If nothing unfortunate happens, China will have the tallest skyscraper in the world in Changsha city, by the Xiangjiang river at the end of March of 2013. Its name is Sky City and it will be 2,749 feet high (838 metres) and have 220 floors.
That would be amazing on its own but the most impressive thing is that construction will begin at the end of December and it will be one tenth the cost of the Burj Khalifa. Yes, according to the construction company and the engineers, this skyscraper will be built in just 90 days at the unbelievable rate of five floors per day.
It's hard to believe, but apparently it isn't a joke. The company claims the building has been designed by some of the engineers who previously worked at the Burj Khalifa. It is also the same firm that built a full 30-storey hotel in 15 days—which yes, is still standing and in perfect working condition.
Foundation work is beginning at the end of the month, once the Chinese authorities give the final go-ahead on the project.
They will be able to achieve this impossibly-fast construction rate by using a prefabricated modular technology developed by Broad Sustainable Building, a company that has built 20 tall structures in China so far, including the that 30-storey hotel.
Since they built that hotel, the company has been perfecting their technology, which they are now claiming will turn their project into the world's tallest skyscraper in just three months. According to Construction Week Online, the company is very serious about the project, with the senior VP of the Broad Group, Juliet Jiang, publicly stating that they "will go on as planned with the completion of five storeys a day."
Unlike the Burj Khalifa, the tower will be mostly habitable. Its final height will be 2,749 feet high (838 metres). Compare that to the Burj's 2,719 feet (829 metres), which include the spire at the top resulting in a total of 163 floors.
Sky City will use an astonishing 220,000 tonnes of steel, and will be able to house 31,400 people of both "high and low income communities". The company says that the residential area will use 83 per cent of the building, while the rest will be offices, schools, hospitals, shops and restaurants. People will move up and down using 104 high speed elevators.
The record figures don't stop there: in addition to the 90-day construction time—as opposed to the 210 days initially reported by the Chinese media—the company claims it will cost £950 per square metre as opposed to the Burj's £9,500 per square metre, all thanks to the prefab technology.
They also claim it will be able to sustain earthquakes of a 9.0 magnitude and be resistant to fire for "up to three hours," as well as be extremely energy efficient thanks to thermal insulation, four-panned windows and different air conditioning techniques that were already used in their previous constructions.
To be honest, it all seems like a tall tale to me—no pun intended. Although the credentials of the company seem to be quite serious, it's one thing is to build a 30-storey hotel in 15 days, and the other is to built the largest skyscraper in the world in just 90 days. It just boggles the mind. Maybe it was April's Fool in China yesterday?
Whatever it is, we will discover the size of this company's cajones in March. If it's confirmed, the time-lapse videos are going to be epic. [Construction Week Online]