In China: 30 storey building built in 15 days

By The Helpful Engineer / On / In People & Media

There has been a lot of excitement on social media websites about the ‘time lapse’ video of the 30 storey building in China being erected in 15 days. See video below

While it is a massive achievement to erect a building so quickly, its worth pointing out that the claim that the building was built in 15 days is a little wide of the mark. There are a few reasons for this:

  • The video shows the erection of the steel frame, floors, cladding and roof of the building. It does not take into account the design, planning, site preparation, foundation construction, fit out, off site fabrication of components etc, etc.
  • It neglects to show how long it took to install the foundations.
  • The building is not finished and is not usable as the crane has not been removed and the roof membrane remains uncompleted. I would suspect also that the interior rooms have not been completed.
  • The time clock stops at 360 hours (15 days) despite the fact that the external cladding is still being installed and approx. 30% remains to be completed.

So while this video is impressive to watch, it does not show that a 30 storey building can be constructed in 5 days. Rather it shows that if all the components are manufactured off site and the foundations are finished then the shell and structure of a 30 storey building can be erected in approx 6 days, working around the clock.

However it is a wonder of project management, planning and crane usage that all this was achieved in 30 days. It also shows the power and advantages available if building designers are able to standardise a buildings floor plan and structural components. Unfortunately most clients and architects won’t allow a building to be standardised to such an extent. Which is a pity as it would make the designers and builders job much easier.

How is the crane removed? In case your wondering how the tower crane would eventually be removed. They are usually removed by using another temporary crane. The vertical shaft left in the building could then either be used as a lift shaft or simple be filled in at each floor.

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