Record breaking year for ‘supertalls’
High rise construction is taking place all over the world and has been driven by rapid urbanisation in recent years. Building vertically is no longer limited to large financial districts in the major cities with countries now responding to the droves of people moving to the city every year.
This explains the impressive figures for high rises this year once again. Completions for supertalls - buildings over 200 metres in height - have amounted to 144 across 23 different countries.
2017 has surpassed the records in the last four years, showing that the architectural trend is rising at a rapid rate and that the construction industry has completely recovered from the slump of the economic crisis back in 2008.
China is recognised as a leader in building skyscrapers with Shenzhen emerging as the city with the most high-rise completions in the last few years. Completions include Ping An Finance Centre by KPF which is 599 metres high and is now the fourth-tallest tower in the world.
China is not the only country to be increasing its construction for tall buildings with North America also experiencing a resurgence in the trend after dominating completions in the 20th century, and Africa and India both stepping up their construction activity.
As the global population continues to balloon, skyscrapers will become more and more in demand in the future, meaning that 2018 will likely be another record-breaking year for tall buildings. In 2020, it is predicted that another 100 supertall buildings could be added to city skylines to maximise the use of land and create more opportunities for investment.
Nowadays, many architects have no specific purpose other than to build higher in order to compete in the category of the ‘supertall’. An example is Burj Khalifa where almost a third of the entire building is unoccupied and is considered by some as a waste of space in the sky. Some industry experts believe that the higher buildings are, the more expensive they are to build, especially when taking into account the sophisticated foundations and structural system that they would require.
Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the construction of supertalls will continue. With two billion more people predicted to be living in the cities by 2035, building upwards instead of outwards is the only real solution that we have.