Much of the height in Earth's tallest towers is useless space

What do the tallest buildings in the world have in common besides their height? According to a new report, a great deal of the vertical space in the world's supertall skyscrapers consists non-occupiable "vanity height."

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) released a report in this month's CTBUH Journal about the notion of vanity height. According to the report, 44 of the world's 77 supertall buildings would lose their supertall status if you removed their vanity height. The vainest building? The Ukraine Hotel in Moscow, which is 42 percent vanity height. Among supertall buildings, Dubai's Burk Al Arab is the vainest, with 39 percent non-occupiable height. On the other hand, the Index in Dubai is just one percent vanity space.


It's certainly not news that architects will add spires to buildings to give them a sense of height and grandeur, but it's interesting to see just how great a percentage of the height in these buildings is non-occupiable. CTBUH has more infographics on the vanity height phenomenon over on their site.

Vanity Height: the Use-less Space in Today’s Tallest [CTBUH via Inhabitat]

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