CTBUH Committees encourage cutting-edge research in topics across disciplines that facilitate discussions on the development of urban environments.


The Council is committed to sharing the latest information, practices, and perspectives related to the creation of tall buildings and future cities. The CTBUH Assemblies and Committees are integral to that mission. Each assembly has multiple committees and work groups on topics as shown below. Each assembly has a chair and a vice chair. The chair serves on the Advisory Group.


If interested in joining a committee, please contact the CTBUH Membership Department, [email protected].

The main objective of the CTBUH Tall Timber Working Group is the development of research activities aimed at better understanding the use of timber in tall buildings. Through the interaction between different points of view and state of the art research in “timber buildings,” the purpose is to define the “main features” of a “tall timber building” and then research the possibility to create the first 40-story building constructed with timber structural elements. The members of the working group also participate in International Research programs, like InterReg or Horizon, in order to evaluate and explore better solutions to help realize the first all-timber tall building.

This group builds off the work of the previous Seismic Design Working Group. With research at an advanced stage, the Council is calling on individuals to participate in the Peer Review process. In this capacity, you will review the findings and make important contributions to the final output. For more information, or to get involved, please contact [email protected] with your qualifications. In 2008, the CTBUH Seismic Working Group produced a publication entitled “Recommendations for the Seismic Design of High-rise Buildings.” In this document and in subsequent working group meetings, it was established that Performance Based Seismic Design is most appropriate for tall building design, particularly in regions of high seismicity. As a direct result, the CTBUH Performance Based Seismic Design Working Group has been formed to publish the “Performance Based Seismic Design (PBSD) of Tall Buildings” Technical Guide which will describe the process, taking advantage of the most current international resources. Where international standard practice varies, the publication will highlight and contrast design conventions. The aim of this document will also be to investigate whether historically established design practices should be modified in light of the substantial increase in our ability to analyze the behavior of tall buildings through the PBSD process. If you have read the Performance-Based Seismic Design Technical Guide and have feedback, comments, or inquiries, please contact [email protected].

Since 1950, there has been a dramatic increase in global urbanization, a trend that is projected to continue well into the future. This rise in urban density is not only restricted to emerging economies, but is occurring regardless of geographic region. This continued and steady preference for urban living, combined with a generally limited cache of space, has raised demand for high-rise residential housing, commercial office space, and multi-functional tall buildings. This is due to the fact that the tall building represents the most efficient development solution for areas with small footprints. Elevator manufacturers have responded to this ever-increasing drive to build taller with products that travel faster, use fewer or lighter materials, manage journeys more efficiently, and are increasingly energy efficient. As buildings become taller, demands simultaneously increase for efficient vertical transportation systems. To remain at pace with these intensifications, the design of vertical transportation needs to be considered at an early stage in the design process. CTBUH is developing a technical guide which will showcase the new frontier of elevator technologies, design considerations, and example case studies. Information from multiple sources will be gathered and collated into the technical guide, which can then be used by industry stakeholders during the design stages for high-rise buildings.

The ever-increasing complexity of tall building development and construction around the world has necessitated an added focus on human coordination, logistics, and holistic oversight methodologies. As one of the most rigorous and intensive forms of development, the tall building typology presents clear challenges to the industry, as one miscalculation can have widespread implications on costs, material throughput, scheduling, and ultimately project delivery. The CTBUH Program & Construction Management Working Group was formed with the goal of defining and exploring innovative program management techniques for supertall and megatall towers, with a focus on predictive analytics, global trend evaluations, evolving technologies, and variables in the realms of finance, labor, and international law.

This group formed in 2017 following a significant number of tall building fires around the world. It appears the cause of many of these fires might have been inadequate fireproofing to the cladding, compounded by other issues in each case. The Grenfell Tower in London is one of many fires that have breached perhaps the longest-standing fundamental fire safety object of tall buildings, which is "compartmentalization": i.e., to resist the spread of fire between floors. The Working Group will seek to deconstruct what “fire safety” means, take it back to the key concepts that are independent of code or country, and ask whether we understand each of those concepts and how they should be addressed. The Working Group will incorporate the work of investigations in China, Australia, the UK and the Middle East, with the objective of creating an international perspective on the issues, and to generate recommendations and guidelines that could work internationally, while local guidance is also accommodated.

It was less than four years ago that the Passivhaus Institute recognized the world’s first skyscraper built to the Passivhaus standard, the Raiffeisen-Holding Hochhaus in Vienna. The Passivhaus standard rigorously stipulates whole-building energy performance that exceeds most other standards and requires planning from the outset of design. Since that time, a flurry of activity has emerged around the world, with dozens of Passivhaus projects now completed or underway. Now, this working group will create a technical guide establishing the most salient issues, challenges and techniques for achieving Passivhaus high-rise buildings economically.

Buildings are connected like never been before, and the increasing complexity demands an unprecedented exchange of data. A smart, connected infrastructure helps facility managers develop systems to provide more efficient ways to measure performance, which works to reduce energy use, optimize how space is used and minimize the environmental impact of buildings. The CTBUH Smart Building Technology Working Group was formed with the goal of defining and exploring innovative smart technology in tall buildings.

