Vanity Height, CTBUH Study, Tall Buildings Around the World, Skyscraper Design
CTBUH Study on Vanity Height
Tower Architecture Investigation – by The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
6 Sep 2013
Skyscraper Design Study
The “Use-less” Space in Today’s Tallest Buildings
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has investigated the increasing trend towards extreme spires and other extensions of supertall (300-meter-plus) buildings that do not enclose usable space, and created a new term to describe this – Vanity Height, the distance between a skyscraper’s highest occupiable floor and its architectural top, as determined by CTBUH Height Criteria.
Vanity Height Infographics:
Here are some key findings of the study:
At 244 meters, the vanity height of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE, could be a skyscraper on its own – in fact, it would be Europe’s 11th-tallest building.
The Burj Al-Arab, Dubai, UAE, has the greatest vanity ratio of any supertall building – 124 (39 percent) of its 321 meters is devoted to nonoccupiable space above the highest occupiable floor.
Without their vanity height, 44 (61 percent) of the world’s 72 supertalls would measure less than 300 meters – thus losing their supertall status.
United Arab Emirates clocks in as the nation with the most “vain” supertall buildings, with an average vanity height of 19 percent.
New York City, USA has two of the tallest 10 vanity heights, and is set to gain a third with the completion of One World Trade Center in 2014.
According to CTBUH Height Criteria regarding telecommunications towers, a 50 percent vanity height would deem any structure a “nonbuilding.”
The “vainest” building overall in the CTBUH database, although not a supertall, is the Ukraina Hotel in Moscow, Russia – 42 percent of its 206-meter height is non-occupiable.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai
photo : Nicolas Lannuzel
Zifeng Tower, Nanjing, China
photo : Ozonefrance
Bank of America Tower, New York
photo : Ryan Browne
Burj al Arab, Dubai
photo : Joi Ito
Emirates Towers, Dubai
photo : Alma
New York Times Tower, New York
photo : Eden Janine and Jim
Vanity Height Study information / images from CTBUH