China’s Vanity Project – Sky City LEGO?

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[wpsr_socialbts]Details on the Speed of Construction Today – Reality or Vanity

China is preparing to build the newest world’s tallest tower. The project’s name is Sky City and, according to plans, it will be about 10 meters taller that the current tallest skyscraper, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

The 838-meter structure will house a hospital, a hotel, five schools, residential and office units. In addition, it will include 10 tennis courts, 6 basketball courts and 17 helipads. Quite impressive, isn’t it?

All of that sounds like a lot of work. However, the project is set to be ready in just a few months! Moreover, the actual on-site construction process is said to be completed in… 90 day! Do you remember the five years we waited for the Burj Khalifa to be built?

But how can a building with 200+ floors be ready in just a few days? According to the company behind the project, Broad Group, this will be achieved thanks to a special construction method. It will be based on prefabricated concrete and steel modules. After that, all the separate modules will be joined into the world’s tallest structure.

The Chinese media is not particularly fond of this project. In fact, Sky City is often referred by journalists and reporters as “China’s vanity project” with which the country attempts to show off its economic power. The main concern of the local media is that the skyscraper will harm the economy of China. It is predicted that the world will soon face another big financial crisis. If that happens, a mega tower is the last thing that the Asian country would need. In recent days, China’s economic growth slowed down and economists are discussing eventual stimulus.

But whether Sky City is a vanity project or not, there is a more serious issue which seems to be overlooked. Namely, will this construction be sustainable enough?

The project’s developer has an exhaustible reserve of praises and lists of benefits of Sky City. Among them are the environmentally-friendly method which will be used in the building process. According to Broad Group, the construction of the skyscraper will produce less waste and reduce the greenhouse effect. In addition, Sky City will be relatively cheap for a project of such magnitude – only $850 million.

What is missing in the picture is the truly vital information. Even though modular construction is a well-known method today, it is rarely used for super tall buildings. Here we are talking not about an average 20-story building, but about “the world’s tallest skyscraper,” which makes the project’s sustainability even more dubious.

Although Broad Group has claimed a number of times that Sky City can sustain an earthquake with a magnitude of 9, Changsha’s government withheld the project for quite a while. The reason – it was not convinced that Sky City will be safe enough.

But what do the facts say? Sky City will actually be Broad Group’s first skyscraper project. The company has developed barely four projects relying on this method. The tallest of them was a 30-story hotel, which was ready in just 15 days.

When compared to the present world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, Sky City will cost $650 million less and it will be constructed 20 times faster. Even if that is a realistic goal, this speed may be on the expense on the building’s quality.

Given that it will house tens of thousands of people, the sustainability of Sky City becomes a matter of human lives and not simply a game of Lego.

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