For Christchurch?

Check out this build of a 30 story building in just 15 days:

Reporting from Changsha, China — In early December, Liu Zhangning was tending her cabbage patch when she saw a tall yellow construction crane in the distance. At night, the work lights made it seem like day.

Fifteen days later, a 30-story hotel towered over her village on the outskirts of the city like a glass and steel obelisk.

“I couldn’t really believe it,” Liu said. “They built that thing in under a month.”

A time-lapse video of the project in Changsha, which shows the prefabricated building being assembled on site, has racked up more than 5 million views on YouTube and left Western architects speechless.

“I’ve never seen a project go up this fast,” said Ryan Smith, an expert on prefabricated architecture at the University of Utah.

In other countries, the most advanced prefab construction methods can reduce building times by a third to half, Smith said. The builders of the Changsha hotel did better, knocking one-half to two-thirds off the normal schedule.

“It’s unfathomable,” Smith said.

The warp-speed construction is a startling illustration of the building boom in China, where an exodus from the countryside to the cities has swelled the urban population by almost 400 million since 1990.

Skylines are peppered with cranes. Smog-choked streets echo with the pounding of jackhammers. Residential high-rises sprout like weeds in the plains between major cities, creating an endless sprawl along the country’s east coast.

The breakneck pace of construction reflects a societal urge to catch up as fast as possible to the developed world after decades of scarcity under Mao Tse-tung, said Zhang Li, a Beijing architect.


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  • Brian Smaller

    I am not sure I would want to be in that building. The concrete would hardly have had time to set.

    • Ciaron_A

      The foundations were precast piles and the rest of the structure appears to be steel. However the Chinese don’t always get the pile reinforcing correct and I’ve just sent Cam an email demonstrating that :) 

  • Guest

    Obvious question is – is it engineered to the same standards we expect in Western buildings. The building may have gone up fast and it may be engineered to a certain standard, but we in the west design our buildings to higher earthquake standards etc.

    • ConwayCaptain

      I agree with Guest.  On my Conway chat group some of the members have either sailed on or stood by the building of ships in China.  They are CRAP.

      I beleive that some of the bridges that have been held up as miracles of ngineering are now deteriorating.  There have been instances of building in China just falling down after only a few years.

  • Dad4justice

    Christchurch dont need anymore made in China throw away crap. Only those forced at gun point would work in such a glue job building.

  • Blokeintakapuna

    Obviously built without Union labour and interferance…and our RMA

  • Mrcopita

    The end of the LA Times article
    “The focus on fast construction took root during the economic reforms of the early 1980s, Zhang said. Prefabrication methods, well established elsewhere but just catching on in China, have magnified it.
    Raising a 30-story tower in two weeks is possible because most of the work is done in a factory and the foundation has been laid ahead of time.China’sabundance of workers also helps.
    But a job done quickly is not always a job done well. Zhang said that in their race to the finish line, many Chinese construction companies skimp on the meticulous reviews and inspections that make projects in the West drag on for years.”

  • Arnold

    wonder what their stevedoring skills are like?

  • jay cee

    this building should have a sign on it  saying “made in china” i rest my case.

  • Dion

    I wonder how many peasants got forcibly moved on to make way for it. 

    • Gazzaw

      No one got forcibly moved. They just made the foundation of of a storey or two.

  • MrV

    I see the typical China bashing pig ignorant comments on here. People is glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones.
    We haven’t even mastered two story yet …. leaky housing anyone?