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China bans skyscraper construction over safety worries

by Liam Turner
Skyline of Chongqing, China

China has implemented a full ban on the construction of buildings taller than 500 metres.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission imposed the ban following mounting safety concerns over the quality of tall buildings.

Issues around quality and safety hazards for some newly built tall buildings have been attributed to inadequate oversight.

In May earlier this year, a 291-meter-tall tower Shenzhen was evacuated following reports of “wobbling and swaying” being felt from within the building.

The ban is fuelled partly by an oversupply of office space in Chinese cities, due to three decades of rapid skyscraper construction.

In addition to a structural height cap of 500 meters on new buildings, local authorities say they will also strictly limit the construction of towers taller than 250 meters.

Construction of buildings taller than 100 meters will also need to closely match their contextual scales and demonstrate adequate fire-rescue capabilities for the area.

China currently boasts five of the world’s 10 towers exceeding 500 meters in height, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

The country is also home to 44 of the world’s 100 tallest buildings.

Image: Skyline of Chongqing, China. Credit: Jon Grogan/Unsplash


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