Built to inform

Sign up for the daily newsletters

No, Thank you

Top 10 world's tallest concrete buildings

Construction Week lists the world's tallest concrete buildings

Chicago's skyline. Photo: Getty
Chicago's skyline. Photo: Getty
The Trump International Hotel and Tower. Photo: Getty
The Trump International Hotel and Tower. Photo: Getty
The CITIC Plaza, Guangzhou, China. Photo: Cabincam.
The CITIC Plaza, Guangzhou, China. Photo: Cabincam.
Central Plaza, Hong Kong. Photo: Getty
Central Plaza, Hong Kong. Photo: Getty
The Almas Tower, Dubai. Photo: ITP
The Almas Tower, Dubai. Photo: ITP
The Shimao International Plaza, Shanghai. Photo: Baycrest
The Shimao International Plaza, Shanghai. Photo: Baycrest
The Q1 Tower, Queensland. Photo: Benchill
The Q1 Tower, Queensland. Photo: Benchill
Nina Tower, Hong Kong. Photo by WiNG
Nina Tower, Hong Kong. Photo by WiNG
The HHHR Tower, Dubai.
The HHHR Tower, Dubai.
The Sky Tower, Abu Dhabi. Photo: www.sorouh.com
The Sky Tower, Abu Dhabi. Photo: www.sorouh.com

Steel was the structural material of choice for skyscrapers in America for much of the last century, but the advent of the Falzur’s tube frame system and a desire to build more elaborate buildings with better working spaces led to a shift in thinking during the latter half of the millennium.

Climbing concrete formwork had been used to exceptional effect during the construction of the CN Tower in Toronto and has since become the most popular form of high rise construction.

Concrete cores in tall buildings are much more complex than in conventional buildings.

They need to be: their design is not only structurally imperative, by they are fundamental to the efficiency and effectiveness of the building.

Interestingly, raw materials aren’t the primary limiting factor on sky scraper design. Wind, elevators and budget often cap the height on a building well before the limits of either steel or concrete are exceeded.

Architects and structural engineers now centre their efforts on minimising the overall size of a building’s core while also maintaining acceptable levels of access, services distribution and other key considerations that minimise effects on the structural integrity of the core.

Concrete buildings not only offer designers flexibility in the shapes they’re able to form and designs they’re able to create, but they also offer more uninterrupted and usable floor space than steel-framed buildings.

The following is a list of tallest buildings that use concrete as their main structural element. While it’s true that all concrete buildings use steel rebar to reinforce the structure, this list (and others compiled using Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat data) uses the following definitions.

• A steel tall building is defined as one where the main vertical and lateral structural elements and floor systems are constructed from steel.
• A concrete tall building is defined as one where the main vertical and lateral structural elements and floor systems are constructed from concrete.
• A composite tall building utilises a combination of both steel and concrete acting compositely in the main structural elements, thus including a steel building with a concrete core.

This list eliminates buildings like the Burj Khalifa and Taipei 101 because they're considered composite buildings. We've included them in our overall list of Top 50 World's Tallest Buildings because composite building construction methods are, by far, the most common in current practice.

 

The world's 10 tallest concrete skyscrapers
Building Height Difference Country Overall world rank

423m
390m
374m
360m
333m
323m
322m
319m
318m
312m

-
33m
16m
14m
27m
10m
1m
3m
1m

6m
USA
China
China
UAE
China
Australia
China
China
UAE
UAE
9
12
15
18
24
28
29
32
34
36

 

 

Next: Trump International Hotel and Tower

1. Trump International Hotel & Tower

The Trump International Hotel and Tower, also known as Trump Tower Chicago and locally as the Trump Tower, was designed by architect Adrian Smith of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

Prior to leaving the company to set up his own consultancy, Smith was the design partner at SOM, and he was key in the design and construction of the Burj Khalifa.

The skyscraper uses set-back features to blend in with the surrounding buildings. Designed using the bundled tube construction method, each of the supporting towers mirrors the height of surrounding buildings to help maintain visual continuity of the Chicago skyline.

The 92-storey building has 242,000m2 of floor space and has 486 luxury residential condominiums. The tower also has a luxury hotel condominium with 339 guest rooms, retail space and a large parking garage.

Bovis Lend Lease constructed the tower, and went on to build the 46-storey Trump Soho tower in New York, which opened this year.

Comparison 1. Trump International Tower 2. CITIC Plaza

Location
Height
Floors
Completed
Made of
Use

Chicago, USA
423m
98
2009
concrete
residential/hotel

Guangzhou, China
390m
80
1996
concrete
office

Statistics
Location: Chicago, USA
Height: 423m
Floors: 98
Completed: 2009
Made of: concrete
Use: residential/hotel

Next: CITIC Plaza, China

2. CITIC Plaza

When the state-owned China International Trust and Investment Company wanted someone to design their headquarters , they called on a company well versed in the intricacies of large project development.

Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man Architects & Engineers (HK) Ltd have worked on dozens of high profile projects in throughout China, and they were drafted in to design the 390m high, 80-storey concrete CITIC Plaza in the Tianhe District of Guangzhou.

When completed in 1997, it was the tallest concrete building in the world. Currently, it ranks as the sixth tallest building in China, seventh in ninth, and 12th tallest building worldwide.

Structural engineers were the Maunsell AECOM Group, and the building was constructed as a joint venture between Kumagai Gammon and Hong Kong Construction Ltd over a three year period between 1993-1996.

Comparison 2. CITIC Plaza 3. Central Plaza

Location
Height
Floors
Completed
Made of
Use

Guanghou, China
390m
80
1996
concrete
office

Hong Kong, China
374m
78
1992
concrete
office

Statistics
Location: Guangzhou, China
Height: 390m
Floors: 80
Completed: 1996
Made of: concrete
Use: office

Next: Central Plaza, Hong Kong

3. Central Plaza

Another Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man Architects & Engineers (HK) Ltd project, the Central Plaza stands 374m high and is Hong Kong’s third tallest building.

The building’s triangular design provides 20% more of the offices with views of the harbour than would have been possible with a rectangular or square design, and the building consists of two main components: a free standing 368m office tower and a 30.5 m podium block.

The three section main tower includes the tower base which forms the main entrance and public circulation spaces; a 235 tall tower which contains 57 office floors, the observation deck and five mechanical plant floors; and the tower top which houses six mechanical plant floors and a 102m tower mast.

Time was a critical factor in building the tower, so the building was originally designed as a steel structure but a change in plans meant that main contractors Manloze Ltd were able to build using concrete by adopted the climbing form and table form method. Using concrete also saved the developer a considerable amount of money.

Comparison 3. Central Plaza 4. Almas Tower

Location
Height
Floors
Completed
Made of
Use

Hong Kong, China
374m
78
1992
concrete
office

Dubai, UAE
360m
68
2008
concrete
office

Statistics
Location: Hong Kong, China
Height: 374m
Floors: 78
Completed: 1992
Made of: concrete
Use: office

Next: Almas Tower, Dubai

4. Almas Tower

Dubai’s second tallest building, the Almas Tower was designed by WS Atkins and built by the Taisei Corporation in a joint venture with ACC (Arabian Construction Company) for Nakheel over a three year period between 2005 and 2008.

The tower sits on its own artificial island in the centre of Jumeirah Lake Towers and is the tallest building within the development.

It will, however, lose its spot as Dubai’s second tallest tower once the AED 1.8 billion Emirates Park Towers development, a 1612-room twin-tower hotel and apartment property, is completed. The Emirates Park Towers development has already topped out at 365m.

According to a statement, Emirates will be ready to hand over the South Tower to Marriott International, which will operate a hotel in the tower, as scheduled in May 2011. The adjoining North Tower will be handed over in 2013. Until then, however, the Almas Tower will remain Dubai's second tallest tower.

Comparison 4. Almas Tower 5. Shimao International Plaza

Location
Height
Floors
Completed
Made of
Use

Dubai, UAE
360m
68
2008
concrete
office

Shanghai, China
333m
60
2006
concrete
hotel/office

Statistics
Location: Dubai, UAE
Height: 360m
Floors: 68
Completed: 2008
Made of: concrete
Use: office

Next: Shimao International Plaza

5. Shimao International Plaza

Developed by the Shimao Group, the 60-storey international plaza contains office space and a hotel complex.

It was designed by ECADI and Ingenhoven Overdiek and Partners, while ECADI and Happold Consulting Engineers were jointly responsible for the structural engineering on the project.

The complex was built between 2001 and 2006 by main contractors Shanghai Construction.

Comparison 5. Shimao International Plaza
6. Q1

Location
Height
Floors
Completed
Made of
Use

Shanghai, China
333m
60
2006
concrete
hotel/office

Queenland
323m
78
2005
concrete
residential

Statistics
Location: Shanghai, China
Height: 333m
Floors: 60
Completed: 2006
Made of: concrete
Use: hotel / office

Next: Q1, Queensland

6. Q1

According to The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the world’s tallest all-residential tower is the 323m 78-storey Q1 Tower in Queensland, Australia when measured to the top of its highest structural component.

The Eureka Tower in Melbourne is actually taller when measured to the roof – and its highest floor sits above that of the Q1 – but TCTBUH’s rules place it below the Q1 in rankings.

The tower was designed by the Sunland Group and built by the company’s construction wing, Sunland Constructions.

It took three years to build and is not only Queensland’s tallest tower, but is the tallest building in Australia.The Sky Tower in Auckland remains the tallest structure in Oceania, at 328m.

