Might High-Rises Become Uninhabitable?

Steve Mouzon argues that trillions being spent world-wide on skyscrapers could be lost as energy costs rise.

Unaffordable energy costs may render high-rise buildings unusable. Cross-ventilation, daylighting, elevators & thermal mass are all difficult to impossible to achieve as these buildings are currently constructed, so without cheap fossil fuels, these buildings just might become uninhabitable. This article is a follow-up to Richard Florida's Friday night plenary and Léon Krier's Saturday morning plenary at CNU20 in West Palm Beach.

Thanks to Steve Mouzon

Full Story: Uninhabitable High-Rises



Skyscrapers and energy.

Yes, these buildings are not energy-efficient. They will come into disfavor in energy descent.



Michael Lewyn's picture

And single-family homes in the suburbs are energy-efficient?

Will elevator buildings be more expensive if energy is more expensive? Sure. But so will houses.

Will we all be living in cute little walkups a la Greenwich Village? Maybe.

But realistically, I think the notion that high energy costs will be the Savior from Heaven forcing everyone to live in the West Village makes just as much sense as the notion that 100 mpg robocars will be the Savior from Heaven making sprawl easy and cheap- that is to say, more than zero (since it is quite possible that it could happen) but pretty speculative, perhaps too speculative to base decisions on.


We know that SFA are more efficient than SFD, and that MF is more efficient than SFA and so on.

The point being: are you going to spend energy on lifting people over the 5th floor, and conditioning the building when the heat goes out the glazing? We know the answer to that too.

I'm not advocating large-lot single-fam. I'm advocating looking at the energy needed to maintain high-rises, and what that might mean when cheap energy goes away.



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