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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sky City One

The project was initiated in April 2012 .... Official planning will be announced in August 2012.
Estimated to start November 2012. Estimated completion January 2013
This will be the world's tallest building at 838 metres but this is almost the least amazing thing about it
Unlike most such buildings it isn't just a tower. 80% of its space will be given over to housing, the rest being offices, hospitals, schools, hotels, shops and restaurants - no manufacturing. It will provide homes for 174,000 people. Despite the lack of manufacturing this is virtually an acrcology - a city in a building. The base appears to be 140 metres across.
Because of the insulation, including quadruple glazing, it will be 5 times more energy efficient than most buildings and by using LEDs 5 times more electricity efficient. The company has a reputation for being green & conservation minded which I am willing to forgive in the circumstances.
And the cost - $628 million (£400 million)
That comes, taking 80% as housing, to £1,850 per person, probably under £6,000 for a family home..
All to be completed in 3 months.
Difficult to overestimate the change this is going to cause. Most of the pupublicity has called this Sky City buy some says Sky City One which implies there will be many more such across China and presumably across all those countries where government parasitism doesn't prevent them (currently that means India).
A previous stop motion video of the Broad Group building a skyscraper in 2 weeks went viral across the net so it seems likely that can do this in the timescale and cost limits promised. This is achieved by modular off site mass production - a method I have long recommended as one of the big engineering solutions to the world's problems - though this is spectacularly more than I had ever envisaged.
This is even more technically spectacular then the Todos Santos arcology, in Niven & Pournelle's Oath of Fealty which was "only" 1,000 ft and was a "whole" 2 miles on a side. By making it the tallest building in the world both Broad Group and Hunan province have secured bragging rights, which may well be as important an economic motivation as money. I suspect some of the many future buildings will more closely resemble the Niven Pournelle vision. At the costs and building times here there are going to be 1,000s, (theoretically 34,000 for the whole world population) of these across the world.
And can I resist mentioning that this is the same cost as the Scottish Parliament building, about half the cost of a few miles of Edinburgh trams and 1/6th the cost of a new Forth Bridge? No I can't.
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