travel distance between the places people live, work, shop, dine, learn, play and worship is essential for sustainability. Walking should be encouraged by design. Green Architecture, Green Urbanism, Vertical Urbanism, Mixed-Use Development and Inclusionary Zoning must be adopted more wisely.

Ye Lu introduced the progress and achievements in the field of high-rise steel used in residential buildings in China.

Pennung Warnitchai , CTBUH Country Representative for Thailand, lectured on “Some Critical Problems in the Conventional Seismic Design of Tall Buildings”. In the conventional seismic design of tall buildings, the elastic responses of every important vibration mode to the Design Basis Earthquake (DBE) are first determined by the Response Spectrum Analysis (RSA) procedure.  Then, the total elastic responses from all these modes are combined and reduced to the seismic demands (story shear, overturning moment, etc.) for structural design by a response modification factor “R”. It is, however, demonstrated in this study by using the Non-linear Response History Analysis (NLRHA) that this conventional approach could greatly underestimate the actual seismic demands, especially those contributed by higher vibration modes.

Kwang Ryang Chung described “Key Factors in Determining Tall Building Systems: Technology, Culture, and Construction Market”. Achieving efficiency in structural systems of tall buildings is not a science. It is largely an art, a matter of experienced judgment, a skill in personal persuasion, and a sense of proper compromises, with only a minor component of mathematical exactitude. Therefore, in determining tall building systems, engineers should consider the key factors of technology, culture, and the construction market. It is important that they understand structural materials and systems, living styles, environment/climate, personalities and the interest of people in the market condition.

Picture Gallery
Click an image below to enlarge. Photos courtesy of CTBUH Korea.

Social Program
Jun Xia
Dennis Poon
Thornton Tomassetti
Hi Sun Choi
Thornton Tomassetti
David Scott
Juneid Qureshi
Elena Shuvalova
Lobby Agency
Masayoshi Nakai
Takenaka Corporation

Tiyok Prasetyoadi
PDW Architects

JuHwan Cho
Architects & Planners
Stefan Krummeck
TFP Farrells

Felino Palafox Jr.
Palafox Associates

Ye Lu
Tongji University

Pennung Warnitchai
Asian Institute
of Technology
Kwang Ryang Chung
Dongyang Structural