CEO of Broad Group Zhang Yue, 52, says the “Sky City” skyscraper can fix many of the world’s pollution, congestion, transportation and even disease problems by completely purifying the tower’s air. The 838-meter-tall building (10 meters taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, currently the world’s tallest) will hold schools, a hospital, 17 helipads and some 30,000 people. It will, indeed, be a city in the sky.
Pinned up on his office wall are plans for a two kilometers (1.25 miles) high building. When asked to estimate the odds of this 636-floor skyscraper ever being built, Zhang responds without hesitation, “One hundred percent! Some say that it’s sensationalism to construct such a tall building. That’s not so. Land shortages are already a grave problem. There’s also the very serious transportation issue. We must bring cities together and stretch for the sky in order to save cities and save the Earth. We must eliminate most traffic, traffic that has no value! And we must reduce our dependency on roads and transportation.”
The prefabricating building-floor slabs with pipes and wires built in, are ready to be connected once modules are in place. The buildings go up much faster, and with only 1 percent of materials discarded as waste.
Last December, Broad Sustainable Building, his construction unit, erected a 30-story hotel in Hunan province in just 15 days.
Zhang next plans a 50-story building, and perhaps a couple more with 30 floors, while he drums up funding for Sky City 220. He’s also hoping to set up franchises so such buildings can go up anywhere; he has seven in China so far, and is aiming for 150 around the world.
Zhang lives on campus and drives a tiny Smart car – gas-guzzlers are scorned at Broad Group.
“We have to transform!” he explains. “If China continues down this path, by 2030 it will look just like the U.S. Practically everyone will have a car, and China’s farmland will all be parking lots and highways.”
The number of skyscrapers under construction in China now exceeds 200, which equals the total number of all skyscrapers currently standing tall across the U.S. Estimates show that over the coming three years, one skyscraper will be completed every five days.
Will it be a White elephant ?
Nowadays, most skyscrapers in China are located in first-tier cities. On the one hand, these cities have relatively limited land resources; yet on the other hand, these cities are highly commercialized and skyscrapers can actually advance the development of any neighboring areas, said Li Bin, an architect with the China Architecture Design & Research Group.
“A skyscraper could be Changsha’s white elephant. It currently is just a second-tier city in Hunan Province,” explained analyist He Tian from the China Index Academy.
The GreenLand Group, which focuses on skyscraper construction, has told media that it is the government who wants to put up these landmark skyscrapers, not the group itself. This does not, however, take away from the fact that real estate companies just cannot resist preferential land policies. “Not only can they acquire the land at a fairly low price, but they also benefit from many preferential policies,” said Chen Baocun, director of the China Real Estate Chamber of Commerce.
Skyscrapers can boost the local economy and develop local tourism.
The “NO.1 Sustainable Building Factory” produces 10 million square meters of mass produced skyscrapers (about 100 million square feet) each year. The T30 (30 story) building is 183000 square feet so the factory can produce about 500 of the 30 story building each year and many more factories are being built.
A previous Sky City design was 666 meters tall. The building would house 1.2 million square meters (12 million square feet) of space for residential apartments, retail, offices, restaurants, schools and a myriad of other facilities. The building will be manufactured in a factory and assembled on the construction site. Additionally, the tower will have the capacity for 70,000 to 110,000 residents. It would use 400 kilograms (1000 pounds of material) per square meter). 480,000 tons of building. Even with reducing the occupancy by half so that units are 1320 square feet instead of 660 square feet the amount of material is 12 tons per person for 40,000 people. The Broad Group building also includes offices and retail shopping. Instead of being 6 times more efficient with material it is more like 8-10 times, since it is replacing 72 tons of house and the extra buildings for offices and shops. It is 20 times more efficient if the higher occupancy levels are used.
Other Broad Group Technology
Non-electric air conditioning withstood the world’s toughest stress test serving over 250 pavilions in the largest, crowdest, hottest, and most dynamic architectural site. Achieving “zero fault” operation for 6 months, contributing to a successful Expo. Also saved 73,000 tons of CO2 emissions, and realized “Low Carbon Expo”.
