Dezeen Magazine

Record number of skyscrapers completed in 2015

A record-breaking total of 106 skyscrapers over 200 metres tall were completed in 2015, and even more are predicted for 2016, according to new industry research.

The annual report from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has revealed that more tall buildings were completed in 2015 than ever before – smashing the previous record of 97 in 2014.

Skyscrapers completed in 2015 reach record numbers
Buildings 200 metres or taller completed each year from 1960 to 2017 – click for larger image

This brings the total number of skyscrapers worldwide to 1,040, exceeding 1,000 for the first time and marking a 392 per cent increase from 2000, when the total was just 265.

The year also saw building work complete on 13 so-called "super-talls" of over 300 metres. These include 432 Park Avenue in New York and Shanghai Tower, the world's second-tallest building.

CTBUH is calling the trend a "skyscraper surge" and predicts that the totals for 2016 will be even higher.

Skyscrapers completed in 2015 reach record numbers
2015 completions by country – click for larger image

"We currently project the completion of between 110 and 135 buildings of 200 metres height or greater [in 2016]," reads the report published on the organisation's website.

"Perhaps even more staggering is the fact that 18 to 27 of these buildings are expected to be in the super-tall range. If true, 2016 alone would see the global total of super-talls increase by 18 per cent to 27 per cent."

Skyscrapers completed in 2015 reach record numbers
2015 completions by city – click for larger image

As in previous years, Asia continues to dominate the list, particularly China. Excluding the Middle East, 81 of the year's 106 skyscrapers were located in Asia, 76 per cent of the total.

"Despite an overall slowdown in the Chinese property market, which has taken hold of the country since 2013, it appears that this has yet to manifest itself in the construction of 200-metre-plus buildings," said CTBUH.

Shanghai Tower by Gensler
Gensler has completed its Shanghai Tower, which is now China's tallest building and the second-tallest building in the world

"China continues to build more of these towers than any other country, and with over 300 such buildings under construction at the time of this report, it's plausible to assume that the country's momentum will continue in the near future."

"The country's long-term prospects are more uncertain," it added. "As the country continues to transition from a growth economy to a consumption economy – one that caters to the added buying power of its rising middle class – large-scale government-funded construction projects might begin to take a backseat."

432 Park Avenue New York by Raphael Viñoly
432 Park Avenue is a super-tall building in Manhattan by Rafael Viñoly Architects set to open this year

But it was Jakarta that saw the highest concentration of new skyscrapers. The Indonesian capital has seven new buildings of over 200 metres, including the 258-metre-high Sahid Sudirman Center, almost double its previous record of four.

Skyscrapers completed in 2015 reach record numbers
Tallest 20 buildings in 2015 – click for larger image

The experts are also predicting that super-tall skyscrapers will soon be replaced by an even taller category – the mega-tall. This includes buildings of over 600 metres, including the under-construction 1,000-metre-high Kingdom Tower in Jeddah.