The Sustainable Tall Building : A Design Primer book cover
1st Edition

The Sustainable Tall Building
A Design Primer

ISBN 9781138905948
Published April 17, 2019 by Routledge
306 Pages 277 Color Illustrations

SAVE $14.69
was $48.95
USD $34.26

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The Sustainable Tall Building: A Design Primer is an accessible and highly illustrated guide, which primes those involved in the design and research of tall buildings to dramatically improve their performance. Using a mixture of original research and analysis, best-practice design thinking and a detailed look at exemplar case studies, author Philip Oldfield takes the reader through the architectural ideas, engineering strategies and cutting-edge technologies that are available to the tall building design team.

The book takes a global perspective, examining high-rise design in different climates, cultures and contexts. It considers common functions such as high-rise housing and offices, to more radical designs such as vertical farming and vertical cemeteries. Innovation is provided by examining not only the environmental performance of tall buildings but also their social sustainability, guiding the reader through strategies to create successful communities at height.

The book starts by critically appraising the sustainability of tall building architecture past and present, before demonstrating innovative ways for future tall buildings to be designed. These include themes such as climatically responsive architecture, siting a tall building in the city, zero-carbon towers, skygardens and community spaces at height, sustainable structural systems and novel façades. In doing so, the book provides essential reading for architects, engineers, consultants, developers, researchers and students engaged with sustainable design and high-rise architecture.

Table of Contents

Preface.  1. Tall Buildings and Sustainability  2. Design Drivers  3. Sustainable High-Rise Engineering  4. Conclusion: Towards a High-Rise Sustainability Revolution

View More



Philip Oldfield is Director of the Architecture Programme at the University of New South Wales Sydney, Australia. Here he convenes the architecture + high-performance technology stream and leads a studio exploring sustainable high-rise design. He researches and writes widely on tall buildings and sustainability and is a British Science Association Media Fellow.


"This book provides a well-illustrated exploration of the broader sustainability issues tall buildings face, from energy performance to social connectivity. Its research and case studies demonstrate how approaching high-rise architecture as the design of urban infrastructure, rather than individual objects, can unlock the potential of this building type to provide a range of public benefits." - Jeanne Gang, Founding Principal, Studio Gang Architects

"To create high performance tall buildings, designers must better respond to a number of factors – including environmental considerations, lifecycle carbon emissions, efficiency, integration within the community and context etc. Dr Oldfield’s book provides a framework for a dialogue on how to do this. It informs and inspires the reader in terms of some of the fundamental considerations necessary when creating sustainable tall buildings through providing details on several key themes for the essential future of skyscrapers, from the creation of zero-energy precincts, to the use of highly efficient structural systems." - Adrian Smith, Founding Partner, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

"This book challenges claims about tall building sustainability in a balanced and evidenced manner, providing a compelling mix of data, literature and precedent throughout. In doing so, it presents historical and contemporary issues that inform tall building design and performance, both environmentally and socially. It will be an important resource to all of those involved in the design, research and realisation of skyscrapers internationally. High-rise development is not universally appropriate as an urban typology. It should be used only where there is no opportunity for a less urbanistically intrusive solution. If you are building for need rather than ego, this is the book to consult." - Peter Wynne Rees, Professor of Places & City Planning, UCL Faculty of the Built Environment, and City Planning Officer for the City of London from 1985-2014