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Picture: Feature China / Barcroft Media

Picture: Feature China / Barcroft Media

How On Earth Did China

Build a 57-Story Skyscraper in 19 Days?

As most of us go along existing in our daily rut, some extra ordinary human feats are taking place on other parts of the globe. We may not be aware of it, but there are people busy going about defying great odds and the bounds of reason with their amazing exploits.

The record-breaking achievement was made possible with the use of prefabricated construction blocks that were lifted, conveyed, and put into place by gigantic mechanical cranes. This is like the full-scale and real life version of a building constructed in the “Lego” way.

The construction company built the 57-story building in Changsha, which is the capital of southern China’s Hunan Province. Xiao Changgen, vice general manager of the local pre-fabricated construction company Broad Group said 95% of the building parts were premade in the factory and at the site 1200 workers assembled the parts like stacking Lego.

The building, Mini Sky City, is 200 metres high. The total construction area is 180,000 square metres and contains space for 4,000 workers, 800 residential apartments, and 3.6km of pedestrian streets.

Xiao said the building was designed to be 97 stories. After work began at the beginning of 2014 work was halted because the building was near the airport and its height had to be renegotiated. Work began again on February 1st this year and was completed on February 16th.

In the first 7 days of the construction project workers built 20 stories.

From February 1st to February 16th, workers built another 37 stories. “Due to the wet weather, the project was suspended for four days during February 1st to 16th. So the total building time was 19 days.”

Xiao said the building was built at an average speed of 3 stories a day. “With traditional construction methods the building would have taken two years to complete.”

The building is now having its insides decorated and could open to business very soon. The building’s walls have 20cm thermal insulation, and the windows are quadruple-glazed. The building is 80% more energy efficient than traditional buildings.

Concerning the quality, Xiao is confident. “We had construction quake test at the China Academy of Building Research in 2009 and 2011, and figures showed that our buildings can withstand a 9M quake.”

“The whole building used up 580,000 alloy screws, with the largest one 32mm in diameter, while the smallest one 16mm. On average one square metre used 3 screws.”

“We used as little cement as we could.”

The prefab materials were manufactured in a separate factory off the site, and that resulted to a be quick process, it also paved the way for the avoidance of what was supposed to be 15,000 truckloads of cement to be hauled in to the site that could have brought forth an accumulation of unwanted dust particles in the air.

The developer of the project,?Broad Sustainable Building, opted for a construction methodology that is not just innovative in itself, but is also very eco-friendly. Today, China has a growing concern over its air pollution problem.

The assembled building is also easy to be dismantled, like dismantling a Lego building. “It doesn’t need to be blasted, but just dissembled piece by piece. And 90% of the dismantled pieces could be recycled in the factory and reused.”

The company built a six-floor building in one day at the 2010 Shanghai Expo, a 15-floor hotel in 6 days in 2010, and a 30-floor hotel in 15 days in 2011.