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Breaking Record Heights in Record Time

Thursday, November 29, 2012

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The world's tallest structure is about to be built in the world's shortest time.

A Chinese construction company aims to seize the “World’s Tallest Structure” title with a cloud-piercing megaplex called “Sky City”—and to build the whole thing in just 90 days.

The Broad Sustainable Building Co. plans to construct a 220-story, 2,749-foot-tall skyscraper in Changsha City in Hunan Province, China, in record-breaking time. The project challenge will start at the beginning of 2013, reports say.

Sky City
Broad Sustainable Building Company

To be built at a rate of five stories per day, China's 220-story "Sky City" will include apartments, a hotel, hospital, shops and restaurants.

Plans to top Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest structure, by 30 feet will center on speed and prefabrication.

Workers will race to erect the 95 percent factory prefabricated building at a rate of five stories per day. (It took more than five years to construct Burj Khalifa.)

The building will be mostly residential (housing about 32,000 people), but it will also include a hotel, hospital, educational spaces, shops, restaurants and offices in its 10,763,910-square-foot floor space, according to the company.

The Road to Urbanization

“Sky City will explore the roadmap of Chinese urbanization and improve the quality of citizen life whilst remaining in accordance with Chinese Government policies which govern the building and construction industry,” the company reported in project documents.

Broad Sustainable Building Company

Broad plans to construct the 95 percent prefab Sky City just as it erected this 30-story hotel in 15 days. The current world's tallest structure took five years to build.

Broad Sustainable Building is a subsidiary of the Broad Group, a privately owned company in China that specializes in prefab construction of skyscrapers.

In 2010, the company built a 15-story hotel in 48 hours. In 2011, it erected a six-story dormitory in five days. Earlier this year, the company built a 30-story hotel in 15 days—a project captured in a time-lapse video.  

Tall and Green

Advanced sustainable technologies employed in the project will offer “five times higher energy savings than that of conventional buildings,” according to the company.

Technologies include LED lighting, four-paned windows, fresh-air heat recovery, non-electric air conditioning, auto power-generated lifts, a 15 cm thermal insulation, and others.

And Broad lists “land saving” as a top environmental quality of Sky City.

But the company seems to be modest overall about its ambitious project. “We do not intend to erect a landmark,” it said.

Safety Concerns

Furthermore, the building is designed with a magnitude 9 earthquake resistance, whereas the Changsha standard design is currently a 6, the company notes.

Features contributing to the building’s safety include its trapezoidal pyramid solid structure, model testing, and "factory production with strict quality control," the company adds.

The price of such a project: $628 million. (That’s less than half of the Burj Khalifa’s $1.5 billion price tag.)


Tagged categories: Architecture; Building design; Commercial Construction; Design; Green building

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