The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Friday, 05 December 2014 11:42cat

One World Trade Center Is The Most Expensive Skyscraper in History

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At nearly $4 billion, One World Trade Center is the world's most expensive skyscraper At nearly $4 billion, One World Trade Center is the world's most expensive skyscraper Christopher McManus

While One World Trade Center in New York tops the list of the tallest buildings in the western hemisphere, it also holds another distinction it is probably not so proud of: the world’s most expensive skyscraper. Buildings Analyst Emporis recently released a list of the top ten costliest skyscrapers in history. The $3.9 billion One World Trade Center tops the list followed by the $1.9 billion Pallazo in Las Vegas and the $1.9 billion The Shard in London. In fifth place is the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The $1 billion Bank of America building in New York is North America’s third representative on the list.

Emporis acknowledges that there isn’t one reason why one skyscraper is more expensive than another. By looking at the top ten, one will notice there is not a direct correlation between a buildings height, geographic location, or completion date and its ranking on the list. According to Emprois, “With some buildings, it is known even at the planning stage that they will be cost-intensive, for instance in order to meet the latest environmental standards. Other projects, by contrast, become increasingly costly during construction itself due to unforeseen events or delays."

The Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats also released an interesting list recently entitled Dream Deferred: Unfinished Tall Buildings. The list includes 50 buildings over 150 meters tall that for one reason or another were started but never finished. In order to be eligible for the list, site works must have begun but also must have been completely halted with no indication that construction will continue. Included on the list are six buildings that if finished would rank in the top ten of the world’s tallest skyscrapers. The report mentions, “The reasons that these designs were never fully realized are varied – some fell victim to financial obstacles, others, political pressures and cultural shifts.”

New York’s 390-meter Metropolitan Life North Annex is the second tallest building on the list behind the 495-meter Palace of Soviets. There are five skyscrapers from Dubai on the list over 300 meters tall. While the report focuses on buildings that show no sign of being completed, it also includes the 15 builds that have been under construction for the longest amount of time. The list features three buildings that have been under construction for more than 20 years including North Korea’s Ryugyong Hotel that began construction in 1987.


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