Story Steroids Inflate the World's Tallest Buildings

It's a scandal fit for an Olympic track and field event or the Tour de France. Performance enhancing features such as spires and other non-occupiable "vanity height" elements are skewing the ranking of the world's tallest buildings.

"It turns out that most of the world’s tallest buildings are doing the architectural equivalent of wearing platform shoes," writes Gwynn Guilford. "That is, they’re scraping skies courtesy of dozens—sometimes hundreds—of meters of 'vanity height,' says a new report (pdf) by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), first spotted by io9." 

According to the report, 61% of the world's "supertall" buildings need help to achieve that status, with the Burj al Arab in Dubai revealed as the biggest cheater of that group. New York City, it turns out, is a prime offender. The city will have three of the “tallest 10 Vanity Heights” when One World Trade Center is completed next year. 

So what is being done to clean up the competition you ask? Though the organization that's identified the phenomenon is the same one that is "the arbiter of the criteria upon which tall building height is measured", CTBUH hasn't indicated if or how they plan to level the playing field. 

Full Story: 44 of the world’s 72 tallest buildings are cheating

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