CTBUH Research Paper Library

The CTBUH Research Paper Library contains hundreds of papers published by our members on an extensive range of disciplines and subjects. From inception, design and construction, to the occupation and sustainability of tall buildings and future cities, these papers are of the highest standards and are searchable by numerous categories.








30 Recently Featured Papers
Eliminate the “Void Loophole”?
Featured in Aug 2019 – CTBUH Journal Issue III
Elizabeth Goldstein, The Municipal Art Society of New York; Bart A. Sullivan, McNamara Salvia

Because regulations in New York City specify the total number floors a building can have, based on its location and lot size, but do not specify floor-to-floor heights, some residential…

From Object to Place: A New, Highly Public Home for a Venerable Company
Featured in Aug 2019 – CTBUH Journal Issue III
Christoph Felger, David Chipperfield Architects

The new headquarters for Amorepacific, South Korea’s largest beauty company, is located in the center of Seoul, on a site which has been occupied by the company since 1956. It…

Hanging Out With Façade Inspectors
Featured in Aug 2019 – CTBUH Journal Issue III
Amy DeLuca & Julie Foster, Consulting Associates of New York (CANY)

Among the hazards of cities with tall buildings is the prospect of objects falling to the streets below. After a woman was killed by a piece of falling masonry in…

Highest Special-Purpose Spaces
Featured in Aug 2019 – CTBUH Journal Issue III
Since humans first began constructing tall buildings, history has been cluttered with claims of all manner of “highest” records. In this study, we examine those claims to unconventional or “special-purpose”…

Meet the CTBUH
Featured in Aug 2019 – CTBUH Journal Issue III
John Jacobs, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

John Jacobs joined CTBUH in September 2018 as the chief operating officer. He is responsible for the Council’s day-to-day operations. He previously served in executive roles with the Telecommunication Industry…

Using AI to Simulate Urban Vertical Growth
Featured in Aug 2019 – CTBUH Journal Issue III
Rafael Ivan Pazos Perez

This research explores the use of artificial intelligence to simulate how cities will grow vertically. By learning how cities have evolved in the recent past, genetic algorithms can successfully vertical…

Which HVAC Configuration Offers the Highest Efficiency for Tall Buildings?
Featured in Aug 2019 – CTBUH Journal Issue III
Michael Tobias, New York Engineers

Buildings account for 36% of global energy consumption and 40% of carbon dioxide emissions*. Therefore, energy efficiency is a lucrative investment for building owners, and an effective way to reduce…

Wind Effects on Permeable Tall Building Envelopes: Issues and Potentialities
Featured in Aug 2019 – CTBUH Journal Issue III
Andrea Giachetti, University of Florence; Gianni Bartoli, University of Florence; Claudio Mannini, University of Florence

A comprehensive conclusion about the effects of wind on permeable building envelopes (PBEs) remains elusive. The external layer permeability, the gap width, and the internal compartmentalizations are only a few…

Reinventing Woolworth: Adaptive Reuse of a Historic Skyscraper
Featured in Jan 2019 – CTBUH Journal, 2015 Issue IV
Gary Steficek & Petr Vancura, Gilsanz Murray Steficek

This article presents a case study of structural and logistical issues involved in the adaptive reuse of an early 20th-century skyscraper, and outlines the case for achieving sustainability through such…

Using Height-Relative Variables To Design Tall Buildings
Featured in Dec 2018 – CTBUH Journal 2018 Issue III
John Jory, Queensland University of Technology

This paper investigates height-variable phenomena in the urban context, and their relevance to the design and performance of tall buildings. It proposes a design approach relevant to variable conditions as…

A Vertical Transportation Analytical Tool For the Construction of Tall Buildings
Featured in Nov 2018 – CTBUH Journal 2018 Issue III
Julien Grange & Oscar Savage, Multiplex Construction Europe

The construction phase of 22 Bishopsgate, London, presented many challenges, but one of the greatest issues to overcome was the requirement to ensure comfortable and efficient labor movements, material deliveries,…

Out of Thin Air: The Potential for High-Rise Housing Over Rail Lines
Featured in Oct 2018 – CTBUH Journal 2018 Issue III
Bill Price, WSP

Cities are facing a crisis in providing housing and managing population growth. The author’s team has identified sufficient land associated with railway infrastructure to yield more than 250,000 new homes…

Inter-Story Isolation Systems (IIS) for Tall Buildings: Design Considerations
Featured in Sep 2018 – CTBUH Journal, 2018 Issue II
Elena Mele, Diana Faiella, University of Naples Federico II

Inter-story isolation systems (IIS) are currently gaining significant popularity, mainly in Japan, where more than 60 applications have been realized in the past 20 years. But the conceptual framework for…

Helping Cities Plan High-Rise Growth
Featured in Aug 2018 – CTBUH Journal, 2018 Issue I
David Pontarini, Orson Sedmina, Hariri Pontarini Architects

Two studies, both completed for the City of Toronto, are focused on helping cities navigate the issues associated with high-rise growth. The first, the Downtown Tall Buildings study, developed a…

Taking the Corporate Campus Vertical
Featured in Jul 2018 – CTBUH Journal, 2018 Issue II
Jonathan Ward, NBBJ; Jiemin Ding, TJAD; Tim Etherington, Gensler

The Tencent Seafront Towers bring a novel concept – the “vertical campus” – to Shenzhen. In housing the corporate headquarters of the fourth-largest internet company in the world, the two-tower,…

