With 2016 well and truly over but 2017 still well ahead of us, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) took the time to review the world of tall buildings.
In their findings, they revealed that 128 buildings of 200 metres’ height or greater were completed around the world in 2016.
This number of skyscrapers around the world set a new record for annual tall building completions, beating 2015’s previous record of 114 and marking the third consecutive record-breaking year.
In their report on 2016 skyscrapers, CTBUH Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2016, CTBUH recorded the following key highlights.
In each instance, the drivers behind these buildings remain the desire to establish identity, enhancing the skyline, to respond to urban population growth, and to maximise functional utility upon minimal land area.
Popular skyscraper functions
The report details a functional split for tall building completions in 2016 remains almost perfectly consistent with that of previous years. Office functions have by far the highest share, representing 52% of completions with 67, achieving a consecutive all-time record over 2015, in which there were 53.
Guangzhou CTF Finance CentreMeanwhile, 38 buildings were completed for mixed-use purposes, representing 30% of the total and 16% of skyscrapers, or 20 of the total number, were erected as residential buildings. Only three all-hotel towers were completed in 2016, representing just 3% of the total. Despite the low number, CTBUH pointed out that hotel functions are critical components of many mixed-use developments, and so the low number of completions for hotel-only towers does not indicate a downward trend for the function altogether.
Torre Reforma, Mexico
"This material trend is expected to continue to dominate, particularly as tall buildings continue to proliferate in seismically active regions like China, which mandate robust structural responses."Concrete construction took the remaining share of completions with 58, or 45% of the total. CTBUH attributes the significant use of concrete to a combination of concrete’s relative ubiquity and lower cost in many regions, as well as its comparative simplicity in construction, which would increase its appeal in regions with lower-skilled labor pools.
30 Park Place, New York CityIn 2016, not a single building of 200 metres or higher was completed with an all-steel structural system. The use of steel in tall buildings has almost completely transitioned into composite construction. At the time of developing this report, there were only nineteen buildings over 200-metres under construction that employ all-steel structural systems.
What was said about Australia?
Tall Trends of 2016
revealed that Australia experienced two completions in 2016: Vision Apartments in Melbourne (223 metres) and International Towers – Tower 1 in Sydney (217 metres).
"The annual trickle of tall buildings coming online in the country is expected to continue in the years ahead, with eleven 200-metre-plus buildings currently under construction or topped out, with completion years ranging from 2017 to 2020," the report said.
Images courtesy 'CTBUH Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2016'.