CTBUH Board of Trustees Set the Agenda for 2017

Sunday, 16 October 2016 | Shenzhen

The CTBUH Board of Trustees held their second meeting of 2016 in conjunction with the 2016 International Conference in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong at the Grand Hyatt Shenzhen during the pre-conference day. All trustees were on hand to discuss upcoming plans for the Council and review events since the last meeting in March.

After a brief introduction from CTBUH Chairman David Malott, Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood updated the board on recent Council activity.

The first topic on the agenda was the following day’s conference, which featured approximately 1,350 delegates, 258 speakers, and 26 different venues across three major cities in the Pearl River Delta. Trustees were briefed on the logistics of the conference and detailed additional information including a breakdown of attendance by geography and disciplinary diversity as well as the top sponsors, firms, and VIPs in attendance.

After discussing financial matters related to the 2016 conference, the conversation shifted to planning upcoming conferences in 2017 and 2018. Wood previewed new concepts for both conferences and sought guidance from the trustees. For 2017 he proposed a series of slightly smaller “regional” conferences organized around a single theme taking place in multiple cities around the globe, in a concentrated but slightly staggered timeframe.  And for 2018, Wood previewed a “world congress” concept that would be a step up in scale from typical conferences and therefore become the largest CTBUH gathering to date, with up to 2,000–4,000 delegates and a corresponding exposition that would feature industry leaders from around the globe. The trustees supported both concepts and provided positive feedback.

After wrapping up the discussion on conferences, the agenda shifted to general updates on CTBUH activities in 2016, starting with the Council’s move to a new headquarters at the Monroe Building in the heart of Chicago’s Loop. Wood also mentioned the progress the Council has made in furthering initiatives in China, highlighting the Inaugural China Awards held in Shanghai Tower and an agreement with Tongji University Press to publish CTBUH Journals in Chinese as well as the full translation of The Skyscraper Center database into Chinese.

Next, the group discussed major growth in the Council’s research initiatives. Several new research projects have been announced in recent months, including an initiative with thyssenkrupp to research designs enabled by rope-less, non-vertical elevators as well as a project with trosifol to study cyclone-glazing and façade resistance.  In addition, several projects have finished or are nearing conclusion such as the report on composite megacolumns for ArcelorMittal and a project on green living technologies for Underwriters Laboratories.

Beyond this funded research, the Council continues to work with leaders from around the globe to produce a variety of publications. Wood briefed the Board on all publications planned for 2017, including eight Technical Guides and four Research Reports.

With the Board up-to-date on planned 2017 outputs, the discussion moved to staffing changes over the last year. As the Council continues to grow, a number of positions have been added to meet the demands of increased outputs. As of 2016, CTBUH currently employs 31 full-time equivalent employees, up from 28 in 2015.

In much the same way that staff has grown in recent years, regional representation, committee participation, and membership has grown as well. With that in mind, the Board spent the remainder of the meeting discussing how to best leverage this growth to further the mission of the Council.

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be held on March 24 in Costa Rica, home to the Council’s newest chapter.