Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
  • Ron Klemencic

About Ron Klemencic

Ron Klemencic is Chairman and C.E.O. of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, an award-winning, 200-person structural and civil engineering firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with a branch office in Chicago. He earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Purdue University in 1985 and his M.S. in Structural Engineering from the University of California Berkeley in 1986. Over his 30-year career, Ron has worked on projects in 24 states and 24 countries, with developments up to 650,000 m² (7 million ft²) and towers up to 112 stories. A past 5-year Chairman and current Fellow of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Ron is known for his creativity, innovation, and focus on complex high-rise and mixed-use designs.

Since pioneering the development and U.S. adoption of "Performance-Based Seismic Design" (PBSD) methodology for high-rise buildings, Ron continues to advance the application,…


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About Ron Klemencic

Ron Klemencic is Chairman and C.E.O. of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, an award-winning, 200-person structural and civil engineering firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with a branch office in Chicago. He earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Purdue University in 1985 and his M.S. in Structural Engineering from the University of California Berkeley in 1986. Over his 30-year career, Ron has worked on projects in 24 states and 24 countries, with developments up to 650,000 m² (7 million ft²) and towers up to 112 stories. A past 5-year Chairman and current Fellow of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Ron is known for his creativity, innovation, and focus on complex high-rise and mixed-use designs.

Since pioneering the development and U.S. adoption of "Performance-Based Seismic Design" (PBSD) methodology for high-rise buildings, Ron continues to advance the application, with a current count of 38 PBSD buildings—more than any other engineer in the U.S. For San Francisco’s 80-story, 1,070-foot-tall Salesforce Tower, slated to be the tallest building in the city, Ron again advanced the standard, implementing more stringent criteria and a 25% increase in seismic safety and performance for the first Category 3 PBSD tower.

Passionate about advancing the profession, Ron is a Board member of the Charles Pankow Foundation, a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute, a member of the Chicago Committee on High-Rise Buildings, and very active in other organizations. He is also an adviser for several industry research projects and an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects.

CTBUH Involvement

  • Expert Peer Review Committee (2014 – Present)
  • Working Group: Performance Based Seismic Design, Co-Chair (2015 – Present)
  • CTBUH Fellow (2011)
  • Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Award (2016)
  • Past Roles:
  • CTBUH Chairman (2001 – 2006)
  • Board of Trustees, Trustee (2008 – 2010)
  • Advisory Group (1996 – 2010)
  • Finance Committee, Chairman (1991 – 1995)
  • Membership Committee, Chair (1991 – 1993)
  • Working Group: Seismic Design, Co-Chair (2007 – 2012)
  • Conference, Co-Chair (Melboume 2001; London 2001)
  • Conference, Speaker (New York 2005; Chicago 2009; China 2016)
  • Conference, Session Chair (Shanghai 2014; New York 2015; 2016)
  • Conference, Steering Committee (Stuttgart 2003; Kuala Lumpur 2003; Chicago 2004; Seoul 2004; Dubai 2008)
  • International Research Seed Funding, Peer Review Panel (2012, 2013, 2014)
  • Student Competition Second-Round Jury (2011, 2015)

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Initiatives Involving Ron Klemencic

IUAV International Tall Buildings Conference 2017

7 Jun 2017, Event Invite – The 7th Annual IUAV International Tall Buildings Conference will be held at the…

CTBUH Names Shanghai Tower “2016 Best Tall Building Worldwide”

