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The future of megatall buildings

megatall buildings skycrapers 2020

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#1
Jakob

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Mind blowing fact: All of the world's ten tallest buildings were built in the past 10 years. Six were built in the past 5 years and three in the past year. Skyscrapers only seem to be getting taller with time.

 

A supertall skyscraper is a building with a height of 300 meters or more. A megatall skyscraper is one with a height of 600 meters or more. In 2000, there were 25 supertall skyscrapers; now there are 131. Megatall skyscrapers did not exist until 2010; now there are three.

 

I found this fascinating article from 2011 that speculates on what will be the 20 tallest buildings in 2020.

 

Image: the tallest buildings in 2020.

 

In 2000, the average height of the top 20 buildings was 375 meters; in 2010 it was 439 meters. By 2020, the average height of the 20 tallest buildings will be 562 meters.

Skyline_Decades.jpg

Credit: CTBUH

 

The late 1990s typically saw 2-3 supertall skyscrapers (>300 meters) being built annually. By the beginning of the 2010s, this had risen to 9-10 supertalls per year, including 1 megatall (>600 meters) per year. By 2020, we will see 15-20 supertalls per year, including 2-3 megatalls per year. As the article notes, "In terms of height, therefore, 600 m seems to be the new 300 m." Not only that, but we will see the world's first kilometer-high building, the Jeddah Tower. Interestingly, East Asia (esp. China and Korea) are becoming more dominant than the Middle East in the skyscraper field.

 

 

 

Okay. With that in mind, imma put on my futurist hat and make some predictions about skyscrapers in 2030.

  • In 2030, the average height of the 20 tallest buildings will be 734 meters (for comparison, the Burj Khalifa is 830 meters tall).
  • The world's tallest building will be about 1200 meters tall. It will be located in China.
  • Four or five of the world's five tallest buildings will be in East Asia, most of them in China.
  • There will be over 500 supertall skyscrapers (>300 meters), with 40 more being constructed every year. Eight to ten megatall skyscrapers (>600 meters) will be constructed every year.
  • We will need an entirely new skyscraper class to describe buildings over 1 kilometer in height. 'gigatall' would be a logical extrapolation from 'megatall', but it somehow sounds sill. Thus, 'hypertall skyscraper' will refer to a building over 1000 meters high.

 

By 2040:

  • The average height of the 20 tallest buildings will be 955 meters, about 50 meters less than the Jeddah Tower.
  • The current glass and steel skyscraper design will likely be somewhat dated. Perhaps carbon nanotech or advanced ceramics will be the way of the future?
  • EDIT: The first fully 3D printed buildings will have been built in the Far East.

Edited by Jakob, 23 July 2016 - 05:34 PM.

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#2
Trexrider32

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  We could go even higher. Theoretically, a building could be built at least as tall as 8,849 meters, one meter taller than Mount Everest.


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#3
Smeargle

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This trend, of course, will go on eternally, with every building eventually being an orbital elevator in height.

ARADIA: i think i mostly want to see what happens when this whole place breaks apart


#4
Awlq

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It's crazy how just 12 years ago, the tallest building in the world was 508m. Now there are over 10 skyscrapers currently built or under construction that are taller than that. It's going to be exciting to see what will be built in the decades to come. 


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#5
Jakob

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It's crazy how just 12 years ago, the tallest building in the world was 508m. Now there are over 10 skyscrapers currently built or under construction that are taller than that. It's going to be exciting to see what will be built in the decades to come. 

Yes, exactly!

 

  We could go even higher. Theoretically, a building could be built at least as tall as 8,849 meters, one meter taller than Mount Everest.

Buildings are not measured in height above sea level.


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#6
Yuli Ban

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With robots, we can build these things even faster for much cheaper. Hopefully that would give architects some work.

 

I want to see some starscrapers— skyscrapers that are at least 1,000 meters in height (though sometimes used to refer to skyscrapers that are at least 1,609.344 meters in height).


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#7
Jakob

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With robots, we can build these things even faster. 

 

I want to see some starscrapers— skyscrapers that are at least 1,000 meters in height.

Three years to go.

 

360px-Jeddah_Tower_Building_Progress_as_

(source; CC-BY-SA)


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#8
TranscendingGod

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2030- 5km tall

2040- space elevator

The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#9
Yuli Ban

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Where would we build most of our starscrapers, though? The reason why the Burj Khalifa wasn't one was because the ground couldn't support it. What needs to be done to create proper foundations?


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#10
TranscendingGod

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Where would we build most of our starscrapers, though? The reason why the Burj Khalifa wasn't one was because the ground couldn't support it. What needs to be done to create proper foundations?


Science.

The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#11
Infinite

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Materials science is a crucial field to develop megatall structures. We keep having to devise new ways of mixing concrete with novel materials to support the weight of these structures. But soon concrete won't be enough.

Basically the higher it is, the stronger the material has to be, and soon enough we will be hitting the limits of what current materials can give us.

Where are those carbon nanotube structures?! :)
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Is minic an fhírinne searbh.


#12
masterwigglestin

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Where would we build most of our starscrapers, though? The reason why the Burj Khalifa wasn't one was because the ground couldn't support it. What needs to be done to create proper foundations?


I imagine the simplest solution would be to create a wider and deeper base to spread the weight out over a larger and harder surface like bed rock.

Like Infinite said, materials will be crucial too.

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#13
Jakob

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2030- 5km tall

2040- space elevator

The market for a 5 kilometer space elevator does not exist and may never exist, let alone the technology to do this in the next 13 years.

 

A space elevator is not a building.


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#14
TranscendingGod

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2030- 5km tall
2040- space elevator

The market for a 5 kilometer space elevator does not exist and may never exist, let alone the technology to do this in the next 13 years.
 
A space elevator is not a building.

Lol you said a 5km space elevator... anyways the "market" for a 1km building was questionable or laughable in 1996.

A space elevator may not be a building but it was meant to signify the "tallest" thing possible which we would achieve in the 2040s.

Btw 2030 and 2040 usually mean the decades when i say them. I should probably add the S.

The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#15
Viperbsd

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Unnecessary. Size isnt always the answer. Why have one huge building when you can have 3 smaller builders for the same price.

#16
BasilBerylium

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2060 (-?/+?)

 

Mega Underground artificial cities that are several levels below the Earth's surface.

 

26F1BB2600000578-3009131-The_findings_co

(I don't find a suitable image)



#17
rennerpetey

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Space_Elevator_Schematic.jpgTake a look at the buildings on the right, these are the tallest possible we could create buildings.  I realize that practically there are many limitations, and actual tallest buildings might be only 3/4 those sizes, but we can go pretty far up there.


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#18
Jakob

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As I said above, a space elevator is by definition not a building as it does not contain habitable space.


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#19
rennerpetey

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I realize this, i was using the buildings on the right as the tallest possible structures that can support their own weight


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#20
Jakob

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.


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