Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Outgoing Chairman David Malott Passes the CTBUH Chairman’s Gavel to Steve Watts
October 31, 2017
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On the second day of the 2017 Australia Conference, all conference delegates gathered in Sydney for the day’s plenary discussion to see Steve Watts sworn in as the next chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Outgoing CTBUH Chairman David Malott passed the chairman’s gavel to Watts at the ceremony prior to the panel discussion on “The Future of the Workplace,” which Watts also chaired.
Steve Watts officially succeeded former Chairman David Malott at the CTBUH 2017 Australia Conference in October.
Malott, CEO and Co-Founder of AI, took the stage to close out his term as chairman with some warm parting words for the Council.

“It has been my honor to serve as your chairman,” he said. “CTBUH was founded in 1969 by the brilliant engineers of that time who decided to share their knowledge with the world. Our founders recognized it was as important to share in our mistakes as well as in our successes. It is this discourse that makes CTBUH so special.”

Malott, who became CTBUH chairman at the 2014 Shanghai Conference, then called Watts to the stage to hand over the chairman’s gavel, marking the start of his two-year term as steward of the Council.

Watts is a Partner at Alinea Consulting, a cost consultancy headquartered in London that provides independent cost, value, procurement, and risk management advice. His appointment marks the first time the CTBUH chairmanship has gone to the UK, as well the first time it has gone to the cost consultancy profession.

David Malott receiving his commemorative framed gavel from Steve Watts and Antony Wood.

The appointment comes at an appropriate time for the UK, where, against a background of an historical high-rise building boom in London, there is an ongoing active debate on the appropriateness of tall buildings and much soul searching in the aftermath in the Grenfell tragedy.

“It is such an honor to become Chair of the pre-eminent tall building organization in the world,” Watts said. “I know the Council extremely well, and have seen first-hand over the years the unrivalled work it does to disseminate research, promote best practice and encourage debate. To have the opportunity to help steer the CTBUH to make further progress is an exciting prospect.”

Watts has been involved with the Council for more than a decade and has sat on its Board of Trustees since 2011, also acting as Treasurer. He has been the Council’s UK Representative since 2009 and helped to set up the formal CTBUH UK chapter which he has chaired since 2015.

Given his experience, Watts is an ideal appointee, having both extensive knowledge of the tall building industry and a deep understanding of the goals and mission of the Council. Watts has worked on a number of towers – including The Leadenhall Building, The Shard, and currently 22 Bishopsgate in London, in addition to a number of international commissions – and presented extensively on the subject of tall buildings economics and related subjects over the years.