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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What are Supertall and Megatall Buildings?


What are Supertall and Megatall Buildings?


“Supertall” is defined as a building over 300 meters (984 feet) in height, and a “Megatall” as a building over 600 meters (1,968 feet) in height. Although great heights are now being achieved with built tall buildings—in excess of 800 meters (2,600 feet)—as of July 2013 there are only 73 supertall and 2 megatall building completed and occupied globally. Thus the completion of a supertall building is still a significant milestone.


Monday, October 28, 2013

World's Tallest Buildings



Within this decade we will likely witness not only the world’s first kilometer-tall building, but also the completion of a significant number of buildings over 600 meters (around 2,000 feet) – that’s twice the height of the Eiffel Tower. Two years ago, prior to the completion of the Burj Khalifa, this building type did not exist. And yet, by 2020, we can expect at least eight such buildings to exist internationally. The term “supertall” (which refers to a building over 300 meters) is thus no longer adequate to describe these buildings: we are entering the era of the “megatall.” This term is now officially being used by the Council to describe buildings over 600 meters in height, or double the height of a supertall (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Diagram of the predicted World's 20 Tallest in the year 2020 as of Dec 2011


As we started the 21st century, just 11 short years ago, the Petronas Towers held the title of “The World’s Tallest” at 452 meters (1,483 feet) in height. Taipei 101 took the title in 2004, at 508 meters (1,667 feet).Then, at the end of the decade, the Burj Khalifa set new standards at 828 meters (2,717 feet) – over half a mile high. Now, with work set to start on-site in January 2012 for Jeddah’s 1,000+ meter Kingdom Tower (see Figure 2), we can expect that in a mere two decades (2000–2020) the height of the “World’s Tallest Building” will have more than doubled.
Figure 3: The status of the “Tallest 20 in 2020” projects
Figure 4: The location of the “Tallest 20 in 2020” projects
Figure 2: The world’s tallest is set to change yet again in
2018 with the completion of the Kingdom Tower 
© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Figure 5: The use of the “Tallest 20 in 2020” projects 

What is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the study is that the previous world’s tallest mentioned above now barely make the list at all. In just two decades Petronas will have gone from 1st to 27th tallest in the world, and Taipei 101 just scrapes into the study in 18th place. When we take into account that new projects not included in this study will surely be announced and built throughout the next decade, one can predict that, with the exception of the Burj Khalifa and Makkah Royal Clock Tower, all of the tallest 20 buildings in the year 2020 are not yet built (though a number are already under construction, see Figure 3). 
The tremendous change that the tall building industry has seen in two decades is clearly shown by a juxtaposition of three skylines: the tallest 20 buildings in the year 2000, 2010, and 2020 (see Figure 6).
 
