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Old May 28th, 2013, 03:19 PM   #1
Kanto
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Roof height measurement system

Roof height is in my opinion by far the best way to measure a skyscraper's height. However the CTBUH has dropped roof height from it's measurement system altogether. This means that there is no official method on how to determine a building's roof. To me that is an unacceptable situation and so I decided to develop such a system so that roof height is, in a way, ressurected on the global skyscraper scene

This system is able to count roof height even for buildings like the Burj Khalifa, or the Kingdom Tower. Parapets (also called solid crowns) are counted while open air lattice crowns, spires and antenna are not. The method is based on one simple rule with two exceptions and one addon rule with one exception. It is a work in progress and so I encourage all forumers to write in this thread what they like and what they don't like about my system. I'm grateful for all feedback because it helps me to make my method better

Now to the method itself. First let us define what a geometrical section is because I will talk a lot about these. A geometrical section is a section of a building following a regular geometrical pattern. The boundaries of a geometrical section are where this geometrical pattern will be interrupted by another geometrical pattern, which then is another geometrical section of a building.

The main rule is that a geometrical section of a building is accepted towards roof height if both its maximum width is at least 50 % of the maximum width of the geometrical section below it and its maximum width is at least 15 meters or 50 feet.

However, there are two exceptions which can make a geometrical section to be counted towards roof height even if it doesn't meet the main rule. A geometrical section is automatically counted towards roof height if it has an occupied floor in itself or if its maximum height is not greater than its maximum width.

And last, but not least, even if a geometrical section is counted towards roof height, it might not be counted in its full height if its width drops below 15 meters or 50 feet (a tappering geometrical section). In that case the section is automatically counted to either the ceiling of its top occupied floor or to the spot where it is exactly 15 meters or 50 feet wide, to whichever of these two is higher.

But, there is one exception to this addon rule as well, which is if the angle between the top of this geometrical section, and the width boudaries of the section's upper most part normally counted by the addon rule, have an angle of at least 30 degrees, the whole section is counted towards roof height. Here is a pic to better explain what angle I mean:



And here is a diagram of the tallest buildings built and under construction with their roof height calculated by my measurement system:



Please, let me know what you folks think of this method or if I should explain any part of it in more detail
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Old May 28th, 2013, 05:54 PM   #2
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This is not just a simple rule. This is complicated.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 01:31 PM   #3
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Well, it does have to deal with buildings like Burj Khalifa or Kingdom Tower so it needs some complexity
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Old June 1st, 2013, 10:23 PM   #4
Eric Offereins
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For buildings like the kingdom tower you could use the ceiling height of the highest occupied floor.
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Old June 1st, 2013, 11:14 PM   #5
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I thought about that but I decided not to do so because I wanted the measurement system to be as fair to every type of building as possible. When I first started developing a roof height measurement system a friend of mine thought that buildings like the Kingdom Tower or Burj Khalifa should be counted to their tips because of their regular tappering (no thin steel stick on a wide flat roof). I disagreed because that would allow such unconventional buildings to get away with thin, unoccupied structures while conventional buildings like 1WTC, ICC or the Willis Tower wouldn't get away with it. But counting unconventional buildings only to their top floor ceiling would produce the opposite effect. Conventional buildings could build wide unoccupied space while buildings like Khalifa or Kingdom couldn't

Because I wanted the measurement to not discriminate any architectural style I decided that wide unoccupied space will be counted for both, and thin unoccupied structures won't be counted for neither. Roof height could be also described as visual height or height of the primary structure and it is exactly between height to the top occupied floor and pinnacle height. A roof is a visual top of a building, the top of its primary structure and it is located above the top occupied floor but below the pinnacle if a structural addon like an antenna or a spire is present
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Old July 12th, 2013, 01:46 AM   #6
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hi kanto great job , but in i think makkah royal clock tower hotel 558.7 m

check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraj_Al_Bait:


any way no much different

thank you so much
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Old July 13th, 2013, 12:29 PM   #7
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Thanks for your support, I really appreciate it

Btw, Abby's top floor is at 559 meters, so the roof is above that. According to the SSP diagrams the roof of the top floor is at 568 meters, however I'd like to get my hands on some blueprints to know it in greater detail
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Old July 14th, 2013, 09:44 PM   #8
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I agree with you in spirit, but since roof height has been poorly documented, promoting this rule to be decisive means going back to many, many buildings to determine that number. Having done this kind of work, I guess it would require an army of people to do that, also presuming that blue prints of all of these buildings are still available, which they are not.

