World's Tallest Building, 'Sky City', To Break Ground In China In June [VIDEO]

A Chinese construction company is setting out to build the world’s tallest building, in Changsha, China. And it says it can finish it in one-tenth of the time it took to build the current record holder. 

Broad Sustainable Construction, a company known for building high-rise buildings in record-breaking time, said it will break ground next month on the project, which will stand at 838 meters, or 2,749 feet, when completed. The building is slated to make an incredibly speedy progress, finishing construction in seven months. Construction of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s current tallest building, took approximately six years to complete.

The building will be called “Sky City” and will exceed the Burj Khalifa by roughly 10 meters (30 feet). While the Burj Khalifa is in a popular Middle East tourist destination, the biggest city in the United Arab Emirates and a worldwide aviation hub, the new Sky City will be erected in the middle of a field in Changsha, the capital of the province of Hunan -- a city of 7 million, to be sure, but located in the middle of China, with the closest international metropolis being Hong Kong, 600 km (400 miles) to the south.  

Unlike the Burj, Sky City is not being built as a tourist destination, though it may turn into one. Broad Sustainable Construction says that Sky City is an innovative design that will create an efficient, affordable and easily replicated building. The building’s sustainability is the main focus of its design.

“The world population is increasing 1.8 percent year over year,” the company wrote on its website. “In the near future, land, energy and climate may breach the critical point."

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Instead of building horizontally, Broad Sustainable Construction has decided to build vertically, saving a significant amount of land while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions produced when traveling horizontally. The sustainability-focused company hopes this is the direction Chinese urbanization will soon go, considering the nation’s rampant pollution problems. “Urbanization cannot be materialized at the cost of land and environmental pollution,” it said, calling its plans “a way of development for higher life quality and lower impact on the environment.”

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The building sets out to turn traditional city planning on its head. According to Treehugger, a website on environmental sustainability and design, hundreds of acres will be saved by not having to build roads and parking lots, and instead living vertically, using the 92 elevators in the building. A school, grocery stores, a hospital, hotel rooms, recreational facilities and other businesses will all be located within the building, streamlining city life into a few elevator rides. The website says that a Sky City resident will end up only using one-hundreth of the average land use per person.

On top of all that, the building is designed to resist earthquakes with the magnitude of 9 on the Richter scale, and will have a three-hour fire-resistance rating thanks to its ceramic exterior.  

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