Tall Buildings in Numbers takes a statistical and graphical look at various topics related to tall buildings, such as height, function, geographical location, energy requirements, structure and others. For more Tall Building statistics, please visit The Skyscraper Center.

The Global Tall Building Picture: Impact of 2018

CTBUH Journal 2019 Issue I

In 2018, 143 buildings of 200 meters’ height or greater were completed. This is a slight decrease from 2017’s record-breaking total of 147, and it
brings the total number of 200-meter-plus buildings in the world to 1,478, marking an increase of 141 percent from 2010, and 464 percent from
2000, when only 262 existed. Asia continued to be the most dominant region in terms of skyscraper construction, and China within it, as in several
years previously.

The Middle East: 30+ Years of Building Tall

CTBUH Journal, 2018 Issue IV

The Middle East region is hosting its first CTBUH International Conference since 2008. In that year, there
were 119 completed buildings of 150 meters or greater height. Ten years later, there are now 387 such
buildings either completed or topped out (with expected 2018 completion), meaning an average of nearly
27 were constructed each year in the region during that decade. As this study will show, however, the
growth is not evenly distributed nor especially correlated to overall population, or to density. The dynamics,
and the reasons for high-rise construction in the region, are as diverse as the nations that comprise it.

World’s Tallest Demolished Buildings

CTBUH Journal, 2018 Issue II

Although the world has more than 1,300 buildings of 200 meters or higher, no tall building of more than 187 meters has been demolished, with the exception of the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. However, JP Morgan Chase Bank plans to demolish the former Union Carbide Building (1961) in New York to make way for a taller headquarters building. At 215.5 meters, this would become the tallest building in history to have been peacefully demolished. This report examines the 100 tallest buildings in history to have been dismantled by their owners, and some of the reasons for doing so.

The Global Tall Building Picture: Impact of 2017

CTBUH Journal, 2018 Issue I

In 2017, 144 buildings of 200 meters’ height or greater were completed. This is the fourth record-breaking year in a row, and it brings the total number of 200-meter-plus buildings in the world to 1,319, marking an increase of 12.3% from 2016, and a 402% increase from 2000, when only 263 existed. Asia continued to be the most dominant region in terms of skyscraper construction, and China within it, as in several years previously.

The Global Tall Building Picture: Impact of 2017

CTBUH Journal, 2018 Issue I

In 2017, 144 buildings of 200 meters’ height or greater were completed. This is the fourth record-breaking year in a row, and it brings the total number of 200-meter-plus buildings in the world to 1,319, marking an increase of 12.3% from 2016, and a 402% increase from 2000, when only 263 existed.

Australia: Rising Up Down Under

CTBUH Journal, 2017 Issue IV

Australia is one of the world’s least densely-populated countries, and yet it has one of the highest proportions of urban dwellers, a figure that is increasing. A boom in tall building construction is underway, paralleled by several significant transportation projects, particularly in the three CTBUH 2017 Conference cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. This study examines the timeline, composition, and location of buildings 100 meters and taller (complete or under construction), set against the backdrop of new public transportation projects that are “connecting the city” and aligning towards a denser, more sustainable future.

Vertical Transportation: Ascent & Acceleration

CTBUH Journal, 2017 Issue III

As part of a recent collaboration with the Guinness Book of World Records, CTBUH certified that Shanghai Tower has the fastest elevator and the longest elevator run of all commercial buildings in the world. Expanding upon this study, CTBUH sought to determine the records for speed and length of run among the world’s tall buildings.

Tall Timber: A Global Audit

CTBUH Journal, 2017 Issue II

In the past few years, the tall building industry has become increasingly interested in the use of timber as a major structural element in skyscrapers. This has resulted in a now-worldwide wave of research, built projects, and ever more daring speculative proposals using “mass timber” – engineered wood products that are just as robust as their concrete and steel counterparts. This study examines recently completed and under construction timber structure buildings as well as a wave of new proposals.

Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2016

CTBUH Journal, 2017 Issue I

CTBUH has determined that 128 buildings of 200 meters’ height or greater were completed around the world in 2016 – setting a new record for annual tall building completions and marking the third consecutive record-breaking year.

