Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Featured Research Papers

Click a link below to view a previously featured CTBUH Research Paper. The date denotes when the paper was featured via the CTBUH homepage or Newsletter. Click here to see all Research Papers.

A Tale of Tier Two Cities
Chi Ming Cheung and Timothy Johnson, posted July 2014

The migration of Chinese residents to cities presents great challenges and opportunities. Large developments near the city core represent the best solution to the challenges of this urban migration, but the superblock must be configured with a strong sense of place, and tall buildings are essential to making this possible.

Is Net-Zero Tall Possible?
Neil Chambers, posted July 2014

Are Net Zero tall buildings possible in dense city cores? Or are cities destined to lose ground on sustainable innovation to less-compact suburban areas? These are two questions asked at the onset of an ambitious research project.

The “Sky Neighborhood” Layout
Mazlin Ghazali, Mohd. Peter Davis & Anniz Bajunid, posted June 2014

Over the last 50 years, many researchers have concluded that high-rise apartments by and large are not suitable for children and young families. Creating small neighborhoods by way of sky courts can be a step toward solving this intractable problem.

Improving the Social Sustainability of High-rises
Modi, Suruchi, posted May 2014

For most of the postwar period, people moved to the suburbs in search of a better life. But if cities can offer them substantial reasons to keep coming back urban areas can be an equally viable and socially sustainable habitat.

Midcentury (un)Modern
B. Browning, A. Hartley, T. Knop, C. Starkey & C. Wayne, posted April 2014

The genesis of PlaNYC, New York City’s ambitious sustainability agenda, was the need to accommodate an estimated one million more people by 2030 within the existing urban fabric.

From Jin Mao to Kingdom: Search for an Asian Supertall Vernacular
Smith, Adrian, posted March 2014

The paper traces the evolution of Mr. Smith’s career as a designer of supertall buildings, the Jin Mao Tower (1999) to Kingdom Tower, to be the world’s tallest building when completed in 2017.

The Monadnock Building, Technically Reconsidered
Leslie, Thomas, posted February 2014

Far from being the world’s last and largest “masonry skyscraper,” the Monadnock was a profoundly transitional structural achievement, making important advances in steel construction while still relying in part on the well-proven strength and reliability of masonry.

Thermal Breaks and Energy Performance in Concrete Balconies
Hardock, Dieter & Roppel, Patrick, posted February 2014

Thermal bridging is a significant and under-explored issue in tall buildings, particularly where floor slabs are connected to balconies and façades. Thermal bridges can have a significant impact on the thermal performance of the building envelope and whole-building energy consumption.

Computational Fluid Dynamics To Optimize Tall Building Design
Kareem, Ahsan; Spence, Seymour; Bernardini, Enrica; Bobby, Sarah & Wei, Daniel, posted January 2014

In recent years, designers of tall and supertall buildings have been challenged to reconcile modern architectural features with new sustainability and efficiency requirements.

Confronting the Question of Demolition or Renovation
Trabucco, Dario & Fava, Paolo, posted January 2014

Crumbling façades, asbestos, and outdated elevators are often cited as reasons to tear down tall buildings and create new skyscrapers. However, renovating a tall building is often a better option than demolition and reconstruction.

The Use of Stainless Steel in Second-Skin Façades
Houska, Catherine, posted December 2013

Exterior walls are being transformed from relatively simple climate-defensive mechanisms to more active membranes that screen weather to reduce energy requirements.

Designing Tall Buildings to Promote Physical Activity in China
Day, Kristen; Alfonzo, Mariela; Guo, Zhan & Lin Lin, posted December 2013

This study asks the question: how do the design of tall buildings and tall building districts impact walking and bicycling in Chinese cities? Little is known about the relationship between the design of tall buildings and physical activity.

Politics, History, and Height In Warsaw’s Skyline
Kowalczyk, Ryszard; Skrzypczak, Jerzy & Olenski, Wojciech, posted November 2013

This paper describes the present high-rise boom in Warsaw, which is related to unprecedented development of the capital of Poland in the last 15 years and the spatial expansion of a high-rise zone created 40 years ago.

Imagining the Tall Building of the Future
Josef Hargrave, Josef & Wilson, Ralph, posted November 2013

Predicting the future is an impossible task. One will never get it absolutely right. However, that does not make it a pointless exercise. Instead, such a discussion is a tool to enable conversations about the possible, and to inspire people to think beyond today and look at some of the trends that will shape our future.

Considering Place in an Integrated Approach to Tall Building Design
Lee, Brian; Baker, William & Leung, Luke, posted October 2013

The rapid development of modern Chinese cities has provided designers and developers with unique opportunities to create architecture that either responds to its existing context or creates entirely new urban identities.

Asia Agenda
Scheeren, Ole, posted October 2013

With Asia’s unparalleled and continued pace of growth fueled by economic development, the world order has shifted eastwards, and China has risen as the defining place to shape the future of our world and the built environment.