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Towers are power - so forget 'Yeanging' them

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If you compare the net to gross area ratio of a high rise to that of a low rise scheme, you will 'discover' that a lot more construction is needed to accommodate an equal number of people in the high rise.

Surprisingly this simple fact is never discussed in the sustainability debate. It seems obvious that if we can do the same with less then we should do it with less. That is, if our argument about sustainability is genuine.

'Yeanging' our high rises is only part of the exercise and one which is not wholly convincing, when you consider its high costs. Don't kid yourselves, it does cost more.

Hanging the sustainability label on everything we do these days begins to look like just another marketing ruse for our services.

In fact, if we are really honest about sustainability, we should advocate rehabilitation (with or without 'yeanging') and stop building new. But that is against our nature.

Don't get me wrong. I am designing and building high rises.The next tower may go to 50 storeys and became the tallest in Iberia.

All we can do is make these things more energy efficient and psychologically sustainable (sky gardens, etc) for the people using them; otherwise let's live with the simple fact that towers are power, and power can be exhilarating.

Mario Sua Kay, Lisbon

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