Will the world's second-tallest building outlast the pyramids?

SHANGHAI TOWER

Modern Construction Materials

Shanghai’s most anticipated architectural marvel –launched last year after breaking ground in 2008 – tops out at 632 meters, making it the city’s tallest tower and second in the world, at least for now.

It’s also been garlanded for its green initiatives. Its asymmetrical, the spiraling profile helps it withstand typhoon winds.

“This is the runway model of today’s skyscraper,” commented one juror about Gensler’s Shanghai Tower.

The tallest building in China, the Shanghai tower features a double-curtain wall made from 20,000 individual panels made with combinations of 7,000 unique shapes.


The juror continued, “As a model, the secondary curtain wall looks like a

delicate dress.” The building’s shape helps it to withstand Shanghai’s high

winds and that exterior “dress” insulates the building as a primary

sustainability feature. “It’s a tour-de-force,” said one juror.

How the world's second tallest skyscraper is made?

Steel Both the main vertical lateral structural elements and the floor spanning systems are constructed from steel.

Engineers used 60,000m³ of concrete for the building.

The concrete pour took place over 63 hours using 450 mixer trucks and pumping stations around the city.

“They designed these buildings to last forever – nowadays that’s not a priority.

We’re designing practical buildings to be lived in,” says a structural engineer.


The Structure Of Shanghai Tower

Its asymmetrical, spiraling profile helps it withstand typhoon winds.

The Shanghai tower features a double-curtain wall made from 20,000 individual panels made with combinations of 7,000 unique shapes. 

“The dominant factor with tall buildings is the wind,” says Bill Baker, the structural engineer.

As wind rushes past a streamlined object, such as a tree or a lamppost, it whirls into a single organized gust, which circles round to the left, then back to the right, then left again, pushing from alternating directions as it travels and causing the object to sway.

In high winds, the Burj can sway up to five feet in either direction.



So will the world's tallest

skyscraper outlast the

pyramids?



Bill Baker thinks there’s a good chance they might.

“The structural materials are good for pretty much ever. Yes if they maintain them and no if they don’t,” he says.

Agrawal agrees. “It depends. If they are looked after I don’t see why not,” she says. 

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