The challenges facing high-rise construction

Construction concerns

In Industrial Associate, High-rise

CIPHE member, Uponor, has just released a new report which reveals that key sections of the construction industry do not feel equipped to deal with the current demands of high-rise construction. Here, Dave Lancaster, Senior Segment Manager – Commercial, explains more:

“With a record number (60) of tall buildings completed in London alone last year and over 500 more in the pipeline,(i) there is no doubt that the trend for high-rise construction is continuing, but according to our new research, it appears that those responsible for the design and delivery of these buildings are being presented with significant challenges. 


“The report, ‘High-Rise and Net-Zero Buildings of Tomorrow: Is the Construction Industry Ready?’, draws on the findings of a survey of over 200 construction professionals. We examined the expectations facing the sector with regards to the delivery of suitable high-rise buildings in relation to three key themes: healthy buildings, technology in construction and net-zero buildings, and how realistic these expectations really are.(ii)

Construction industry concerns

“Emerging from the research was the view that buildings shape our health and wellbeing on a daily basis, with 89% of those surveyed agreeing. However, almost two thirds of those surveyed said that in the current climate, creating a truly healthy building simply isn’t possible without compromise. 

“In addition to the survey, we also spoke at length with a number of mechanical and electric (M&E) consultants from across the UK to get their expert opinion on the research findings and explore the key themes further, including debate on how the evolving nature of the industry is affecting their work and how the sector can overcome the challenges exposed.

Water systems for the high-rise sector

“As a solutions provider of systems for the safe and hygienic transportation of water around a building, we’ve worked in the high-rise sector for many years and have played a crucial role in the delivery of safe and fit-for-purpose water delivery systems in some of the best-known buildings in the UK. 

“Now however, it is time for us to look forward and to gain insight into the future of the sector and see how the industry needs to respond in order to meet current and future expectations, particularly where water management in high-rise is concerned. 

“Our tall buildings are no longer feats of engineering in themselves; demands require them to be net-zero, support the health and wellbeing of their inhabitants and utilise the latest in modern technology in their construction. It seems the sky is the limit for the future of high-rise in the UK and this report looks into how feasible this is for our industry.

“High-Rise and Net-Zero Buildings of Tomorrow: Is the Construction Industry Ready?’ report can be downloaded in full here:

For more information on Uponor and the solutions it offers you can, visit:


(i) 60 buildings of more than 20-storeys were completed in London alone last year (NLA 2020 report).

(ii) The Uponor research was conducted between February and April 2020 and comprised a survey of 200 architects, specifiers and M&E contractors across the UK, plus in-depth interviews with a series of industry experts.