Broad Sustainable Building (BSB), a construction firm based in Hunan, China, has announced plans to erect the world’s tallest structure in a mere 90 days.
The 220-storey building dubbed Sky City will be built in Changsha in China at an estimated cost of US$628 million. It will be taller than the current world’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa (Dubai) – which took more than five years to complete at a cost of US$1.5 billion.
In a recent interview with China news agency Xinhua, BSB chief executive officer Zhang Yue said his company plans to start construction on the building in November this year and that the structure will be officially opened in January 2013.
On completion, the building will boast one million square metres of floor space, 104 elevators and quadruple glazing. Over 80 per cent of the floor area will be devoted to housing for 174,000 residents with offices, a hotel, a school, a hospital, shops and restaurants taking up the remaining 20 per cent.
Sky City, which will accommodate as many as 314,000 people at any given time, will use up to 200,000 tonnes of steel. The skyscraper will be able to withstand a magnitude 9.0 earthquake.
That said, how can BSB possibly build a structure taller than Burj Khalifa at a fraction of both the cost and time line? The answer to this question lies in the firm’s unique prefab-enabled building process.
Through prefabrication, over 95 per cent of the engineering work will be completed in a factory – meaning most of Sky City tower will be completed before groundbreaking is done on-site.
Mass production of components and reduced labour costs (fewer engineers are required to install the components) and the high speed of installation will translate into reduced construction costs and build time.
The Sky City project, which is awaiting government approval, will not be the company’s first construction project to be completed in such a short time. In June 2010, BSB erected a 15-storey building in just six days and in December 2011 it erected a 30-storey hotel in 360 hours.
It will be interesting to see how this new development will affect the world’s building and construction industry.