Presented with an extremely strong set of submissions, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has named two winners of its 2013 Innovation Award. The highlighted innovations stand to revolutionize the technology, sustainability and efficiency of tall building construction and operation.

The Broad Sustainable Building (BSB) Prefabricated Construction Process captured the industry’s attention when Broad Group constructed T30, a 30-story hotel building in 15 days in Changsha, China, using pre-assembled components.


Broad Sustainable Building (BSB)
Prefabricated Construction Process

The Broad Sustainable Building (BSB) prefabrication process promotes standardization, serialization and generalization in the area of building systems. The aim of this approach is to apply engineering technology in the construction industry to lower energy consumption, reduce the environmental pollution and save energy resources associated with construction.

The process uses a factory-fabricated steel structure system and on-site installation, using flanges and high strength bolts to join the construction members. It also incorporates integrated, installable floor slabs, light wallboard and other prefabricated materials.

This process has the advantages of magnitude-9 earthquake resistance, five times the energy efficiency of a conventionally built structure, at between 10 and 30 percent lower cost. The process produces less than 1 percent of the waste when compared with conventional site-built construction.

KONE UltraRope is a new carbon-fiber hoisting technology, the weight and bending advantages of which effectively double the distance an elevator can travel in a single shaft – to 1,000 m (1 km).


KONE UltraRope

Comprised of a carbon fiber core and an epoxy-based high-friction coating, KONE UltraRope is extremely light, meaning elevator energy consumption and machine room size in high-rise buildings can be cut significantly.

The drop in rope weight means a reduction in elevator moving masses – the weight of everything that moves when an elevator travels up or down, including the hoisting ropes, compensating ropes, counterweight, elevator car, and passenger load. Currently, elevators are limited to a single-shaft height of 500 meters, the point at which the mass and thickness of steel rope makes further height impractical. With UltraRope, elevators can travel up to 1,000 meters (1 kilometer) without the need for transfer lobbies.

The Innovation Awards will be presented at the CTBUH 12th Annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner at the Illinois Institute of Technology, November 7, in the iconic Crown Hall, designed by Mies van der Rohe. The CTBUH’s Best Tall Building regional winners, Lifetime Achievement winners, and 10-Year Award winner (still to be announced) will also be honored at the ceremony.

The jury was prompted to co-award UltraRope and the BSB Process because these two offerings epitomize the way innovative technologies work together to change how tall buildings are created and operated. The caliber and number of the innovation submissions presented to the jury is a testament to the industry’s relentless push not only to build higher, but to build better.

“The winners of the Innovation Award have expanded the range of what’s possible,” said Jeanne Gang, awards jury chair and principal of Studio Gang Architects. “These innovations forge a path for the next generation of tall buildings.”

The CTBUH Innovation Award comes from an independent review of technological submissions, judged by a panel of industry experts. This award recognizes a specific area of recent innovation in the tall building industry that has been incorporated into the design of, or significantly tested in, the construction, operation, or refurbishment of a tall building project. The areas of innovation can embrace any discipline, including but not limited to: technical breakthroughs, construction methods, design approaches, urban planning, building systems, façades, interior environment, etc.

The Council received more than 20 substantive entries from around the world for the Innovation awards.

Winners and finalists are featured in the annual CTBUH Awards Book, which is published in conjunction with a major global publisher and distributed internationally each year.