Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
 Shanghai Congress News Day 1
September 19, Day 1 September 20, Day 2 September 21, Day 3
CTBUH 9th World Congress Opens With Dignitaries and Dragons
Traditional dragon dance troupe performs on stage.

Calling on the industry to “find new ways of making tall buildings more sustainable,” CTBUH chairman Timothy Johnson officially opened the CTBUH 9th World Congress in Shanghai on Wednesday.

Special guests for the opening ceremony included Shanghai vice mayor Shen Jun; Qing Wei Kong, chairman of Shanghai Tower and a traditional dancing dragon troupe.

(Left to right) Qing Wei Kong, chairman, Shanghai Tower; Timothy Johnson, chairman, CTBUH; Shen Jun, vice mayor, Shanghai; Antony Wood, executive director, CTBUH; Guo Qing Li, professor, Tongji University

In his speech to the overflowing ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Jin Mao, Mr. Jun emphasized that tall buildings are an important part of the city’s future. Shanghai completed five buildings taller than 200 meters in 2011, according to CTBUH data.

“Land resources are not renewable,” Mr. Jun said. “We have no choice but to build high rises to save land.”

The theme of the Congress, which continues through Friday, is “Asia
Ascending: Age of the Sustainable Skyscraper City.”

Keynote speakers for the opening ceremony included Shanghai Tower president Jian Ping Gu, president of Shanghai Tower, and Adrian Smith, founding partner of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, who detailed his search for an Asian supertall vernacular
in iconic projects such as the Jin Mao tower, the host of the Congress.

Adrian Smith delivers keynote at the opening ceremony.

Panel: The Sky is the Limit for Tall Buildings
Richard Tomasetti, Vincent Tse, Rafael Vinõly and Tony Long engaged in the panel discussion.

Money is the primary element keeping buildings from growing higher and higher, a multi-discipline panel of top experts agreed during a spirited discussion headlined “How High Can We Go? (And why should we?)."

“There is no problem going to a mile high,” said moderator Richard Tomasetti, founding principal of Thornton Tomasetti, the structural engineers. “Structural engineers are off the hook
we’re not limiting anything.”

The panel featured Vincent Tse, managing director of Parsons Brinckerhoff; architect Rafael Vinõly of Rafael Vinõly Architects; and Tony Long, president of CB Richard Ellis.

The discussion jumped from technology to social and cultural issues, ranging from the challenges of providing phone and data service at height, to the difficulties of creating air conditioning systems for homes and offices a mile above the ground.

CTBUH Chairman Timothy Johnson made international headlines from the Congress by noting in an interview with Bloomberg that a mile-high tower is possible by 2025.
Read the article here.

Sociological issues will also play a big role in the decision-making process—as well as evacuation and safety issues
but ultimately the discussion always will come back to money.

“I hate value engineering,” Mr. Vinõly said, drawing a laugh from the audience.

Meet the Press
Panel members Antony Wood, Timothy Johnson, Adrian Smith and Professor Guo Qing Li.
Timothy Johnson discusses tall buildings with a reporter.

A panel of CTBUH leaders staged a briefing for the international press, under the theme, “The future of tall building development.”

The panel included CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood, Chairman Timothy Johnson, Burj Khalifa designer Adrian Smith and Professor Guo Qing Li of Tongji University, the CTBUH country representative in China.

Reporters in attendance included representatives of the Financial Times, Bloomberg TV, ENR and the Chinese architecture magazine Urban Environment Design magazine.

CTBUH Groups Tackle Issues in Pre-Congress Workshops
Attendees of the Global Leaders workshop

Dozens of CTBUH leaders gathered on Tuesday afternoon, the day before the official start of the Congress, for workshops focused on key industry issues. One session featured members of the CTBUH board of trustees, advisory group, country leaders and new city representatives, who focused on ways to grow CTBUH services at a grass roots level.

Other CTBUH working groups targeted Building Information Modeling; Fire and Life Safety; Outrigger Design; Research, Academic and Post-Graduate Programs; Seismic Design; Sustainability; and Wind Engineering.

VIP Reception
Eton Properties sponsored a VIP Reception on the 93rd floor of the Park Hyatt in the Shanghai World Financial Center. Attendees were treated to access to the World Financial Center’s sky bridge, affording dramatic views of the Shanghai skyline.
VIP Reception image gallery (click on an image to enlarge)
September 19, Day 1 September 20, Day 2 September 21, Day 3