Lofty plan builds on pioneering technique
Broad Group, a Chinese company best known for making air-conditioners, is drawing up plans to build the world’s tallest skyscraper in just three months, using prefabricated blocks that are slotted together like Lego bricks.
Broad describes the construction technique as “the most profound innovation in human history”. Others wonder if “reckless” might be more apt. But Broad is deadly serious and, having completed a reassuringly solid 30-storey building in a mere 15 days last year, maybe its skyscraper dream is not so crazy after all.
If built, Broad’s tower will reach 838 metres – 10m higher than the world’s current tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. While the Burj took nearly six years to complete, Broad wants to build its 220-storey skyscraper at a rate of about two storeys a day.
Since announcing the plans in June, Broad has encountered heavy scepticism, with questions about whether it will be able to obtain government approval, funding and, last but not least, the technical expertise needed for such an ambitious project.
But in an interview with the Financial Times, Zhang Yue, Broad’s chairman, said all the pieces were coming together. He said financing was in place, architects were putting the finishing touches to the blueprints, engineers were producing a model for earthquake tests and construction was slated to begin in December.
One local investor, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he doubted that Zhou Qiang, Communist party chief of Hunan province where Broad is based, would sign off on the skyscraper plans because the risks of a disaster were just too great....MUCH MORE
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