MEET THE MAN WHO BUILT A 30-STORY BUILDING IN 15 DAYS

fASTEST-BUILDING

MEET THE MAN WHO BUILT A 30-STORY BUILDING IN 15 DAYS

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ZHANG YUE, FOUNDER and chairman of Broad Sustainable Building, is not a particularly humble man. A humble man would not have erected, on his firm’s corporate campus in the Chinese province of Hunan, a classical palace and a 130-foot replica of an Egyptian pyramid.

 

Zhang Yue Chairman & CEO of Broad Group

 

 

A humble man, for that matter, would not have redirected Broad from its core business—manufacturing industrial air-conditioning units—to invent a new method of building skyscrapers. And a humble man certainly wouldn’t be putting up those skyscrapers at a pace never achieved in history.

 

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In late 2011, Broad built a 30-story building in 15 days; now it intends to use similar methods to erect the world’s tallest building in just seven months. Perhaps you’re already familiar with Zhang’s handiwork:

 

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Broad employees (here lining up for a morning briefing) have to memorize the chairman’s advice on everything from brushing teeth to having kids. Photo: Noah Sheldon

 

On New Year’s Day 2012, Broad released a time-lapse video of its 30-story achievement that quickly went viral: construction workers buzzing around like gnats while a clock in the corner of the screen marks the time.

 

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Workers load modules onto trucks. Photo: Noah Sheldon

 

In just 360 hours, a 328-foot-tall tower called the T30 rises from an empty site to overlook Hunan’s Xiang River. At the end of the video, the camera spirals around the building overhead as the Broad logo appears on the screen: a lowercase b that wraps around itself in an imitation of the @ symbol.

 

Within six months of starting his research, Zhang had given up on traditional methods. He was frustrated by the cost of hiring designers and specialists for each new structure. The best way to cut costs, he decided, was to take building to the factory—and as a manufacturer of massive AC units, he knew how factories worked. But to create a factory-built skyscraper,

 

Broad had to abandon the principles by which skyscrapers are typically designed. The whole load-bearing structure had to be different. To reduce the overall weight of the building, it used less concrete in the floors; that in turn enabled it to cut down on structural steel.

 

The result was the T30, 90 percent of which was built inside the factory. And Zhang says this percentage will only rise with future buildings: The more that happens in the factory, he says, the safer and less wasteful construction becomes.

Shared from Wire.com

 

 

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