The MEP Working Group was established to produce a technical guide entitled “Stack Effect in High-Rise Buildings.” The intent of this publication is to offer design considerations for tall buildings in extreme climates that experience Stack Effect, a phenomenon that occurs when the difference between outdoor and indoor air temperature produces high pressure within a building, causing potential issues ranging from fire control to elevator door operation.

The CTBUH History Committee was created to mediate and rule on any future disputes or claims to significant moments in skyscraper history; provide research support and expert testimony to the Height & Data Committee on matters of historical record, particularly those which predate the founding of the Council in 1969; and support, steer and contribute to CTBUH initiatives related to early skyscraper history, including symposia, publications, tours, and events.

The Advisory Group's core responsibility is to provide guidance to the Board of Trustees on strategic CTBUH issues. In addition, the group is expected to help grow the Council, increase membership, represent and promote the Council externally at the highest levels, and lead specific projects, such as research projects, working groups, and publications.

The Board of Trustees is responsible for creating the long-term vision and strategy for the Council and its members. The Board oversees the governance of the Council, including the annual audit of operations and finances, and develops programs to ensure the continued growth of the Council and its long history of serving professionals and academics involved in the development of tall buildings and urban habitats internationally.

The CTBUH Tall Building Academic and Teaching Committee was established to coordinate and advance teaching and academic initiatives across academic member institutes around the world. The group leads on from the very successful Research, Academic & Postgraduate Working Group, which was active between 2010-2014 and resulted in a number of new research and academic initiatives for the Council. The current Committee provides an international platform to facilitate the sharing of teaching and research practices from tall building and urban programs among CTBUH Academic Institute members. This includes urban, architecture and engineering studios; seminar courses; PhD and Master’s theses; academic accreditation processes to certify the excellence of tall building teaching programs, organization of the international student design and research competitions, and the facilitation of dialogue and collaborations between students and professors across universities around the world.

The CTBUH maintains a highly qualified scientific expert review panel. This panel evaluates conference papers, CTBUH Journal papers, seed funding submissions, and other relevant research-oriented submissions on an ad-hoc basis. The composition of the panel represents the wide range of disciplines involved in the development, design, construction and operation of tall buildings, and the Council’s expanding brief to take on all forms of urban sustainability.

The Expert Chinese Translation Committee helps translates and reviews translations of conference papers, CTBUH Journal papers, seed funding submissions, and other relevant research-oriented submissions on an ad-hoc basis. The wide range of fields covered by these committee members ensure proper translations of documents that contain domain-specific language.

The CTBUH Future Leaders Global Committee was created to be a guiding force behind corresponding Future Leaders Regional Committees, which function as incubators for the next generation of CTBUH Leaders. The Chairs of each Regional Committee will also serve on the Future Leaders Global Committee, providing a collaborative platform to drive events and other initiatives, which will then be recommended to the Regional Committees for local implementation. The group also aids in the creation of new Future Leaders Regional Committees and ensures that existing committees are fulfilling their roles as critical knowledge-sharing resources for emerging talent in the tall building industry.

If you are interested in getting involved with the Future Leaders Committee, please fill out this form (note you must login or create a CTBUH account before you can access the form). Once completed a member of CTBUH staff will be in touch.

The CTBUH Height & Data Committee was originally created to establish and, when necessary, provide guidance in the refinement of the official Height Criteria used to define, measure, and study tall buildings. However, more recently, this mandate has been widened to embrace other aspects of building data and measurement. The Committee has thus influenced many compelling research endeavors and prompted provocative conversations with the public about the nature of tall buildings and the trends surrounding them, in recent times. The committee meets on a regular basis to discuss the latest developments in the tall building industry and possible additions or revisions to the Criteria. The Committee is composed of influential professionals involved in the architecture, engineering, planning, development and construction of tall buildings and urban habitat. The CTBUH maintains a database of the world's tallest buildings as ratified by the Height Committee in The Skyscraper Center. View the official CTBUH Height Criteria.

The editorial board for The Skyscraper Center consists of CTBUH members from around the world that have a keen interest in skyscrapers and provide information and updates on projects in their area, as well as research on tall building construction, helping to maintain the most accurate global tall building database. Members of the editorial board are expected to contribute regularly through updates to The Skyscraper Center and are asked to assist on special projects throughout the year including the Tall Buildings in Numbers published quarterly in the CTBUH Journal. Through regular submissions, a tiered reward system gives every board member the opportunity to win CTBUH posters, publications, complimentary membership, event attendance, and travel stipends for major CTBUH events.

The Urban Habitat committee focuses on the role of tall buildings within a city and how those tall buildings affect the quality of life for those that live or work within or near them. One of the outputs of this committee will be a publication. The working title of this publication is simply: Urban Spaces Surrounding Tall Buildings. This publication will feature the wide variety of urban spaces surrounding tall buildings. These range from London’s Pocket Parks and Toronto’s POPS to recent Master Planned Communities such as Chicago's New East Side to the Grand Dubai Fountain in Downtown Dubai and Singapore’s Marina Bay Promenade.