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Last edited 30 Sep 2017
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) defines a ‘supertall’ building as one that is more than 300 m (984 ft) in height. This classification is exceeded by ‘megatall’ buildings which are those exceeding 600 m (1,968 ft) in height.
The widely recognised CTBUH criteria for determining the height of a building is the ‘…lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flagpoles or other functional-technical equipment.’
The first supertall skyscraper was the Chrysler Building, completed in New York in 1930. Only 15 were built between 1930 and 1995, with a rapid increase in building heights since. Between 2010 and 2015, 50 supertall buildings were built. In January 2016, the 100th supertall building was completed, 432 Park Avenue, again in New York.
There are many structural and technical issues facing supertall buildings, and they must be designed to mitigate the threat of seismic activity, heavy winds (as well as the variation in wind speeds between ground and higher levels), and fire. The ability to use structure-mounted cranes and to lift items to the required heights have enabled more supertall buildings to be built.
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