Newly built and ready for a couple of months, the ONE WORLD Trade Center in New York. 13 years after the attack on the twin towers that ended with the demolition of both buildings, to the ground, a new and highly expensive to build tower is rising, next to the monument commemorating the victims of that day. In fact, the One World Trade Center is the most expensive skyscraper to build, although it is far from being the tallest one in North America.
A study released by Emporis included a list of the world’s top ten most expensive buildings ever built where ONE WORLD Trade Center occupied the leading position with a total budget of $3.9 billion. Like most buildings of that size, the 1WTC almost doubled the first estimated cost to build. In fact, almost all skyscrapers in the top ten needed additional spending, aside from the estimated original costs. Some of them ended up costing more than 4 times the estimation made in the beginning – like Shard, in London, occupying the second position in the list.
At the other end of the line, are those skyscrapers that somehow managed to cost less than anyone might expect. Many other buildings, much smaller than Burj Khalifa coast way over the budget of $1.5 billion that was spent in order to build the tallest building in the world. As a simple comparison to make, the Sheraton Huzhou Hot Springs Resort, which is only an eight out of its height, cost way more.
It is surely not only a matter of materials chosen by architects and designers, but also a matter of construction complexity and structure costs. As proven before, height is not necessarily the most important factor in construction costs. Other costs might explode due to specific ground and atmosphere conditions.
The Herzog & de Meuron‘s Hamburg Elbphilharmonie on the eight position is somehow the only building in the list that is under construction at present time. Being already 50% over the estimated budget, this skyscraper is expected to be completed in the next year.