The Environmental Performance of Tall Buildings  book cover
1st Edition

The Environmental Performance of Tall Buildings

ISBN 9781138993488
Published May 6, 2016 by Routledge
400 Pages

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Book Description

Tall buildings represent one of the most energy-intensive architectural typologies, while at the same time offering the high density work and living conditions that many believe will an important constituent of future sustainable communities. How, then, can their environmental impact be lessened?

This insightful book takes in:

  • an overview of the tall building and its impacts (looking at cityscape, place, mobility, microclimate, energy and economics)
  • design principles and the development of the sustainable tall building
  • global perspectives (covering North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia)
  • detailed, qualitative case studies of buildings in design and operation
  • the future for sustainable tall buildings.

Not simply another showcase for future utopian designs and ideals, the information presented here is based on hard research from operating buildings. Highly illustrated and combining analysis with solid detail for practice, this is essential reading for architects, building engineers, design consultants, retrofitters and urban planners interested in or working with tall buildings, and researchers/students in these disciplines.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. The Tall Building and the City  2. Global Perspective  3. Towards an Environmental Approach  4. The Environmental Paradigm of Tall Buildings  5. Final Considerations: Lessons Learnt and Issues that Remain for the Future of the Environmental Tall Building  Appendix: Design Exercises of Ideas for the Environmental Tall Building

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Professor Joana Carla Soares Gonçalves is an Architect and Urbanist at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, University of Sao Paulo, and is also a member of the teaching staff of the Environment and Energy Studies Programme at the Architectural Association Graduate School in London.

Contributer: Érica Mitie Umakoshi is an MSc Architect and Urbanist at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, University of Sao Paulo.


Tall buildings are not only attractive due to their architectural design but they are here to stay. They 'have been a response and a consequence of economic and industry change' as stated by the author of the book. As economies grow they will become more numerous and the importance of a good environmental performance will increase. This book tells us how to go about it. Jose Goldemberg, Professor and former Rector of the University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil, and Time Magazine 'Hero of the Environment'

As well as being a thorough and beautifully illustrated review of tall buildings around the world, this book enquires into the balance between architectural, economic and climatic factors that influence their design. Its strength is that it challenges claims made about the environmental performance of tall buildings, and opens up questions about their actual performance in use, rather than results based on computer simulations. Similarly, the 'double skin', often promoted as a universal solution, is also viewed with a critical eye. The growth of tall buildings seems to be inevitable, and for those concerned with their sustainability, this comprehensive book is essential reading. Nick V. Baker, The Martin Centre, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge

This excellent book is a virtual encyclopaedia of concerns, knowledge and environmental strategy relating to the design of the high rise building. Overview, analysis, clear environmental design approaches and a plethora of key exemplar buildings across the world make this book essential reading for architects of a high rise future. Mike Davis, Director, Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, UK

...this book is, without doubt, produced by experts and will be a valuable addition to the body of knowledge supporting this important aspect of our industry. Dave Pythian BA MSc FBEng MRICS, Building Engineer