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China to Build the World's Tallest Building - In Only 7 Months

The Chinese economy may be slowing down, but that’s not stopping Hunan developers from breaking ground on the tallest building in the world – Sky City. The project will not only be taller than the Burj Khalifa, but will be completed 5 years faster.

Sky City, which will rise 838m above Changsha in Hunan Province (don't be fooled by the Chicago skyline in the rendering above), is scheduled to break ground next month. The developer, Broad Sustainable Building (BSB), a Chinese construction company, is known for their rapid construction methods having recently completed a 30-story hotel in 15 days.

Sky City will rise 10m above the world’s current tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, but whereas the Burj took 6 years to build, Sky City will take only 7 months due to the use of prefabricated components. Don’t believe us? You can watch a rendering of the construction process here:

Ok, now for the numbers:

“The gross building area of the tower will be 1,200,000 sq m across the main 220-story building and 4 much shorter wing buildings between 3 and 7 stories in height. There will also be 4 basement levels totaling 130,000 sq m. Residential units will be located on floors 16 to 180 with 4,000 homes in total and 500+ hotel rooms are planned from floors 181 to 219, supported by clubs and restaurant facilities.”

The project will house primary and middle schools, kindergartens, nursing homes and hospital clinics on levels 1 to 5 and sporting facilities including basketball fields, tennis courts, athletics fields and table tennis facilities.

While the energy bills for Sky City promise to be staggering, its centralized plan eliminates the need for long commutes and, in turn, the energy expended on them:

"By going up, hundreds of acres of land are saved from being turned into roads and parking lots. By using elevators instead of cars to get to schools, businesses and recreational facilities, thousands of cars are taken off the roads and thousands of hours of commuting time are saved. It makes sense; vertical distances between people are a whole lot shorter than the horizontal, and elevators are about the most energy efficient moving devices made. A resident of Sky City is using 1/100th the average land per person."

The building will cost $628 million and with 11 million square feet of space, that comes out to about $60 per square foot. Since this building in prefabricated, it will be interesting to see if this is a stand-alone project or the first of many.


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