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Infographic: The World's 10 Vainest Skyscrapers | Co.Design

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Can't NOT think of the song "You're So Vain":

That is interesting. I thought I needed some context as to what the worlds tallest occupied space was and was trying to work out what sort of infograph would show the tallest buildings with their occupied space shaded differently to unoccupied space, but could not find one. 

I did find this (below) 

Which does put a few things onto perspective. It also shows the countries where they are building tall.

The Tallest 20 in 2020: Entering the Era of the Megatall

"All but one of the towers on the top 20 list will be built in the Middle East or Asia. The lone representative from the Western hemisphere will be One World Trade Center, which will scrape sky at a patriotic 1,776 feet (or a less patriotic 541 meters) with its radio antenna. 

There's certainly a whose-is-bigger element to the recent height craze, but at some point cities must recognize that a tall building stops generating density and starts creating problems of its own. As a building's height increases, it requires more energy to construct and maintain. With that additional height also comes a drop in space efficiency, with structural support occupying area that might otherwise go toward tenants. Earlier this year the financial analyst Vikram Mansharamani even wondered if China's lust for skyscrapers represents unnecessary spending and, by extension, belies a real estate bubble. In its review of the 20 tallest towers, the Council on Tall Buildings argues that the question is no longer how high can we build, but how highshould we build:

At what point are the significant benefits of increased density provided by building tall overtaken by the energy repercussions of height? … Just as we pushed the structural boundaries of height, we must now continue to push the boundaries of environmental engineering in order to progress the tall typology. For, as skyscrapers continue to multiply, their effect on our cities — visually, urbanistically, and environmentally — continues to increase exponentially."

There was another interesting factoid about the Burj Kalifa that I remember from an NPR interview

"When I saw the Burj Khalifa in real life I was truly stunned. Indeed, the tallest skyscraper in the world defies belief. Today I learned something that also defies belief: all the poop produced there has to be removed by trucks.

Let’s do the maths here. The Burj Khalifa has 163 habitable floors. It’s designed to hold 35,000 people at any given time. Now, humans produce 100 to 250 grams of faeces per day. Let’s say 200 in this case, since these people are well fed. That’s 7,000,000 grams per day, seven tonnes of poop. Now, add human-produced liquids and water. I think a very conservative total would be 15 tonnes of sewage per day.

That’s a lot of poop.

And all of it has to be removed by trucks every single day. The trucks take the daily production to a sewage treatement facility. It’s the same with most skyscrapers in the city, according to Kate Ascher, author of The Heights. Talking to Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, Kate said that these trucks are in a permanent line waiting to get into the sewage treatment plant, waiting up to 24 hours before they can unload their load:

TG: Right. So you know, you write that in Dubai they don’t have, like, a sewage infrastructure to support high-rises like this one. So what do they do with the sewage?

KA: A variety of buildings there, some can access a municipal system but many of them actually use trucks to take the sewage out of individual buildings and then they wait on a queue to put it into a waste water treatment plant. So it’s a fairly primitive system.

TG: Well, these trucks can wait for hours and hours on line.

KA: That’s right. I’m told they can wait up to 24 hours before they get to the head of the queue. Now, there is a municipal system that is being invested in and I assume will connect all of these tall buildings in some point in the near future, but they’re certainly not alone. In India many buildings are responsible for providing their own water and their own waste water removal."

poop trucks

Thanks, Mo. I never thought of the implications of skyscrapers before.

sloth fascinating gif

When we look at the data, skyscrapers are highly illogical.

spock fascinating gif

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