04 August 2020

Cover Story

Paradigm Shift

Age of Supertalls


A Census by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), reveals that 2016 was a record-breaking year: 128 buildings of 200 meters in height or greater were completed around the world, of which 10 are Supertall towers of 300 meters or higher. And Mumbai is poised to be home to World One – world’s tallest residential Supertall when completed. Global Supertall population will grow steadily beyond 2017, motivated by our primal needs of Safety, Comfort, and the Human Ego, predicts Satish P Chavan………..


SUPERTALL is a superlative and the latest paradigm shift in the typology of tall buildings. This new nomenclature of Supertalls will dominate the 21st Millennium, and Supertall will also turn Superbig…… or Megabig…….. in sheer scale that they will house independent ecospheres with a Zero-Discharge Quotient, because they will be green and sustainable. However, the ecosphere will be a culmination which will occur at the end of this Millennium, by when nanotechnology and nano engineering will have fabricated composite materials which are structurally superstrong, coupled with phase changing materials that store or release energy. But the beginning has already begun.

This new generation of giants, generally 100 stories or higher, represents a new paradigm of tall buildings that explore innovative approaches in engineering, curtain-wall and construction technologies, energy efficiency and sustainability, and concepts of vertical communities.
To distinguish the rarified air of the supertall from the merely very tall, the Skyscraper Museum in New York made the benchmark 380 meters or 1,250 feet-the height of the Empire State Building-rather than the common standard of 300 meters. Accordingly worldwide, 48 projects measure up, including six towers of 600 meters or taller, six of 500+ meters, and twenty-four exceeding 400 meters. The world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa, rises 828 meters/ 2,717 feet above the sands of Dubai. It will hold the record for at least five years- the typical time it takes to construct a supertall. The new spheres of architectural ambition are in Asia, especially China, South Korea, and in the Middle East. India also promises to be a future center of high-rise aspirations.



According to the annual report, ‘CTBUH Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2016,’ 128 buildings of 200 meters’ height or greater were completed around the world in 2016, setting a new record for annual tall building completions and marking the third consecutive record-breaking year. The 128 buildings completed in 2016 beat every previous year on record, including the previous record high of 114 completions in 2015. This brings the total number of 200-meter-plus buildings in the world to 1,168, marking an 441 per cent increase from the year 2000, when only 265 existed. There were eighteen 200-meter-plus buildings completed that became the
tallest in a city, country, or region. A total of 10 supertalls (300 meters or higher) were completed in 2016, fewer than we anticipated this time last year, partly as a result of construction delays typical of buildings in this height range. Nonetheless, 2016 still saw the third-largest number of supertall completions of any year, trailing only 2015, which saw 14. ? The tallest building to complete in 2016 was Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, which stands as the tallest building in Guangzhou, the second-tallest building in China, and the fifth-tallest building in the world at 530 meters.
Asia retained its status as the world’s skyscraper epicenter in 2016, completing 107 buildings, representing 84 per cent of the 128-building total. The Middle East matched its 2015 numbers with nine completions in 2016, with North America experiencing a slight increase this year, up from four completions in 2015 to seven in 2016. For the ninth year in a row, China had the most 200-meter-plus completions, with a record 84, overtaking by 24 per cent its previous annual record of 68 in 2015. The United States completed the second-most 200-meter-plus buildings
with seven, a notable increase over the two buildings completed in 2015. Meanwhile, South Korea made the list with six completions, with Indonesia seeing five, and both the Philippines and Qatar completing four. Shenzhen had the highest number of 200-meter-plus completions of any city in 2016 with 11 (more than any country other than China managed to complete), while China’s Chongqing and Guangzhou, and Goyang, South Korea, tied for second place with six each.



The number of buildings completed in 2016 with composite structural systems hit an all-time high this year, with 68, or 53 per cent of the total. Composite construction represents an effort to use the optimal properties of steel and concrete and counteract their respective weaknesses. This material trend is expected to continue to dominate, particularly as tall buildings continue to proliferate in seismically active regions like China, which mandate robust structural responses. Concrete construction took the remaining share of completions with 58, or 45 per cent of the total. The significant use of concrete can be attributed to a combination of concrete’s relative ubiquity and lower cost in many regions, as well as its comparative simplicity in construction, which would increase its appeal in regions with lower-skilled labor pools. In 2016, not a single building of 200 meters or higher was completed with an all-steel structural system. The use of steel in tall buildings has almost completely transitioned into composite construction. Currently, there are only nineteen 200-meterplus buildings currently under construction that employ all-steel structural systems.
For the third year running, the world has built more 200-meter-plus buildings than any other year (128), beating the previous record of 114 in 2015. In 2015, CTBUH had predicted that between 110 and 135 buildings would complete within this range in 2016, so it comes as no surprise that it was yet another record-breaking year in the skyscraper industry.



