The proposed vertical city skyscraper is in the background
China’s Broad Industrial Group wanted to showcase the speed and efficiency of its new construction technology, so it constructed the Ark Hotel in Changsha in record time.
A team of 200 workers erected the 15 story internal structure in just 46.5 hours.
External construction took another 90 hours, for a total of less than 6 days.
According to Broad, the hotel is built to withstand a 9.0 earthquake while using one sixth the material and costing 20% less.
The foundation and other ground construction was completed before main construction was timed. Also, the building is constructed from prefabricated parts which were manufactured off site and likely took weeks to fully produce.
The building itself uses one sixth the materials of a comparable facility with 15 stories and 600 square meters per floor (~5500 square feet). Waste generated by construction was only 1% of the total weight, not including waste generated during prefabrication. Ark Hotel was built to be extremely energy efficient with 15cm thermal insulation, triple pane windows, external solar shading, fresh air heat recovery, and LED lighting. Broad claims that it is roughly five times more energy efficient than similar structures. The air inside the building is supposedly 20 times cleaner than the outside thanks to a triple purification process.
The 15 story building cost around 3,000 yuan per square meter. Broad has developed technology and methods to reduce the cost of residential buildings made with reinforced concrete to average of less than 1,500 yuan / square meter.
Vertical City is the latest solution being offered by China’s Broad Industrial Group in response to the land shortages that major Asian cities are facing given their high rates of urbanization. The 200-storey (600-meter-high) building is expected to rank as the world’s second-tallest building after the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai (828m) when it is completed. The building, which uses a new construction material and a basic steel structure, will be able to accommodate up to 110,000 people at a time. The structure can be factory-produced within four months, and the whole installation can be finished in two months. Zhang Yue, president of China’s Broad Industrial Group said “We are very confident this will work because we’ve conducted a lot of experiments and we expect to complete construction by next year (2011 from an October 2010 statement)”
Waste material will be reduced to a minimum, while a specially designed exterior wall made from recycled materials will help preserve the building’s core temperature, he added.
“We aim to build a people-oriented construction, so we tend to abandon anything that is not concerned with comfort and safety,” Zhang said. “This means we can make the best use of space, and trim our costs to 7,000 yuan to 8,000 yuan per square meter.”
The company then adds its profit margin and sells its properties for around 10,000 yuan per sq m – or about half the price of properties in Shanghai outside the city center. This would convert to a 660 square foot unit costing about US$100,000.
If they can pull of the construction of a 600 meter tall 200 story building in 6 months, then it would a taller building than One World Trade /Freedom tower. It would be built about 14 times faster than the 7 year schedule of the Freedom Tower and have almost twice as many floors.
There is no floor area but assuming it was 400,000 square meters and they can hit the 7000 yuan per square meter cost target, then it would cost about 440 million US dollars to build. The Burj Khalifa cost US$1.5 billion and took 7 years to build
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.