Sunday, May 15, 2005

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Tall Buildings But Were Afraid To Ask

When I was a kid I always kept track of the tall buildings going up in the world and was always a little worried that another country was going to build one taller than us. (I guess I didn't have too much to worry about back then)

With all the talk about this new building going up in New York called the Freedom Tower, (Planned for a symbolic 1776 Ft tall) I was curious to see where the tallest buildings are now. I was surprised to see that the Empire State building now ranks 9th. I was also surprised to see that the Sears tower now ranks 4th. I guess I haven’t been keeping up with my buildings. Apparently there were two buildings (kind of like the twin towers) built in 1998 in Malaysia called the Petronas Towers. The Petonas are 33 Ft taller than the Sears Tower, which measures 1,450 Ft. Then in 2004 an even taller building was built in Taiwan called the Taipei 101.That building measures 1,670 Ft.

There is an official council that measures all the buildings in the world called the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
These guys take their buildings very seriously.

Here's the deal on how they measure buildings and how they rank them.
(This kind of reads like what team is getting into the NFL playoffs).

The height of a building is measured from the sidewalk level of the main entrance to the structural top of the building. This includes spires, but does not include television antennas, radio antennas, or flag poles. Height is listed in both meters and feet and is rounded to the nearest integer.

Ranking is determined by height to the structural top of the building. If there is a tie, the building with the larger number of stories is ranked higher. If a tie still remains, the building which was completed first is ranked higher. If a tie would still remain, the buildings would be ranked alphabetically.

Anyway it will be good to have the tallest building in the world back in the good ole USA. "One less thing to worry about".


blogball said...

Well so much for having the worlds tallest building again.
Take a look at this.

The Burj Dubai building will tower over the United Arab Emirates at 2,624 feet - almost half a mile high. Plans are already well underway and the hotel is expected to open for business in 2008.

The Burj Dubai will stand around 50 per cent taller than New York's Freedom Tower (the building that will inhabit the site of the World Trade Center)

The Burj Dubai will have 160 levels."

Good Grief 160 Stories! That’s hard to believe.

unca said...

Have you seen a photo of the plans for the BD building? It looks a ginat hypodermic needle. Also, take a look at the
site. Talk about blatant snob appeal:

"Burj Dubai will be known by many names.

But only a privileged group of people will call it home.

There are a select few who possess the vision, resources, and the opportunity to live in the world’s tallest building. If you have that opportunity, you are assured not just unparalleled luxury, but a place in history. And in Dubai’s future."
I'll bet the good old Empire State Building lets everybody in!

bryan torre said...

i've read that at a certain piont (about 80 stories?), it starts to be ineffective to make a building any higher because of the need for elevators.

you need express elevators for the higher floors, so with a really high building you end up with too many big empty shafts running up the middle of your building.

every elevator you add is (let's say) 100 sq ft of unrentable space on every floor it serves.

not sure if this is true, but it sounds good...

blogball said...

Thanks for that web site Unca. What a snobby Hotel. Even I would be a little tempted to take a towel after a stay there.
Bryan, that’s in Interesting theory about the elevator taking up usable real estate inside.
Maybe that’s why some of those fancy buildings have the elevators sliding up and down on the outside. I’m sure elevators are equivalent to a couple of offices or rooms per floor.

mamacita said...

Enjoyed your post, Blogball. It brought my mind (or what's left of it) back to 1954 when my 7th grade teacher made everybody do a 2,000 word (!) paper, longhand on something. I picked the Empire State Building (I don't know if it was on a list, or what) and spent a whole month pulling information out of any encyclopedia I could find, sucking information from every source, counting over and over whether I had finally reached 2,000 words. I think at the time the Empire State Bldg. was the tallest building in the world. I don't know how much I really got out of it, but I learned I was able to extract from every source possible the 2,000 words necessary. So I guess I'll always have a soft spot for that particular edifice. :-) Interesting facts about buildings from your post and its comments!

Steve Van Dorne said...

Binladin Group Short-Listed to Build World’s Tallest Building