50 Reasons Ireland Should Consider Tall Buildings

Here are 50 reasons why Ireland should consider tall buildings for residential and commercial purposes:

1. Saves Space – In a world with a growing population, developing buildings vertically allows for more space and more people. The land available for buildings is finite, and while tall buildings have a height limit, cities and towns can better utilize this space by building more tall, vertical buildings.  

Source: Wray, Sarah. “’Mini Cities’: The Rise of Tall Buildings.” Smart Cities World, www.smartcitiesworld.net/opinions/opinions/mini-cities-the-rise-of-tall-buildings

2. Creates More Homes – There is a correlation between density of a city with the number and height of tall buildings. High-rises allow for more homes by building vertically rather than building wide or horizontally. 

Source: “The Pros and Cons of the Skyscraper.” RG Group, 17 Apr. 2018, rg-group.co.uk/the-pros-and-cons-of-the-skyscraper/#

3. Creates More Office Space – Tall buildings or skyscrapers are able to satisfy the needs and desires for companies to be in proximity together in dense, urban areas. Building up answers vast company demand for city office space. 

Source: Barr, Jason. “The Economics of Skyscraper Height (Part IV): Construction Costs Around the World – Skynomics Blog.” Building the Skyline, 2 Dec. 2019, buildingtheskyline.org/skyscraper-height-iv/

4. Productivity Increases – Many skyscrapers have their own gym, cafés, and restaurants for people to spend time. Therefore, while at their place of employment, employees can work, exercise, eat and relax all in the same building.  

Source: Koster, Hans. “The Economics of Skyscrapers.” Urban Economics, 7 Apr. 2018, www.urbaneconomics.nl/the-economics-of-skyscrapers/

5. Increases Speed of Ideas – Density of people and businesses in skyscrapers in an urban area increases the speed of ideas because so many firms are able to interact. Frequent interaction may stimulate more ideas in less time.

Source: Florida, Richard. “The Power of Density.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 8 Sept. 2010, www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/09/the-power-of-density/62569/  

6. Prestige of Home – A tall building has a reputation effect for home buyers. The height of the building makes their home a more noticeable landmark.

Source: Nathan, Max. “Tall Buildings Have Productivity Benefits for Workers and Prestige for Firms. No Wonder Firms Are Willing to Pay a Premium to Work in Them.” British Politics and Policy at LSE, 26 Aug. 2011, blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/tall-buildings/

7. Improves Company Status – The taller and more well-known the building, the more a company can benefit. The tall building adds a level of prestige to the company.

Source: Jacobs, Emma, and Andrew Hill. “How Skyscrapers Will Transform Working Life.” Financial Times, Financial Times, 5 Mar. 2017, www.ft.com/content/01a637d4-faaf-11e6-9516-2d969e0d3b65

8. Less Fires Spread – Statistics show that high-rises are less likely to have fire spread than smaller homes. “Low-rises are more than twice as likely as high-rises to have fire spread. In apartment structures, only 4% of high-rise cases have fire spread but 10% of low-rises do.”

Source: Olson, Chris. “Fast Facts on the Causes and Costs of Fires.” BUILDINGS, 9 Jan. 2017, www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/21281/title/editor-s-letter

9. Less Noise – Residents or employees in higher level floors experience fewer noise events than residents or employees on lower levels.

Source: Ng, Cheuk Fan. “Living and Working in Tall Buildings: Satisfaction and Perceived Benefits and Concerns of Occupants.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 17 Nov. 2017, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fbuil.2017.00070/full

10. Increases Consumer Sentiment – Construction of skyscrapers leads to significant stock returns and market boom as the construction increases confidence in the economy. Idea that a crane in the sky signals a strong economy.

Source: Ahmed, Mohamed. “Why Skyscrapers Are Good for the Economy.” The Standard, 7 Aug. 2018,www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001290942/why-skyscrapers-are-good-for-the-economy

11. Less Traffic Congestion – For urban residential homes, tall buildings reduce the amount of people driving to work.

Source: Chipowick, Mike. “High Rise Apartments Reduce Traffic Congestion: FRPO – Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario.” FRPO, 24 Oct. 2015, www.frpo.org/lobby-view/high-rise-apartments-reduce-traffic-congestion

12. Allures New Employees – For employees, working in a tall building or a skyscraper creates a luxury aura. The office becomes a place a company can show off and a way to recruit and attract new talented employees.

