By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Architecture
An innovative construction method may allow a Chinese team to set new standards in cost and energy efficiency.
A little over two years ago, a team of Chinese builders showed the rest of the world how to get things done when they set a world record by building a 15-story hotel in less than a week. A year later they one-upped themselves by erecting a 30 story hotel in 15 days. Turns out, it was all merely a dress rehearsal for their greatest feat yet.
In November, the Broad Sustainable Building group hopes to break ground on Sky City, a the 838-meter building that, once finished, would be world´s tallest. The plan is to complete the 220-story skyscraper at a coastal location in Changsha, the provincial capital of China´s Hunan Province, within an unheard of time-frame of 90 days.
To say that the whole idea is a highly ambitious undertaking is a real understatement. It took builders in Dubai more than five years to build the current world’s tallest building, the 828-meter Burj Khalifa. And we´re talking about a country that´s no stranger to colossal infrastructure projects. The city is renowned for having the world´s tallest skyline, which includes the world´s tallest hotel.
Ironically though, Sky City was designed by an architectural firm in Dubai, though after watching the workers in China put up hotel buildings like it´s nobody´s business, I wouldn´t bet against it.
The secret to BSB group´s high speed process is an innovative technique that effectively combines a pre-fabrication approach with good old fashioned on-site construction. Prior to arriving to the site, building components are assembled beforehand in a nearby factory. For instance, 95 percent of the work that goes into building Sky City will be done before on-site labor begins.
Doing it this way not only saves time, but should also help investors save money. As of now, the budget for Sky City is roughly the Chinese equivalent of US $628 million. If they pull it off, the total cost would be less than half of what it cost to build the $1.5 billion Burj Khalifal.
The company also says that their propriety construction method also allows them to set a high standard for energy efficiency. The clever use of quadruple glazing and 15-centimeter-thick exterior walls to prevent heat loss means that Sky City will consume a fifth of what´s typically needed to run conventional buildings, BSB chief executive officer Zhang Yue told state news agency Xinhau in an interview.
BSB has already received approval from officials in Wangcheng, the district overseeing the Changsha region and is awaiting final clearance from the central government.
But what do you think? Can they pull it off?
-- via CNN
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Jun 20, 2012
Well I guess that there would be a special and innovative technique that makes is possible for BSB group to complete construction projects speedily. http://theseverngroup.com/
And management launched the Space Shuttle Columbia on a below freezing day (with icicles hanging off of it no less) when the engineers said NO. âThose who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.â -- George Santayana
220 story sky scraper in 90 days. Trying to build something that big, and that fast, will cause mistakes. And mistakes cause lost of lives, material, and equipment. So in my opinion, its not going to happen.
. . . from a distance. I've been to China enough times to be a little leary of the short-cuts, lack of oversight or even criminal neglect that plagues some of the construction projects. For example many shipment of the ties for the super high-speed railway were found to be made of sub-standard materials (and the railroad official in charge of the project was arrested when someone discovered that he'd redirected the equivalent of several million dollars to private accounts. The trains now run slower that what they are capable of and a lot of manpower is spent on walking the route, checking for problems. And, of course there's always those fun photos of the apartment building lying on it's side. http://www.michaeljohngrist.com/2009/09/collapse-toppled-apartment-building-in-shanghai/
They may be able to do this in 90-days, but it would be interesting to know how their construction technique compares to traditional construction. Have the other buildings constructed this way experienced major earthquakes and wind events? How did they hold up?
In the sixties buildings were build in Holland by pushing them up and pouring the concrete in the sliding forms. The only really new thing the Chinese made was noodles, spaghetti.
It made for great headlines to say a ship was built in 4 days, 15 hours and 29 minutes. It happened only after weeks of preparations to have all the prefab parts ready. They do not mention how many months of prefab building was needed to make this happen. I can see this being a great technique to minimize the impact on the city of the buildings construction. I am sure the nearby residents and businesses appreciated the rapid work on the 15 and 30 story towers.
I think they could probably pull it off. Didn't the Empire State Building go up a floor a week or a floor a day 80 years ago? I'm sure people can build a prefabricated skyscraper about a floor a day.
Agreed. I bet they can erect a building in 90 days, but in the end, have they really improved the inception-to-move-in schedule? The short-term cost benefit is great, too, but what about the long-term? Chinese quality can be questionable, so how long will it be until this building will need to be torn down and replaced (or until it falls o nits own)? In the meantime, how much continuous R&M will be needed? In the end, life-span and R&M could easily trump the short-term gains in construction costs.
When any country starts industrialising from scratch they can't achieve top notch quality on day one. I remember days from my own first hand experience when Japanese spanners - fixed wrenches in US terminology - would spread wide when trying to open an even slightly old and tight nut. Look at where they are now. Another measure of quality is to look at the insides - normally non visible - moulded plastic equipment cases. Open your PC and look at the made in China motherboard, You will understand what I mean. Also do a search on "Pearl River Tower " documentary and watch it with attention. You will realise their transformation from cheap stuff to really good quality has taken much shorter time then most other countries.