4 Nov 2016, CTBUH News – The CTBUH Awards Jury named Shanghai Tower, Shanghai as the “2016 Best Tall…

2016 CTBUH Leaders Meeting Report

16 Oct 2016, Event Report – The Annual Leaders Meeting was held this year in conjunction with the 2016…

Initiatives Involving Ron Klemencic

IUAV International Tall Buildings Conference 2017
7 Jun 2017, Milan – Event Invite
The 7th Annual IUAV International Tall Buildings Conference will be held at the Milan Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation, featuring a plethora of experts from industry and academia.
CTBUH Names Shanghai Tower “2016 Best Tall Building Worldwide”
4 Nov 2016, Chicago – CTBUH News
The CTBUH Awards Jury named Shanghai Tower, Shanghai as the “2016 Best Tall Building Worldwide” at the 15th Annual CTBUH Awards Ceremony and Dinner.
2016 CTBUH Leaders Meeting Report
16 Oct 2016, Shenzhen – Event Report
The Annual Leaders Meeting was held this year in conjunction with the 2016 Conference in China, bringing together the Council’s leaders from around the world.
Board of Trustees Names Lifetime Award Winners and 2016 Fellows
14 Jul 2016, Chicago – Awards Event
CTBUH has named its 2016 Fellows and two Lifetime Achievement Award recipients: Dr. Cheong Koon Hean of the Singapore HDB, and Ron Klemencic of MKA.
Resurgence of the Skyscraper City Student Design Competition
27 Oct 2015, New York City – Event Report
The final rankings in the CTBUH International Student Tall Building Design Competition, sponsored by Plaza Construction, were decided at the 2015 New York Conference.
CTBUH 2015 Height Committee Meeting
25 Oct 2015, New York City – Event Report
After providing a snapshot of the Height Committee’s duties and past actions since its last meeting, Height Committee Chair Peter Weismantle led a discussion on a series of topics.
Considering the Whole Life Cycle Workshop, Shanghai 2014
16 Sep 2014, Shanghai – Event Report
This session brought building environmental performance issues to the forefront in building design, a field that has been criticized in the past for its resource-heavy construction.
Ron Klemencic Receives Honorary AIA Membership
10 Mar 2014, Washington D.C. – CTBUH-Related News
Ron Klemencic, former CTBUH Chairman and Chairman and CEO of Magnusson Klemencic Associates has received an honorary membership in the American Institute of Architects.
Seismic Design Workshop, Shanghai
18 Sep 2012, Shanghai – Event Report
Each of the attendees made a 20-minute long presentation providing an overview of the State of Practice for Performance Based Seismic Design (PBSD) in their respective country/region.
2011 CTBUH Leaders Meeting
9 Oct 2011, Seoul – Event Report
Tall building industry leaders from around the globe met at the seminal Dongbu Financial Center tower for the 2011 CTBUH Leaders Meeting.
New CTBUH Fellows
Jun 2011 – CTBUH News
This year, three individuals are being recognized by the CTBUH for their contribution to the Council over an extended period of time: Ron Klemencic, Brett Taylor & John Zils.
Professor Sang Dae Kim new chairman of the CTBUH
23 Oct 2009, Chicago – Event Report
During the 8th annual Awards Dinner, David Scott passed on the chairman’s gavel to chair-elect Sang Dae Kim of South Korea.
CTBUH 2009 Annual Leaders Meeting
21 Oct 2009, Chicago – Event Report
Preceding the CTBUH 2009 Chicago Conference, 55 leaders within the CTBUH organization gathered to discuss current developments, progress on projects, and new ideas and initiatives.
CTBUH Board of Trustees Inaugural Meeting
21 Jan 2009, Chicago – Event Report
The new CTBUH Board of Trustees met at CTBUH Headquarters for their inaugural meeting. The seven people who currently make up the board were all present at the meeting.
Changes to CTBUH Governance
Oct 2008, Chicago – CTBUH News
In line with the expanding operation, CTBUH changed its Governance, including the creation of a new Board of Trustees.
CTBUH Plaques & Signboards Initiative Begun
Oct 2004, Chicago – Event Report
CTBUH believes public skyscraper signs are a powerful and lasting way to inform the world about the official recognition of the achievements and merits of new and existing tall buildings.

See all initiatives involving Ron Klemencic

Ron Klemencic Related Resources

Proposed Seattle High-Rise Could be Fifth-Tallest on the West Coast According to CTBUH

Proposed Seattle High-Rise Could be Fifth-Tallest on the West Coast According to CTBUH

8 Jul 2015, Seattle – The Seattle Times covers the recently proposed 888 Second Avenue, a 268-meter high-rise. According to CTBUH…

Read more Global Tall Building News

2016 Awards - Session 2 Q&A

3 Nov 2016 – CTBUH "15th Annual Awards"
Chair: David Malott, KPF

Interview: Ron Klemencic

3 Nov 2016 – 2016 Awards Ceremony/Symposium Interviews
Chairman & CEO, Magnusson Klemencic Associates

Finding Tailored Solutions to Common Problems

3 Nov 2016 – CTBUH "15th Annual Awards"
Ron Klemencic, Magnusson Klemencic Associates

See all videos

Life Cycle Analysis: Are We There Yet?

