VIP Reception at Ping An Tower Signals Fantastic Start for CTBUH 2016

Ping An Reception

Wai Ming (Thomas) Tsang, Ping An Financial Center; Philippe Delpech, Otis Elevator; and CTBUH Chairman David Malott, KPF, welcome VIPs to Ping An Financial Center

High in the skies of Shenzhen, on the 83rd floor of the 599-meter Ping An Finance Center, CTBUH Leaders and VIPs gathered on the eve of the conference to carouse in the context of the city’s tallest building. The VIP Reception, Hosted by Ping An and Sponsored by Otis Elevator Company, was a lively preview of the five-day conference ahead. Guests from every corner of the globe, hailing from every industry sector, assembled with an air of giddy anticipation – an ambience likely owed to the group being some of the first guests publically welcomed into the building. Following some warm words of welcome from Wai Ming (Thomas) Tsang, CEO, Ping An, and some background behind the Ping An Finance Center project, Phillippe Delpech, President of reception sponsor Otis Elevator, quite appropriately framed the marvel of the reception venue, saying, “It’s always impressive to see a building like Ping An, especially when you consider that it took 4,500 years for human beings to build a structure taller than the pyramids of Egypt, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Building in New York.”

Committee Meetings Set Priorities for the Year to Come

James Parakh

James Parakh, City of Toronto Planning Department, leads the Urban Habitat / Urban Design Committee Meeting

Earlier in the day, during the morning hours, a number of Council initiatives hit the ground running in a series of Committee and Working Group meetings. CTBUH Committees and Working Groups are made up of CTBUH members working in a voluntary capacity. A Working Group forms for a period of time focused on a particular output (usually a publication), while a Committee is a continual presence, focused on an essential aspect of the Council’s mission – though individual committee members may change over time. This year, four groups gathered ahead of the conference: the Program & Construction Management Working Group, Vertical Transportation Working Group, Performance Based Seismic Design Working Group, and Urban Habitat / Urban Design Committee.

For two groups, Program & Construction Management and Vertical Transportation, the meetings served as inaugural launching points, where members were acquainted with one another and introductory goals were established for the group’s activities to come. For the other groups, the meetings were prime opportunities for the groups to meet face-to-face and discuss next steps in the production of their final outputs. As a static entity, the Urban Habitat / Urban Design Committee created a roadmap for future activities, exploring how to build off the major successes of the urban habitat “walk events” held over the previous two years. The committee also discussed progress on the highly anticipated Urban Habitat Technical Guide, which is currently in production and due for completion in 2017.

Annual Leaders Meeting Reinvigorates, Clarifies Council Direction

CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood outlines goals for the upcoming year

CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood outlines goals for the upcoming year

In the afternoon, over 75 of the Council’s group leaders, regional representatives, trustees, committee chairs, and staff from around the world provided updates on their current activities and discussed critical strategies for making 2017 unequaled in terms of regional participation, chapter events, and high-quality published outputs.

CTBUH Chairman David Malott, KPF, presents to CTBUH Leaders

CTBUH Chairman David Malott, KPF, presents to CTBUH Leaders

Following a preview of things to come for the Council in 2017 from CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood, a series of updates and calls to action were expressed by a series of individuals within various subsets of Council leadership, beginning with the Council’s committees and working groups. CTBUH Chairman David Malott, Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, briefed the group on his work steering the Vertical Futures research project, which was undertaken following the Council’s receipt of funding via the 2015 Henry C. Turner Prize. “This research is an exercise to identify the leading edge in a conventional sense, but also to discover the technologies that really haven’t appeared in buildings yet and how they are going to transform our industry,” Malott said. He will be speaking in more depth on this undertaking on Monday in Session 2C, The State of the Art (Technologies). You can take the Vertical Futures survey, a critical element of this research, here or on a dedicated computer station on-site at the Digital Lounge.

Following Malott, James Parakh, Urban Design Manager, City of Toronto Planning Department, and Ron Klemencic, Chairman & CEO, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, gave presentations and updates on the current goings-on of the Urban Habitat / Urban Design Committee and Performance-Based Seismic Design Committee, both of which will present the results of their efforts in the form of CTBUH Technical Guides in 2017.

The discussion then turned to the ongoing work of CTBUH regional representation and chapters, with speakers hailing from Australia, Canada, Israel, New York, and the United Kingdom. The events and initiatives organized by these Chapters in 2016 were perhaps of a grander scale than any previous year. The emergent theme from the leaders was that the global activities of the Council are not only improving in terms of reach, but in terms of both quality and quantity. From the high-profile seminar series held by CTBUH Australia to the massive growth in support and local involvement at CTBUH UK; from the world-class building tours and educational programming of CTBUH Canada and New York to the unrivaled long-term conference involvement of CTBUH Israel – truly, it’s a great time to be involved with the CTBUH.

Exhibition Suites and Registration Formally Opened

Ping An Financial Center Exhibition Booth

Ping An Financial Center Exhibition Booth

At 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon, activity began to swell in the Shenzhen conference venue as guests completed their registration and engaged with the various exhibition suites on display throughout the halls of the Grand Hyatt, Shenzhen. The sheer scale of this year’s event is apparent at every turn, from the breadth of the program, displayed in large format in two locations throughout the venue, to the space itself, dense with program rooms, exhibition suites, and poster stands. But it will be on Monday morning that the true scale of the Conference will be on full display, as the core program of CTBUH 2016 gets underway. More on that tomorrow…