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May 04

Buildings database

Looking for other kind of buildings database for any country? Contact me for a quote!

After making databases of HDB and condos from Singapore, as well as public and private housing estates from Hong Kong, and other databases, in November 2015 I started making a database of skyscrapers… finalized it in January 2016, having over 15,000 buildings taller than 100 meters.

This was done soon after learning about web scraping in August 2015. I made the skyscrapers database for purpose of showcasing my ability to create databases by scraping data from websites, and for my personal interest in studying evolution of skyscrapers over history.

Skyscrapers database, tallest buildings in the world

Download SAMPLE: Skyscrapers Database.xls

Under construction buildings are included so the database will be valid for next 3-4 years. I will update the table depending by how many people buy it.

Summary database

FREE version, containing:
Tallest buildings today 300 meters / 984 feet, 218 buildings, completed and under construction
Tallest buildings in year 2000, 1980, 1960, 1940, 1920.
Timeline of tallest buildings in the world, in United States, and outside North America.


FULL database

All buildings over 100 meters / 328 feet, 15727 buildings, completed, under construction, planned, vision
Sorted by city (~600 cities having buildings over 100 meters), can be re-sorted by height or any other column.


Buy & download

How the Excel database was made

Identify on map the cities with many buildings, check them on Emporis, make a list of skyscrapers for each city (most cities checked do not have any skyscrapers), then input list of URL in scraping software to get details about each building and put in Excel table, then enhance Excel table, remove day/month from construction dates (leave only year for easy historical analysis), etc… dozens hours of work!

How the Excel sheet can be used

Filter the table and make top tallest buildings by country, state, city, building usage, etc.
Filter the table by year and make top tallest buildings in any given year of history.
Analyze data and make statistics what cities have most buildings over 100, 200, 300 meters.
Convert Excel file to CSV or MySQL and create your own skyscrapers website or mobile app.

New database: 160,000+ buildings from United States

In April 2016 someone seeing my skyscrapers database asked me if I can create a database of buildings in Ontario state of Canada. DONE!

In November 2016 someone asked me if I can scrap data from Emporis to create database of not just skyscrapers but also high-rises in United States! DONE in about 5 days!

Buy FULL database:

Buy & download

He further asked to include low-rise buildings. So I decided to re-scrap website with all types of buildings and also included all 50 data fields and no just the ones of my and his interest.

DONE in about 2 weeks, including 20 hours of manual work to build the list of URLs for all buildings then many hours of scraping. Emporis have an anti-scraping feature blocking my IP after accessing 1000-2000 pages, so had to run in batches of 2000 buildings (taking 15 min each) then join the files and re-scrap blocked URLs. A huge effort than deserve this price, not counting highly valuable information collected.

Download SAMPLE: Buildings Database.xls

Buy FULL database:

Buy & download

These 163,938 buildings are not all buildings ever built, but all buildings included by Emporis as December 2016 (except New York City, note below). Maybe not 100% complete, but still the BEST resource of building information that you can get.

Emporis include famous buildings, and most (if not all) large public buildings, commercial buildings, churches, etc. But in case of residential buildings most are not included because are not famous.

Note for New York City: this is the only city in the world where every single building was included in Emporis, including 390,000+ low-rise buildings and 320,000+ houses (more than double of whole rest of US). Would have taken extra 30 days to scrap them all, and the customer said “need few dozens buildings from every US city” and “in case of NYC scraping high-rises and skyscrapers is more than enough”.

Meantime the original skyscrapers database did not had any sale… so I changed page name from “Skyscrapers database” in “Buildings database” and published the US all-buildings database, in case other people are interested too.

History of skyscrapers

United States is well-known for skyscrapers, but in reality only a small area in the downtown have skyscrapers, and the era when United States was the only country with skyscrapers ended long time ago. A lot of high-rise buildings were built since late 19th century. What is less known, is that early skyscrapers were not so well received by population and most US cities set height limits to counter the “skyscraper race”, but in New York the law failed to be approved, so taller and taller skyscrapers were built. Early skyscrapers had continuous facade at street line, ugly side walls and airwells, making street to look like canyons. 1916 Zoning Resolution prevent buildings to cover entire plot of land.

The 1930 recession ended skyscraper construction in North America, for about 30 years no more tall buildings were built. Between 1933 and 1953, in entire world were 19 buildings over 600 feet (183 m), all of them located in United States, 17 of them were in New York alone (source).