16 Sep 2014 – CTBUH 2014 Shanghai Conference Proceedings
Donald Davies & Ron Klemencic, Magnusson Klemencic Associates

Performance-Based Seismic Design – State of Practice 2012

Sep 2012 – CTBUH 2012 9th World Congress, Shanghai
Ron Klemencic & J. Andrew Fry, MKA; Guo-Qiang Li, Tongji University

Embodied Carbon and the Case for Longevity

Sep 2012 – CTBUH 2012 9th World Congress, Shanghai
Ron Klemencic, Donald Davies, Derek Beaman & Ola Jonhansson, MKA

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Press/Media Related to Ron Klemencic

Proposed Seattle High-Rise Could be Fifth-Tallest on the West Coast According to CTBUH
Seattle, United States – The Seattle Times covers the recently proposed 888 Second Avenue, a 268-meter high-rise. According to CTBUH Skyscraper Database Editor…

Read more: Global Tall Building News / CTBUH in the Media Articles

Ron Klemencic Related Videos

2016 Awards - Session 2 Q&A
3 Nov 2016 – CTBUH "15th Annual Awards"; Chair: David Malott, KPF
Ron Klemencic, Chairman & CEO, Magnusson Klemencic Associates; Joseph Chou, Chairman, Taipei Financial Center Corporation; Mark Sarkisian, Partner of Structural Engineering, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Rupa Garai, Structural Engineering Associate,…
Interview: Ron Klemencic
3 Nov 2016 – 2016 Awards Ceremony/Symposium Interviews; Chairman & CEO, Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Ron Klemencic, Chairman & CEO, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, discusses some of his personal favorite projects with Chris Bentley, during the 2016 CTBUH Awards Symposium at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Klemencic is the 2016 recipient of the…
Finding Tailored Solutions to Common Problems
3 Nov 2016 – CTBUH "15th Annual Awards"; Ron Klemencic, Magnusson Klemencic Associates
As Chairman and CEO of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Ron Klemencic has played an active role in shaping the direction of the structural engineering community. His pioneering work in the field of Performance-Based Seismic Design for tall buildings…
2014 Shanghai International Conference - Technical Workshop 04 - Q & A
16 Sep 2014 – Presentation at CTBUH 2014 Shanghai Conference; Panel Questions & Answers
2014 Shanghai International Conference Technical Workshop 04 Questions & Answers session with speakers Don Davies, MKA; Mark Sarkisian, SOM; Dario Trabucco, CTBUH / Iuav University of Venice; Mic Patterson, Enclos; and Maurice Hermens, Royal…
The Past: What have been the most striking tall building developments in the past 10 years?
Dec 2012 – Monthly Video Series; Alex Whitbread, FCB Studios; K.J. Kim, Samsung C & T; William Pedersen, Kohn Pedersen Fox; Ron Klemencic, Magnusson Klemencic Engineers; Peng Beng Khoo & Belinda Huang, ARC Studio Architecture + Urban
Industry leaders answering this question include: Ron Klemencic, Magnusson Klemencic Engineers; Peng Beng Khoo & Belinda Huang, ARC Studio Architecture + Urbanism; Lawrence Pak, Singapore Housing and Development Board; Jim Loewenberg, Magellan…
Future Vision: Where is the tall building heading in the future and what will the next generation of supertall
Dec 2012 – Monthly Video Series; Alex Whitbread, FCB Studios; K.J. Kim, Samsung C & T; William Pedersen, KPF; Ron Klemencic, Magnusson Klemencic Engineers; Peng Beng Khoo & Belinda Huang, ARC Studio Architecture + Urbanism; et al
Industry leaders answering this question include: Alex Whitbread, FCB Studios; K.J. Kim, Samsung C & T; William Pedersen, KPF; Richard Cook, Cook + Fox Architects; George Downing, Downing Development; Bruce Lake, McHugh Construction; and more.
Interview: Urban Habitat in Shanghai
21 Sep 2012 – 2012 Shanghai Congress Interviews; Ron Klemencic, MKA
Ron Klemencic of Magnusson Klemencic Associates is interviewed by Jeff Herzer during the 2012 CTBUH Shanghai Congress at the Jin Mao, Shanghai. Ron discusses the Council and China including the urban habitat problems with the city of Shanghai.
