Sustainability impact of tall buildings: Thinking outside the box!

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Tall buildings are not intrinsically sustainable. They consume a higher rate of construction material per unit floor area; have a higher rate of energy consumption and are considered to be less economical than their shorter counterparts. However, while such analyses may be correct in a literal sense, a more wide-ranging and holistic examination of tall buildings points to the fact that they do indeed contribute considerably to the sustainability of our environment. The key is that, unlike low rise buildings, the sustainability impact of tall buildings reaches far beyond their physical boundaries. This paper offers a broad review of the facts surrounding sustainability impact of tall buildings in the urban and suburban context. It provides a comprehensive overview of consumption of structural and other materials and resources; impact on infrastructure; reduced generation of pollution; overall economy; improved quality of life and benefits to the society. A comprehensive study of such factors will not only help develop a better understanding of the true sustainability impact of tall buildings, but offer a means for better promotion of tall buildings as having a considerable positive influence on our environment and quality of life in an urban context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Sustainable City VIII - Urban Regeneration and Sustainability
Number of pages7
Volume179 VOLUME 2
ISBN (Print)9781845647469
StatePublished - 2013


  • Integrated design
  • Suburban
  • Sustainability
  • Tall buildings
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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