Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Shanghai Conference News: Pre-Conference
September 15, Pre-Conference September 16, Day 1
September 17, Day 2 September 18, Day 3
September 19, Technical Tours
September 20/21, Regional Tours
Pre-Conference Preparations, Leaders and Trustees’ Meetings, and VIP Networking Rule the Day
Registration booths in preperation of the upcoming conference
The atmosphere before the 2014 CTBUH Conference in Shanghai was filled with giddy energy. The sounds of hammering, drilling, ripping open packets of gypsum board, and shouted instructions testified to the massive transformation of the Jin Mao Conference Center that transpired in a mere 24 hours.

Against this backdrop, even before the exhibition stands opened the next morning, the serious – and pleasurable - business of the Council had already begun.

CTBUH Trustees Meet Ahead of the Conference
Trustee Meeting, from left to right: Mounid Hammound, Jeddah Economic Co.; Cathy Yang, Taipei Financial Center Corporation; William Maibusch, DPR Construction; Antony Wood, CTBUH; Timothy Johnson, NBBJ; David Malott, KPF; Dennis Poon, Thornton Tomasetti; Craig Gibbons, Arup; and Vincent Tse, Parsons Brinckerhoff.
The Trustees’ Meeting occupied the morning hours. In this closed session, the first order of the day was to pass the chairmanship of the Council from Tim Johnson, Partner, NBBJ to David Malott, Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox. Malott outlined his two-year plan for the Council, and the Board considered the strategic initiatives that would be implemented in the coming year. The Board also welcomed new Trustees Mounib Hammoud, CEO of Jeddah Economic Co., and Vincent Tse, Managing Director, Building MEP, China Region, Parsons Brinckerhoff.
Timothy Johnson speaking to the trustees
Chairman-elect David Malott outlining his 2 year plan

CTBUH Leaders Discuss Ways to Broaden Council Membership and Improve Effectiveness
Trustee Timothy Johnson addressing the leaders
Following the Trustees’ Meeting, the wider leadership of the Council, including the Advisory Board, city and country representatives, and chapter chairs convened in the Leaders Meeting. Some 60 people from around the world gathered to participate in discussions about how to widen the Council’s reach and effectiveness.

Attendees heard from Executive Director Antony Wood, who outlined the Council’s expectations for leaders, epitomized by a theme that would resound throughout the session: “We don’t need anyone to do everything. But we do need everyone to do something.” What exactly those “somethings” would turn out to be was the object of the five-hour meeting.
Leaders meeting with representative from all over the world
Antony Wood demonstrating new CTBUH improvements
Chairman-electDave Malott outlined his own set of expectations and plans for the near future, including broadening the Council’s membership to include more developers, city planners, and technology companies, especially those involved in the increasingly wired built environment, or “the Internet of things.”

“I really want to reach out to the advisory group and get you more engaged,” Malott said. “You are the sounding board. We ask that everyone find some aspect of the Council that drives and motivates you, and contributes to that.”

Wood demonstrated that leaders were not left to fulfill the expectations on their own. He emphasized the vast range of resources available to leaders, through packets containing a CD that contained all of the Council’s research and graphics, presentation templates, and research reports, which he advised they take forward in any way they saw fit. This point was underscored by the unveiling of two slick videos, one showcasing the recent improvements to The Skyscraper Center database web interface, as well as the recently launched Regional and Member pages, and another, set to charging, dynamic music, promoting the next CTBUH conference, in New York, 2015.

The Working Groups, which were to meet the following day in a series of eight technical workshops, were also strongly encouraged to produce materials that would advance the CTBUH’s educational mission. This included an admonition to more assertively guide Working Groups to produce more technical guides than the Council has heretofore been able to create.

“When you think about the vast array of subjects in the tall-building world that need to be addressed, I want to see about 40 of these [technical] guides in the next four years, not four.” Wood said. “This is one key way to get involved.”

Wood then solicited the leaders for some ideas for guides and working groups. New Trustee Mounib Hammoud suggested progressing the Technical Guides series from engineering and design topics to areas such as facilities management, value preservation, tall-building marketing and financing, and tall buildings’ relationship to the urban environment.
The Leaders also heard from Richard Witt, CTBUH Canada Chair and Principal at Quadrangle Architects in Toronto, who presented on the nuances of developing and running a successful chapter, including event planning, the establishment of bylaws and tax / legal status, and networking benefits.

Advisory Group Chair Peter Weismantle, Director of Supertall Building Technology at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, gave the leaders an update on the doings of the Advisory Group, which had recently absorbed the Height Committee. Weismantle said much progress had been made on the criteria, but that resolving the ambitions to achieve both extreme height and sustainability remained an important focus.
CTBUH Canada Chair, Richard Witt
Wood also delivered a report on the newly opened CTBUH Asia Office at Tongji University, Shanghai– the first outside of Chicago – and encouraged Leaders to join him in the search for seven founding sponsors and a new director for the CTBUH Asia Office, who will guide the furtherance of CTBUH’s influence in China, manage Chinese-language publications and output, and foster engagement between industry professionals and academics in the high-rise field.

Other subjects up for discussion included how to embrace under-represented groups and regions, and a lively illustration of the phenomenon in some countries where the rate of tall-building development has outpaced a proportionate representation in Council membership.

“Many of the countries are high on the tall building count and are not reflected in proportion to that on membership,” Wood said. “It starts with engagement.”

VIP Reception Provides Breezy Promontory for Networking Above Pudong
Beautiful views of Shanghai from the Paradise Garden restaurant
In the spirit of furthering engagement, the Leaders concluded the meeting and proceeded to the Paradise Garden restaurant, where they were joined by VIP Conference speakers for a special pre-conference reception. Eventually numbering over 100, the combined group socialized on the expansive 6th-floor deck of the restaurant, situated atop the convention hall adjacent to the Jin Mao Tower. A spectacle of dancing lights pulsed in the sky and on the busy street below, as Pudong’s veritable skyscraper parade and an accompanying pleasant breeze formed a sort of pre-opening ceremony of their own.
Inside the reception
View of the Oriental Pearl Television Tower
September 15, Pre-Conference September 16, Day 1
September 17, Day 2 September 18, Day 3
September 19, Technical Tours September 20/21, Regional Tours