Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chinese company plans to build world's tallest building in only 90 days

By Ian Steadman 

A Chinese construction company aims to build the tallest building in the world in only 90 days.

Broad Sustainable Building (BSB) claims the 838m-tall SkyCity One will be assembled in the southern Chinese city of Changsha from prefabricated materials built offsite. The building will be 10m taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, currently the tallest manmade structure on earth.

SkyCity One, with a rather imposing design, will contain 1,610,000m2 across 220 storeys, containing a mix of residential, commercial and retail space and capacity for between 70,000 to 120,000 people. BSB estimates the cost of the project to be roughly £400 million, a surprisingly low figure considering it cost £967 million for the Burj Khalifa, and other megatall buildings around the world tend to have budgets around the £1 billion mark. The company claims that their unique construction method, with 95 percent of the building completed before they've even broken ground on the foundations, will keep costs down.

BSB has experience throwing up tall buildings in a short period of time, as this video of a 30 story skyscraper built by the company in just 15 days near a lake in Hunan province attests.

However, it does little to assuage the worries of many Chinese that the country is urbanising so rapidly that construction quality is being sacrificed for speed, and buildings could be prone to collapsing in earthquakes (as tragically happened in 2008 in the city of Dujiangyan).

Local authorities have given the project the green light, and the company now merely awaits approval from central government. BSB's Zhang Yue claims that the company could start construction as early as November 2012, and finish by early 2013. The tower has been designed by an architect based in Dubai, BSB said.

As a comparison, the Empire State Building took 410 days to build from start to finish, and is under half as tall as SkyCity One's planned height. The Burj Khalifa took a much lengthier 1931 days between construction beginning in 2004 and the building opening in January 2010.

China's tallest building is currently the 492m Shanghai World Financial Centre, but there are now dozens of buildings scheduled for completion over the next decade which will be taller (such as the Shanghai Tower, due for completion in 2014 and until now the tallest planned Chinese megatall at 632m).

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