Figure 6: A study of the tallest 20 buildings per decade.
It is also useful to understand the tallest 20 in 2020 in the context of global tall building trends. The average height of these twenty buildings is predicted to be 598 meters (1,962 feet). Yet, as we stand at the end of 2011, there are actually only 61 buildings currently in existence over 300 meters (the threshold for “supertall”). Until recently, in fact, the completion of a supertall was rather a rare occurrence, with only 15 supertalls completing in the 65 years between the world’s first such building (New York’s Chrysler Building, 1930) and 1995. It was only in the mid 1990s that it became common for more than one supertall to be added to the lists annually, with 1995 being the last year when no supertalls were completed. Now, less than two decades later, the number of supertalls completed annually has entered double digits, and is set to continue to rise. Meanwhile, the number of megatalls set to complete in the upcoming decade is similar to the number of supertalls completed in the 90s (see Figure 7). In terms of height, therefore, 600 m seems to be the new 300 m.
Figure 7: Supertall and megatall building completion showing a significant projected increase,
Note: The figures for following years are estimates based on current building trends and construction activity.
Not only increasing in height, the “Tallest 20 in 2020” also demonstrate a diversity in project location not previously seen in the world’s tallest 20. The projects are scattered across 15 cities in 7 countries. China, with 10 of the 20 projects, clearly stands out as the country most rapidly pursuing the supertall, followed by Korea (3), Saudi Arabia (2), and the UAE (2). If we analyze via a larger geographic region, however, the picture becomes even more pronounced. Asia (not including the Middle East) accounts for 70% of the buildings (14). The Middle East counts for 25% (5). The only other region to be represented in the study is North America, where New York’s One World Trade Center is the only tower in the western hemisphere to make the study. If we consider the Middle East as part of continental Asia, then Asia contains 19 of the 20 projects.
With over 1.3 billion citizens and a rapidly urbanizing population, China is perhaps the country with the most obvious reason for building tall. The ten Chinese projects show great diversity in location, spread across seven cities: Shenzhen (2), Shanghai (2), Tianjin (2), Wuhan (1), Guangzhou (1), Dalian (1), and Taipei (1). The tallest of these, Shenzhen’s Ping An Finance Center (see Figure 8), is now under construction and scheduled to complete in 2015. Once complete, the project will provide over 300,000 m2 of office space and become the country’s tallest building and the world’s tallest office building. Also in China, the 632-meter (2,073 feet) mixed-use Shanghai Tower (see Figure 9) will complete a supertall cluster in the city’s Pudong area, as it sits alongside the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Jin Mao Building. The Shanghai Tower’s unique dual-skin design provides atrium space containing “gardens in the sky” between the skins every 12 – 15 stories. The project began construction in 2009 and is scheduled to complete in 2014.

Usage space in Tallest Buidings



Vanity Height: the Use-less Space in Today’s Tallest Buildings
It is noticed at Jeddah Kingdom tower, that a fair amount of the top of the building seemed to be an unoccupied spire. This prompted us to investigate the increasing trend towards extreme spires and other extensions of tall buildings that do not enclose usable space, and create a new term to describe this – Vanity Height, i.e., the distance between a skyscraper’s highest occupiable floor and its architectural top, as determined by Height Criteria.


Greatest Supertall
Vanity Ratio

With a vanity height of nearly 124 meters within its architectural height of 321 meters, the Burj Al Arab has the highest non-occupiable-to-occupiable height ratio among completed supertalls. 39% of its height is non-occupiable.
Figure 2. World’s Ten Tallest Vanity Heights
The ten tallest “Vanity Heights” in today’s completed supertalls as of July 2013 data.
* The highest occupied floor height as datum line.
** The highest occupied floor height.
Figure 3. History of Vanity Height
This chart shows Vanity Height as a percentage of overall architectural height for the world’s 74 completed supertalls.
Note: Historically there have been 74 completed supertalls (300+ m) in the world, including the now-demolished One and Two World Trade Center in New York.
Figure 4. Vanity Height in Detail
These graphs examine the average Vanity Height of completed supertalls by country, date of completion, and architectural height.

How does the height of building calculated?


This tall building height calculator is developed to assist in determining tall building heights when only the story count is known. The calculator is divided into three categories representing the three major functions represented in tall buildings;
             (i) Office
             (ii) Residential/Hotel
             (iii) Mixed-use or when the function unknown

The calculator will provide an approximate height for a single tall building, but as tall building characteristics vary significantly with location, structural material, form, profile, etc, in some instances estimates will vary considerably with actual building height. As such, the calculator is best utilized to determine heights in multiple building / statistical studies, where there are many unknown building heights. In these instances the greater number of buildings examined will reduce any overall variations.

The calculator does not include any factors for spires or any other major projections at the roof plane, due to the wide ranging nature of these.

The height calculator is never utilized by the CTBUH to determine any building heights as part of the CTBUH tall building database i.e. all published heights within the CTBUH database are accurate, confirmed heights according to published data.


