December 18, 2017 by Corinne Lynds
Global skyscraper construction saw its fourth consecutive record-breaking year, according to the 2017 Tall Building Year in Review by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).
144 skyscrapers were completed in 2017 – an increase of 95 per cent from 2013. Skyscraper construction was also at its most geographically diverse in 2017, with 69 cities across 23 countries represented in the data.
“The data from 2017 shows a continuation of the trend towards a greater global proliferation of skyscraper construction,” said Antony Wood, CTBUH executive director. “High-rise construction is no longer confined to a select few financial and business centers, but rather is becoming the accepted global model for densification as more than one million people on our planet urbanize each week.”
North America more than doubled its 2016 record with 15 buildings complete in 2017 – a 10.4 per cent global share. Toronto represented 80 per cent of Canada’s tall building completions, of which there were five. The city’s first supertall, named The One, broke ground in late 2017.
The data also showed a large shift from all-office and mixed-use function to all-residential towers. Buildings with all-residential function spiked to 34 per cent of the total, up from 15 per cent of the total in 2016. All-office building completions fell to 39 per cent of the total, compared to 52 per cent of completions in 2016.
“It is tempting to speculate that we are now seeing the built results of a full-blown recovery from the 2008 economic crisis, as greater confidence in single-function programs sparks a resurgence in speculative residential development,” said Steve Watts, CTBUH chairman. “Further, there’s been growing interest over the past several years in residential real-estate investment by absentee owners as a wealth management strategy. However, market dynamics vary greatly between regions, so it’s likely there are other factors to the story.”
China constructed the majority of buildings, accounting for 53 per cent of the total, followed by the U.S.