An unprecedented rapid urbanisation in India will spawn a huge population of tall buildings in India across its metros and Tier II and Tier III cities. But currently Mumbai tops the country in terms of tall building population with many iconic buildings, it has over 15 Supertalls, and hundreds of skyscrapers under construction. While Lodha World One will be India’s tallest, other towers under construction in Mumbai include:
Oasis, or Three Sixty West, is mixed use comprising two towers, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and luxury residences managed by them. The taller tower is 372 metres (1,220 ft) and 85 floors. The project designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox will be second tallest in India and completing 2018.

Omkar One Race Course, being built at Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat, contains three tower, of which one will be 335 m tall and 93 floor high. Design by Foster + Partners, developed by Omkar Realtors, completion 2020.

Namaste Tower is a super-tall under construction at Lower Parel, Mumbai. A mixed use with 63 floors and 380-room W Hotel, office, and retail space, 316 meter tall, designed by Atkins, of Dubai, to be completed by 2020.
Omkar 1973 contains three super-tall residential, and be over 300m tall when completed in 2018.

Harbour Heights is a supertall 300 meters tall and 800 floor high, to be completed by 2019, comprising 2 skyscrapers of 80 floors and 2 skyscrapers of 60 floors.

Lokhandwala Minerva will be 304 meters tall and 82 floor high when completed in 2018, comprising two towers of 82 floors, located near Mahalaxmi Racecourse.

Trump Tower is a 800-foot 75-storey, with trademark gold façade, a part of ‘The Park’ project of the Lodha Group, and contains 6 supertall buildings.

HBS Skylink will be 300 meter tall when completed in 2020, designed by Callison Architects.

Oberoi Sky City comprising 10 residential buildings is 290 meter with 70 floor in each building. Site preparation work is under way and project will be finished in 2020.


Numero Uno, Lodha World One
World One is a supertall under construction in Mumbai, and part of a bigger project comprising two more skyscrapers—World View and World Crest. When completed, World One will be the world’s tallest residential tower, it is scheduled for completion in 2018. As of April this year, it stands 300 meter tall and 77 floors high. Further construction is currently on hold due to issues about international aviation approvals, and work will be resumed again when all approvals from proper authorities is obtained. However, Interior and cladding work is going on continuously. Costing an estimated $321 million, World One will stand 442 meter tall and 117 floor high and will be India’s tallest building and second tallest residential tower in the world. World One interiors will be designed by Giorgio Armani, and includes a swimming pool, gym and health club, cricket pitches and a pavilion.
“Every global city is made memorable by its architectural landmarks. Be it the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Opera House in Sydney or the Empire State Building in New York, these vibrant forms reflect the passion and culture of the city they are located in. We have strived hard to ensure that this development not only gains from Mumbai's energy but also gives back high quality public spaces to the city. In partnership with the globe's finest architects, designers and engineers, we seek to bring to Mumbai, a landmark which will exemplify the spirit of Mumbai – to always soar higher through hard work and passion. The form of the building is a tribute to Mumbai's location on the coast and its textile heritage. We have consciously tried to create a building fabric which is global in its appeal but Indian in character and are confident that World One will come to represent India's quest for excellence in the economic and cultural arenas.”   Abhishek Lodha, MD, Lodha Group.



New York's Super-Slenders
Since mid-19th Century, New York has truly evolved as vertical or skyscraper city…..now very rightly….. it is spawning the latest evolution in supertalls, and that is Super-Slenders.
A new form in skyscraper typology has evolved in New York over the past decade: the super-slim, ultra-luxury residential tower. These pencil-thin periscopes — all 50 to 90+ stories — use a development and design strategy of slenderness to pile their city-regulated maximum square feet of floor area (FAR) as high in the sky as possible to create luxury apartments defined by spectacular views. The basic, yet complex principles of the economics, engineering, and design of this new type of super-slender towers were first detailed in the Skyscraper Museum’s 2013-14 exhibition ‘SKY HIGH & the Logic of Luxury,’ the exhibition’s lists 18 slender towers that in May 2016 were either completed or in early stages of construction. The defining characteristic of these new towers is not height, but slenderness. Slenderness is a proportion based on the width of the base to the height of the building. A tower can be very tall, but not slender, and it can be slender without being very tall.
Designed by thirteen different architectural firms in a wide range of styles, from historical to avant-garde, and clad in materials from limestone to all-glass curtain walls, the rendering of these towers underscore that the slenderness development strategy is the unifying characteristic of the new typology. Many Developers say that apartment buyers shop first for neighborhood, then views, then amenities.
But in the new crop of super-slender towers, the value of views is clearly the driving force for the tower form. Central Park is the gold standard, but other geographies also have great appeal if they can command climb to 600 to 800 feet or taller, and command sweeping panoramas of the city.