Source: Jacobs, Emma, and Andrew Hill. “How Skyscrapers Will Transform Working Life.” Financial Times, Financial Times, 5 Mar. 2017, www.ft.com/content/01a637d4-faaf-11e6-9516-2d969e0d3b6

13. Increases Socialization of Peers – Tall, vertical buildings increase person to person connection by making it easier for more people to socialize in a common area and meet up with friends.

Source: Matthews, Kayla. “Vertical Cities: Can Mega-Skyscrapers Solve Urban Population Overload?” Planetizen, 2 Dec. 2018, www.planetizen.com/blogs/101788-vertical-cities-can-mega-skyscrapers-solve-urban-population-overload 

14. View – The view from a taller building, whether in a home residence or a commercial building, is far more attractive than a low building, if a low building even has a view at all. The view increases the value of the property.

Source: Wong, S.K., Chau, K.W., Yau, Y. et al. Property price gradients: the vertical dimension. J House and the Built Environ 26, 33–45 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10901-010-9203-8 

15. Sunlight – Natural light is vital for the health of human beings. There is more natural sunlight in a building that is taller than a building that is smaller. While this can make tall buildings warmer, there is more natural light benefitting the health of residents. 

Source: Admin. “Advantages & Benefits of High-Rise Buildings.” Wave City, Wave City, Sept. 2016, www.wavecity.in/blog/high-rise-buildings-advantages-benefits 

16. Elevator or Lift Service – Elevator technology, and frequent improvement of the technology, removes the inconvenience of the stairs. An elevator or lift service is found in almost all high-rise apartments and commercial skyscrapers. 

Source: Hyde, Rory. “The New Lift Technology That Will Let Cities Soar Far Higher.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 1 Aug. 2014, www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/aug/01/new-lift-technology-ultrarope-cities

17. Wind Safe – Skyscrapers are safe and tested against wind gusts. “The New York City building codes are designed for over 100 mph winds; they’re very robust. Tall buildings, because of the nature of the construction and their possible exposure, they get a lot of scrutiny because the consequences of failure would be so extreme.”

Source: Velsey, Kim. “Skyscrapers May Shiver and Sway, but They’re Perfectly Safe.” Observer, Observer, 29 Oct. 2012,https://observer.com/2012/10/skyscrapers-may-shake-and-shiver-but-theyre-perfectly-safe-just-stay-away-from-the-windows/

18. Close to City Center – Tall buildings are located closer to urban areas in most developed cities. High-rise residencies may be very appealing to people who work in cities and enjoy socializing in urban areas.   

Source: Florida, Richard. “The Relationship Between Skyscrapers and Great Cities.” CityLab, 28 Jan. 2016, www.citylab.com/design/2016/01/skyscrapers-cities-tall-buildings/431655/

19. Profit-Maximizing Land Value – Building vertically is a solution to increasing profits when the cost to acquire the land is expensive. “We can think of developers as a type of urban farmer; the more it costs to acquire a lot, the more they must intensely develop the land in order to receive enough income to compensate for the high cost of the location. Thus, around the world, we observe taller buildings in places that have higher land values.”

Source: Barr, Jason. “The Economics of Skyscraper Height (Part I) – Skynomics Blog.” Building the Skyline, 17 Dec. 2018, buildingtheskyline.org/skyscraper-height-i/

20. Opportunity For Rooftop Gardens – On the flat roofs of skyscrapers and high-rises, rooftop gardens can be created. Roof-top gardens are a cost-effective and sustainable solution to reduce a building’s energy consumption and provide a relaxing place for residents and employees. 

Source: Grimwood, Mariah. “Rooftop Gardens & Their Effect on Energy Consumption: 2020’s Guide.” Renewable Resources Coalition, 31 Oct. 2019, www.renewableresourcescoalition.org/rooftop-gardens-energy-consumption/

21. Green Skyscrapers Cool Down Cities – Tall buildings that are built with plants on the roof or the side naturally cool down cities. “As Adele Peters at Fast Company reports, Arup modelled what densely populated cities would be like with more green facades, and found that in high-rise cities such as Hong Kong, green buildings could lead to temperature reductions of up to 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit).” 

Source: Nield, David. “This Is Why We Should All Be Covering All Our Buildings With Plants.” ScienceAlert, www.sciencealert.com/these-are-all-the-reasons-why-we-should-be-covering-our-buildings-with-plants 

22. Increases the Number of Social Activities – Tall buildings may increase the number of shopping and retail activities, as well as restaurants, museums, art galleries and concert halls all in a denser area.

