Photos: The Skyscraper Center
Within the next decade the number of tall buildings worldwide will nearly double.
According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), the recognized authority on skyscraper height, there are currently 813 buildings of at least 656 feet (200 meters) either under construction or in the planning stages. That means that within the next 10 years the number of officially “tall” buildings will hit 1,627 as there are already 815 completed structures.
Why the sudden growth spurt? According to the Wall Street Journal, skyscrapers are making a comeback as the global economy recovers from the financial crisis:
Supported by innovations in design and engineering and driven by the desire of town planners and developers to make bold architectural statements, these tall towers are springing up at the fastest rate since the financial crisis—and reaching new heights.
In fact, tall building construction is so rampant that structures around 660 feet are becoming commonplace. Even the term “supertall” (used to describe buildings of at least 300 meters or 984 feet in height) is no longer enough to accurately describe current building trends. It’s why in 2011, the CTBUH came up with a new distinction:
…we are entering the era of the “megatall.” This term is now officially being used by the [CTBUH] to describe buildings over 600 meters [1,969 feet] in height, or double the height of a supertall.
There are currently only two buildings in the world taller than 1,969 feet: Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and the Makkah Clock Royal Tower Hotel in Saudi Arabia. But there will be at least 10 more by 2020, including:
The 3,281-foot (1,000 meters) Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia
The 2,749-foot (838 meters) Sky City tower in Changsha, China