Wasteful, damaging and outmoded: is it time to stop building skyscrapers? - Steel Detailing Services | Rebar Detailing Services | Steel Fabricators USA

Steel Detailing Services | Rebar Detailing Services | Steel Fabricators USA

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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Wasteful, damaging and outmoded: is it time to stop building skyscrapers?

Tall buildings are still deemed desirable, even glamorous, but experts are drawing attention to the high environmental cost of building them If no one ever built a skyscraper ever again, anywhere, who would truly miss them? I ask, because the engineer Tim Snelson, of the design consultancy Arup, has just blown a hole in any claim they might have had to be environmentally sustainable. Writing in this month’s issue of the architecture magazine Domus, he points out that a typical skyscraper will have at least double the carbon footprint of a 10-storey building of the same floor area. He is talking about the resources that go into building it, what is called its “embodied” energy. Tall buildings are more structurally demanding than lower ones – it takes a lot of effort, for example, to stop them swaying – and so require more steel and concrete. In London, which is mostly built on clay as opposed to Manhattan’s rock, they require ample foundations. Snelson also mentions “in-use” energy consumption and carbon emissions – what is needed to cool and heat and run lifts, which he says are typically 20% more for tall than medium-height buildings. Skyscrapers often indicate corruption. What they are not are markers of progress Continue reading...
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