Source: Al-Kodmany, Kheir. New Suburbanism: Sustainable Tall Building Development. https://books.google.ie/books?id=-zv7CwAAQBAJ&pg=PA38&lpg=PA38&dq=high-rises increase restaurants and social 

23. Increases Sustainability – Tall developments that combine offices and homes enable for more efficient use of resources. This combination allows for skyscrapers to be more efficient than small, low-rises. 

Source: “Skyscrapers vs Groundscrapers: Which Is More Sustainable?” WSP, 17 Aug. 2015, www.wsp.com/en-JP/insights/skyscrapers-vs-groundscrapers-which-is-more-sustainable

24. Cities Population Continue to Grow – “According to the United Nations, 55% of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050.” Due to the finite space cities have, developers will have to build vertically. 

Source: Cole, Margo. “Future of Housing: High Rise Is the Urban Solution.” New Civil Engineer, 17 Sept. 2019, www.newcivilengineer.com/the-future-of/future-of-housing/future-housing-high-rise-urban-solution-17-09-2019/ 

25. Positive Trend In Skyscrapers Built – The height and number of skyscrapers built around the world since the 1950s showcases cities supplying demand, “The number of skyscrapers exceeding 150 meters and 40 floors has risen eight percent each year since 1950.”

Source: Emerging Technology from the arXiv. “Get Ready for More and Taller Skyscrapers.” MIT Technology Review, MIT Technology Review, 20 Aug. 2018, www.technologyreview.com/s/611878/get-ready-for-more-and-taller-skyscrapers/ 

26. Buttressed Core Construction Designs – Buttressed Core Design, the design used to build the Burj Khalifa (828 meters, tallest building in the world) allows for more stability and could be used to build skyscrapers even taller than the Burj Khalifa. Buttressed Core Design could therefore create more homes and office spaces.  

Source: Berg, Nate. “Is There a Limit to How Tall Buildings Can Get?” CityLab, 16 Aug. 2012, www.citylab.com/design/2012/08/there-limit-how-tall-buildings-can-get/2963/

27. Future Cross-Laminated Timber Designs – For those who argue against the use of steel for skyscrapers, the W350 Project in Japan showcased the design of a skyscraper made entirely out of cross-laminated timber. The use of timber would decrease the global footprint of construction by 31%. 

Source: Galeon, Dom. “3 Reasons Why It’s a Good Idea to Build a New Skyscraper out of Wood.” Futurism, Futurism, 23 Feb. 2018, futurism.com/three-reasons-skyscraper-wood 

28. Decreases Surrounding Rents Study by Brian Asquith and Evan Mast at the Upjohn Institute, “They look[ed] at new buildings of at least 50 units constructed in lower-income, central-city neighborhoods. They estimate that these new buildings decrease rents by 5 percent to 7 percent for their immediate neighbors, relative to what we’d expect rents to be if the new buildings were never built.” 

Source: Badger, Emily. “A Luxury Apartment Rises in a Poor Neighborhood. What Happens Next?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 14 Feb. 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/02/14/upshot/luxury-apartments-poor-neighborhoods.html

29. Creation of the 20 Minute Lifestyle – People in vertically tall developments live in an area where they can go from their home, to work, to shops and to fun, recreational activities within twenty minutes. 

Source: Al-Kodmany, Kheir. New Suburbanism: Sustainable Tall Building Development. https://books.google.ie/books?id=-zv7CwAAQBAJ&pg=PA38&lpg=PA38&dq=high-rises increase restaurants and social 

30. Cleaner Air – Traffic-related pollutants in residential homes or commercial offices on the fifth floor and above are significantly less. 

Source: Ng, Cheuk Fan. “Living and Working in Tall Buildings: Satisfaction and Perceived Benefits and Concerns of Occupants.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 17 Nov. 2017, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fbuil.2017.00070/full

31. Attractive Investments – Innovations in skyscraper and high-rise design, building materials and engineering, combined with lower price of labor in the developing world, suggest that the price per floor has historically been declining. 

Source: Barr, Jason. “The Economics of Skyscraper Height (Part I) – Skynomics Blog.” Building the Skyline, 17 Dec. 2018, buildingtheskyline.org/skyscraper-height-i/ 

32. Sparks Surrounding Development – High-rise in Dublin, Ireland has the power to spark business development and growth around the high-rise. “Pro business group Dublin City Chamber – who last year provided a letter of support for the project – said the build ‘has the potential to act as a catalyst’ for the inner city area where it will be built.”

