Over the weekend, China broke ground on Sky City, its ambitious plan to erect the world’s tallest building in nine months. The short time frame poses safety concerns, but developer Broad Group faces a number of other challenges in its highest (and highest-profile) project to date.
Sky City, which will measure 838 meters tall when completed, will be largely residential. Not only is Broad inexperienced in this area, but residential buildings can cost three times more to maintain than other types of buildings, and there are already questions about who will pony up the dough to pay for the building. Not to mention, the blueprints for these apartments don’t sound like high living, with low ceilings and walls that block natural light.
And then there’s engineering. Chinese engineering isn’t exactly known for its spotless safety record. A 9.6-mile bridge collapsed last August, nine months after it opened for business. In 2009, a newly completed 13-story apartment building toppled over almost completely intact.
In addition to the short timeline for this towering project, Broad also lacks experience on such a scale. Its tallest project to date was a 30-story hotel in Hunan, built in just 15 days. Sky City, at a proposed 220 floors, would be at least six times that in height.