Tall Buildings in Future Development of Metropolitan Universities
21 Sep 2012 – Presentation at CTBUH 2012 9th World Congress, Shanghai; Christopher Groesbeck, VOA Associates Inc.
In the future, the University will need to consider vertical models to co-exist within their urban cores and create a living and working balance. With the rise of commercial real estate values and densities in many major metropolitan areas, the…
CTBUH 10th Annual Awards Dinner
3 Nov 2011 – CTBUH "10th Annual Awards"; Dinner 2011
The 10th Annual Awards Ceremony & Dinner was held in Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Crown Hall, on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus, Chicago. The 2011 “Best Tall Building Overall” award went to KfW Westarkade in Frankfurt, Germany. The…
Architecture and Engineering as One
Oct 2011 – Presentation at CTBUH 2011 Seoul Conference; Ron Klemencic, Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Integrating and even celebrating the structure of a building through the architectural design often leads to dramatic and memorable buildings. To achieve the best outcome requires close collaboration between architect and engineer, each having a…
Seismic Design Guidelines for Tall Buildings
Oct 2011 – Presentation at CTBUH 2011 Seoul Conference; Ron Klemencic, MKA
The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, as part of its Tall Buildings Initiative, recently published Seismic Design Guidelines for Tall Buildings, an alternative to the prescriptive procedures contained in standards such as ASCE 7 and the…
Interview: BIM and Integrated Project Delivery
21 Oct 2010 – 2010 Awards Ceremony/Symposium Interviews; Ron Klemencic, Magnusson Klemencic Engineers
Ron Klemencic of Magnusson Klemencic Engineers (and past Chairman of the CTBUH) is interviewed by Jeff Herzer during the 2010 CTBUH Awards Symposium at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Ron reflects on the history of the CTBUH, and also…
40 Years of the CTBUH: Reflection
23 Oct 2009 – Presentation at CTBUH 2009 Chicago Conference; Charles DeBenedittis, Gilberto do Valle, Ron Klemencic, Shankar Nair, Leslie Robertson & David Scott
As the Council on Tall Buildings celebrates its 40th Anniversary, we hear some lighter reflections on the Council’s history from colleagues who have been involved in the steering of the organization over the years, including such important moments as…
Track 9 Panel Questions and Answers
3 Mar 2008 – Presentation at CTBUH 2008 8th World Congress, Dubai; Stephen DeSimone, DeSimone Consulting Engineers; Barry Charnish, Halcrow Yolles; ; Jeffrey Heller & Clark Manus, Heller Manus Architects; John Lahey, Solomon Cordwell Buenz; Ron Klemencic, MKA
The panel of Track 9, Stephen DeSimone, John Lahey, Ron Klemencic, Jeffrey Heller, Clark Manus, and Barry Charnish took questions from the CTBUH 8th World Congress audience.
A Tale of Two Cities: Collaborative Innovations for Sustainable Towers
3 Mar 2008 – Presentation at CTBUH 2008 8th World Congress, Dubai; John Lahey & Martin Wolf, Solomon Cordwell Buenz; Ron Klemencic & Ola Johansson, MKA
John Lahey, Solomon Cordwell Buenz and Ron Klemencic, Magnusson Klemencic Associates presented two of their collaborative projects at the CTBUH 8th World Congress in Dubai. In Chicago, 340 on the Park is the city’s first and tallest all-residential…
Report on Council Working Group Activities: Seismic Design and Sustainable Design
26 Oct 2006 – Presentation at CTBUH 2006 Chicago Conference; Mike Willford, Arup; Antony Wood, CTBUH
Ron Klemencic, Magnusson Klemencic Associates and Mike Willford, Arup present the Seismic Design Report on Council Working Group Activities at the CTBUH 2006 Chicago Conference held in the Herman Hall, Illinois Institute of Technology. This is…