Source: Collins, Gareth Chaney. “Decision to Build New City Centre Skyscraper Slammed by An Taisce.” Dublinlive, 8 Apr. 2019, www.dublinlive.ie/news/property/decision-build-record-high-city-16097516

33. Reduces Time Wasted – Density of companies and people within a smaller area reduces the time, effort and hassle of two parties meeting with one another. Two parties are able to interact without wasting much time to travel to one another.

Source: Florida, Richard. “The Power of Density.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 8 Sept. 2010, www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/09/the-power-of-density/62569/

34. Other Countries Are Embracing Height, They Cannot All Be Wrong– Countries build for good reason. There were 602 buildings higher than 200 metres around the world in Spring 2011, compared with 258 in 2000 and just 146 a decade before.

Source: Koster, Hans. “The Economics of Skyscrapers.” Urban Economics, 7 Apr. 2018, www.urbaneconomics.nl/the-economics-of-skyscrapers/

35. Companies Are Willing To Pay – Developers of tall buildings receive more money for their investment than smaller buildings, “We find that Dutch firms are willing to pay on average about 4% more for a building that is 10 m taller, implying a substantial premium associated with tall buildings.” 

Source: Hans R. A. Koster, Jos van Ommeren, Piet Rietveld, Is the sky the limit? High-rise buildings and office rents, Journal of Economic Geography, Volume 14, Issue 1, January 2014, Pages 125–153, https://doi.org/10.1093/jeg/lbt008

36. Incentivizing Community Good For Height – Governments can enforce developers to create community good when building tall buildings. This creates more space for homes and offices while also benefiting the residents or employees. “In Singapore, if you create a certain amount of green area or gardens – for example on the roof or façade – you can go higher. Or if you open the lobby of the building to be partly accessible to the public, you can go higher.”

Source: Cole, Margo. “Future of Housing: High Rise Is the Urban Solution.” New Civil Engineer, 17 Sept. 2019, www.newcivilengineer.com/the-future-of/future-of-housing/future-housing-high-rise-urban-solution-17-09-2019/ 

37. Emphasizes Bike Usage – A new high-rise is promoting bike usage over cars to increase bicycling for mass transport. “Foster+Partners’ twin-towered residential development in London features one bike parking space per bedroom (1,486 in total), bike lifts and workshops, but only 200 car parking spaces, making them the city’s most cycle-friendly high-rise.”

Source: Grozdanic, Lidija. “Foster Partners’ 250 City Road Towers Have Bike Parking Spaces for Every Apartment.” Inhabitat Green Design Innovation Architecture Green Building, 2 May 2015, inhabitat.com/foster-partners-250-city-road-towers-are-uks-most-bike-friendly-high-rises/

38. Near Public Transit – Developers build skyscrapers and high-rises near public transit options. “London’s Shard is right next to a major interchange for overground and underground trains and buses, while San Francisco’s future tallest building, the 326m Salesforce Tower, will be part of the new Transbay Transit Center complex.”

Source: “Connected: Mass Transit Links Spur High-Density Developments.” WSP Group, www.wsp-pb.com/en/High-Rise/High-Rise-Insights/Connected-Mass-Transit-Links-Spur-High-Density-Developments/.

39. High Rises Have Fire-Resistive Construction – The National Fire Protection Association in the United States states that high-rises are more likely than smaller, low-rises to have fire-resistive construction and wet pipe sprinklers to limit fires.

Source: Olson, Chris. “Fast Facts on the Causes and Costs of Fires.” BUILDINGS, 9 Jan. 2017, www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/21281/title/editor-s-letter 

40. Shift Away From Steel To Concrete – Steel is expensive and mostly sourced from other countries. Concrete is less expensive, can be obtained from one’s own country, and compared to steel skyscrapers, concrete does not require the same “level of precision.” This transition may allow cities to make more skyscrapers and high-rises.   

Source: Simms, Josh. “Do Skyscrapers Beautify a City or Destroy Its Historic Value?” South China Morning Post, 7 July 2016, www.scmp.com/magazines/style/tech-design/article/1983061/do-skyscrapers-beautify-city-or-do-they-destroy-historic

41. Vegetation – Plants take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Tall buildings with vegetation, either on the side of the building or the roof, like One Central Park in Sydney, Australia, allow for this oxygen production in urban areas that do not have many plants.

