CTBUH Conference 2022

Reflections from the CTBUH Conference 2022

Last month, Steve Watts, John Lione and Carl Giles headed to Chicago for the annual Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat – (CTBUH) 2022 conference, conference which was for the first time combined with its Awards Conference. In person for the first time in three years, it was fantastic to see 870 delegates and reconnect and engage with a hugely diverse range of colleagues, professionals, and academics.

The overarching theme of the conference was ‘Tall Excellence’ with a key focus on collaboration and transformation in a changing world. There was an emphasis on more complex considerations around building tall: carbon, society, and well-being to help shape the future and strategic decisions around density. It was also great to see further prioritisation in the environmental and social implications of developments.

A new feature, and highlight, from the event were the conference workshops; these workshops enabled the membership to present and debate what is considered Best Practice and Excellence in relation to tall buildings, as part of an ongoing discussion around a potential accreditation system. alinea co-hosted the Economics & Development Workshop which saw eight speakers, all experts in their fields, cover a range of topics, from the economic principles of building tall, potential opportunities presented by reused steel, and the transformative impacts of digital technologies.

The CTBUH membership and delegation is unsurpassed in its quality and depth.  The event created a real industry hub, with from experts in their fields coming together to share their knowledge, showcase best practice, debate current key issues and to offer a glimpse of the future. This was a great event to be a part of, especially to see the extent that our alinea team are involved with the CTBUH on an individual basis. Steve Watts in his Role as CTBUH Chair and John Lione in a new role as Chair of the Cost Consultancy Assembly and co-chair of the Economics and Development Workshop. We have entered a new era for the Council, with many more people now meaningfully involved in influencing the agenda and implementing initiatives.

The conference closed out with an awards of excellence ceremony, Steve Watts enjoyed two days of judging as part of the Best Tall Buildings jury, with the honour and privilege of listening to clients and designers explain the rationale behind some truly incredible and inspiring buildings.

To check out the award winners and further information about the conference please visit:





Our key takeaways

We have entered a new era for tall buildings globally, with many more people and organisations now meaningfully involved in influencing the agenda and implementing initiatives.

There is consensus that we need a ‘rethink’ in a world of permacrisis. We must challenge fundamental assumptions about the way we achieve density, and the we must talk about density, tall buildings, and cities in the same breath.

An impressive and fascinating project tour of The Old Post Office, a remarkable refurbishment of an Art Deco building that was the largest office in the world. When it opened provided a powerful reminder of how spaces of delight can be created from existing buildings, at scale.

The HTA’s ‘10 Degrees ‘project is a great example of why we should all continue to educate and evolving our knowledge and practice in sustainable technologies and modern methods of construction.