Amazing Facts About the World’s Tallest Workplace Buildings

by Kaitlan Whitteberry on April 22, 2016

The race for the sky is on! Every few years another monster skyscraper is revealed to the public, and the buildings are climbing to new heights. As the workplace leader for your organization, could you imagine being in charge of one of these structures? Here are some interesting facts about the world’s tallest buildings (so far).

Tallest_Building_Taipei.jpg5. Taipei 101

location: Taipei, Taiwan

height: 1,667 ft.

floors: 101

materials: composite

energy label: LEED Platinum

completed: 2004

estimated cost: $1.8 billion

use: office, commercial

The world’s tallest green building, it was given the highest award for sustainable construction, the LEED Platinum. The tower boasts UV protection on it’s windows and has internal protection against earthquakes. Taipei is located on some of the most unstable group on earth, known for earthquakes and typhoons. To combat these risks the building was constructed to withstand winds of up to 134 miles per hour and up to 9 magnitude earthquakes. It also houses one of the world’s fastest elevators, traveling at 55 feet per second! The design of the Taipei 101 was modeled after bamboo and the outside lighting cycles through seven different colors, each with a symbolic meaning from Taiwanese culture, one for each day of the week.

Tallet_Building_United_States.jpg4. One World Trade Center 

location: New York City, United States

height: 1,776 ft.

floors: 94

materials: steel

energy label: LEED Gold

completed: 2013

estimated cost: $3.9 billion

use: office and museum

The tallest building in North America was constructed as a tribute to the area’s previous structures, the World Trade Center Twin Towers which were destroyed during the 2001 terrorist attacks. The tower was constructed to be 1,776 ft. tall – also a tribute to the year the United States Declaration of Independence was signed. Boasting innovative new safety features, the structure was built exceeding New York’s safety guidelines following the attacks with advanced emergency communication systems and pressurized stairwells. The building was constructed using 75% recycled materials and includes “daylighting” smart lights, which reduce the amount of light coming the bulbs when enough sunlight is hitting each room during the day.


Tallest_Building_Saudi.jpg3. Makkah Royal Clock Tower

location: Mecca, Saudi Arabia

height: 1,972 ft.

floors: 120

materials: steel and concrete

energy label: none

completed: 2012

estimated cost: $15 billion

use: residential and hotel

The most expensive building on our list – this government-owned building was constructed to house some of the millions of visitors the city receives each year. The clock is the largest in the world, being over 35 times the size of Big Ben and has four faces each measuring 46 feet in diameter. It also is adorned with 98 million glass mosaic and 24-carat gold leaves. The hotel features over 1500 guest rooms and residences and 79 elevators. The hotel also offers a parking structure that can accommodate more that 1,000 vehicles. The crescent atop the tower’s spire is made of fiberglass-backed mosaic gold, it weighs up to 35 tonnes and took over three months to construct. 

2. Shanghai Tower iStock_000080954837_Large.jpg

location: Shanghai, China

height: 2,073 ft.

floors: 128

materials: composite

energy label: LEED Gold

completed: 2015

estimated cost: $1.5 – 2.4 billion

use: mixed retail and office

China’s newest building is home to the world’s highest observation deck at and some of the world’s fastest elevators at 40 miles per hour! The building’s 120° twist is was designed for more than just good looks, the architecture was constructed to survive through wind-tunnel testing on models of the building to help design a shape strong enough to withstand typhoon-force winds that are common in parts of China. In keeping with the green-theme, the tower also was constructed with 25% less structural steel than conventional designs of similar height. The double-insulated glass facade was designed to limit the need for internal air conditioning within the building, and was constructed with reinforced glass that has a higher tolerance for shifts in outside temperature than normal glass. 


1. Burj Khalifa

location: Dubai, UAE

height: 2,723 ft.

floors: 163

materials: steel and concrete

energy label: none

completed: 2010

estimated cost: $1.5 billion

use: residence, hotel and office

Soaring at over half a mile high, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai currently holds the title for the world’s tallest building. The exterior of the building is, “comprised of aluminum and textured stainless steel and was designed to withstand Dubai’s extreme temperatures during the summer months by using a low-E glass to provide enhanced thermal insulation.” Because of it’s height, the building uses “sky-sourced” fresh air where air is sourced from the top of the building, and requires less ventilation and treatment than when sourced at the base. The structure has 3,000 parking spaces in it’s underground lot, and features the tallest elevator shaft in the world. The weight of the building’s concrete is equivalent to 100,000 elephants, and at the peak of construction 12,000 workers helped build the tower each day.

The photo below is courtesy of one of our readers who just visited Dubai. This is the view from the top observation deck of the tower. 


There you have it! The tallest buildings on earth, but not for long! Expected to be completed by 2020, the Kingdom Tower of Saudi Arabia is already under construction, with an anticipated height of 3,280 feet it will take the number one spot on the list. Competition sure is stiff out there for the world’s tallest buildings. We’ll have to wait and see if they succeed. 


Kaitlan Whitteberry

Kaitlan Whitteberry is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from the University of Missouri's journalism program, and currently focuses on iOFFICE press releases, software updates and related news.

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