Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Tall Buildings and Sustainability Working Group

The international community is divided on the sustainability credentials of Tall Buildings as an appropriate typology in our urban fabric. There are those that believe that the concentration of population through high-density (therefore reducing transport costs and urban / sub-urban spread) combined with the economies of scale of building tall make the typology an inherently sustainable option, whilst others believe that the embodied energies involved in constructing at height, combined with the impact on the urban environment, make them inherently anti-environmental.

This working group sets out to define and investigate the myriad aspects of the oft-used word ‘sustainability’, in the context of tall buildings. In doing this, it sets out to dispel the myths associated with sustainability (or ‘greenwash’) and determine exactly what the issues are and how they can be addressed. It will do this by drawing on a number of source mediums, including published literature and best practice in both the built and, as yet, unbuilt realm. In doing this, it will also make comparison across international practice and procedures, including assessment of criteria across the UK-based BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method), the US-based LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), etc.

Antony Wood
Antony Wood
CTBUH Executive Director
2012 technical guide released at the Shanghai Congress.
Working Group Milestones
Sustainability Internet Resources (at time of creation in 2008)
Contact Information
For more information on the Sustainability Working Group, please contact  the working group Chair (contact information is available by clicking on the Chair image above) and/or