Successfully developed super-size “ Heat Recovery Fresh Air Unit”, realizing 99.9% air purification efficiency, ensuring abundant fresh air supply and high efficiency heat recovery.
Old Plans for a 666 meter tall skyscraper
A Chinese company developed new factory prebuilt construction that can make a 15 story building in 6 days plans to build the second tallest building in the world over 6 months. 93% of the construction work is done in the factory vs at most 40% in western countries.
The Changsha Broad Air Conditioning Company has unveiled designs for the 200-storey Sky City tower, a sustainable mixed use project. At 666 meters tall, the building will house 1.2 million square meters of space for residential apartments, retail, offices, restaurants, schools and a myriad of other facilities. The building will be manufactured in a factory and assembled on the construction site. Additionally, the tower will have the capacity for 70,000 to 110,000 residents.
The 838 meter building is will cost about US$630 million. Numbeo has Shanghai cost of living and Shanghai apartment prices are currently three to six times as high to buy as these apartments would be
Comfort of Skycity
• 100% fresh air, no mixed with return air, eliminate infection. 3-stage filtered fresh air , 99% nano-particulates be filtered. Indoor air is 20-100 times cleaner than outdoor air. Central vacuuming system keeps indoor air quality.
• Space blocks and all rooms remain at 20~27 ℃ all year round, glass wall enable
sunshine lighting up the streets.
• The clear height of residences and office is 2.8m, the clear height of space blocks are 5.6m, 9m, 12m respectively.
• Four 4meter wide streets start from the ground to the floor 121 at 400m, the total length of street is 12km, shops, agriculture markets, handcraft shops, restaurants, amusement parks, sports centers, natatorium, cinemas, opera houses, museums, libraries, training centers, schools, kindergartens, clinics, banks, police stations, etc. on both sides of street, same as city downtown. Botanical garden, natural parks, fishponds, waterfalls, sand beach can be found in some floors, same as the suburban.
• 16 large observation elevators and 31 high-speed elevators can serve 30,000 people every hour.
• Level 9 earthquake resistance, scale model will be tested by national authorized institution.
• BROAD unique technologies “diagonal bracing, light weight, factory-made” ensure the
highest earthquake resistance level with minimum materials.
• Trapezoidal construction structure corresponds the law of mechanics, which can withstand earthquake and storm.
• Sky gardens locate on floor 71, 121, 156, 176 and 191(12,000m2 in total), also function as the helipads, which are able to evacuate tens of thousand people during fire emergency, provide extra fire protection than conventional skyscrapers.
• 150mm exterior insulated walls, triple-paned windows, exterior solar shading, interior window insulation and heat recovery fresh air, 80% more energy efficient than conventional buildings.
• Adopting “distributed energy system”, turbines provide power independently, exhaust from turbines is the source for cooling, heating and sanitary hot water. 50% more energy efficient than the power grid.
• Indoor HVAC is controlled by occupancy sensor, fan speed will be automatically adjusted to the lowest load when people left.
• Elevator generates electricity when ascending unload and descending full load, also choose the floor outside the elevator, and other electricity saving methods can save 75% more electricity than conventional elevator.
• LED lamp, 90% more energy efficient than incandescent lamp and 50% more energy efficient than fluorescent lamp.
• Separated drainage system, rain water is used for plant irrigation, bathing water will be directly drained after settled, bathroom sewage and kitchen waste go to biogas tank, biogas is used as fuel for air conditioning, and solid wastes become organic fertilizers.
• Annual energy conservation 60,000 ton oil equivalent
• Saving 600,000 ton construction materials
• Saving 1.4 sq. kilometers land (volume ratio 50)
• On-site construction waste is less than 1% of the total weight
• Zero raise dust on-site
• Zero water consumption on-site
• Recycle processes of living garbage from the building
• All steel structure, reuse after abandoned
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.
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