Ron Klemencic Related Papers/Research

Life Cycle Analysis: Are We There Yet?
16 Sep 2014 – CTBUH 2014 Shanghai Conference Proceedings; Donald Davies & Ron Klemencic, Magnusson Klemencic Associates
To help advance Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) for building systems, this paper reviews the history and state of LCA practice in the U.S. from a structural engineering perspective. The recently released Revit LCA module “Tally” is utilized for case…
Performance-Based Seismic Design – State of Practice 2012
Sep 2012 – CTBUH 2012 9th World Congress, Shanghai; Ron Klemencic & J. Andrew Fry, MKA; Guo-Qiang Li, Tongji University
A summary and synthesis of the Performance-Based Seismic Design (PBSD) procedures and standards around the world is presented. The summary information draws from the papers written by leading technical experts in PBSD from the various countries…
Embodied Carbon and the Case for Longevity
Sep 2012 – CTBUH 2012 9th World Congress, Shanghai; Ron Klemencic, Donald Davies, Derek Beaman & Ola Jonhansson, MKA
This paper explores the sustainability and longevity of today’s residential building construction. It makes the case for 100-year design criteria for building frames and enclosure systems. Embodied carbon as a metric for making decisions and areas…
Tall Buildings in Future Development of Metropolitan Universities
Sep 2012 – CTBUH 2012 9th World Congress, Shanghai; Christopher Groesbeck, VOA Associates; Jon DeVries & John McDonald, Roosevelt University; Ron Klemencic, MKA
In the future, the University will need to consider vertical models to co-exist within their urban cores and create a living and working balance. With the rise of commercial real estate values and densities in many major metropolitan areas, the…
Performance Based Seismic Design – State of Practice 2012 in the United States of America
1 Sep 2012 – International Journal of High-Rise Buildings Volume 1 Number 3; Ron Klemencic, J. Andrew Fry, John Hooper, et al., Magnusson Klemencic Associates
This paper presents a summary of the state of the practice for Performance Based Seismic Design (PBSD) in the United States. While it is not included in the prescriptive provisions of the United States’ building codes, the PBSD procedure has been…
PEER’s Guidelines for Performance-Based Seismic Design
Jan 2011 – Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center
The turn of the last century saw a surge in the construction of high-rise buildings. The surge created a demand for performance-based approaches to enable construction using new framing systems rising to heights outside the range of building code…
A Tale of Two Cities: Collaborative Innovations for Sustainable Towers
Mar 2008 – CTBUH 2008 8th World Congress, Dubai; John Lahey & Martin Wolf, Solomon Cordwell Buenz; Ron Klemencic & Ola Johansson, MKA
Policies in a number of American cities encourage increased residential density and height, as well as new standards for sustainability. However, creative and sensitive responses to the design, engineering, and cost challenges posed by this complex…
Performance of Post-Tensioned Slab-Core Wall Connections
Dec 2006 – PTI Journal 2006 Volume 4 No. 2; Ron Klemencic & J. Andrew Fry, MKA; Gabriel Hurtado & Jack P. Moehle, University of California Berkeley
The use of post-tensioned floor slabs and reinforced concrete core walls has become increasingly popular in highrise construction. Questions have arisen concerning the performance of this connection when subjected to gravity loads combined with slab-…
Towards a Better and Safer Built Environment
Oct 2003 – CTBUH / CIB Kuala Lumpur 2003 Conference; Ron Klemencic, CTBUH
This paper discusses the need to educate the ordinary consumer about their built environments and the buildings in which they live and work. Most people know very little about the structures in which they spend the majority of their time. However, in…
Where Do We Go From Here? - In the Aftermath of the World Trade Center Attacks
May 2003 – CTBUH Journal, Spring 2003; Ron Klemencic, MKA
Ron Klemencic writes on the 9/11 attacks and the problem architects, engineers, planners and building officials face as problem solvers.