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November 18 - November 22, 2013

One World Trade Center’s spire has earned it the honor of tallest U.S. building. What should “tallest building” mean?


Answers Votes
Highest occupied level 69%
Peak of an architecturally integrated structural element 25%
Peak of any building component, removable or not 6%


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Tagged categories: Architecture; Building design

Comment from Martin Rose, (11/19/2013, 8:02 AM)

"Highest occupied level" would raise even more controversy. Is a 'top floor' mechanical level then excluded? Is a high parapet wall concealing rooftop equipment then excluded?


Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (11/20/2013, 8:36 AM)

Martin - it's less ridiculous than the current state, where an architect adds a 400+ foot "spire" which counts, but functionally identical antenna masts which have been in place for 30+ years on the Sears (Willis) Tower don't count because they are not "permanent" enough. We need a better dividing line. I'm fine with spires, antenna masts, or even a bolted-on chunk of angle-iron counting for a "tallest structure" title. However, buildings are for human occupancy, so the height for the "tallest building" needs to be based on the highest occupied level in order to avoid the bullsh*t. If you want the roof to count, put an observation platform there.


Comment from john lienert, (12/3/2013, 9:02 AM)

lots of argument in the age old " mine's bigger than yours".......how about the tallest building ever built w/o worker injury


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