Height Calculator Assumptions

OfficeResidential/hotelFunction Unkown or Mixed-Use1
floor-to-floor height (f)3.9m3.1m3.5m
Entrance lobby level floor-to-floor height2.0f = 7.8m1.5= 4.65m1.75f = 6.125m
Number of mechanical floors above ground (excluding those on the roof)s/20 = One mechanical floor every 20 storiess/30 = One mechanical floor every 30 storiess/25 = One mechanical floor every 25 stories
Height of mechanical floors2.0f = 7.8m1.5= 4.65m1.75f = 6.125m
Height of roof-level mechanical areas / parapets / screen walls22.0f = 7.8m2.0f = 6.2m2.0f = 7.0m
Key

H= Building height
f = Typical occupied floor-to-floor height
s = Total number of stories3
         
 
Useable Floors
Entrance Lobby
Mechanical Floors
Roof
  
.asdf
1Mixed-use assumptions derived from the average values between office and residential/hotel figures.

2Figures do not assume spires or other major projections at the roof plane.

3The number of stories should include the ground floor level and be the number of main floors above ground, including any significant mezzanine floors and major mechanical plant floors. Mechanical mezzanines or penthouses should not be included if they have a significantly smaller floor area than the major floors below. CTBUH floor counts may differ from published accounts, as it is common in some regions of the world for certain floor levels not to be included (for example, the level 4, 14, 24, etc in Hong Kong).

.
1. Calculating the height of an office tall building where only the number of stories is known
Number of stories (known) = s
Assumed floor-to-floor height = f = 3.9m
Factor for increased ground level floor-to-floor height
Assuming the entrance lobby floor-to-floor height is 7.8m, the factor will be an additional 7.8 minus (–) 3.9 = 3.9m
(e.g. discounting the 3.9m of the ground level floor-to-floor height that has already been counted).
Factor for increased mechanical levels floor-to-floor height
Assuming the mechanical levels are 7.8m high, the factor will be an additional 7.8 minus (–) 3.9 = 3.9m per mechanical floor
(e.g. discounting the 3.9m of the mechanical floors that have already been counted). The number of mechanical floors is calculated by the total number of floors divided by 20 = s/20
Factor for roof level mechanical systems / parapets / roof features
Assume this is an additional 7.8m in height (there is no need to discount any stories as roof level mechanical systems / parapets / roof features are not included in the figure for total story count).

Height of building = number of stories x floor-to-floor height = 3.9s
+ Factor for increased ground level floor-to-floor height = 3.9m
+ Factor for increased mechanical levels floor-to-floor height = 3.9m x (s/20)
+ Factor for roof level mechanical systems / parapets / roof features = 7.8m
Final formula for calculating the height of an office tall building:

.
60 Story Office Building

2. Calculating the height of a residential/hotel tall building where only the number of stories is known
.




Number of stories (known) = s
Assumed floor-to-floor height = f = 3.1m
Factor for increased ground level floor-to-floor height
Assuming the entrance lobby floor-to-floor height is 4.65m, the factor will be an additional 4.65 minus (–) 3.1 = 1.55m
(e.g. discounting the 3.1m of the ground level floor-to-floor height that has already been counted).
Factor for increased mechanical levels floor-to-floor height
Assuming the mechanical levels are 4.65m high, the factor will be an additional 4.65 minus (–) 3.1 = 1.55m per mechanical floor
(e.g. discounting the 3.1m of the mechanical floors that have already been counted). The number of mechanical floors is calculated by the total number of floors divided by 30 = s/30.
Factor for roof level mechanical systems / parapets / roof features
Assume this is an additional 6.2m in height (there is no need to discount any stories as roof level mechanical systems / parapets / roof features are not included in the figure for total story count).

Height of building = number of stories x floor-to-floor height = 3.1s
+ Factor for increased ground level floor-to-floor height = 1.55m
+ Factor for increased mechanical levels floor-to-floor height = 1.55m x (s/30)
+ Factor for roof level mechanical systems / parapets / roof features = 6.2m
Final formula for calculating the height of a residential/hotel building:

.
60 Story Residential/Hotel Building

3. Calculating the height of a mixed-use tall building or where the function of the building is unknown and the number of stories is known
.

