An annual report from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has revealed a decrease in tall building completions across the globe in 2012.
The report, A Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2012, recognises buildings that are over 200 metres tall and reported that only 66 buildings were completed in 2012 compared to 82 in 2011.
Despite the decrease, the industry is not necessarily slowing overall, but the extremities of the Global Financial Crisis have continued to impact developers who are regrouping budgets with many projects delayed until this year or next.
“As 2012 closes, the industry is on the cusp of another burst of tall building development,” the report reads. “It is likely the 2013 completion total will set a new record for tall building completions, surpassing the 2011 total.”
The Middle East and China dominated the 2012 tall buildings list with the Middle East completing 16 buildings and Asia completing 25 buildings, 22 of them in China alone.
North America completed six buildings, only two of which were in the United States, a figure that is fairly low for a country with so many cities. Australia completed three tall buildings, marking the country’s first additions to its roster of tall buildings since 2007.
Dubai secured the top two spots with the 393-metre 23 Marina building surpassed only by the 413-metre Princess Tower.
Countries such as China and Australia are experiencing a rapid rise in urbanisation from their rural areas with a high demand for livable and sustainable high-rise homes.
While the market in Australia is still challenging, lower interest rates and a desire to live and work in high density districts has contributed to the growing number of high-rise residential developments in the major capital cities.
In 2012, 41 of the tallest 100 projects completed include a residential component with the four tallest residential buildings in the world currently located in Dubai.
Along with urbanisation, other factors directing this increase include the limited availability of urban land forcing developers to build vertically.
The construction of these tall buildings must also adhere to strict green credentials and new technologies and building systems are giving developers the opportunity to support the urban population by constructing profitable and sustainable towers.
There are currently 437 buildings taller than 200 metres under construction around the world with cities in Europe, South America and Africa tipped to follow this trend of vertical living.