Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

CTBUH Founder, Dr. Lynn Beedle, at 100
Thursday, 7 December 2017
The founder of the CTBUH, Dr. Lynn Beedle, would have been 100 years old on December 7, 2017. A professor and eventually director of the Fritz Engineering Laboratory at Lehigh University, Dr. Beedle founded the Council in 1969 upon the realization that research on tall buildings was not being coordinated or evaluated in a way that was useful for those operating in the industry. He quickly wrote to a colleague on the need for an international effort on the dissemination of skyscraper knowledge.

Originally called the “Joint Committee on Tall Buildings,” a collaboration between the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Council established more frequent international exchanges between tall building professionals just as skyscraper construction began to take off again in the early 1970s. The first CTBUH headquarters was established at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.
The founder of the CTBUH,
Dr. Lynn Beedle
Dr. Beedle dedicated his life’s work to growing the Council and fostering the stimulation of research on tall buildings throughout the world. He served as its founding director from 1969 until his retirement in 2000, during which he authored and edited over 200 papers, articles and books and gave more than 600 lectures at conferences in over 40 countries across the globe. In 2002, the ASCE honored Dr. Beedle with the OPAL Award for Lifetime Achievement and Management.

One of Dr. Beedle’s most controversial moments at the Council came later in his career. In 1996 the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, had just topped out, and according to CTBUH criteria had become the world’s tallest buildings—edging out the Sears Tower in the Council’s hometown of Chicago. Dr. Beedle broke the news to disappointed Chicago press—and the world—that had assembled to witness the Council’s verdict.

It was because of this lifetime of dedication and professional contribution that the Council created the Lynn S. Beedle Achievement Award in his honor. Dr. Beedle’s tireless work in bringing experts together to disseminate knowledge, share best practices and promote a better urban future live on in the CTBUH today.
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