This paper presents a comprehensive design approach to sustainable tall buildings development. It argues that the true efficiency and success of tall buildings are heightened by their overall relationship with their urban setting and infrastructure. Tall and supertall buildings are mini–cities and their social, economic, and environmental impacts extend throughout the neighbourhood and the city at large. A new sustainable approach should not only consider incorporating sustainable features, such as photovoltaic panels and wind turbines; but should also consider an overall approach that balances multiple issues, including the environmental, economic, social, construction, operational, and building's functional adaptability for future market changes. This paper serves to illustrate this view by providing a detailed account on a comprehensive approach to sustainable tall buildings development. While there is an increasing pace of constructing tall buildings worldwide, currently, there are no sustainability assessment tools for tall buildings. It is hoped that this paper will serve as a foundation to develop such tools.
Keywords: sustainable tall buildings, renewable energy, social ecology, green design, macro–scale, micro environment, sustainable design, social impact, economic impact, environmental impact, sustainability assessment, building design