Number of stories (known) = s
Assumed floor-to-floor height = f = 3.5m
Factor for increased ground level floor-to-floor height
Assuming the entrance lobby floor-to-floor height is  6.125m, the factor will be an additional  6.125 minus (–) 3.5 = 2.625m
(e.g. discounting the 3.5m of the ground level floor-to-floor height that has already been counted).
Factor for increased mechanical levels floor-to-floor height
Assuming the mechanical levels are  6.125m high, the factor will be an additional 6.125 minus (–) 3.5 = 2.625m per mechanical floor
(e.g. discounting the 3.5m of the mechanical floors that have already been counted). The number of mechanical floors is calculated by the total number of floors divided by 25 = s/25.
Factor for roof level mechanical systems / parapets / roof features
Assume this is an additional 7.0m in height (there is no need to discount any stories as roof level mechanical systems / parapets / roof features are not included in the figure for total story count).

Height of building = number of stories x floor-to-floor height = 3.5s
+ Factor for increased ground level floor-to-floor height = 2.625m
+ Factor for increased mechanical levels floor-to-floor height = 2.625m x (s/25)
+ Factor for roof level mechanical systems / parapets / roof features = 7.0m
Final formula for calculating the height of a mixed-use or function unknown tall building:

.
60 Mixed-Use or Function Unknown Building

Friday, October 18, 2013

Optimizing Your Construction Business for Profitable Growth



Optimizing Your Construction Business for Profitable Growth


Construction companies are meeting the challenge of ever-intensifying competition by refining their
business operations with standardized operating practices and “visible” information that is shared among multiple departments.

“Before, only owners who wanted to grow a very large company would worry about transitioning from the informal business they started to formalized, standardized business processes,” says CEO of a leading provider of construction management software solutions, expert services, and best practices. “But in the current environment, you also have to make that transition just to stay competitive and improve your profitability.”

Ultimately, if you can attain purpose-driven buy-in and drive repeatable processes towards widespread fluency, your 10% overhead becomes 7%, and 5% profit becomes 8%. You start maximizing profit and shrinking overhead.

Standardization + Visibility = Higher Quality And Profits

Contractors who have made the transition Flynn describes advise that something almost magical happens
when standardized, repeatable processes meet visible, actionable information. As the firm’s execution
accuracy, efficiency, and productivity rise – thus increasing profits – quality and timeliness of the finished
product also increases. All of this translates into greater pricing flexibility, i.e., room to offer a good price that
still generates a handsome profit.

Here’s how the magic works:
1 Visibility of project information flowing back to estimators improves the accuracy of estimates
2 Better estimates help win bids, leading to a more reliable new-business pipeline
3 Exposing the detailed knowledge behind accurate estimates empowers project managers
to run projects smoothly, efficiently, and more profitably
4 Better-managed projects mean work flows in the right order, and rework is reduced
(improving finished product quality and contributing to higher profits)
5 Actively documenting project operations, and “flowing” that information into accounting,
enables more efficient cash management, payroll operations, and lien release management
6 Empowering all of the above with standardized processes makes it possible to repeat them and

get the same result, improving overall operational efficiency and, just as important, confidence

Standardized Processes Boost Profit

By making your firm more efficient, these six steps clearly lead to higher profits. And the repeatability of standardized processes makes you confident that you can do it again, for any project.
Only standardized business processes give companies the ability to correctly ascertain the cause of faults or missed expectations. Without standard processes, you can’t know whether a disparity between your estimate and actual cost is the result of a project problem or employees taking different approaches.

Once processes have been standardized, though, results become measureable in ways that let you draw conclusions that can lead to profitability improvements over time. “It’s how you go from being an informal business with inconsistent business practices to consistently repeatable practices that enable you to continuously improve,”

Of note, profitability improvement, not sales growth, was what motivated The Norwood Company, headquartered just outside Philadelphia, to make the transition to standardized, repeatable processes. They found it even helped ease their hiring situation, because well-documented standardized processes enabled new hires to get trained faster and hit the ground running. In addition, getting these steps right also leads to higher quality finished work, plus on-time or even early completion. That means more satisfied customers. And more satisfied customers boost future sales by generating follow-up jobs, as well as positive word-of-mouth.