Nice find: – a lot of vintage photos of skyscrapers taken from 1900s to 1930s.

A thing less known, Russia attempted to take away the title of world tallest building from USA, with Palace of the Soviets started in 1938, but due of the World War II the construction was abandoned. After war, seven smaller but still megalithic buildings were built. Moscow State University completed in 1953 was the tallest building outside United States, until 1975.

Since 1990s a new skyscraper race began, probably helped by computer technology. New buildings over 300 meters appeared in Malaysia, China, Taiwan, as well as Europe. The world had 26 completed buildings over 300 meters as 2000, 53 as 2010, 126 as 2015, and 218 including under construction ones, according my database.

Asia started building skyscrapers with over 200 meters slowly during 1980s and nowadays it have most skyscrapers under construction.
Singapore’s UOB Plaza was tallest building outside United States between 1986 and 1989, and remains tallest in Singapore due of the height restrictions.

Malaysia surprised whole world in 1998 when completed Petronas Towers with 452 meters, taking the title of world tallest building from United States, and now is constructing KL118 with 635 meters, which in 2020 will become 3rd tallest in the world.

China had in 2000 only 4 of the world’s 25 buildings over 300 meters, and now it does have 98 of the 218 buildings over 300 meters according my database (including under construction).

Buildings over 500 meters have been proposed also in India, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea. These countries may join the race during 2020s. How the earth will look like in 2050?

Latin America has been building skyscrapers since 1930s, Martinelli Building (built 1934, 130 meters), then Altino Arantes Building (built 1947, 161 meters), being also the tallest building outside United States. But the evolution was slow and not much taller buildings were built over years. Presently Brazil does have few hundred buildings over 100 meters, mostly residential, but the tallest, Mirante do Vale (built 1960), is only 170 meters. Tallest skyscraper in South America was Parque Central Complex built in 1983, only 225 meters until 2014 when Gran Torre Santiago was completed, with 300 meters.

Europe is the place where skyscrapers enjoyed little popularity, except Russia. Most skyscrapers of Europe are located in Moskow. Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure in the world from 1889 to 1930.

Middle East does have relatively few buildings over 100 meters but between 2012 and 2015 it had the two tallest buildings in the world, Burj Khalifa and Makkah Royal Clock Tower, and now is building a new world’s tallest, Jeddah Tower, 1 kilometre high.

Skyscrapers statistics

Total buildings in database: 15727 (as January 2016)

By type:

10212 existing buildings
1867 under construction buildings
1833 planned buildings
1764 unbuilt buildings (cancelled / vision)
51 demolished buildings

By region:

4142 North America (US & Canada)
1031 Latin America
519 Australia & New Zeeland
1395 Europe (including Asian countries of the former Soviet Union)
1301 Middle East
412 South Asia
1424 South-East Asia
5377 East Asia
126 Africa

Countries with most buildings:

3983 China (including Hong Kong and Macao)
3383 United States
846 Japan
759 Canada
590 Brazil
550 United Arab Emirates
526 South Korea

Cities with most buildings:

1327 Hong Kong (1270 completed)
879 New York (670 completed)
478 Tokyo (412 completed)
470 Dubai (247 completed)
464 Chicago (297 completed)
438 Toronto (222 completed)


Year Number of buildings with over # meters
  150+ 200+ 250+ 300+ 400+ 500+ 600+ 700+ 800+ 900+ 1000+
1910 3 1
1920 10 2
1930 47 5 2 1
1940 66 10 5 2
1950 69 10 5 2
1960 86 13 5 2
1970 154 25 8 3
1980 320 71 18 7 3
1990 592 143 36 13 3
2000 1051 255 68 26 6
2005 1516 371 93 31 8 1
2010 2258 603 154 53 14 2 1 1 1
2015 3444 1135 349 126 26 6 3 1 1
incl. U/C
excl. planned
4115 1503 533 218 55 21 7 3 2 1 1

See how many tall buildings were built starting from 1980s and especially during 2000s, probably helped by computer technology. How the world will look like in 2050?

2 pings

  1. Data scrapping services | Car Database

    […] Skyscrapers Database – source: – Made from personal interest and turned into a marketing failure, having no sales in 6 months. Took about 20 hours to compile manually list of cities with buildings over 100 meters, then list of buildings from these cities, then used a software to automatically extract data about each building. 15000+ buildings. Emporis block my IP for 2 days if I access more than 3000 pages in one day, so scrapping was limited to 3000 buildings per day, which took about 1 hour. […]

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