The best way to deal with building heights is just not to care too much about it. Most people don't care beyond the #1 anyway.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 03:19 PM   #9
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Thanks for the support, I appreciate it

I have a small question. This is a purely hypothetical question for at least a decade, but I'd still like to ask, how does and engineer or an architect become part of the CTBUH? How does the CTBUH choose new mambers?
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Old July 18th, 2013, 11:40 AM   #10
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CTBUH is a non-for-profit organisation of which everyone can be a member as long as they pay an annual membership fee.

I have been part of their height committee for a while, through which I learned that whatever alternative rule you come up with, there is always a skyscraper to be found that screws it all up, and always someone who disagrees with your interpretation of the idea. As such there never was any ground or consensus for any major changes so I pretty much lost interest in that. I have an opinion about this matter, but height rankings really is not my skyscraper focus anyway. Plus I doubt that beyond a few enthusiastic individuals, anyone really cares about all this. Press and people alike are only interested in who's #1.

Except for including the antenna of the WTC and a few individual examples in which mere sticks are being added (such as Trump Chicago), I'm actually okay with the way things work, mostly for historical and practical reasons. That WTC issue though is just a sore example of an organisation bending their own rules for the sake of politics, presuming that's the official stand in this.
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Old July 18th, 2013, 04:36 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info How does one become amember of the CTBUH height comitee? Can any CTBUH member be a part of it, or does it have additional requirements?

BTW, 1WTC is not the first antenna to be counted as a spire by the CTBUH. In Bratislava there is a building called tower 115. It is 104 meters to the roof and 115 meters to the tip of its antenna. The building was built in 1984 and it had nothing on its roof at all. When I was a kid I had my dentist right next to the building. Sometimes in the 2000's they reclad the building and added the antenna. The antenna was added approximately 20 years after the opening of the building, yet it is counted as a spire

http://www.skyscrapercenter.com/bratislava/tower-115/
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Old July 20th, 2013, 11:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan View Post
.. That WTC issue though is just a sore example of an organisation bending their own rules for the sake of politics, presuming that's the official stand in this.
I couldn't agree more. They could have made a statement instead by reducing 1WTCs height to the roof height.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 11:21 AM   #13
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Kanto, would be interesting to see what the tallest building in the world would be with your system. i imagine petronas towers would not have had the title, but SWFC may have gotten it from Taipei 101?
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Old July 21st, 2013, 12:56 PM   #14
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The world's tallest skyscraper title holders would be the same with roof height as they are with official height until 1998. Petronas Towers would never get the title, because both the old WTC and the Willis Tower are taller. The Willis Tower would be the tallest skyscraper from 1974 to 2004, when Taipei 101 was finished. Taipei would be the tallest building only until 2008 when the SWFC was finished. Then in 2010 Burj Khalifa would take the title

As to buildings as a whole, since ancient times until 1887 the Great Pyramid would be the tallest building. The Eiffel Tower would hold the title from 1887 'til 1931 when the ESB would overtake it. After that, the North Tower would have the title from 1972 to 1974, the Willis Tower from 1974 to 1976, the CN Tower from 1976 to 2008, the SWFC from 2008 and finally Burj Khalifa would get the title in 2010
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Old July 21st, 2013, 01:52 PM   #15
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Eiffel Tower could not be the tallest building in the world since it's just a structure.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 02:11 PM   #16
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Since it has 3 occupied floors I consider it an observation tower, like CN Tower, Skytree or Canton Tower. Guyed masts, or chimneys are in my opinion only structures

Skyscrapers must have at least 50% of their pinnacle height occupied if they are to be skyscrapers and not observation towers, however from what I know there are no such minimal requirements for observation towers, so in the absence of such requirements I consider every tall structure that has at least 1 occupied floor as an observation tower and therefore a building, though that is just my opinion. I'd like to know how (or if) the CTBUH determines what is and what isn't an observation Tower?
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Old July 21st, 2013, 02:39 PM   #17
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I don't know but probably at least one observation deck opened to public determines that it is the OB Tower.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 10:42 PM   #18
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Well, in that case the Eiffel Tower would indeed be an observation tower
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 12:14 AM   #19
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It is indeed.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 01:24 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanto View Post
Petronas Towers would never get the title.
See that's the problem. The fact that PT was recognized as the world's tallest at some point is so embedded that even if everyone would agree on a new height measuring rule, you would never get that kind of history out of the system. Next to changing heights you also need to change the books.

Quote:
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however from what I know there are no such minimal requirements for observation towers
Buildings are structures which main purpose is a habitable one, i.e. residential office, hotel. For all non-habitable usages, such as observatory, antenna, clock tower and whatnot, the term 'tower' is used. The 50% threshold works quite fine for that distinction. I think you're confusing 'occupiable' with 'accessible' when it comes to observatory towers. Referring to the Eiffel Tower as a building because it has a couple of accessible decks with restaurants doesn't make any sense, really.

Also while at it, could you please shorten your signature, or make it less in-your-face? Thanks.
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