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Innovation in construction techniques for tall buildings

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posted on 26.11.2015, 10:27 by Ian R. Skelton
The skyline of many ‘world cities’ are defined and punctuated by tall buildings. The drivers for such dominant skylines range from land scarcity and social needs; high real estate values; commercial opportunity and corporate demand, through to metropolitan signposting. This fascination with tall buildings started with the patrician families who created the 11th Century skyline of San Gimignano by building seventy tower-houses (some up to 50m tall) as symbols of their wealth and power. This was most famously followed in the late 19th Century with the Manhattan skyline, then Dubai building the world’s highest building, then China building some eighty tall buildings completed in the last 5 years, then UK building Europe’s highest tower, the Shard and finally back to Dubai, planning a kilometre tall tower, potentially realising Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s ‘Impossible Dream’ of the 1920’s and Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1956 ‘Mile High Illinois’. This ambition to build higher and higher continues to challenge the Architects, Engineers and Builders of tall buildings and is expected to continue into the future. The tall building format is clearly here to stay. [Continues.]





  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Engineering (CICE)


© Ian R. Skelton

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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A dissertation thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree Doctor of Engineering (EngD), at Loughborough University.



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