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Chinese Firm Approved To Raise World's Tallest Building In 90 Days 307

Posted by samzenpus
from the but-I-want-it-now! dept.
kkleiner writes "The long anticipated Chinese construction project called Sky City, a 220-story building that can house 30,000 people, has finally received approval from the central government to break ground. The firm Broad Sustainable Building previously constructed a prefab 30-story building in 15 days, but for Sky City, they have an even more aggressive schedule: 90 days to build 2,750 feet into the air. Once completed, the building will be a place for people to both live and work, with recreational facilities, theaters, a school, and a hospital all within the structure."
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Chinese Firm Approved To Raise World's Tallest Building In 90 Days

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 06, 2013 @05:35AM (#43922889)

    Hey, that is 10 days less than it takes BBC to fix a clock on their homepage :)

    • by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @06:10AM (#43923073)
      Well that depends on how you calculate time doesn't it?
      • by telchine (719345) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @06:30AM (#43923155)

        Well that depends on how you calculate time doesn't it?

        Time is a like a series of tubes, the more tubes you have, the faster time flows.

        • by brian0918 (638904)
          But the tubes need to be in parallel, not in series!
        • Well that depends on how you calculate time doesn't it?

          Time is a like a series of tubes, the more tubes you have, the faster time flows.

          Well, that's true until you have a sufficiently large bit o' gravity nearby - then the tubes start clogging up like an old man's arteries.

        • Much like the exhaust headers on an engine! Get a 4-2-1 equal length time manifold and you'll really be clockin'!

      • by dj245 (732906)

        Well that depends on how you calculate time doesn't it?

        I know this is supposed to be funny, but if you change the definition of "completed" to "as large as it is going to get", then the calculation of time gets a lot shorter.

        If you think this is ridiculous, just look at ship construction. A ship is "completed" when it is launched, but the time required for fitting the equipment and commissioning can take years.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Time is an illusion, BBC time doubly so.

      • Well that depends on how you calculate time doesn't it?

        Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Hey, that is 10 days less than it takes BBC to fix a clock on their homepage :)

      That's relative. Clearly, the Chinese economy is moving faster that UK's.

  • talks about that sort of building...
  • Built in 90 days (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Viol8 (599362) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @05:36AM (#43922895)

    Falls down in 90 seconds.

    And if anyone thinks I'm being unfair they should read up on the safety compromises chinese railways made in the rush to build high speed lines in record time.

    • The big question is, if it does fall down, will we have to endure 12 years of conspiracy theories about false flags, controlled demolition, and transwarpthermite? I don't think I would have the strength to endure that. Again.

      • will we have to endure 12 years of conspiracy theories about false flags

        No .. it would collapse in record time. Even physics would fail in the face of the record conspiracy theory collapse, fueling still more'anecdotal' evidence of China's control of the masses.

    • Re:Built in 90 days (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tippe (1136385) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @07:49AM (#43923581)

      You're not the only one that thinks so. From TFA:

      Head of Structures for WSP Middle East, Bart Leclercq, told Middle East Architect, “I don’t think it’s possible to build [an 838m tower] as quickly as they claim. If they manage to build this structure in three months then I will give up structural engineering. I will hang my hat and retire. I will be eating humble pie as well.”
      Leclercq likes the idea of prefabrication but says concrete poured onsite in tall buildings provides stiffness, and the time it takes concrete to cure is non-negotiable. He thinks the five-year mark set by the Burj Khalifa is about as good as it gets with current techniques and technologies.

      • You're not the only one that thinks so. From TFA:

        Head of Structures for WSP Middle East, Bart Leclercq, told Middle East Architect, “I don’t think it’s possible to build [an 838m tower] as quickly as they claim. If they manage to build this structure in three months then I will give up structural engineering. I will hang my hat and retire. I will be eating humble pie as well.”
        Leclercq likes the idea of prefabrication but says concrete poured onsite in tall buildings provides stiffness, and the time it takes concrete to cure is non-negotiable. He thinks the five-year mark set by the Burj Khalifa is about as good as it gets with current techniques and technologies.

        Five years to build with current technology?
        The Empire State Building in New York was built in 14 months.
        Maybe they should look at using 1930's technology.

        • Five years to build with current technology? The Empire State Building in New York was built in 14 months. Maybe they should look at using 1930's technology.

          IANASE but I believe 1930's tech meant steel framed, whereas ferroconcrete is more popular these days. Concrete takes time to cure. It can be pre-fabbed, but some people are very skeptical of whether prefabbed concrete is good enough for a structure like this. It's also unclear exactly what "completed" means and whether that term is used consistently. Lastly, fast construction often costs more. In many cases it may not be worth the premium.