Brisbane's Subtropical Livability Goals and High-Rise Apartments: Vision and Reality
Featured in Jun 2018 – CTBUH Journal, 2018 Issue II
Rosemary Kennedy, SubTropical Cities Consultancy

Climate-based design is very significant in the Brisbane planning context. Brisbane City Council’s Vision 2031 aspires to capitalize on the city’s enviable subtropical climate and be a city renowned for…

Applying Ancient Structural Principles To a New Prefabricated Steel System
Featured in May 2018 – CTBUH Journal, 2018 Issue I
Derry Yu, Ivan Kong & Michael Lu, New World China Land Limited

Numerous ancient timber structures located in high seismic zones of China are still standing today, long after experiencing strong earthquakes over hundreds of years. One of the important factors in…

Reconstruction as Research: Digital Modeling of Key Postwar Skyscrapers
Featured in Apr 2018 – CTBUH Journal, 2018 Issue I
Saranya Panchaseelan, Shawn Barron & Thomas Leslie, Iowa State University; Paolo Orlando, substance architecture

The 2016 CTBUH Student Research Funding Program, kindly sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories, allowed researchers to use digital reconstructions from extant drawings and publications to research and illustrate the evolution of…

The Impact of Supertall Density on City Systems
Featured in Feb 2018 – International Journal of High-Rise Buildings Volume 6 Number 4
Bill Price, Andrew Bickerdyke & Meike Borchers, WSP; et al.

This paper discusses several topics associated with the densification caused by supertall buildings and their impact on city systems. The paper covers five key areas where a supertall tower creates…

Rethinking CTBUH Height Criteria In the Context of Tall Timber
Featured in Jan 2018 – CTBUH Journal, 2017 Issue IV
Robert M. Foster, University of Queensland; Michael H. Ramage, University of Cambridge; Thomas Reynolds, The University of Edinburgh

Recent developments in the design and construction of progressively taller buildings using engineered timber as a structural material raise important questions about the language that is used to describe tall…

Empirically Evaluating the Livability Of Local Neighborhoods and Global Cities
Featured in Dec 2017 – CTBUH Journal, 2017 Issue IV
Christian Derix, Lucy Helme, Fabio Galicia & Alexander Kachkaev, Woods Bagot

CIVITAS is a search engine for urban conditions, developed to allow stakeholders to identify qualities of livability and urban experiences that suit their tacit desires and explicit requirements. While using…

A Case Study on Designing Superslim in Melbourne
Featured in Oct 2017 – Cities to Megacities: Shaping Dense Vertical Urbanism
Kristen Whittle, Bates Smart

Collins House Melbourne, the newest super slim tower to hit the global stage, will be the most slender tower in Australia and the fourth globally. The momentous ultra-slim line tower…

City Hubs
Featured in Sep 2017 – Cities to Megacities: Shaping Dense Vertical Urbanism
Keith Griffiths, Aedas

Our lives are adapting to a convenient, vibrant, and connected live-work dynamic, and our cities must change and respond to those new requirements. Much of the urban population prefers to…

Unpacking Composite Construction: Global Trends
Featured in Aug 2017 – Cities to Megacities: Shaping Dense Vertical Urbanism
Terri Boake, University of Waterloo

There has been a marked shift away from the use of steel as the primary structural system that had long been the Western standard for skyscrapers, towards a preference for…

River Beech Tower: A Tall Timber Experiment
Featured in Jul 2017 – CTBUH Journal, 2017 Issue II
Jeff Sanner & Todd Snapp, Perkins+Will; Alejandro Fernandez, Thornton Tomasetti; et al.

The Chicago River Beech Tower is a collaborative research effort with the goal of identifying challenges and opportunities associated with designing increasingly tall mass timber structures. This paper represents the…

High Intensity Urban Order
Featured in Jun 2017 – Cities to Megacities: Shaping Dense Vertical Urbanism
Patrik Schumacher, Zaha Hadid Architects

Density via high-rise structures remains a primary agenda in our era of urban concentration. It is crucial to understand the societal forces that drive concentration: the communication requirements of Post-Fordist…

New Approaches for Efficient People Transportation in Both Dimensions – Vertically and Horizontally
Featured in May 2017 – Cities to Megacities: Shaping Dense Vertical Urbanism
Karl-Otto Schoellkopf & Joerg Mueller, thyssenkrupp Elevator

The trend of growing cities with permanently increasing populations will require new and visionary solutions for mobility in urban areas. Moving people as we are used to do today –…

Debating Tall: Replace the Thomson Center?
Featured in Apr 2017 – CTBUH Journal, 2017 Issue II
Helmut Jahn, JAHN; Mir Ali, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Chicago’s drum-shaped, 17-story James R. Thompson Center, with its soaring atrium and extensive glazing, has been criticized for poor temperature control and spatial inefficiency, and maintenance has been deferred. The…

8 Chifley – Sustainable Structural and Fire Engineering
Featured in Apr 2017 – Global Interchanges: Resurgence of the Skyscraper City
Andrew Johnson, Arup

8 Chifley’s unique aesthetic has attracted much of the attention, however the 34 storey 150m tall building’s overall quality, sustainable performance, and structural efficiency, both in construction and in final…

Cyclone Resistant Glazing Solutions
Featured in Mar 2017 – Cities to Megacities: Shaping Dense Vertical Urbanism
Jennifer Schneider, Trosifol

As urban areas become developed in regions prone to severe weather, the risk of financial and human loss increases. Severe weather such as hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons have caused billions…