Despite the recent global construction downturn, tall buildings are still erected in city centres because they provide economical, prestigious, comfortable, safe and sustainable solutions to urbanisation and urban regeneration. Increasingly clients' demands for taller buildings with enhanced performance requirements can only be met by engineering innovations in materials, design, construction and operation. It is not surprising therefore that the subject of tall buildings attracts the interest of civil and structural engineers, both in academia and industry.
Tall buildings are defined by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) as buildings that exhibit some element of ‘tallness’ in one or more of three categories, namely height relative to context, proportion and tall buildings technologies. For example, in terms of context, a building of 14 storeys or 50 m height would not be considered a tall building in Hong Kong but would be in Paris.
The papers in this special issue have been selected to cover a wide range of topics, with the first four papers being generally applicable to all tall buildings and the following four being case studies of tall buildings around the world.