          • by jbengt (874751)

            IANASE but I believe 1930's tech meant steel framed, whereas ferroconcrete is more popular these days.

            Reinforced concrete is used for most mid-rise buildings and some residential high-rise buildings because it sways less (and usually costs less, to a point). But steel is still the preferred choice for very tall buildings because it weighs less per unit strength, which makes a big difference since every floor has to support all the floors above it.

        • by Chowderbags (847952) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @09:54AM (#43924741)
          The Empire State Building used 48000 cubic meters of concrete. The Burj Khalifa used 330000 cubic meters of concrete.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        They are not building it in 90 days, they are erecting it. The building is pre-fabricated in a factory and assembled on site. Lots of places do buildings that way, including Germany which is particular fond of it.

        They are ambitious, but their plan is also quite solid (pun intended).

      • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

        The building is effectively a pre-cast bridge standing on end, presumably with post-tensioning strands locking all the blocks together and to the foundation. Three months from breaking ground to occupancy would be a bit hard for me to believe, but three months to topping out I can almost believe. You wouldn't be able to tension the first vertical strands until about 35 days into construction, best-case, but I imagine they would be stacked to about 20% height by then-- that would seem to be your highest ris

    • Why do you think it will take them the full 90 days before it collapses?

      Also, if the building is 838 meters tall, it will only take 13 seconds for the top of the building to hit fresh rubble, not accounting for the terminal velocity of a huge concrete block.

    • ....Also in related news, the building will have its own airport with new supersonic passenger jets, its own train station with maglev HSR, and a new autobahn-style highway with a 300km/hr speed limit.

      And a new nuclear reactor built-in to provide the electricity for it all. ;)
  • by Ukab the Great (87152) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @05:45AM (#43922937)

    Is something to be wary of.

  • Hive City (Score:4, Funny)

    by Aboroth (1841308) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @05:47AM (#43922951)
    This is history in the making, humanity's first hive city [wikia.com]. Glory to the Emperor!
    • by tgd (2822)

      This is history in the making, humanity's first hive city [wikia.com]. Glory to the Emperor!

      There were a couple places like this one in Hong Kong, north of the city even 15 years ago.

      Its the scale that is new, not the concept.

  • by jtownatpunk.net (245670) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @05:48AM (#43922959)

    Shouldn't they work on filling those empty cities before they build more stuff? Or maybe reduce pollution?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mashiki (184564)

      Nah. Gotta keep up the imaginary growth factor, after all it's not like banks over there are already running into issues seizing assets from companies who've taken loans out against them. You know, two, three or sometimes four times. Wish I could find the article on zero hedge again but it was up sometime last year.

      • by tgd (2822) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @07:32AM (#43923475)

        Nah. Gotta keep up the imaginary growth factor, after all it's not like banks over there are already running into issues seizing assets from companies who've taken loans out against them. You know, two, three or sometimes four times. Wish I could find the article on zero hedge again but it was up sometime last year.

        Every country's growth is based on an imaginary growth factor.

        At least they're getting infrastructure out of it.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          At least they're getting infrastructure out of it.

          The infrastructure does them no good so long as their society doesn't permit them to make use of it. They're unwilling or unable to put humans into a position to use it, and meanwhile it's rotting. It would make more sense to sell them to foreign investors than to just let them rot, but nobody would take that bet even if they'd be willing to give it; odds are they'd change their minds later, anyway.

    • Their current solution for their pollution problems is telling people to stay inside. This seems like a logical next step in an idiotic pollution management system.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The inhabitat story linked to in the prior post was written a year ago (with plans to be constructed by end of January 2013). So they are still covering at least some bases not rushing through for an arbitrary deadline.

  • by Nuffsaid (855987) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @06:12AM (#43923081)
    The Fine Article is a full year old. On October 17 2012 the very same source reported that the firm revised its plans, pointing to a more reasonable (but still very short) 210 days construction time. http://inhabitat.com/worlds-tallest-skyscraper-to-be-built-in-210-days-instead-of-90-as-originally-planned/ [inhabitat.com]
  • by Freultwah (739055) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @06:17AM (#43923101) Homepage
    I realise that many /. readers are from the US, but out of politeness to the rest of the world, it would have been nice to provide metric units in the summary in addition to the imperial units. Yes, I can go and convert them and so can others, but such accumulated waste of time could have been easily avoided.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by JRowe47 (2459214)

      Learn to guesstimate big numbers. It will help reduce your apparent anxiety when confronted with American imperial units of measurement.