“Most Challenging project is Lodha Commercial Tower, Wadala, Mumbai, having 40 floors “State-of-Art building” having 12 lakh sq.ft. construction with customized design shuttering and highly skilled engineering operation with safety.”
Nitesh Gangaramani, Director-India,  Al Fara'a Group





Spartan’s multi-functional hoist has a rebar carrying attachment, which carries rebars measuring 12 meters through horizontal rebar attachment. We plan to manufacture twin cage hoists in the coming year, which is at the design stage currently. We also manufacture Suspended Rope Platforms (SRP), popularly known as Gandola, it is used for various finishing applications like plastering, putti application, painting etc., at the end of the project.
Vikram Mehta, MD, Spartan Engineering



“India has still a long way to go as far as ‘tall buildings’ are concerned. The definition of ‘tall’, however, has changed over time. According to the definition given by CTBUH, a 200 m+ building is ‘tall’, 300 m+ is ‘supertall’ and 600 m+ is ‘mega tall.’ India has only few buildings that are 200m to 300m tall, most of which are in Mumbai. These buildings do compare with global standards as far as architectural and structural design is concerned, but are quite behind in terms of mechanical design and sustainability parameters.”
Ar Pranav Desai, Partner, IAG Consultants



Columbia Machine was the first company to offer state-of-the art concrete block machinery with its unique Columbia Vibration Technology (CVT), ‘Made in India’ at competitive prices. This allowed Indian producers to offer high quality concrete products profitably such as Hollow Blocks, high strength Paver Blocks, Kerbstones, Retaining Wall Blocks, and Flyash Bricks, in large volumes at competitive prices in the Indian market.
Ramesh Babbar, President & Director Columbia Machine Engineering



“India is an emerging economy and like any other developed country, scope of tall buildings or vertical development in India is quite good. All Indian metros are densely populated and space is a huge constraint. Therefore, developers prefer to get maximum floor space. There are several construction companies in India who are specialized only on tall buildings using modern form work technologies for faster completion and RoI. The overall outlook for tall buildings in India is very good.”
Ian Hauptfleisch,  Regional Head (Mena, Europe, and Central, North & South Asia) , Construction Computer Software (Pty)




“With steady growth, comes progress. The future of architectural advancement relies heavily on tall and sustainable buildings. The incredible development and expansion of tall buildings around the world through the past decades shows the significant role of this type of building in the past, current, and future urbanism, particularly in dense cities. Based on their past and current trends in architectural features and structural design, the future of skyscrapers is proving, maybe! Even the sky is not the limit.”
Sumit M. Gandhi, CMD, ABEC Exhibitions & Conferences



Adopters of improved and agile business processes like Nadhi’s nPulse platform, will be able to deliver projects more efficiently and cost effectively. Multiple projects, including residential and commercial high-rise buildings, have already been transformed through these methods, resulting in significant, measurable savings in cost and time, improved productivity, and the satisfaction of a job well done. High-rise projects are particularly well-suited for these interventions. They have a “typical floor” which gets repeated several times.
Kalyan Vaidyanathan, Co-Founder & CEO. Nadhi Information Technologies




“A major challenge in the construction of highrise buildings is maintaining the vertical pumpability of concrete to big heights, while preserving its low viscosity. Sika’s ViscoCrete® plasticizers do this job well. ”
Ibrahim Shaikh, Senior Product Manager, Sika India





“ConXn Construction Intelligence is a professional market intelligence and research platform exclusively focused on private sector building construction industry in India. We track and document thousands of significant projects and companies in major metropolitan areas in India. Similarly a major construction company interested in reaching out to upcoming super tall projects of a certain size in top 5 metropolitan areas can find those 30 target projects immediately.”
Navin Rajpal, Co-Founder & Director, Across & Beyond Real Estate Solutions




In India, the sight of several tower cranes working within one building, or one construction site, is quiet common. We have developed an anti collision device (ACD), with built in SLI and wind velocity control, which gives tremendous safety features for any make or model of tower cranes. These ACD have a ground monitoring system through which you can monitor the functions of all tower cranes as well as upload data changes (like height increasing, protect some zones …etc) to all tower cranes without stopping the cranes. This system integrates with tower crane control panels and will take care of the cut off, alarm and display, automatically without changing any OEM set up.
P V Ramdev, Managing Director, Everest Engineering Equipment

Leave a Comment

Email Address
(will not be published)