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Sky City: How China Is Building Massive Structures in Less Than A Month



Fifteen days. That’s 360 hours; roughly equivalent to the average person’s pay period. While you earned one paycheck, a construction company in China built a 30-story skyscraper. And as crazy as that sounds, it’s just the beginning.

China has been showcasing some really incredible building techniques. They are utilizing what’s known as prefabricated strategies.

The main element to this tactic involves building crucial elements of the structure off site, while work on the foundation begins. As that’s finished, the elements are sent to the site via trucks. All parts of the prefabrication are meticulously placed on the trucks in order to utilize maximum efficiency. Then the intensely organized pace of the construction phase truly begins. Workers can finish a minimum of three floors a day, with the aid of prefabrication and up to eight industrial cranes at once.

This is clearly a simplified explanation of what China is doing. Nonetheless, these advancements are amazing!

While there is much criticism regarding the speed and quality of Chinese building techniques, it’s certain that they work streamlined as a team and are faster and more organized than any other construction force out there.

Plans for a Sky City

These extreme strategies promise gigantic potential for China. They have planned a revolutionary project, so mind boggling that it seems impossible. This project is known as Sky City.

Sky City will be a contender as the largest skyscraper on earth. This is a project that has had years of planning and seen copious amounts of red tape. Construction has actually began once, but only lasted ten days because the world wasn’t ready.

Sky City will be the tallest building in the world. The current contender is Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands at a tremendous height of 829.8 meters or 2722.44 feet! China’s efforts plan to construct a monstrously giant skyscraper that will be roughly 10 meters (33 feet) taller. Although this is only a small fraction of the total height, Sky City will actually have 39 more floors than the Burj Khalifa, because the primary goal of Sky City is to house people.

Bumps in the Road

The main struggle of building such an immensely huge structure is obtaining the permits that are required. There could be long-term environmental damage, or architectural problems with the design and this must all be accounted for. The main reason that Sky City hasn’t officially taken off yet, is due to struggles within their government required permits.

Broad Group follows APEC (Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation) guidelines like everyone else. According to pg. 73 of the handbook:

“The permit to start a project must be obtained from a state council, and that permit is tied to other permits granted by other authorities (e.g., city planning, land use, demolition). The individual state or province engages a building control department to administer and enforce the regulatory system. Laws, regulations, codes, and standards are uniform throughout China.”

Precautions: the Codes, Regulations, and Standards

The specific enterprise from China that’s responsible for all of this is known as Broad Group. Based out of Changsha, China they provide services which include air conditioning, air quality control, an energy service, and of course a sustainable construction company. They state the intent of what they do right on the website’s homepage:

“BROAD Group is an enterprise based on the vision of unique technologies and the tenet of preserving life. All BROAD products and services are essentially optimizing human life and the environment of the earth.”

This seems like a solid business model, especially for a country with severe pollution and overcrowding issues.

The APEC guidelines also state that: “Project safety management is enforced and administered by the Ministry of Labor; state councils enforce rules governing supervisory and control systems and project quality control.”

Safety and consistency are important within China’s experimental procedures.

Furthermore, these efforts are not only excessively green, but they can withstand high magnitude natural disasters, including 9.0 earthquakes! Can your business survive a natural disaster like that? Most likely not.

Other Record Breaking Projects China Has Under Their Belts

Sky City may be the biggest project to date for Broad Group’s sustainable mindsets, but other record breaking projects have been making headlines.

About five years ago this started really taking off. It was around that time that the same Chinese company, Broad Group, built an entire 15-story hotel. They did this in just six days, from start to finish. They worked around the clock with shifts of different employees working 24 hours a day, and there were no injuries! Their efforts multiplied and other hyper efficient means of construction began. Mini-Sky City is another example of this.

On a similar note, Mini-Sky City was built in only 19 days. A video that documented the entire process helps put their unique mindset into perspective. What’s so spectacular about Mini-Sky City is that the behemoth stands 57 stories tall. China takes the rule of “3 stories a day” and sticks to it. Fifty seven stories in less than a month, that’s the epitome of teamwork right there.

The Aim for Longevity

The world might not be ready to accept these types of extreme construction tactics, but China is certainly thriving by pursuing them. Back in April of 2013 a large industrial building in Bangladesh collapsed killing 1,127 people. This was due to a poorly built and maintained factory, that was not up to standard code.  China wants to eliminate this and focus on skyscrapers that stand the test of time.

Through record breaking projects, ridiculous attention to detail, prefabrication methods, and overall efficiency and execution China has changed the scope of modern construction. The future of effective, preventative construction is here.

But that’s simply my opinion, what do you think? Are there severe risks associated with creating mega structures at such a fast pace? Does this do the world benefit by efficiency or harm by mass production? Get the discussion rolling in the comments section below.

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