Comparison 6. Q1 7. Wenzhou Trade Centre

Location
Height
Floors
Completed
Made of
Use

Queensland
323m
78
2005
concrete
residential

Wenzhou, China
322m
68
2010
concrete
hotel/office

Statistics
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Height: 323m
Floors: 78
Completed: 2005
Made of: concrete
Use: residential

Next: Wenzhou Trade Centre

7. Wenzhou Trade Centre

Completed this year, the Wenzhou Centre is a 68-storey supertall office and hotel complex in the Chinese province of Zhejiang.

The tower was designed by RTKL Associates, an American firm established in 1946 and behind many prestigious projects around the globe, including the design of the Burj Khalifa Boulevard.

The project took eight years to build and it is currently ranked as the 14th tallest building in China and 29th tallest in the world.

Comparison 7. Wenzhou Trade Centre 8. Nina Tower

Location
Height
Floors
Completed
Made of
Use

Wenzhou, China
322m
68
2010
concrete
hotel/office

Hong Kong
319m
80
2007
concrete
hotel/office

Statistics
Location: Wenzhou, China
Height: 322m
Floors: 68
Completed: 2010
Made of: concrete
Use: hotel / office

Next: The Nina Tower, Hong Kong

8. Nina Tower

Hong Kong’s impressive skyline is peppered with staggering buildings, and it’s hard to believe that the Nina Tower’s 80-storeys and 319m only stand it at the sixth tallest in the city.

The Nina Tower was originally supposed to be 518m high, but its location close to the city airport mean that plans had to change.

The tower was split in to two and the shorter of the two named after the late Nina Wang, the owner of Chinachem Group, while the taller of the two is named Teddy Tower, symbolising her husband Teddy Wang. The whole development is simply known as the Nina Tower.

The project is another designed by Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man Architects & Engineers, while Arthur CS Kwok and Casa Design International were also involved in the process. Arup acted as structural and MEP engineers.

Comparison 8. Nina Tower
9. HHHR Tower

Location
Height
Floors
Completed
Made of
Use

Hong Kong, China
319m
80
2007
concrete
hotel/office

Dubai, UAE
318m
72
2010
concrete
residential

Statistics
Location: Hong Kong, China
Height: 319m
Floors: 80
Completed: 2007
Made of: concrete
Use: hotel / office

Next: HHHR Tower

9. HHHR Tower

At 318m, the 72-storey HHHR Tower is Dubai tallest all residential concrete tower and sits alongside Sheik Zayed Road. It was designed by architect Al Hashemi and was built as a joint venture between Dubai's Al Ahmadiah Contracting & Trading and Hong Kong-based Hip Hing Overseas.

The project was the first joint venture between the two companies. They’re currently working on projects for the Masdar carbon-free city.

Al Ahmadiah’s portfolio also includes projects in Jumeirah (Business Centre Tower, Phase 1, Beach Residence) and the Al Marooj Complex – three 12-storey residential towers and one 14-story five-star hotel with all amenities, for its client Dubai International Real Estate.

Comparison 9. HHHR Tower 10. Sky Tower

Location
Height
Floors
Completed
Made of
Use

Dubai, UAE
318m
72
2010
concrete
residential

Abu Dhabi, UAE
312m
74
2010
concrete
residential/office

Statistics
Location: Dubai, UAE
Height: 318m
Floors: 72
Completed: 2010
Made of: concrete
Use: residential

Next: Sky Tower

10. Sky Tower

According to the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Abu Dhabi’s tallest tower was designed by American firm Arquitectonica with Hyder Consulting acting as structural engineers.

Developed by Sorouh Real Estate, it’s the seventh tallest building in the UAE and currently holds tenure as the 36th tallest in the world.

Construction on the 74-storey residential and office tower started in 2006 and was completed this year. The tower has a gross floor area of 55,375m2 and a total usable floor area of 45,773m2

Comparison 10. Sky Tower 1. Trump International Tower

Location
Height
Floors
Completed
Made of
Use

Abu Dhabi, UAE
312m
74
2010
concrete
residential/office

Chicago, USA
423m
98
2009
concrete
office

Statistics
Location: Abu Dhabi
Height: 312m
Floors: 74
Completed: 2010
Made of: concrete
Use: residential / office

 

Most popular

Awards

CW Oman Awards 2019: Nominations deadline closes tonight
The window to nominate yourself, your company, or project for the CW Oman Awards 2019

Conferences

Leaders Kuwait 2018: New Kuwait 2035 needs smart city-led contracts
Localisation and contract modernisation are essential for Kuwait's diversification strategy
Construction Week's Leaders Kuwait 2018 summit opens
Speakers from Kuwait's Supreme Council for Planning and Development and CSCEC ME are at today's

Latest Issue

Construction Week - Issue 725
Jan 19, 2019