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Old November 11th, 2011, 12:29 AM   #1
Kanto
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Engineering question: How tall is still profitable?

I have a small question about tall buildings. I've heared that it is more economical to make more highrises than to make a few supertalls. Now the question I have is what is the limit of current technology where a building is still profitable on it's own?
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Old November 11th, 2011, 09:00 AM   #2
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I believe elevator technology is limited to a certain height, hence as a building gets taller, more space needs to be allocated to house multiple sets of elevators and skylobbies. Forget what was the exact figure but I doubt the likes of Burj Khalifa would be profitable.
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Old November 11th, 2011, 01:45 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info
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Old November 11th, 2011, 02:39 PM   #4
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for me it's more a matter of prices of real estate to see if tall is profitable or not. In those oil states, that build supertalls in the middle of a dessert just for the sake of building a supertall, it's certainly not.
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Old November 12th, 2011, 05:34 PM   #5
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Well I guess thats heavily related to the design of the building but also to how it is been used.

Of course a cheaper building which is taller has a higher rate of returns to costs. But then also a expensive high quality building that costs more generates a higher income because you can demand higher prices for buyers/rent payers.

If supertalls wouldn't be profitable, they wouldn't been build. At least not in that high numbers we encounter today.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 03:59 AM   #6
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more space needs to be allocated to house multiple sets of elevators and skylobbies.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 03:53 AM   #7
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More and more cities, more and more high-rise building, sound and light pollution is getting worse, living in this city really is a frustration and irritability
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Old September 20th, 2012, 12:27 PM   #8
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Old September 20th, 2012, 01:24 PM   #9
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never forget the prestige value, well if you build the tallest you also get this hype with you, tourism and interest, you can charge higher prices for a restaurant or observation deck higher up, if its the tallest in a world wide known city, you also most likely can get a pretty expensive hotel in the top floors.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 05:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
I believe elevator technology is limited to a certain height, hence as a building gets taller, more space needs to be allocated to house multiple sets of elevators and skylobbies. Forget what was the exact figure but I doubt the likes of Burj Khalifa would be profitable.
Agree only that. Also, more complex and costly provisisions for fire fighting. As the floor plate gets smaller on higher and higher floors, the building becomes less and less efficient.

I have not done nor seen a comprehensive study, but my gut feel or personal preference is 70 storeys or 300m is about the maximum is enough.

You may say I am rather conservative. ha ha!
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Old September 21st, 2012, 05:36 AM   #11
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Rent is a huge variable. So are land, structure type, barriers to entry (limits to competition from other building), and a million other things. Certain heights trigger new codes. My city also has a bonus fee system that makes height expensive.

Rule #1 is that there's rarely one answer. Long after the first rendering hits the newspaper, they might have only a general sense of the design, and know even less about what it will cost to build and what rents might be.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 04:23 AM   #12
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I remember reading somewhere that anything above 350m starts to lose profitability very fast, for office towers at least. there are obviously exceptions, but that seems to be the general rule right now. that number is always climbing mind you. in the 1970's it was probably around 180m, and up until 2005-2007 or so it was 280ish.

you also see the tallest possible to build slowly rising. right now it is at around 650m (anything taller than that just uses a giant spire, I.E. burj Khalifa, Kingdom Tower). in the 1930's it was 300m, (empire state, Chrysler) and in the 1970's it was 430ish meters. (WTC, Sears Tower)
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Old September 26th, 2012, 04:27 AM   #13
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It really depends on type of landscape a city or urban area is that would make building up worth while. Such as if you had a city or other urban that was built in a sweet spot that was very favorable to human settlement with good resources. It would naturally gravitate large numbers of people towards it which would make dense area possible. But at the same time while you have a sweet spot for people to live in a area you would need natural barriers that would prevent people from sprawling outward in low rise houses or low rise buildings such as a swamp or a bay or some type of desert. Or like in the case of the 1926 Movie Metropolis there is a shortage of farm land and the remaining farm land is highly prized and the hoards of people care kept in the city to prevent the urban sprawl from killing the food supply.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 06:53 AM   #14
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It depends on a lot. A 1000' skyscraper can be profitable in NYC, probably not in Boise, ID. There's too much available land in Boise. There aren't enough people who can afford to pay the rent you'd need to justify the cost.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 03:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
I remember reading somewhere that anything above 350m starts to lose profitability very fast, for office towers at least. there are obviously exceptions, but that seems to be the general rule right now. that number is always climbing mind you. in the 1970's it was probably around 180m, and up until 2005-2007 or so it was 280ish.

you also see the tallest possible to build slowly rising. right now it is at around 650m (anything taller than that just uses a giant spire, I.E. burj Khalifa, Kingdom Tower). in the 1930's it was 300m, (empire state, Chrysler) and in the 1970's it was 430ish meters. (WTC, Sears Tower)
I'd guess its noteble that alot of these modern supertalls are housing hotels in the upper levels that likely value window space rather than floor space more highly compaired to offices.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 06:54 PM   #16
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Hotels don't value window space particularly. In fact, hotels gain less value from their views that housing does. People rent hotel rooms online, with brand reputation playing a big role. They buy condos in person.

But hotels need narrow buildings. A room might only be 25' from the hall, vs. 40' or more for an office. So hotels can fit the narrow peaks of tall towers. Even then, many aspects of hotels work better closer to the ground. If your kitchen and laundry are downstairs near the loading dock, then the rooms are easier there too. If a hotel is way up high, it should probably have a restaurant up there too, because only then will room service be workable.
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Old October 16th, 2012, 02:24 PM   #17
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hi
i like tall building because through this you can get space in sky which is unusable with out tall buildings, one the other hand we can save agriculture land and accommodate more people on small piece of land ..
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Old October 16th, 2012, 03:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays View Post
But hotels need narrow buildings. A room might only be 25' from the hall, vs. 40' or more for an office. So hotels can fit the narrow peaks of tall towers.
Maybe the building can be design to be mix use, with most of the windows for hotels or resisdential, and office, etc in the middle.
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Old October 16th, 2012, 03:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerZavatar View Post
never forget the prestige value, well if you build the tallest you also get this hype with you, tourism and interest, you can charge higher prices for a restaurant or observation deck higher up, if its the tallest in a world wide known city, you also most likely can get a pretty expensive hotel in the top floors.
Depends on what you can see, At The Top is only 450m, you see a lot, and you are not going to see much more if you move higher, and even if you do, you need a binoculars, will you pay double or triple to move a bit up, where you don't gain anything, except take you longer to get up/down.
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Old October 17th, 2012, 08:34 AM   #20
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