After explaining how exoskeletons provide stability for skyscrapers, this article explains why we don’t have even taller buildings:
So what keeps engineers from building even taller buildings? It’s not physics. “We can build twice as high as we can today,” says Shmerykowsky. “But it all comes back to the economics.” In other words, taller buildings aren’t worth the money to developers right now.
Plus, most cities have municipal codes that place restrictions on tall buildings to prevent them from interfering with air traffic or from disrupting the overall aesthetic of the city’s skyline. On the engineers’ part, as long as the soil around the foundation of the building can take the weight, even taller skyscrapers are possible.
Thoughts on the two reasons given above:
1. Economics. So what kind of densities would be needed for the economics to work out? Think of some of the most expensive housing markets in the world like Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Manhattan, San Francisco. Even they couldn’t support taller buildings? I also imagine someone would make the case that buildings a supertall structure could lead to additional benefits like status and tourists.
2. Local regulations. Perhaps this is the bigger issue: who wants to be a neighbor to such a building? Would people be willing to live on the 130th floor? Would a single supertall building stick out of the skyline?
But, if such buildings can be constructed, we will probably have one sooner rather than later. Being the first could be quite appealing to a developing city or leader who wants attention.