Source: Nield, David. “This Is Why We Should All Be Covering All Our Buildings With Plants.” ScienceAlert, www.sciencealert.com/these-are-all-the-reasons-why-we-should-be-covering-our-buildings-with-plants

42. Legal Inspections and Approvals – Skyscrapers and high-rises have strict legal restrictions and approvals prior to and while building. “This helps create certainty about the safety of properties and protects the value of assets for funders and freeholders, and may negate demand for further non-mandatory fire safety assessment of construction materials for new builds.” 

Source: Sketchley, Elisha. “High-Rise Buildings: Are They as Safe as Houses?” Planning, BIM & Construction Today, 30 Jan. 2020, www.pbctoday.co.uk/news/building-control-news/high-rise-buildings/70980/

43. Safer During Earthquakes – Base isolators built under skyscrapers and tall buildings shake the isolators during an earthquake and protect the building from swaying or shaking. Small buildings do not have isolators and are not as safe when an earthquake occurs. “Because shorter buildings are stiffer than taller ones, a three-story apartment house is considered more vulnerable to earthquake damage than a 30-story skyscraper.”

Source: “Faultline: Earthquake Engineering.” Exploratorium, www.exploratorium.edu/faultline/damage/building.html

44. “Plantscrapers” – Birds Eye and other food producers are planning on building skyscrapers covered in plants which could produce hundreds of storeys worth of crops. Plantscrapers are an attempt to make farming more economical, sustainable and meet increasing food demand.

Source: Poulter, Sean. “The Plant Skyscrapers: Giant Greenhouses in City Centres to Herald a New Age of Farming.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 31 Dec. 2012, www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2255494/The-plant-skyscrapers-Giant-greenhouses-city-centres-herald-new-age-farming.html

45. Increases Tourism – Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates has become one of Dubai’s biggest tourist attractions. The Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world, increased the surrounding hotels business by 35% after just one year.

Source: Bundhun, Rebecca. “Burj Khalifa a Towering Tourism Influence.” The National, The National, 5 Jan. 2011, www.thenational.ae/business/travel-and-tourism/burj-khalifa-a-towering-tourism-influence-1.471221

46. Improvements Allow For Skinnier Buildings On Less Land – New developments in technology now allow for skyscrapers and high-rises to be built higher, skinnier and with less property space. This benefits cities with finite property space and a dense population. “Stronger concrete, faster, more efficient elevators and sophisticated computer modeling have allowed developers to build taller and skinnier on sites that used to require much wider bases.”

Source: Chen, Stefanos. “New York City’s Evolving Skyline.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 5 June 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/06/05/realestate/new-york-citys-evolving-skyline.html 

47. Children Benefit From Less Noise – Studies have found children who live higher up in high-rises are better readers and listeners than children closer to the ground. “Children living on the higher floors of a 32-storey building in New York had better auditory discrimination and reading performance than those living on the lower floors of the same building that were impacted by higher traffic noise.”

Source: Ng, Cheuk Fan. “Living and Working in Tall Buildings: Satisfaction and Perceived Benefits and Concerns of Occupants.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 17 Nov. 2017, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fbuil.2017.00070/full

48. Privacy – Despite being a tourist attraction, high-rises and skyscrapers have an added element of privacy compared to smaller buildings. People are not able to see into their homes or office spaces because they are so high up.  

Source: Cheung, Y. K., and K. W. Chau. “Tall Buildings: From Engineering To Sustainability.” Google Books, Google,https://books.google.ie/books?

49. Increases Employee Satisfaction – Employees who work in a skyscraper are more satisfied than employees that work in smaller buildings. An example of increased employee satisfaction in a tall building would be Seattle company F5 Networks when the company moved to “The Mark Tower.” “Ana White, F5 executive vice president, and chief human resources officer shared with Schlosser, ‘A lot of employees wanted better commutes, more access to freeways, more access to public transportation, closer access and proximity to different things in the city as well. This tower solved all that.’”

Source: Guimapang, Katherine. “Seattle’s F5 Tower Is a Case Study for Improving Employee Satisfaction.” Archinect, archinect.com/news/article/150170464/seattle-s-f5-tower-is-a-case-study-for-improving-employee-satisfaction.

50. Tower Running – Tower running is a form of exercise that has slowly begun to popularize. Individuals, either in charity events or for exercise, race and climb the stairs of skyscrapers and tall buildings. “Races include the 1,576 steps of the Empire State Building and a dash to the top of the Eiffel Tower.”

Source: “Stepping up to Tough Physical Challenge of Skyscraper Running.” Belfasttelegraph, BelfastTelegraph.co.uk, 20 Mar. 2018, www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/life/health/stepping-up-to-tough-physical-challenge-of-skyscraper-running-36722618.html

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