BBC News has published a profile on the new projects and ambitions of Broad Sustainable Building’s Zhang Yue. A few months ago, Yue became known as the man behind Mini Sky City, a 57-story building that went up in 19 days. Now, Yue wants to further his idea of modular construction to build Sky City, which will be the world’s tallest skyscraper, stretching ten meters taller than the 828 meter-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and take only seven months to complete. In addition to being constructed from prefabricated parts, Sky City will be sustainable and built from steel to help prevent earthquake damage. Construction is expected to begin on the skyscraper in early 2016. Read more about Yue, his company, and their projects in the BBC News article.
Designers are trained to consider the context for a finished building, but often neglect to consider the construction phase. When architecture is primarily judged based on the impacts it has on their surroundings once they are built, what can be learned from the process of building? The time-lapse is a method that can help architects to do just that, as it can capture years of complex development in a matter of minutes. This can uncover patterns of impact on social and economic levels, as months to years are played back over several minutes.
What is shown by time-lapse videos, though, can be as disturbing as it is interesting; when uncovered, the construction process is a revealing process, and the ramifications in regard to energy consumption can be as monumental as the buildings themselves. The time-lapse allows the viewer to get a better understanding of the types and amounts of materials being put into the construction of buildings, and the impact construction has on its immediate surroundings. By comparing time-lapse videos of different projects, what insight can we gain about how the physically generative process of architecture affects people and place?
Despite reports that construction firm Broad Sustainable Building (BSB), a subsidiary of Broad Group, could not complete its 220-story Sky City tower in 90 days, the company's senior VP Juliet Jiang has announced that the skyscraper "will go on as planned with the completion of five storeys a day."
Thus, rather than in seven months, the world's tallest tower (838 m; 2,750 ft) will be finished in three - topping out at the end of March 2013.
As we've discussed before here on ArchDaily, the tower could truly be revolutionary in China; Broad Group's 95% prefabricated modular technology, which is responsible for the incredible rate of construction, is also radically environmentally-friendly, earthquake-safe, and cost-effective. In fact, Sky City, designed by engineers who worked on the Burj Khalifa, will cost a tenth of that famous skyscraper (only $1,500 per square meter) - and take a twentieth of the time to build.
More info on the world's tallest tower, after the break...
Beyond the "Made In China" Mentality: Why China's Innovation Revolution Must Embrace Pre-Fab Architecture
When Wired correspondent Lauren Hilgers arrived to Broad Town, the headquarters of the Broad Sustainability Group in Changsha, China, she soon realized that this was not your typical workplace environment. At Broad Town, employees must be able to run 7.5 miles over the course of 2 days; recite company “policy” - covering everything from how to save energy to how to brush your teeth - at a moment’s notice; and refer to their boss as “my chairman.”
It may sound strict, but the workers at Broad are on a higher mission. The CEO and founder of the company, Zhang Yue, a.k.a the chairman, doesn’t just consider himself the head of a construction company, but of a “structural revolution.”
In a few years, Zhang has turned the world of skyscraper design on its head, pushing the technical and structural capabilities of pre-fabrication to its utmost (perhaps you’ve heard of the 30-story hotel he built in just 15 days). Not only do Broad’s techniques save time and money, they represent a potentially game-changing opportunity for China to maintain its unfathomable rate of growth in a way that’s both safe and sustainable.
But where does innovation enter in this revolution? China, for years an intellectual playground for Western architects, has become increasingly concerned with nurturing its own latent intellectual capital. However, if Broad’s paradigm takes hold (which, pragmatically-speaking, it should), what will that mean for architectural innovation? In a world of pre-fab structures, can architecture exist?
Well, as any architect knows, first estimates are never accurate. Broad Sustainable Building (BSB), the design firm behind Sky City, soon to be the world's tallest skyscraper, has professed that the building will now be built at the positively glacial pace of 210 days (7 months instead of 3).
As we explained last time, Sky City will shoot up to its 838-meter (2,750-ft/220-story) height thanks to its pre-fabricated assembly (up to 95% of the materials will be assembled in modular form before on-site construction even begins). BSB also claims that it will be sustainable and earthquake proof.
According to a fascinating Wired interview with BSB's founder and Chairman, Zhang Yue (check it out), the foundation is scheduled to be laid in November and should be complete by March 2013.
Read on after the break for more of Sky City's impressive record-breaking stats and sustainability chops...
China is well known for its mind-bogglingly fast-paced construction, but its latest claim is truly one for the record books.
Sky City, an 838-meter (2,750-ft) building to be built by Chinese construction company Broad Sustainable Building (BSB), of Broad Group, will not just be the tallest skyscraper on the planet, won’t just be “earthquake-proof,” won’t just implement a sustainable design approach – it will go up in only 90 days.
Skeptical? BSB isn’t. They’ve used their building technique (which involves pre-fabricating and assembling up to 95% of the materials in modular form before construction even begins) to assemble a 15-story building in 6 days and a 30-story hotel in 360 hours, CNN reports. As for safety concerns, BSB has built a 30-story prototype that withstood a simulated magnitude 9 earthquake — whether the 220-story Sky City will be as secure remains to be seen, but BSB certainly seems confident.
More fast facts and images, after the break…