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The World’s Tallest Tower Is Coming; 220 Storeys For 100,000 People
May 16, 2013
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In June, a company called Broad Sustainable Building will begin construction on a 220-storey tower called Sky City. It will be built in Changsha, China, and it's ambitious in pretty much every way.

For one thing, it's set to become the world's tallest building. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates is the current record holder at 828 metres (2,722 ft) tall. Sky City will be 10 metres higher at 838 metres (2,749 ft).

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The project is also ambitious in terms of how much is expected to fit into the building.

That "City" in the name? They're serious about it: Inhabitat says the tower "will literally house an entire city using just 10 per cent of the site area."

Sky City will include residential and office spaces, retail, organic farms, recreation areas, schools, even a hospital. All told, the plan calls for some 100,000 people to live there, with all the services they need inside the building.

All of that is pretty impressive. But this may be the most ambitious part of all: the plan is to build the whole thing in just seven months.

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The tower will be pre-fabricated off-site and assembled over the course of 210 days. That's a lot of building in a relatively short time, but the company insists the structure will be sound, able to withstand a Magnitude 9 earthquake and will have a three-hour fire resistance rating.

So, why build such a massive tower in the middle of a field in China? According to Broad Sustainable Construction, the location offers "Higher quality of life in close proximity to nature," while offering a sustainable solution to population growth.

Lloyd Alter at Treehugger says the company believes Sky City represents "the most sustainable way to accommodate a growing population."

With everything from work to shops to services inside the building and accessible by elevator, there's no need for cars so people generate significantly less CO2. And each resident of will use about 1/100th the amount of land someone living in a normal city does.

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If you're more interested in walking than riding the elevator, Sky City will feature a six mile-long ramp that runs from the first to the 170th floor.

The building will also incorporate lots of energy efficient elements, including 8 inch thick insulated walls and triple-glaze glass, as well as exterior shading on the windows that cuts cooling requirements by 30 per cent.

As fascinating as all that sounds, Alter points out "this is going to be a controversial vision of sustainability; putting [that many] people in a single building is a hard sell."

It remains to be seen whether Sky City will be a success. It's certainly trying to do a lot of unprecedented things: building taller, faster, and more sustainably than past buildings have, all at once.

But it's certainly a project to keep an eye on. After all, you can't miss it.

Via Inhabitat

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