Taiwan skyscraper declared world’s tallest building

Taiwan’s Taipei 101 skyscraper was declared the world’s tallest building on Oct. 8. The 1,679-foot-tall structure surpassed the previous record holder, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by 184 feet.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a non-profit architecture organization based in Chicago, made the announcement. To determine a building’s height, the council measures from the sidewalk level of the main entrance to the skyscraper’s architectural top, including a tower, spire or pinnacle. Media antennas and flagpoles don’t count in a structure’s measurement.

Ron Klemencic, chairman of the council, formally certified the building’s status by presenting a plaque at a title ceremony.

Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian stated during the ceremony that the record “not only gives affirmation to Taiwan’s architectural industry, it’s also the pride and honor of Taiwan’s 23-million people.”

The Taipai 101 building, which features office space, a shopping mall and an observatory, also has two of the world’s fastest elevators, which can travel 3,333 feet per minute and can go from the ground floor to the 89th floor in 39 seconds.

According to the council, the tower was built with extra safety features because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. The structure has a state-of-the-art sprinkler and smoke control system and features “areas of refuge,” which are specially reinforced places with fire protection designed so that people can go to the designated areas without evacuating the building.