Skyscrapper construction slowed down in 2012. Image courtesy CTBUH.

For the first time in six years, the number of skyscrapers built around the world declined in 2012, says the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat‘s (CTBUH) annual report.

“Sixty-six buildings taller than 200 meters were completed during 2012, the third most in history, but down from the 82 finished in 2011,” the CTBUH report reads.

The reason for the decline? Thank the 2008/2009 global financial crisis.

Still, CTBUH says several projects that were expected to wrap up in 2012 are now expected to finish in 2013 and 2014. In fact, the organization says “it is likely the 2013 completion total will set a new record for tall building completions, surpassing the 2011 total.”

Tall building completions and projections from 1960 to 2014

In the US – once considered the undisputed leader of skyscraper development – there were only two buildings taller than 200 meters completed in 2012, led by the 257-meter Devon Headquarters in Oklahoma City, which is only the 38th tallest tower in the US.

But there are signs that the U.S. is building again, CTBUH says. In addition to the redevelopment of the World Trade Center, there are several tall projects under construction in New York, including the 426-meter 432 Park, a residential tower, and the 306-meter One57, a combination residential and hotel project. However, only six buildings over 200 meters are expected to be completed in the US over the next few years.

Meanwhile, Canada has become a hot spot for tall building development. CTBUH notes four buildings taller than 200 meters were completed in Canada last year, including the 277-meter Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto. The list of notable completions also included The Bow, a 237-meter tower in Calgary with a unique diagrid structural system.

But the epicenter of Canadian tall building development is still Toronto, CTBUH says, where 15 buildings taller than 150 meters are under construction, more than any other city in the western hemisphere. By 2015, Toronto will likely have 44 buildings taller than 150 meters, up from 13 in 2005.

However, Toronto is not alone. As mentioned, Calgary is growing taller, and so is Vancouver. By the end of 2015 the number of buildings in Canada taller than 150 meters is expected to grow to 73, almost triple the 26 the country had in 1995.

Other notable skyscraper notes from 2012, courtesy CTBUH:

  • Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel was completed in Saudi Arabia, at 601 meters the second tallest building in the world. It is only the world’s second megatall, defined by the CTBUH as a building of more than 600 meters.
  • Four of the six tallest buildings completed in 2012 were in Dubai, including the world’s tallest hotel, the 355-meter JW Marriott Marquis.
  • The title of Tallest Residential Building exchanged hands twice in 2012, with both recipients located in the Dubai Marina.
  • Fast-growing China finished 22 buildings taller than 200 meters in 2012, 33 percent of the global number.
  • Mecca was the city with the most 200 meter completions in the world, with five.
  • Twelve of the 66 buildings completed in 2012 broke onto the list of the Top 100 tallest buildings in the world, representing a 12 percent change in the tallest 100 in a single year.

For all the numbers and analysis, read CTBUH’s report here.

Can’t get enough skyscrapers? Be sure to check the related post, Top 7 tallest skyscrapers of the not too distant future.

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