      It takes about a second or so of guesswork - 1000 feet is about 300 meters. 2000 is 600. 75% of 300 is 225, so we get a guesstimate of 225 + 300 + 300 = 825m . In reality, we're off by about 13, but remember, that doesn't matter. If you're really good at math, you could subsitute 304 for 300 and get closer to the reality, but why bother? The more you do conversions like tha

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <(mojo) (at) (world3.net)> on Thursday June 06, 2013 @08:31AM (#43923931) Homepage

        The US is one of only three countries in the world that uses that system. Some people in the UK do but it isn't taught at school any more. You expect the rest of the world to know conversion ratios for your archaic system. Feet just happen to be an easy 1/3 ratio with metres but most other Imperial units are not.

        Politeness would be recognizing that you chose not to use the standard system everyone else does but still accommodating them with a quick google conversion.

        • And liters happens to have an easy 1/4 ratio with gallons.

          So now you have easy conversions for approximations of distance, and volume.

          • by KNicolson (147698)
            American, but not British gallons, which are 4.54 litres, if I remember my sums correctly.
      • Learn to guesstimate big numbers. It will help reduce your apparent anxiety when confronted with American imperial units of measurement.

        I totally agree. I'm American and having done some international travel and having worked for an international company, I have some friends around the world who I stay in touch with from time to time and I've just learned how to do rough conversions in my head from imperial units to metric so I can tell them things like "I live about 40 km from my office" instead of saying "I live 25 miles from my office" and having them wonder whether that is a lot or not. Temperature conversions are not too difficult ei

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Given the origin, imperial units are fine... except the empire that was used is totally wrong.
      For the case at hand, it should have been expressed in chi [wikipedia.org]; the building will be 2514.6 chi high.

      Seriously, one wonders when will those Western barbarians start to learn something?
      Even if it's only the basic mandarin; can't be that hard, tens of millions of children learn it effortlessly.

      (grin)

    • Metric is used in most of the world, including China where this is being built ...

      The US uses metric for many things ...

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @06:42AM (#43923211)

    That's about $65/sq ft, somewhere around the cheapest US cities or Berlin. Most Asian and European cities are far more expensive. So, these kinds of building may make sense. I'd worry about maintenance, crime, and long-term value, though.

  • by Barryke (772876) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @07:34AM (#43923493) Homepage

    I found it very hard to google the average foot size, so i converted it for you all to see.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It would have been nice to provide european swallow wingspans in the summary in addition to the african swallow. Yes, I can go and convert them and so can others, but such accumulated waste of time could have been easily avoided.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Also, for those of you using the wonderfully obsolete furlongs/fortnight/hogshead system, 2750 feet is exactly 4 1/6 furlongs.

  • The modular construction technique is pretty impressive, and while it would be great for shorter buildings I'm having my doubts as to its effectiveness in a skyscraper. Also while the structure looks pretty robust the facade, walls and flooring look a little flimsy and may not stand the test of time/usage.

  • What could go wrong?

  • towering inferno 2.0? it's china they may just cut corners and safety.

  • Tallest building in the world? Sounds like they come up short in other areas!
  • The folks from Extreme Makeover Home Edition try to raise a house in like a week or whatever and they always have to come back and fix their shoddy work. All the water, heat, and electrical is crap. They use fast-drying concrete that cracks and it's generally one big, fake disaster. THAT has an American building permit and inspection too by the way! I can't wait to see this Chinese piece of crap fall over.
  • In China they can build faster because they don't install fire exits.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Fire exits? I hope they're stocked with parachutes. This is, after all, supposed to be the world's tallest building.

      I sure hope they can pull it off. Because if not, the results will be horrifying.

  • See Robert Silverberg's "The World Inside", about humanity concentrated in near-wholly self-contained skyscrapers.

  • Look at this video of their "ghost cities" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPILhiTJv7E [youtube.com]
  • by istartedi (132515) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @10:37AM (#43925239) Journal

    This isn't a rhetorical question. I really want to know. AFAIK in the US you have to have plans drawn before you build, so building time is actual building; but plans are sometimes changed even during building, right? How much do they fudge that to the point where "building" is actually planning and building? Now the WTC replacement took a really long time; but most of it was arguing.

    Have the Chinese cut out all the arguing and decided that they won't modify plans during construction even if they should?

    I'm inclined to think "no". If I had to come up with a plan to erect a skyscraper in 90 days, I'd design one prefab box that could be stacked N high, and I'd stack them. I'd base the "box" design on an entire previous building, just stronger. Having seen renderings of the proposed structure, it looks like that's what they did.

    • by PPH (736903)
      This will be an 'Agile' project. So there's no telling how tall it will actually be.
  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday June 06, 2013 @10:38AM (#43925247) Journal

    Japan had plans to build crazy "arcologies" like this in the late '80s-early '90s, just before their real estate market cratered hard.

  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday June 06, 2013 @01:19PM (#43927259)

    I would be really scared to be near this building- much less in it.

    They need to require that any suppliers spend time in the building after it is finished.

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