From left to right, Erik Faber (head of Dutch Tall Buildings Council) and Steve Watts (Board Chair, CTBUH)
In Rotterdam, the CTBUH Board Chair, Steve Watts gave a 40-minute keynote presentation and speech entitled "Tall Ain’t What it Used to Be," for an event with the Dutch Tall Buildings Council (Stichting Hoogbouw) on the night of 11 January, 2023. He spoke in front of an invited audience of around 90 people representing the full spectrum of real estate professionals in The Netherlands, including Rotterdam’s City Planner. His speech consisted of giving a world tour of tall buildings that offered lessons in good practice and have become icons for solid reasons.
His over-riding theme was that as the world has lurched into a new era, likewise tall buildings are entering a new paradigm, one in which the questions being asked of them are numerous - and big. In his speech, Watts highlighted that even with these challenges, there are also present opportunities for tall building sponsors and designers to respond positively and imaginatively, embracing sustainable materials and construction techniques whilst making buildings as efficient as possible (in every respect). He emphasized that one thing that will never change: success depends on a collaborative effort.