OFFICE TOWERS above 50 to 60 storeys could become uneconomic as a result of the World Trade Center disaster, a leading quantity surveyor claimed on Tuesday.
Speaking at a British Council for Offices' conference, Davis Langdon & Seah International chairman Peter Morrell said that commercial developments were 'financial instruments, not patriotic gestures'.
He believed the cost of improving fire resistance and reducing the risk of progressive collapse would make most megatower projects financially unsustainable, even though the risk of another such disaster was probably low.
'September 11 was not about tall buildings, it was about symbols, ' said Morrell, adding: 'I personally doubt that rebuilding the Word Trade Center could ever be justified.'
Peter Damesick, research director of property consultant Insignia Richard Ellis, described the controversy over tall towers in London as a 'pantomime debate'.
He said it was too early to say if the attitude of potential occupiers had been changed by the events in New York.
The Council on Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat has announced that its Building for the 21st century conference in London on 9-11 December will include detailed discussions on the WTC disaster and its repercussions.