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Honey, Japan Shrunk This 460 Foot Building
February 11, 2013
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Okay, picture this - you're walking down the street and every time you look up at this one skyscraper, it looks like it's shrinking.

Nah, must be your imagination. Or is it?

Well, not if you're walking around in Tokyo and you look up at the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka.

Originally 460 feet tall, it is undergoing maybe the coolest demolition we've ever seen.

Instead of imploding the building, workers are using a new technique to take down the hotel floor by floor.

Check out the time lapse video at the top of the page, to see what we mean.

The workers set up temporary beams to support the roof and top levels of the hotel.

Then, the beams are lowered by huge jacks, as each floor is demolished from the top down. A crane on the inside of the building lowers debris and materials to the ground.

The company that's taking down the building - the Taisei Corporation - developed the technique over the past several years.

Officials says it's much better than a wrecking ball or an implosion; better for the environment; more convenient for the public; and safer for workers.

They also say it reduces dust by 90%, cuts noise by 25 %, and saves energy because as the crane moves debris, it generates electricity that powers other equipment.

And in a city of 30 million people, with buildings packed in very close together, it's actually more practical.

The demolition started in June of last year. So far, workers have lowered the building by about 100 feet and are hoping to be done by the spring.

The hotel is the tallest building to be demolished in Japan to date.

Japan has nearly 800 buildings that are more than 328 feet tall. Officials say many of them will need to come down over the next 40-50 years.

The BBC has a report on the demolition. You can watch it here.

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