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Old June 4th, 2010, 10:06 AM   #1
Geography
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Residential vs. commercial skyscrapers

I am confident an urban expert can answer this for me. Why are super-tall buildings exclusively for commercial use? Why are the tallest residential towers lower than the tallest commercial towers? Wouldn't the super rich pay to live high up like that?
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Old June 6th, 2010, 05:51 PM   #2
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Residential towers are built usually to have economic benefits in short time, they sell all the flats and the busines ends, and supertall towers are expensive, and many people are afraid to live in such tall floors for safety reasons, so they are not quite profitable, it's better to build a cheaper shorter building and sell the flats faster. Office towers have benefits in longer therm, so they don't mind building a more expensive building if that helps to atract clients in the future looking for a landmark, popular and easily recognisable headquarter, but sometimes those office towers are not even quite profitable, but they are built as landmarks, as it might be the case of the Shanghai Tower, Burj Dubai, or that hotel in north Korea.
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Old June 6th, 2010, 11:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geography View Post
Why are super-tall buildings exclusively for commercial use? Why are the tallest residential towers lower than the tallest commercial towers? Wouldn't the super rich pay to live high up like that?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burj_Khalifa#Floor_plans
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Old June 8th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geography View Post
I am confident an urban expert can answer this for me. Why are super-tall buildings exclusively for commercial use? Why are the tallest residential towers lower than the tallest commercial towers? Wouldn't the super rich pay to live high up like that?
In most european cities it was the other way around. Most of the skycrappers were residential and higher than the commercial. But in the last two decades this changed....
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Old June 9th, 2010, 06:38 PM   #5
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A lot of newer supertalls like the Burj Khalifa are mixed-use structures containing residential, office, hotel, retail and other spaces. In the past, commercial office was the best way to get a supertall financed since banks don't like costly residential builds. But the trend toward luxury tower residences and some of the prices they are getting changed that. Also the hotel business is the only one where the 'rent' changes daily. So they can be more profitable than condos or apartments. Because they cost so much to build, supertalls are often financed through multiple banks and loans instead of just one or two. Being able to offer a variety of income streams instead of just one enables a developer to tailor their plans for banks with different risk tolerances. The other issue is the decline in office staffs and corporate efficiency modeling that strives to reduce the floorspace needed for each employee. With automation, more companies can office their top level staffs in smaller floorplates. That means either going out and finding a bulk space tennant who would pay a premium for space in a supertall trophy tower, or reducing the commercial floorspace and finding other willing tennants for the rest. In a competitive market, a supertall can be a tough sell. Big buildings are configured around these economics in cities like New York and Chicago. In other cities, they are seen more as national symbols and are built to suit the aspirations of the builder and whoever's paying for it. In these cases, other factors determine how a tower is configured and some of them are single-use structures. But I think mixed-use is the future of supertalls.
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Old September 14th, 2012, 10:23 PM   #6
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Here's a major reason often forgotten on SSC: Housing generally needs a narrower tower -- an office can be 40 feet from the window, but in an apartment, many rooms NEED windows (bedrooms, living rooms), or to be within sight of windows (kitchens), so units tend to be maybe 25-30 feet from the hallway. This can be due to code (bedrooms) or due to leasbility only. A narrower tower gets very expensive per square foot as it gets taller. Only with outrageous prices can you build anything really tall.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 11:54 PM   #7
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That's true. Take 432 park in NYC or the Dubai Marina towers for example, they are far thinner than office buildings with similar height
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Old September 18th, 2012, 12:37 AM   #8
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that's why mixed use buildings have the hotel at the top
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Old September 18th, 2012, 09:51 AM   #9
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I would go for residential.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 11:26 PM   #10
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In Europe, for example in Warsaw are high apartments tower. The have 192 and 160 m. In Wroclav is 212 meter high Sky Tower with many luxury suites.
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Old August 18th, 2013, 08:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geography View Post
I am confident an urban expert can answer this for me. Why are super-tall buildings exclusively for commercial use? Why are the tallest residential towers lower than the tallest commercial towers? Wouldn't the super rich pay to live high up like that?
Depends on population density of the city/country i guess. In Mumbai we have more than ten supertalls u/c and all are residential. The tallest commercial building here is only 203m high.
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Old August 18th, 2013, 09:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanto View Post
That's true. Take 432 park in NYC or the Dubai Marina towers for example, they are far thinner than office buildings with similar height
True, but you can plan for 4 or more apartments per floor. 432 Park has 1 or 2 per floor.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 01:57 AM   #13
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They'r building World One in Mumbai, wich is residential and is 442 meters tall.
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Old August 26th, 2013, 12:47 AM   #14
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Here in Glasgow most "tall" buildings are residential. The two tallest commercial buildings in Glasgow are the Hilton Glasgow hotel and the St Andrew House hotel (formally a office building) with 20 and 17 floors respectively. However those aren't the tallest in Glasgow. That title goes to the Bluevale/Whitevale flats in Dennistoun,with 31 floors (total), 29 of which are habitable and at a height of 95m. The "point" blocks of Red Road come second at 93m, also 31 floors (30 above ground).
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Old September 18th, 2013, 10:16 PM   #15
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The new hotels being constructed nowadays have to either have a small number of units (just a few hundred) and/or have to be combined with residential units or offices. A large (400+ units) hotel-only building can't be developed. Why that?
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