Tallest buildings

August 24, 2009 § Leave a comment


With the new tallest building, the Burj Dubai, getting ready to open its doors, it’s time to start comparing building heights again. Skyscrapers make for great infographics, and there should be plenty of opportunities for height-comparison diagrams in the coming years. By 2020, the Burj Dubai will be overtaken by three taller skyscrapers if funding holds out. (See graphic above.)

When you begin researching an infographic on skyscraper heights, start first at the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. (http://www.ctbuh.org) Their “tallest database” has emerged as the accepted source at many news organizations.

Disagreements arise over whether to count spires and antennae on the tops of buildings. For instance, the council doesn’t include the antennae on the top of the Willis Tower in Chicago. Also, be careful to distinguish between the tallest BUILDINGS and the tallest STRUCTURES. The CN Tower in Toronto and a TV tower in North Dakota beat out former record-holder Taipae 101, but they are structures, not buildings with occupied floors.

Here is a recent Wall Street Journal infographic that intentionally mixes tall structures and buildings:


And a San Francicso Chronicle graphic from 2001:



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