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China smashes competition for tall buildings in 2018

China has maintained its reign as the most prolific country when it comes to the construction of tall buildings, completing 88 buildings over 200m high in 2018, equating to 61.5% of the world’s total.

The figure is two more than its previous record set in 2016 and a massive 75 more than its nearest rival USA which completed 13 skyscrapers over 200m tall during the last 12 months. The total height for China’s 88 completed buildings was 21.6km compared to 3.3km for USA.

No buildings over 200m were completed in Europe last year.

The information was compiled by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) for its annual report on tall buildings.

The primary use for the tall buildings was as office buildings at 42% with residential accounting for 32%, mixed use for 25% and hotels for 2%.

The majority of the tall buildings completed last year were built out of concrete with 90 out of the 143 buildings equating to 63%, composite structures, which use “more than one material in spanning and supporting elements”, constituted 50 (35%) of the buildings. This was a decrease in number and proportion from 2017, when the number was 64 (44.4%). Steel buildings accounted for only 0.7% of the tall buildings completed last year.

The tallest building last year at 527.7m tall was the China Zun building in Beijing which was designed by structural engineer Arup and architect Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF). The mixed-use development includes seven levels of basement and a mega tower of 108-storeys providing office space, private club and an observation deck with a gross floor area of 350,000m².

CTBUH said the huge growth in tall building construction seen over the past decade continued in 2018, though it said the total number of completed buildings of 200m or greater, levelled off at 143, after hitting an all-time record of 147 in 2017.

The total number of 200m and higher buildings in the world is now 1,478, a 141% increase from 614, in 2010. Last year also recorded 18 “supertall” buildings, 300m or more, more than any year previously.

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