Height is the new frontier for the world's tallest buildings as the era of the megatall skyscraper begins
According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) the number of 600m-plus buildings globally (known as ‘megatalls’) is set to rise from three to seven in the next five years.
This includes the 1,000m Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and the 606m Wuhan Greenland Center in Hubei Province, China.
The predictions were made in an annual report released last week, which also stated that 2015 saw more skyscrapers built than any previous year on record.
According to the organisation, the term ‘supertall’ – used to describe buildings over 300m – is no longer an indicator of extreme height, as there are now more than 100 skyscrapers that fall into that criteria.
CTBUH describes height as the ‘new frontier for the world's tallest buildings’.
Commenting on the report CTBUH said: "With supertall skyscrapers more common than ever, many look to the megatall distinction as the new frontier for the world's tallest buildings. That includes Jeddah Tower, which will become the world's tallest building and the first kilometre-high building upon completion. There are currently only three completed megatall buildings in the world, but that number is set to more than double in the coming years as four more – including Jeddah Tower – come online.”
The first ‘megatall’ skyscraper was SOM's Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which completed in 2010 and has held the title of world's tallest building ever since.
It was followed up in 2012 by the 601-metre-high Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Mecca. The third building to join the list was Gensler's 632-metre-high Shanghai Tower, which is now complete but yet to open.
Many architects and engineers believe advancements in construction materials and technology will continue to fuel the trend for taller and taller buildings as communities search for key symbols.
However there is also opposition to the increasing height of tall buildings in what is becoming an increasingly polarised debate.
CTBUH has been predicting the ‘era of the megatall’ for several years. In 2011 it published a report predicting that eight 600-metre-plus buildings will be finished by 2020.