Best Practice Advice

With standardized business practices and information visibility as the overarching context, here are seven points of more detailed, practical advice.
1 Document everything – right away! More and more construction customers are demanding proof before they pay, so it’s important to adequately document that snow or rain delay, get sign off on that change order, etc. Even routine work must be documented so that timed invoices can be generated. The closer to “real time” that you document these things, the faster that milestones achieved can turn into invoices sent – thus shortening your “time to cash.”
2 Commit to constant improvement. Repeatability and continual refinement of standardized processes provide a foundation for business scalability and generate increased profitability. Even companies not interested in growing large can benefit from the increased profit. But it doesn’t “just happen.” Technology tools allow you to enhance efficiency and profit, but your active commitment to continuous improvement, including direct senior management support, is necessary to make it happen.
After the “Great Recession” hit, Building Services Incorporated, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, looked to technology to build automated, electronic processes, and reexamined its business processes. They identified 175 steps from the time of first customer contact to final payment and, over time, cut that down by more than 50% to fewer than 85 steps. Perhaps most importantly, they cut an entire month from their cash flow cycle, reducing payment time from 95 to 65 days.

3 Eliminate spreadsheets!! No amount of exclamation points would emphasize this key point enough for the firms who have made the move and “get” its value. You may have evolved intricate, elaborate spreadsheets that get the job done, and on which you depend. But spreadsheets are the enemy of information visibility. They depend on the secret knowledge in the minds of their creators. One undetected error can destroy an analysis. And with spreadsheets, you just can’t make the information flow from estimating to project management to accounting/payroll, or to owners, in ways that make it instantly useful to the people at each of those steps.

4 Proactively manage change orders. Every job has change order potential – and change order work typically returns higher margins. Some firms even bid jobs low, initially, with the expectation that change orders will help them turn a profit. But change orders can quickly become a nightmare if not documented adequately, and rapidly. Equally important is matching costs to each change order, so you can determine profitability.

5 Exploit the value of seamless information sharing. Information visibility can be used in any number of ways to create value. Implemented properly, nobody has to rekey in information multiple times. It enhances estimating and project management processes, as has been thoroughly discussed. But it also empowers finance and accounting processes. For example, it can dramatically reduce the time needed to perform functions like certified payroll reports and AIA billing. Perhaps most importantly, it provides owners with the visibility they need to effectively control every important aspect of firm operations.

6 Don’t “share alike.” While the value of visible, shared information is irrefutable, that does not mean “share and share alike.” Some information is proprietary. Carefully configure systems so that everyone who needs to know, knows – but also secure the information so that only the appropriate parties see it.

7 Find your firm’s sweet spot. Once detailed project information is properly documented, shared with accounting, and made visible, you can analyze it to determine which types of jobs are most profitable for your firm. Then focus sales efforts on those “right” wins.

concept Houses - On Woods




A teardown on a small hill 50 miles north of the city in Waccabuc, New York, hit the mark. When architect saw the view into the woods from the roof of the existing house, he decided that living spaces should be at that level, where abundant trees would provide privacy. The couple razed the old structure but saved the foundation for the new 2,170-square-foot house. The second floor, a rectangular volume, cantilevers dramatically 20 feet from each end of the house. These cantilevers, supported by two steel trusses integrated within a two-by-six wood frame, extend from a pedestal-like base to shelter a carport at the east and a porch at the west. “I was keen on developing something whose characteristics were determined by a structure,” says Architect.











