Dubious Dubai May Have To Demolish See-Through Office Buildings
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"See-Through" is a real estate development term that originated in Houston in the 80s, when they overbuilt glass skyscrapers that were empty and you could see right through them. Eventually the new buildings filled up as people moved out of the older ones, which were then often demolished; in Dubai, there is no old stuff, just new. Consultant Jones Lang LaSalle has a radical proposal, quoted in the Telegraph:
"The best prospect for reducing vacancies lies with initiatives to limit future supply and encourage the withdrawal of existing buildings from stock through conversion to non-office buildings or even demolition."
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The remarkable thing is, even though the market is picking up and the space occupied increased by 70% since 2007, the square footage available increased by 140%. There is still such a backlog of buildings being constructed that it won't catch up. It is projected that the vacancy rate will increase to 50%. To get the supply and demand back into balance, it may be necessary to demolish some of these buildings.
5% of the world's CO2 comes from the production of cement and concrete; a pound of CO2 for every pound of portland cement. One hopes that the life cycle of a building is long enough to justify this, and for the concrete to reabsorb some of the CO2 as it cures. Instead, in Dubai, they are considering taking them down before they are even occupied. It doesn't get much more dubious than this- a life cycle of months instead of decades. More in the Telegraph
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