Timon Singh

Sky City: Chinese Company BSB to Build the World's Tallest Building... In Just 90 Days?!

by , 06/22/12

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Even since the current world’s tallest builing – the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – was completed, there has been a constant battle to build the world’s next tallest building. The current record holder stands tall at 828 meters and took five years to build, but a Chinese company called Broad Sustainable Building (BSB) aims to smash that record by building the 838 meter eco-friendly Sky City tower, in Changsa, China in a mere 90 days – and they’re planning to use prefab building techniques to construct the skyscraper so quickly!

CNNBGO Image of world's tallest skyscrapers

According to source CNNgo, the Sky City development is being spearheaded by Chinese construction company Broad Sustainable Building (BSB) who aim to build the skyscraper in Changsha, the provincial capital of Hunan Province for a ‘mere’ $628 million.

If the company meets its deadline, then the 220-story structure will overtake the Burj Khalifa to become the tallest structure in the world. Construction is scheduled to start in November 2012, with the tower being completed by January 2013, but how will they get it up so fast?!

BSB has already established a reputation for themselves by erecting a 30-story hotel in 360 hours (see below video) in December 2011. They claim that their “innovative construction techniques” help them to meet such bold targets, including constructing buildings with prefabricated components from their factory. In the case of Sky City, this means that 95% of the building will be constructed in a factory before the construction team break grounds, allowing the pre-finished pieces to be assembled on site much more quickly, sort of like a massive 3D puzzle!

The 220 storey building also aims to be as sustainable as possible by using quadruple glazing and 15-centimeter-thick exterior walls for thermal insulation. It is also expected to use a fifth of the energy that a regular building requires due to BSB’s unique construction methods, and will serve as a city unto itself by housing over 100,000 people!

While specific details on Sky City are minimal (including official imagery, just rumoured concept art!), what is known is that it will feature the world’s tallest hotel – “The J Hotel” and be linked by 104 elevators.

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According to CNNGo, Competitors Gensler, who designed Shanghai Tower seem skeptical of the project saying “it’s very hard to believe that [BSB] will be able to build an 800-plus-meter skyscraper in [such a short period of time]“, but BSB seem certain they can do it.

Speaking to national news outlet Xinhua, a spokesman said that Sky City would not simply be another Chinese landmark, but a “medium-cost, super-saving utility (development) to promote a futuristic urban lifestyle.”

BSB apparently signed an agreement just last week with local Wangcheng district authorities in Changsha, but the project is still pending approval from central government, reported Xinhua News Agency.

Only time will tell if they meet their goals, but if I was to bet on one country achieving such a task it would be China.

+ Broad Sustainable Building (BSB)

Via CNNGO and Kottke

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9 Comments

  1. Blue Tongue September 25, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Yes I don’t think that a rapid build time is a positive thing in the world’s tallest building. Quality, safety, beauty. These are things to aspire to.

  2. soros June 23, 2012 at 4:27 am

    The question of erecting buildings this quickly isn’t the speed at which it is done but how well it is done. I’ve lived in China. Most of the buildings I became familiar with are substandard in quality, with little thought to safety of the inhabitants. Parts start to fall off, others disintegrate for lack of proper composition; cement cracks in heat or cold. Jerry built as they say. Too many Chinese want to get into the Guiness Book of World records. Few understand what quality in anything is.

  3. GreenKiran June 22, 2012 at 4:48 am

    This looks very square and ugly – do we really want an ugly building as the worlds tallest building? At least make it so tourists can gaze at the beauty of the building like the Burj Khalifa

  4. scicdb3 June 21, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Would you trust a company that can’t be bothered to run a basic English check on their promotional materials?

  5. lucky2bhere June 21, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    The biggest concern is not them making their deadline. It is constructing a building of such magnitude that it is as safe as a traditionally built structure – of that magnitude.

    It is one thing to create a 30-story hotel, and another to create an infrastructure robust enough to withstand the enormous forces it must deal with; not to mention the systems within that need to work absolutely reliably and safely daily.

    Their dangerous wreck-of-a high speed train system is an example of a similar approach (bigger, faster) that should be kept in mind before, during and after this project.

    I won’t be moving in very soon.

  6. David Bofinger June 19, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    squashmequickly, they do judge buildings on multiple criteria. One of them is “highest occupied floor”. But the Burj al-Khalifa is so extravagantly tall that it’s taken all of the records. It’s in a class of its own.

  7. squashmequickly June 19, 2012 at 5:34 am

    They should start judging building heights by highest usable office/living space.
    Putting a longer antenna/decoration/air-condition unit shouldn’t count.

  8. anothervoice June 18, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Mmmmmm, Poetic.

  9. feline74 June 18, 2012 at 6:03 am

    It’ll be cool if they can pull it off, but it’s almost impossible to overstate the consequences of a screw-up . . .

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