Record-Breaking Tall Building Construction Continues

2016 was another record-setting year for tall building completion, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH) Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2016 report.

Last year’s 128 buildings of 200 or more meters in height worldwide set a new record for annual tall building completions. It was the third consecutive record-breaking year.

“This brings the total number of 200-meter-plus buildings in the world to 1,168, marking a 441-percent increase from the year 2000, when only 265 existed,” the report reads. “… A total of 10 supertalls (buildings of 300 meters or higher) were completed in 2016, fewer than we anticipated this time last year, partly as a result of construction delays typical of buildings in this height range. Nonetheless, 2016 still saw the third-largest number of supertall completions of any year, trailing only 2015, which saw 14; and 2014, which saw 11.”

The tallest building completed in 2016 was the 530-meter-high Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre in China. For the ninth straight year, China had the most 200-meter-plus completions, with a record 84. “Asia retained its status as the world’s skyscraper epicenter in 2016, completing 107 buildings, representing 84 percent of the 128-building total,” according to the report.

30 Park Place under construction in 2015. (Photo: MusikAnimal, Wikipedia)

As a nation, the United States completed the second most 200-meter-plus buildings with seven, compared to two the previous year. The U.S. was the only country in North America with building completions of this height, and four were in New York City alone.

The seven completions in North America was the region’s largest tally since 2010. The tallest completed building in the U.S. was 30 Park Place, a 282-meter residential/hotel tower in Downtown Manhattan.

While the U.S. has established its presence in the tall building market, the focus remains on China.

“It’s impossible to decouple the enormous boom in global skyscraper construction from the rapid urban development of China,” the report reads. “Additionally, over the past several years, there has been a major uptick in the amount of real estate investment coming out of China, rather than remaining within it. This, in combination with a still-cooling national economy, has caused some to assume that the nation’s era of unprecedented construction is on the decline. While that may be the case in the long run, short-term prospects remain high, with 328 buildings in the 200-plus-meter range currently under construction in the country.”

CTBUH notes that “one of the hidden narratives this year is what didn’t complete, rather than what did,” as many of the supertall completions it projects for this year are carryovers from 2016.

“Only 10 of the 18 to 27 supertalls projected by the Council in 2015 to complete in 2016 actually did complete,” according to the CTBUH. “Taking this into account, yet also acknowledging the massive number of supertalls in advanced stages of construction, we expect between 12 and 20 supertall buildings to complete in 2017, primarily in Asia and the Middle East.”

Click here to view the CTBUH’s full report.