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CTBUH releases list of supertall towers with highest percentages of 'vanity height'

An enlightening report compiled by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has highlighted the immense amount of unoccupiable space in the world’s tallest towers. The report focuses on the so-called Vanity Height of supertall towers (300m+) - the distance between the highest occupiable floor of a given building and its architectural top.

The report has found that the nation with the most vanity height in total is United Arab Emirates, with supertall towers in the region clocking up an average of 19%. The UAE is also home to the building with the greatest vanity height of any supertall building in the world, the Burj Al-Arab in Dubai, the top 39% of which is non-occupiable. Also in the UAE is the Burj Khalifa (Dubai) which has a vanity height of 244m.

The UAE is not alone in heightening its buildings with non-occupiable space. Renzo Piano’s The Shard in London has a vanity height of 20% while the Bank of America Tower in New York by COOKFOX Architects has a 36% vanity height. At 206m in height, the Ukraina Hotel in Moscow does not make it onto the CTBUH’s list of supertall (these must be over 300m high) however it is the building with the highest percentage of non-occupiable space at 42%.

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