Tall Buildings and Megacities

CTBUH Journal, 2016 Issue IV

In this study, CTBUH undertook an examination of the populations, areas, densities, and several measures of skyscraper activity in the world’s 45 “megacities” – defined as urban agglomerations with a total population of 10 million people or greater, consisting of a continuous built-up area that encompasses one or more city centers and suburban areas, economically and functionally linked to those centers. The findings, also shown in the accompanying paper in this Journal: Megacities: Setting the Scene (page 30), are sometimes counterintuitive. While the world’s megacities have the majority of 200 meter-plus skyscrapers, there is not an obvious correlation between population density and number of skyscrapers. Vertical urbanism, it would seem, looks quite different in local contexts.

Twisting Tall Buildings

CTBUH Journal, 2016 Issue III

CTBUH defines a “twisting” building as one that progressively rotates its floor plates or its façade as it gains height. Usually, but not always, each plate is shaped similarly in plan and is turned on a shared axis a consistent number of degrees from the floor below. A stunning variety of textures, view angles, and ripple effects results from these manipulations, making these “twisters” some of the world’s most iconic buildings – and in many cases, aerodynamic and energy-efficient. In this study, we rank the world’s 28 tallest twisting towers (either completed or currently under construction) and display selected variations on the theme.

Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2015

CTBUH Journal, 2016 Issue I

CTBUH has determined that 106 buildings of 200 meters’ height or greater were completed around the world in 2015 – setting a new record for annual tall building completions.

New York: The Ultimate Skyscraper Laboratory

CTBUH Journal, 2015 Issue IV

A timeline of skyscraper completions in New York uncannily resembles the boom and bust cycles of the United States in the 20th and early 21st centuries. The most active year was 1931, when the final excesses of the Roaring ‘20s were thrown skywards and frozen in concrete and steel. The scarcity of building materials clearly had their effects in the fl at World War II period. The rise of multinational corporations may explain the relative surge in skyscraper construction in the 1970s, even as New York City itself endured its darkest financial hours. Then come the wild “Wall Street” years of the 1980s, followed by the lagged effect of the early 1990s slump. The singular event of 9/11 did not have nearly the dampening effect on skyscraper construction, compared to the financial crisis of 2008-9. The current boom demonstrates New York’s persistence as a magnet for capital, and it’s standing as the ultimate skyscraper laboratory over time.

World’s Highest Observation Decks

CTBUH Journal, 2015 Issue III

Perhaps no element of a tall building is more closely related to the pure pleasure of standing high in the sky and taking in the view of one’s surroundings than observation decks. Often adding an important source of revenue for the structures that have them, observation decks also change the way people view cities, and can potentially elevate their international reputation.

Japan: A History of Tall Innovations

CTBUH Journal, 2015 Issue II

Japan is one of the world’s most densely populated nations, at an average of 339 people per square kilometer. It is also one of the world’s most active seismic zones. The combination of these factors has driven sophisticated design and engineering innovations that responded to Japan’s uniquely challenging conditions, including in the tall building field, which continue to this day.

Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2014

CTBUH Journal, 2015 Issue I

An All-Time Record 97 Buildings of 200 Meters or Higher Completed in 2014 and 2014 showed further shifts towards Asia, and also surprising developments in building functions and structural materials.

Dream Deferred: Unfinished Tall Buildings

CTBUH Journal, 2014 Issue IV

Without big dreams, there would be no tall buildings. Conceiving, financing, designing, and constructing a skyscraper is no simple feat, even under the best of conditions. Many projects have had torturously slow gestation periods; many more have failed to start or were interrupted and cancelled. Naturally, we began to wonder how many tall buildings were started and not finished, and which held the records for longest construction time. Rumors of resurrections persist, and today’s long shot is tomorrow’s sure thing…

Green Walls in High-Rise Buildings

CTBUH Journal, 2014 Issue III

The latest CTBUH technical guide, Green Walls in High-Rise Buildings, provides a thorough investigation of the methods used around the world for implementation of vertical vegetation at height. In commemoration of the release of this important guide, Tall Buildings in Numbers profiles the 18 case study buildings included.

Highest Helipads

CTBUH Journal, 2014 Issue II

In this installment of Tall Buildings in Numbers, CTBUH considers how helipads are used on skyscrapers, and which are the highest in the world. The results were somewhat surprising, with 114 buildings over 200 meters having helipads globally, across 13 countries.

Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2013

CTBUH Journal, 2014 Issue I

By all appearances, the small increase in the total number of tall-building completions from 2012 into 2013 is indicative of a return to the prevalent trend of increasing completions each year over the past decade.

The Middle East: 20 Years of Building Skyscrapers

CTBUH Journal, 2013 Issue IV

Twenty years ago, the Middle East contained only one skyscraper over 150 meters in height. It is now estimated that by the end of 2015 the region will have 289 buildings in this category.

Vanity Height: the Use-less Space in Today’s Tallest

CTBUH Journal, 2013 Issue III

CTBUH has investigated the increasing trend towards extreme spires and other extensions of supertall (300-meter-plus) buildings that do not enclose usable space, and created a new term to describe this – Vanity Height.

The Past, Present and Future of the European Skyscraper

CTBUH Journal, 2013 Issue II

There are currently 109 skyscrapers over 150 meters in Europe. This number is set to jump to 161 by the end of 2015, meaning that there are more than 50 projects in advanced stages of construction.

Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2012

CTBUH Journal, 2013 Issue I

For the first time in six years the number of tall buildings completed annually around the world declined as the effects of the global financial crisis became evident.

Canada Grows Taller

CTBUH Journal, 2012 Issue IV

Twenty-six buildings taller than 150 meters have been built in Canada since 2005 and it added four buildings taller than 200 meters in 2012, the most ever in a single year.

The Tallest 15 Cities in China

CTBUH Journal, 2012 Issue III

With over 1.3 billion citizens and a rapidly urbanizing population, China is developing tall buildings more than any other country globally. Currently it has 239 buildings 200 meters or more in height under construction.

A New Leader for Telecom Towers

CTBUH Journal, 2012 Issue II

With the recent completion of two megatall telecommunication/observation towers it is perhaps time to review these structures and also explain why they are distinguished from buildings in the Council’s official tallest lists.

Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2011

CTBUH Journal, 2012 Issue I

The annual story is becoming a familiar one: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and now 2011 have each sequentially broke the record for the most 200 meter or higher buildings completed in a given year. Once again, more 200 m+ buildings were completed in 2011 than in any year previous.

South Korea: Past, Present and Future

CTBUH Journal, 2011 Issue IV

As of the year 2000, there were only 9 buildings 150 meters or taller in all of South Korea. Just twelve years later, there are now 124 buildings 150+ meters in height completed, with another 13 scheduled to complete by the end of this year.

New York City Scrapers

CTBUH Journal, 2011 Issue III

New York’s dramatic skyline, over a century in the making, has for years been the envy of cities around the world. From the very birth of the tall building typology, New York has been at the forefront of the scene. Even as recently as the 1970s, New York City alone contained over 50% of the world’s 150 m+ buildings.

Tall and Urban: An Analysis of Global Population and Tall Buildings

CTBUH Journal, 2011 Issue II

Tall buildings are spreading across the globe at an ever-increasing rate. This study demonstrates the relationship between population and tall buildings across those countries and presents information on the average height and age of each country’s tallest buildings.

Tallest Buildings Completed in 2010

CTBUH Journal, 2011 Issue I

In a year dominated by news coverage of the new “World’s Tallest Building” – Burj Khalifa, Dubai – one may be surprised to learn that, besides being the year in which a building first surpassed the 600, 700, and 800-meter thresholds, 2010 has seen the completion of more skyscrapers than any previous year in history.

Tallest World Records

CTBUH Journal, 2010 Issue IV

Includes records of the tallest buildings/structures according to function and structural material, the highest spaces according to function, and some lesser-known titles such as the world’s tallest timber building, tallest religious buildings, highest swimming pool, etc.

The Economics of High-rise

CTBUH Journal, 2010 Issue III

Includes comparative studies of high-rise construction costs based on location and building function. Key high-rise cost drivers = shape & geometry, size & regularity of floor plate, structural solution, façade specification, environmental strategy, site constraints, market conditions and vertical transportation strategy.

The Tallest Buildings in the World: Past, Present & Future

CTBUH Journal, 2008 Issue II

Over time, the average height of the 100 tallest buildings in the world has been steadily increasing. However, by 2010, this average height will have jumped to 349 meters, up from 286 meters in 2000, an increase of 22%. This is almost double the increase from 197 meters to 229 meters that occurred between 1970 and 1980.