Enclosed by cedar walls that are stained black, with shiplap joints, the second floor contains the kitchen, living spaces, and a bedroom. Two more bedrooms are located on the ground floor, the front of which is red cedar stained with a natural finish. While the couple originally intended to sell the house, they've been getting too much pleasure from it to let it go. “We were either going to enjoy doing it or kill each other,” jokes Architect about working on the house with Ferris, “but we truly enjoyed it. Our strengths are compatible.”



concept Houses - House on Cliff



On the first day on the project, we decided to fly it off a cliff,” says Brian MacKay-Lyons, describing the simple wood and steel–frame residence his firm designed. The two-story, 970-square-foot house juts out from its perch on a bluff overlooking Nova Scotia's windswept Atlantic coast. “We thought, 'we can be boring and build on land, or we can do it this way.' ” And so the Cliff House was born





The owners, a young family that shuttles between a primary residence in California and their native Nova Scotia, didn't want their summer house to upstage its dramatic site. To that end, Halifax-based MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects (MLS) hewed to their practice's principles, choosing simple materials: an envelope of cedar acts as a kind of “wood lampshade,” wrapping a steel frame, explains MacKay-Lyons. The area's ubiquitous fishing shacks served as inspiration for the Cliff House, and the architect expects the house's cladding, like that of the cabins from which it takes its form, to “pickle” in Nova Scotia's briny air.




Inside, the house has a pared-down, rough-hewn aesthetic that showcases its wood-and-steel construction. This simplicity, says MacKay-Lyons, minimizes distractions, highlighting views of the ocean and coastline just beyond large windows at the front of the house. Open-plan communal spaces on the first level, and a second-level bedroom that overlooks the living room and has views out to the sea, create a sense that the house is “hung from the ocean horizon,” says MacKay-Lyons. “When you're in the house, you should feel mostly a sense of refuge.


Concept Houses - Hill Side



Program: The client, a businessman with a young family, wanted to experiment with unusual construction methods for his new house on a steep hill overlooking the sea and mountains outside Barcelona. He had three requests—large windows to take advantage of views, privacy from the neighbors, and the use of a new concrete technology that, if successful, could be marketed and used in future projects

Solution: The architects designed an X-shaped, two-story house on a relatively flat step in the hillside and sprayed high-density concrete at high pressure to single-sided formwork, a technique usually used for tunnels and bridges, not residential work. Glazed portions of the structure were angled to allow privacy from the neighbors and to take advantage of views of the landscape.

The family parks its cars and enters the house at the upper level—with a master suite and studio—and descends to the lower level for a double-height living area, three bedrooms, and a combined kitchen and dining area with a 20-foot-long marble table designed by the architects. A rooftop terrace and balcony overlook a polygonal pool, farther down the hillside, which fits between the arms of the X-shaped plan like a piece of a puzzle.

Following Pics give a elaborate view








House in the Mountains - Concept Houses



Houses embedded in the earth are becoming a fashion.




The reasons are compelling–the grass roofs reduce energy loads and their low profile doesn't impinge on the natural landscape.
In the case of a 2,850-square-foot guesthouse in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the clients, for whom Gluck had designed a main house on the site in 2004, wanted a separate structure to be located on property to the south between a creek and an access road. But they didn't want it to interfere with the splendid mountain vista they had from the main house. “So many views are destroyed by plunking buildings on top of the land,”




The architects configured the guesthouse as two rectilinear steel-framed bars that intersect; the primary one contains open living and dining spaces, with a roof gradually rising to the south at a 20-degree angle. The volume seems to collide with and lift over a rectilinear structure running east–west on a diagonal, which contains three bedrooms and the garage. A wall of solar panels on the south elevation of the bedroom wing supplies heat for the house and swimming pool.




The living and dining areas, anchored by a bluestone fireplace wall on the north, open out through glazed doors to the pool on the east and a private, sunken, triangular courtyard on the west. Cor-Ten clads the courtyard's slanted retaining wall, into which an outdoor fireplace is carved.


 Just beneath the Cor-Ten fascia of the house's roofs, clerestories frame panoramic views of the mountains. “It's become more than a guesthouse,” says Gluck. “It's a communal space for the family.”