Note: 2019 submissions are no longer being accepted.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) was accepting proposals for its 2019 International Research Seed Funding— culminating with an award of $20,000 to be recognized at the CTBUH 2019 World Congress, held in Chicago, from 28 October to 2 November 2019. The goal of the seed funding is to assist talented researchers in developing projects/ideas to a level that would secure additional, more significant, funding—in conjunction with the CTBUH. Research proposals were solicited that directly related to the tall building typology and/or urban habitat, but could come from any topic/discipline. The proposals should have the potential to improve tall buildings and cities from a wide perspective. A non-exhaustive list of possible research topics is provided in the “Roadmap on the Future Research Needs of Tall Buildings," produced by the CTBUH in conjunction with UNESCO and CIB, and available here. The ideal final objective of the 2019 CTBUH Research Seed Funding is to produce an official CTBUH Research Report publication, much like those available here.  

2019 Winner

Winner of the 2019 Research Seed Funding competition Sofia Dermisi will be exploring tall mixed-use building real estate, energy systems, and solar photovoltaic performance in the context of the increased sensitivity to energy usage among tenants. An increasing number of tall and supertall buildings, especially in dense urban cores are becoming mixed-use as they try to attract millennials who prefer to "live-work-play" within short distances. Additionally, younger generations are becoming increasingly sensitive to environmentally-conscious technologies used in their buildings, therefore improving their occupancy levels even with premium rents being charged. In contrast to mono-use buildings, the energy requirements/consumption of mixed-use buildings have different peaks during a 24-hour cycle. Therefore, it is critical to assess ways energy efficient systems and environmentally sustainable energy supplies can alleviate some of these needs, while also capitalizing creatively on building height. Simultaneously, solar photovoltaic technologies have experienced steep reductions in price and rapidly expanded scales of installation to into vertical systems and building skins (BIPV, building-integrated photovoltaics). The research compares tall mixed-use buildings in the United States with and without solar readiness, while assessing the possible retrofit costs and returns of installing such systems along with alternative uses of energy-saving technologies within building systems, for their energy, financial, and real estate performance.

Past Research Seed Funding Projects

2018 International Research Seed Funding

Funding Sponsor: Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. Principal Investigator: Dr. Ye Yu, Tongji University Awarded to Dr. Ye Yu, an Assistant Professor at Tongji University to research the health and social impacts of public spaces around tall buildings, with the goal of identifying urban design strategies that enable healthy lifestyles. Research project currently in progress.
2017 International Research Seed Funding

Funding Sponsor: Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. Principal Investigator: Michael Spearpoint, Olsson Fire & Risk Awarded to Michael Spearpoint, a Research Leader at Olsson Fire & Risk, to develop a database of high-rise fires that could be applied to the field of machine-learning, which may lead to new and innovative fire solutions. Read the Research Paper
2016 International Research Seed Funding

Funding Sponsor: Taipei Financial Center Corporation Principal Investigator: Brent Stephens, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Awarded to Brent Stephens, an associate professor of architectural engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago, to conduct research on variations in indoor exposures to outdoor pollutants in tall buildings. Read the Research Paper
2015 International Research Seed Funding

Funding Sponsor: Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. Principal Investigator: Jason Barr, Rutgers University Awarded to Jason Barr, an economics professor at Rutgers University, to investigate the determinants of skyscraper heights and completion rates from an economic perspective across 62 Chinese cities from 1978 to 2014. See the Research Report