Zhang Yue is worth an estimated 1.1 billion yuan ($180 million) and has grandiose aspirations, the biggest of them to build an 838 metre tall tower he calls “Sky City” by the year’s end.
It is designed to be 10 metres higher than the current title-holder, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai — which took five years to construct.
But he admits the project has run into fierce opposition. “There are not many people who support us …There are too many bad people.”
Zhang’s company Broad Sustainable Building has already built a 30 storey hotel in 15 days in the central Chinese city of Changsha.
Close to Zhang’s office, workers in a cavernous hangar welded together the pre-fabricated building sections, and he insisted there would be “no problems” using the method to build Sky City.
“We will be finished by December,” he said. “I could make an even taller building.”
Construction was formally launched last year, but rapidly suspended and state-run media reported authorities in Changsha had ordered a halt as it lacked proper permits.
Independent engineering experts say the Sky City concept faces a host of problems, from lift design and fireproofing to the physical compression caused by the monumental weight of the completed building.
An audience “laughed” when Zhang’s plans were first presented at a meeting of the US-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), said David Scott, a structural director at engineering firm Laing O’Rourke.
But now “people understand it’s a much more serious offer”, he said. “I wouldn’t say it’s not feasible… Properly thought through, it will work.”
China’s earthquake-proofing standards for skyscrapers are amongst the world’s strictest, he added, and construction may have been delayed by a mandatory expert review of the project.
CTBUH director Antony Wood said: “I’m still sceptical, but it’s with a massive amount of respect for what (Broad Group) has done so far. I’m not inclined to write it off.”
Broad Group Background
BSB Central Factory attached to BROAD SUSTAINABLE BUILDING CO., LTD consists of BSB R and D Center and BSB Training Center. It produces BSBs for Hunan construction market
Now, there are 230,000 sqm workshops, more than 4000 employees
BSB Central Factory is designed to have workshops covering 360,000sqm land with 19,000 staffers to produce 10 million sqm housing and public buildings annually
There are six francisees from Ningxia, Fujian, Shangdong, Shanxi, Henan, Hubei. All of their setup is similar to BSB Central Factory. All technologies come from BSB Central Factory
5 -10 franchisees are planned to be developed yearly. 50 franchisees from China and 100 overseas are to dominate 20% global construction market
BSB Central Factory & its franchisees have built 30+ BSBs in Hunan, Shanghai, Shanxi, Shangdong, Fujian, Ningxia, Hubei, Mexico and etc.
BSB is the abbreviation of BROAD SUSTAINABLE BUILDING, featuring the sustainability principle in six aspects:
﹣ 90% factory-made
﹣ 5 times more energy efficient
﹣ 99% PM2.5 eliminated
﹣ no collapse in a 9 magnitude earthquake
﹣ material saving
﹣ land saving
Cleaner indoor air may soon be a selling point for employers in pollution-heavy parts of China like Beijing. A recent report by TechSci Research projects the Chinese market for air purifiers to grow 34% a year for the next five years. The market size can be larger than $33 billion, according to an estimate by Broad Group, a domestic player whose clients include China’s central leaders. Assuming each machine costs $500, that would mean an average of one purifier per seven households–a great leap, since less than 0.2% of Chinese households currently own air purifiers, compared to 27% in America, 42% in Europe and 70% in Korea. TechSci Research estimates the Chinese market for air purifiers will reach $22 billion by 2018.
Broad Group has served China’s top leadership since 2008 and now boasts more than 200 machines across Zhongnanhai, the central leaders’ residential and administrative compound.