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Cap on super high-rise buildings for better living

TIME:2022-07-15 15:26:25

A photo shows the view of the CBD area in downtown Beijing. [Photo/Sipa]

On Tuesday, the National Development and Reform Commission released the new urbanization implementation plan during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period. It strictly restricts the construction of new super high-rise buildings. According to the documents, no new buildings over 500 meters will be built from 2021 to 2025, and the construction of buildings over 250 meters is to be strictly controlled.

It is natural for the country to control the construction of high-rise buildings particularly in the third-and fourth-tier cities where there are already more houses and office buildings than their practical needs.

To ensure fire safety, residential buildings generally cannot exceed 100 meters in China, according to the building regulations. There are a large number of 99.9-meter-high buildings that don't break the rules but create the problems that the rules are made to avoid. High population density increases fire risks in residential communities, and contributes to many big-city malaises, such as traffic congestion.

Besides, the construction industry is a major carbon emitter in China, and the construction of super high-rise buildings also runs counter to the goal of carbon emissions reduction.

Take the energy consumption of super high-rise buildings for example. The operation of elevators and the supply of water for super high-rise buildings consume large amounts of electricity. A skyscraper consumes 139 kilowatt hours of electricity per square meter per year, far more than other buildings.

Also, more and more people realize that the super-tall buildings further aggravate the problem of the homogeneous development of cities. They are often implanted in cities in a pompous and showy style, lacking respect for local history and culture, and they are incompatible with the traditional fabric of the city and destroy the skyline of cities, resulting in cities lacking their own character.

In many cities there are a large number of high-rise buildings near ancient buildings. They are incompatible with the charm of the ancient sites, and seriously damage the style of the old city.

It is therefore good to see that the country will treat super high-rise buildings more rationally and maturely.

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