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Building Specification

The building status charts the point at which the building has reached in terms of its life from the beginning as a vision or pre planning to the end where it is demolished, cancelled or ruined.

Complete – Once a building is finished both externally and internally and tenants are able to move into it then it is completed.

Under Construction – As work begins on site to build the building then it is considered under construction. This does not include the demolition of the existing building as in cases developers may demolish the building on site and then wait years before commencing. This does not include actual groundwork either, again preparing the site may be done years before construction. Construction begins when the very first part of the building is set down.

Approved – After a project has been officially approved by the authorities and successfully progressed through the planning system to the point it can begin then it is considered approved. The applicant does not have to discharge conditions for us to grade it this way.

Proposed – Once an application has been officially announced for a development it is considered proposed.

Pre Planning – Pre Planning refers to projects which are not officially released and still under work. They may be projects undergoing feasibility studies for example and are not solid. Buildings with this classification may change details before being officially proposed. This is however considered a sub-category of Proposed.

Vision – Architects and developers come up with all sorts of madcap schemes. These are normally to launch a practise or show off new technologies and have no realistic chance of ever being built. Buildings such as Vortex in London go in this category.

Cancelled – Projects which have been dumped for whatever reason go in this category. Once a project is withdrawn from the planning process and not resurrected in very similar form it gets classified as cancelled. Minor revisions do not count as a cancellation however a completely new design does see the old one cancelled – for example the Broadway Malyan London Bridge tower is considered cancelled. Buildings which have had planning permission refused and are being appealed are considered as still being proposed until the applicant is unable to progress with the process any further.

Demolished – Demolished refers to buildings that have been demolished. This includes partially collapsed ruins that were knocked down. As even a fire or bombing will leave some remains and ruins it is up to man to physically remove the building and anything that has been done so such as Old St Paul’s in London comes under this category. If part of the building remains it is classified as ruined.

Ruined – One issue with traditional statuses of other websites is they do not take into account structures and buildings that are partially destroyed. Classic examples of this include the likes of Fountains Abbey, 52m tall and very eligible for inclusion and yet not inhabitable. We have expanded the range to include uninhabitable buildings. You might think what’s the point but it does have a useage as do most ruined protected buildings, in this case it is a museum.

Completion date – This refers to the date where the building had finished construction. In the case of buildings such as cathedrals it is the date the last major addition was built, this does not normally include restoration work, hence St Albans Cathedral was not completed in 1913.

Construction start – This is the year that the building started construction. The time between this and the completition date is how long it took to build. In some cases it may be hundreds of years.
Proposal date – Proposal date is the date that the building was officially proposed.

Heights and Floors
One of the vital things of classifying any building is how tall it is and how many floors the structure has, particularly if you are doing a heights based site.

Height (Roof) – For this we count the height of the building from ground level to the roof. Buildings may have been built on a hill so the height from ground level is different around each side of the building. We count the face of the building that has the greatest height from ground level to the roof.

Spire Height – Buildings often have additional structures above the height of the roof or a more traditional spire. This is classified as spire height even if it is not strictly a spire in a traditional sense. The type of structure of this additional height is classified below. Peaked roofs such as that on 1 Canada Square do not count as spires. We come to this height by adding the taking the height of the spire and combining it with roof height. This is the maximum height of the structure.

Top Floor Height – This refers to the height above ground level of the top floor. Again it is measured from the highest building face to ground level.

Metric > Feet – We enter our heights in metres not feet. As a result our system uses rounding that may produce feet heights slightly off as there are a little over 3ft in a metre and it will round to either up or down depending on which is more accurate. To get an accurate figure on building heights it is best to use the metric option which is accurate. This is also the case with the amount of floor-space in the building.
The reason we enter heights in metres is that thanks to metrification developers tend to announce their building heights in metres and the press round for feet. Using the rounded version with feet as the base converting to metres will produce even more inaccurate results. All sites use rounding systems to display either the number of metres or feet but we are the only ones honest about it.
Our system does allow us to enter decimal places and we do so if they are available allowing us to be accurate to the centimetre, hence HSBC Tower in Canary Wharf is 199.5m rather than 200m as listed elsewhere. Feet heights will be accurate if decimal places have been entered after the metre figures for the buildings.

Floors (OG) – This is the number of floors a building has above ground. It will include plant floors if these numbers are available.

Plant Floors – A plant floor typically contains machinery for the operation of the building, it is not a ‘normal’ floor. The number of these floors are also included in the total floor count of the building.

Basement Floors – Basement floors are all floors below ground level. It may in rare cases not be the entrance as some buildings have entrances raised above ground level.