The Centre for Asian Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CATBUH) was established in 1997 as the culmination of several years' preparatory work by a local committee with membership drawn from professional, academic and industry circles.

The establishment of the Centre, in the Department of Civil Engineering at The University of Hong Kong, is a response to the rapid rate of growth throughout Asia which reflects population pressures and economic development. This growth has led to land use policies and patterns of development which accommodate increasing numbers of tall buildings for residential, commercial and other uses.

The Centre will actively address the concerns which result from rapid growth by providing for and supporting studies, research and teaching, conferences and seminars, information collection and exchange, and the establishment of working groups and consultancies.  The intention is to adopt a broadly multi-disciplinary approach towards the wide ranging technological, social economic, environmental and cultural issues involved.  Areas of interest include building design and construction, urban infrastructure, transportation, land use and the environment, all in the context of the wider goal of sustainable development.  The Centre will draw on this knowledge and expertise, and will serve all those involved in the creation and management of the urban habitat including architects, engineers, planners, surveyors, social scientists and environmentalists.



The establishment of the Centre comes after more than two decades of active Asian participation in research and development concerning tall buildings and urban habitat.  Hong Kong, with key participation by the University's Department of Civil Engineering, led the way in 1972 when it hosted a major conference for the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) .  Since 1973 there have been 19 such conferences in Asia: five in Hong Kong, including the Council’s World Congress in 1990, five in China, four in Kuala Lumpur, three in Singapore and one each in Bangkok and Jakarta.

Members in Hong Kong who had a role in the World Congress now form the nucleus of the 'Industry' members of the Management Committee.

There is now special emphasis on all aspects of the urban habitat, including concern about the urban environment and about the impact of technology on society and urban development.  This requires systematic study of the whole problem of providing adequate space for living and working, taking account not only of technological factors but of social and cultural aspects as well.  The Centre will essentially follow the Council's established pattern of bringing together all the disciplines involved in urban settlement issues and focus on them in the Asian context, particularly as regards the role of tall buildings in the urban environment.



The need for a continuing dialogue regarding tall buildings in the Asian habitat stems from the following factors:



The objectives of the Centre are as follows:


Centre Activities

Conferences :

Seminars :



Membership to the Centre is free.  Other categories of membership are likely to include, for example, Fellows, Honorary Fellows, Research Associates, who will be involved in Centre projects and Visiting Scholars who will come to the Centre for various activities from time to time.  Members will receive the Centre Newsletter and be invited to Centre organised seminars, lectures and other activities.  If you would like to join, please complete the registration form. (Registration form)

Contact us

c/o Department of Civil Engineering
The University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong
Tel (852) 2859 8024
Fax (852) 2559 5337
Email:   catbuh@hku.hk