The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is strengthening its focus on habitat. The new emphasis is part of CTBUH's plan to help "save the planet" by, in part, mobilizing the global membership to action, said David Malott, CTBUH's chairman.

The group's reach is growing. Of the thousand 200-meter-plus high-rise construction starts in the past 10 years, 50% involved CTBUH members, said Malott, a principal of architect Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, at the group's 13th annual Best Tall Building Symposium, held on Nov. 6 in Chicago.

At the end of last year, CTBUH had grown by 573% over its 2004 membership, says the group. In 2004, there were 77 organizational members around the world; currently, there are 456, organized into 17 chapters and/or committees. These figures equate to some 745,000 individuals in 5,238 offices globally—representing all members of the building team. CTBUH has 18-plus staff members in offices in Chicago, Shanghai and Venice.

As far as greening goes, the new committee on urban habitat, chaired by James Parakh, Toronto's senior urban designer, is producing a technical guide, due out in early 2016. There is an increased need tor tall buildings to relate to their urban context, said Antony Wood, CTBUH executive director.

CTBUH also has begun a sustainability study on urban-versus-suburban living and research on life-cycle analysis of structural materials and timber in high-rises.

This year, the group published "Green Walls in High-Rise Buildings." Next year, guides are planned for facade access and maintenance, tall-building demolition, high-performance facades, digital platforms, seismic and foundation design, the legal aspects of tall buildings and an update to the wind engineering guide.

The group's online database has enhanced user interactivity, says Wood. It is available to anyone and covers just about any high-rise subject.