2017 Broke the Record for Most Skyscrapers Ever Built in a Single Year

The Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea.  Photo by  Neroson ,  CC BY-SA 4.0

The Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea.  Photo by NerosonCC BY-SA 4.0

As open land in cities across the world is becoming harder to find, the tendency to go vertical on buildings is becoming more popular.  For the fourth straight year, a record number of buildings 200 meters (656 feet) or higher were built in a single year.

A total of 144 of the 200m tall buildings were completed this year, which topped 2016’s count of 127, according to a new report from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).  Among the 144, a total of 15 supertall buildings, defined as being at least 300 meters (984 feet) tall, were also completed. 

To put these numbers in perspective, only 263 total buildings above 200m tall existed in the year 2000 and there were only 76 buildings that reached 300m or above in 2013. The year 2015 is the only other year to have at least 15 supertall buildings completed in a year.

An overwhelming majority of 2017’s tall buildings were built in China, representing 76 of the 144, or 53%.  This is now the 10th straight year that China has lead the world in tall building construction.  The United States completed 10 total tall buildings, good enough for second place, followed by South Korea in third place with 7. 

The tallest building to be completed in 2017 was Shenzen, China’s Ping An Finance Center, which is currently the 4th tallest building in the world at 1965 feet tall (599m). Seoul, South Korea’s Lotte World Tower was the second tallest this year at 1,819 feet tall (555m).  The two buildings together effectively pushed the United States out of the top 5 in the world’s tallest buildings rankings.  

The Wilshire Grand Center in Los Angeles was the tallest building in America completed in 2017, topping out at 1100 feet (335m) tall. That building also held the World Record for the “Longest Continuous Concrete Pour” at one point, placing 25,667.22 cubic yards of concrete in 49 straight hours.   New York City built 4 of the 10 total, including 50 West (778 feet, 237m), Madison Square Park Tower (777 feet, 237m), 3 Manhattan West (730 feet, 223m), and The Beekman Hotel & Residences (687 feet, 209m).  The other American cities to finish a tall building were Chicago, IL (2), Houston, TX, Philadelphia, PA, and Seattle, WA.

Next year, the CTBUH projects between 130 and 160 tall buildings at least 200m and between 12 and 20 supertall buildings to be completed.  The tallest building currently projected to be complete in 2018 is Tianjin, China’s Golden Finance 117, which expects to reach 1957 feet (597m). 

The tallest building in America expected to be completed next year is Philadelphia’s Comcast Technology Center at 1121 feet (342m).  New York’s 3 World Trade Center and San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower are also projected to be completed and top the 300m mark.

Full story: CTBUH Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2017 | CTBUH