The Real Deal New York

Could NYC soon be in the 2,000-foot-tall skyscraper era?

Cement and steel doubled in strength the past 10 years, will get even stronger

July 13, 2015 02:30PM


Rendering of Midtown Manhattan skyline in 2030 (credit: VisualHouse)

With the city’s recent wave of supertall skyscraper projects showing no sign of abating, it may not be long before buildings up to and exceeding 2,000 feet in height dot the skyline, according to the 220 Central Park South structural engineer Stephen DeSimone.

Engineering advancements already make structures up to 2,000 feet possible, as cement and steel have doubled in strength in the past 10 years. DeSimone, who operates his own firm DeSimone Consulting Engineers, expects those materials to become another 50 percent stronger in the next five to 10 years.

The last major obstacle to a higher build is the development of sophisticated dampening mechanisms to reduce the sway that supertall towers experience from wind, DeSimone told Crain’s.

“People who buy $90 million penthouse apartments don’t want to feel like they’re in a boat,” he said, adding that engineers and buildings are exploring advanced dampening systems “that will anticipate the motion of a building and counteract it before it even sways.” [Crain’s]Rey Mashayekhi