Covid Causes Drop in Skyscraper Const.

January 19, 2021
Empire State Building.

The total number of skyscrapers completed in 2020 fell by 20 percent as the coronavirus pandemic affected construction, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH) annual tall buildings report. Over the past year, 106 buildings over 650 feet tall were completed compared to 133 in 2019. This is the lowest number since 2014 when 105 were completed. 

The council on Tall Buildings and Habitat attributes the decrease to the impact the coronavirus pandemic had on construction sites. 

"For many people, 2020 will be remembered as the year that nothing went to plan," said the report. "The same can be said for the tall building industry."

According to Dezeen, 2020 was the first year since 2014 when a building over 1,640 feet was not completed, with the 1,548-foot-high Central Park Tower designed by Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill the tallest building finished in the year.

This was also the first year since 2014 that the tallest building completed was not in China, as Central Park Tower is in New York. The second tallest completed building, the 1,400-foot One Vanderbilt, which was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and is also in New York.

London saw four 656-foot-plus buildings complete, including the 912-foot-tall Twentytwo skyscraper – previously known as 22 Bishopgate, which is more than any previous year.

The CTBUH identified at least nine projects due for completion that were impacted by the pandemic, however, it believes that many more buildings were affected.

Despite this downward trend in overall tall building completions, CTBUH is predicting that between 125 and 150 buildings over 650 feet will be completed in 2021.