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

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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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News

Chinese Military Satellite Smashed by Russian Rocket in “Major Confirmed Orbital Collision”

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In an incident that is likely illustrative of things to come, Chinese military satellite 1-02 was smashed after it appears to have collided into the debris from a disintegrating Russian rocket.

The collision, which occurred earlier this year, shows the increasing danger of space junk such as satellite parts and other miscellaneous jetsam littering the Earth’s orbit. An estimated 8,000 metric tons of space debris pose the risk of destroying functional equipment such as weather forecasting systems, telecoms and GPS systems – and even manned space travel missions – if the problem isn’t reined in.

The fate of the Chinese satellite was uncovered by Harvard astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell.

The breakup of Yunhai 1-02 was initially reported by the U.S. Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron (18SPCS). However, it wasn’t until recently that McDowell found out what caused the breakup.

The astrophysicist soon found that it was destroyed by space junk that originated from a Russian Zenit-2 rocket that had launched a spy satellite in 1996. On Aug. 14, McDowell found a strange entry in a database on Space-Track.org: “Collided with satellite.”

 “This is a new kind of comment entry — haven’t seen such a comment for any other satellites before,” McDowell tweeted.

“A quick analysis of the TLEs show that Yunhai 1-02 (44547) and [the debris object] passed within 1 km of each other (so within the uncertainty of the TLEs) at 0741 UTC Mar 18, exactly when 18SPCS reports Yunhai broke up,” he added, noting that this “looks to be the first major confirmed orbital collision in a decade.”

However, the Yunhai satellite still remains functional and is transmitting radio signals, notes Space.com.

The incident shows the growing likelihood of such collisions in the high-traffic, littered near-Earth orbital zone.

“Collisions are proportional to the square of the number of things in orbit,” McDowell explained. “That is to say, if you have 10 times as many satellites, you’re going to get 100 times as many collisions.”

He added: “So, as the traffic density goes up, collisions are going to go from being a minor constituent of the space junk problem to being the major constituent. That’s just math.”

A worst-case scenario of such collisions is known as the “Kessler Syndrome,” and describes the possibility of one collision setting in motion a chain of collisions. Such a disaster was the premise of the 2013 film “Gravity.”

One hopes that things don’t reach that point.

In the meantime, however, there have been a number of initiatives meant to tackle the growing problem of space debris, such as the ELSA-d spacecraft launched in a demonstration mission earlier this year.

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News

Boston Dynamics Drops New Video Of 5-Foot Atlas Humanoid Robot Effortlessly Doing Parkour

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Robot maker Boston Dynamics has released new video of its two-legged Atlas robot effortlessly completing a parkour obstacle course, offering a new display of its humanoid machines’ unsettling repertoire.

In the video, a pair of Atlas robots can be seen leaping over large gaps, vaulting beams, and even performing backflips. The robot can even be seen jumping over a board while using its arm to remain steady.

While the display seems like anything but “free” running – as the original developers of parkour had envisioned – the routine does seem like an impressive, if terrifying, display of effective coding that took months to perfect, according to the Hyundai-owned robotics firm.

“It’s not the robot just magically deciding to do parkour, it’s kind of a choreographed routine, much like a skateboard video or a parkour video,” said Atlas control lead Benjamin Stephens.

See for yourself:

Unlike its robotic dog Spot, which controversially hit New York City streets last year before being pulled, Atlas isn’t a production robot. Instead, it’s a research model meant to see how far the limits of robotics can be pushed.

In the past, Boston Dynamics has displayed the robot’s feats with videos of Atlas jogging and even busting out some cool dance moves.

Team lead Scott Kuindersma said in a statement that in about two decades, we can expect to coexist with robots that move “with grace, reliability, and work alongside humans to enrich our lives.”

Until then, some of us will continue to reserve our right to feel a bit queasy about the prospect of people being chased down by these skilled free-running (and dancing) machines.

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Environment

South Korean Toilet Turns Poo Into Green Energy and Pays Its Users Digital Cash

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What if your morning #2 not only powered your stove to cook your eggs, but also allowed you to pay for your coffee and pastry on the way to class?

It seems like an absurd question, but one university in South Korea has invented a toilet that allows human excrement to not only be used for clean power, but also dumps a bit of digital currency into your wallet that can be exchanged for some fruit or cup noodles at the campus canteen, reports Reuters.

The BeeVi toilet – short for Bee-Vision – was designed by urban and environmental engineering professor Cho Jae-weon of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), and is meant to not only save resources but also reward students for their feces.

The toilet is designed to first deliver your excrement into a special underground tank, reducing water use, before microorganisms break the waste down into methane, a clean source of energy that can power the numerous appliances that dorm life requires.

“If we think out of the box, feces has precious value to make energy and manure,” Cho explained. “I have put this value into ecological circulation.”

The toilet can transform approximately a pound of solid human waste – roughly the average amount people poop per day – into some 50 liters of methane gas, said Cho. That’s about enough to generate half a kilowatt hour of electricity, enough to transport a student throughout campus for some of their school day.

Cho has even devised a special virtual currency for the BeeVi toilet called Ggool, or honey in Korean. Users of the toilet can expect to earn 10 Ggool per day, covering some of the many expenses students rack up on campus every day.

Students have given the new system glowing reviews, and don’t even mind discussing their bodily functions at lunchtime – even expressing their hopes to use their fecal credits to purchase books.

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