While New York City developers have been laser-focused on bringing us the world’s tallest residential towers, the Chinese are in pursuit of another marker: building them the fastest. A 57-story skyscraper was recently completed in Changsha, Hunan Province in just 19 working days, erected at an incredible rate of three floors a day. Called “Mini Sky City,” the construction is an assembly of 2,736 glass-and-steel modules fabricated off-site over the course of roughly five months. Though the tower may have come quickly, the offerings within don’t fall short: the new high-rise boasts 19 atriums, office space for 4,000 people, 800 apartments, and is reportedly earthquake-resistant.
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The first 20 floors were completed in 2014, and the remaining 37 were built from January 31 to February 17 of this year (delayed due to bad weather). Though the speed of construction may make you doubt the building’s structural integrity, Liu Peng, associate director of the engineering consulting firm ARUP Beijing, said the method is worth developing because it could actually be a safe and reliable way to build skyscrapers rapidly. “But it is not perfect, and it does not meet all kinds of personalized demands,” Liu added. “People nowadays want more personalized architecture.”
The developer, Broad Sustainable Building (BSB), is now laying claim to the title of world’s fastest builder; “This is definitely the fastest speed in our industry,” BSB’s vice president Xiao Changgeng said. BSB also has future ambitions to build the world’s tallest building in just three months—a 220-story “Sky City” which would also rise in Changsha.
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