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World's tallest structures

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There is much debate as to the ranking of the World's tallest structures, chiefly depending on the criteria used for selecting the structures admissible to the list.

In particular, there is debate about whether:

  • guy-wire-supported structures can be counted
  • only habitable height counts
  • roof-top antennas can be counted towards height of inhabitable buildings
  • observation galleries on antenna towers make them into inhabitable buildings
  • structures under construction can be included in the list
  • structures rising out of water should have their below-water height included

If and when another "Tallest buildings" table gets added, there should be a column indicating the building's classification; eg, "communication antenna" "office building" "tourist attraction" etc. That way all the various towers can be listed together, compared easily, and there will be no more war or strife in the world.

Table of contents

The World's tallest structures (of any sort)

The tallest currently-standing structure is the KTHI-TV Tower in North Dakota, at 629m (2,063 feet). It is a transmission antenna, consisting of a bare metal structure supported by guy-wires. There was once a taller such mast, a radio mast near Warsaw, Poland at 645m (2,115 feet), but it collapsed in 1991.

The World's tallest structures (not supported by guy-ropes)

The Petronius Platform stands 2,100 feet (640m) tall, making it the tallest freestanding structure in the world. However, as this oil and natural gas platform is partially supported by buoyancy, some critics feel the below-water height should not be accounted for. The CN Tower stands 553.33m (1,815 feet) tall, making it the tallest freestanding structure on land.

The World's tallest habitable buildings

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has defined four categories in which the "world's tallest building" can be measured:

  1. Height to the structural or architectural top.
  2. Height to the highest occupied floor.
  3. Height to the top of the roof.
  4. Height to the top of antenna.

In June 2003, the 508m (structural top) Taipei 101 building in Taiwan is set to succeed the Petronas Towers as the official world's tallest building[?]. Construction is currently up to the 87th floor.

The Sears Tower in Chicago leads in the second and third categories with 435m (1,431 feet) and 442m (1,445 feet) respectively, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, leads in the first with 452m (1,483 feet), and New York City's World Trade Center held the record in the last category until its destruction in 2001; its antenna included, it measured 536m (1,758 feet). The CN Tower was excluded from these categories because it is not a "habitable building", which is defined as a frame structure made with floors and walls throughout.

The World's biggest (by volume) and largest (by area) buildings

Boeing claims that its 747 assembly building at Everett, Washington is the largest building in the world at 472 million cubic feet (13.3 million cubic meters), having grown from the original 200 million cubic feet. [1] (http://www.boeing.com/companyoffices/aboutus/tours/gw)

The Vehicle Assembly Building[?] at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, is 160 meters (525 ft) tall, 218 meters (716 ft) long and 158 meters (518 ft) wide, thus enclosing 3,664,883 cubic meters (129,428,000 cubic feet). See http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/facilities/vab.

The United States building The Pentagon holds the title of the largest office building in the world at 6.6 million square feet.

Merchandise Mart in Chicago claims to be the largest commercial building in the world at 4.2 million square feet.

Proposed Structures

A Solar tower that has been proposed in Australia would be 1 km (0.62 miles) tall. Engineering feasibility has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of consulting engineers, and construction is a matter of financial viability.

See also:

External references



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