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 The concept of high-rise buildings continues to provide a meaningful solution for land conservation in cities. Highrise buildings stand out for many good reasons. A challenge with them however, is that they demand huge amounts of energy to build and operate compared to low and medium-rise buildings. Studies show that this is largely due to the heating and/or cooling load required to sustain human activities at such great altitudes, amongst other factors. The concept of bioclimatic skyscrapers popularized by Ken Yeang is undoubtedly a good approach to tackling this challenge as it helps to save conventional energy, protect the environment and improve indoor thermal comfort. Some questions however still remain unresolved like; “What are the optimal design conditions for achieving bio-climatism in tall buildings? Should height be arbitrary? Does it bear significant influence on thermal comfort and energy use? If so, What is the nature of this influence? and How can developers use this knowledge to their advantage when planning highrise buildings?

Recent studies reveal that building energy use increases as height increases but very little is yet known about the empirical nature of this increase. This paper reviews existing literature related to the relationship between height, occupants’ thermal comfort and building energy use in tropical high-rise dwellings. The authors examine research gaps related to bioclimatic skyscrapers with specific attention to the influence of height as a major design parameter. It concludes that there is a need for further scientific investigations in the light of existing research gaps.

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