Chien-Jou (CJ) Chen
Project Manager
Turner International LLC, Kuala Lumpur

The aspiration of constructing supertall buildings requires determination to push technical boundaries, exceed the limits of normal construction practices and eventually achieve what others were not able to achieve. Such achievements have been made at TAIPEI 101, Burj Khalifa and the ongoing PNB 118. Buildings since TAIPEI 101 are getting taller, bigger, smarter and greener.

However, technical challenges are not the only mountain to climb when it comes to the successful completion of the world’s tallest building. The project cycle does not start at the construction; in fact, construction is the very last stage of the project completion. A comprehensive design that meets local code requirements, a realistic project duration and a flexible contracting and procurement strategy are equally essential to the success of the project.

The construction of TAIPEI 101 started 20 years ago. It kick-started the race of tall building construction all over the world. Since then, 119 buildings taller than 300 meters, 8 of them taller than TAIPEI 101, have been erected after its completion in 2004. Looking back, an in-depth review will compare these three projects—the design considerations, planning, contracting and procurement strategies, construction methodologies, major challenges and breakthroughs. Looking forward, the trend of super/mega tall building construction offers new options to integrate and streamline the entire project stages to successful completion.