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Study Predicts Skyscraper Growth Through 2050

Thursday, September 6, 2018

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In a recent study that accounts for current socio-economic stability lasting for the next 30 years, authors Jonathan Auerbach and Phyllis Wan predict that the construction of skyscrapers will have outpaced urbanization—the study estimates there will be 6,800 skyscrapers per 1 billion people, an increase from the current 800 skyscrapers per 1 billion people.

The study also details that future skyscrapers will stand 50 percent taller than today’s counterparts, which will better accommodate increasing population density in urban centers.

Skyscraper Study

According to the study, the construction of skyscrapers has increased at a steady rate: the number of skyscrapers that stand more than 150 meters (492 feet) tall, amounting to 40 floors, has increased eight percent each year since 1950. If this pattern continues, the number of skyscrapers will outpace the 2 percent annual growth of urban populations. By 2050, an additional 41,000 skyscrapers will be completed.

© iStock.com / PPAMPicture

In a recent study that accounts for current socio-economic stability lasting for the next 30 years, authors Jonathan Auerbach and Phyllis Wan predict that the construction of skyscrapers will have outpaced urbanization—the study estimates there will be 6,800 skyscrapers per 1 billion people, an increase from the current 800 skyscrapers per 1 billion people.

Since 1950, the height of skyscrapers has doubled, but the actual height increase for typical examples of this kind of structure is not statistically significant—the study concludes that the height is increasing because more buildings are being built, and therefore more are eligible to be the tallest.

Current predictions indicate that there is a 100 percent chance that a new building will exceed the height of the Burj Khalifa, which is 828 meters tall. That probability drops to 77 percent in regard to exceeding the height of the Jeddah Tower, which will be 1,000 meters tall, opening in 2020. The possibility of a building reaching more than a mile in height is only 9 percent.

The study further detailed that the marginal number of floors in a typical skyscraper decreases as the height increases, suggesting that height alone is not enough of a factor to indicate the actual ability to support a growing population. In terms of floors, the 1,000-meter-tall building is estimated to have 70 percent of the floors of a mile-high building.

As the global population continues to increase, some urban planners have suggested that vertical growth be used to accommodate the additional density. Others also argued that urbanization will outpace vertical growth accommodations. Some of the skyscrapers of 2050 will be 50 percent taller than those we have today, though the structure will not have 50 percent more floors.

   

Tagged categories: Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Infrastructure; Research and development; Residential Construction; Urban Planning

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