Fun Facts about Skyscrapers

We’re making more of them, they’re getting taller, but can they be greener?

At 2717 ft., the BurjKhalifa in Dubai is the world’s tallest skyscraper, taller than all the hills of San Francisco. In fact, it is taller than Mount Tamalpa is, which is 2576 ft. tall and overlooks San Francisco from neighboring Marin County.

Skyscrapers are getting taller and more numerous. The number of them that are over 200 meters tall has tripled since the year 2000, according to a study by the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The Institute is making a case for the environmentally-conscious construction of skyscrapers on the eve of National Skyscraper Day (September 3rd) with these fun facts:

  • The types of steel used for skyscraper construction are major contributors to carbon emission. Every ton of steel creates 2 tons of carbon dioxide.
  • Cement is responsible for 5% of manmade carbon dioxide emissions.
  • New Yorkers spend 16.6 years waiting for elevators in one year.
  • 40% of a skyscraper’s floor space may be devoted to elevators.
  • Lose the weight. Carbon fiber in elevators can reduce weight by 50%.
  • Lose the cables. With miles of cable, the stretch can be so great that elevators become unusable on windy days.
  • Wood is replacing steel. Cross laminated construction (CLT) was used in 54% of buildings constructed in 2014.
Future of Skyscrapers