Tall, Thin, Curvy, Gorgeous – And Heating The Winter Sky

By Lisa Rochon, Globe and Mail
February 24, 2012

At night, they glitter, they sparkle, they stand as quintessential beacons of futurism. Scrutinized in the bright light of day, however, transparent skyscrapers are starting to be understood for what they are: environmentally toxic, and harbingers of a devastating urban scenario. A recent attack on the “architectural pornography” of the 82-storey Aqua Tower in Chicago by Ted Kesik, a University of Toronto professor of building science, has caused a serious rethink of the glassy skyscrapers that now dominate cities like Vancouver and Toronto, where another 132 towers are currently in the process of being built. To Kesik and other building scientists, the uninsulated concrete slab floors that sweep seamlessly from Aqua’s interiors out to its exterior balconies are typical of abysmal cold-climate design. More …