World's tallest building to be built in only 90 days


June 18, 2012

Chinese construction company Broad Group has announced ambitious plans to construct the world's tallest skyscraper in an implausibly swift 90 days (Image: Broad Group)

Chinese construction company Broad Group has announced ambitious plans to construct the world's tallest skyscraper in an implausibly swift 90 days (Image: Broad Group)

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Chinese construction company Broad Group has announced ambitious plans to construct the world's tallest skyscraper in an implausibly swift 90 days. If the target is met, the 838-meter (2,750-ft) "Sky City One" will take only a twentieth of the time that the Burj Khalifa, the world's current tallest building, took to construct, and will stand 10 meters (33 feet) taller still upon completion. The secret to the rapid construction is prefabrication. Approximately 95 percent of the building will have been put together in modular form before work even commences on site.

Broad has form in the area of rapid prefab construction. The company, which primarily makes air conditioning, has already demonstrated its Broad Sustainable Building (BSB) concept, albeit at a much smaller scale. It built the 15-story New Ark Hotel prototype in one week and a 6-story demo pavilion in a single day. Broad is clearly confident that the SBS principle can be applied to the 220-story Sky City One, perhaps taking confidence from a 30-story prototype withstanding a simulated "magnitude 9 earthquake."

Broad has described Sky City One is a self-contained earthquake-resistant carless city which will not only accommodate approximately 100,000 people, but provide them with retail and leisure facilities too.

According to CNN the Sky City One will contain 1,000,000 sq m (10,800,000 sq ft) of usable floor space and its 220 floors will be connected by 104 separate elevators. Broad CEO Zhang Yue reportedly claims that the tower will consume only one fifth of the energy of a conventional building of its size (if you can call any building this tall conventional) due to sustainable design approaches built into the BSB concept including 15-cm (6-inch) thick exterior walls and quadruple glazing, both of which up Sky City's insulation.

CNN reports that the the Sky City One is projected to cost US$628 million: positively cheap when compared to the $1.5 billion Burj Khalifa. Work is due to commence on site in November 2012 with completion due the following January, though final approval from Chinese authorities is yet to be granted.

Sources: CNN, Broad Group

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life. All articles by James Holloway

"I remember when it used to take a week to put up a building." Cosmo G. Spacely

Gregg Eshelman

A full floor installed and finished out every 48 minutes?

$60/sq ft?

Quadruple glazing????


Fools - everyone knows that hexuple glazing is the new green thing nowadays.


Hmm. Worlds Tallest Skyscraper is going to be built in China in 90 days! Why am I not excited about this?

Oh, maybe this is why...

Ryan Laursen

Remarkable achievement! Personally I don't care for such tall buildings. I live in a single floor bungalow, if a fire started I could probably jump out the window without getting hurt at all. Cruise ships are built with the same modular method, and nearly as fast - it's a triumph of Project Management. Eventually, we will create a gigantic sky scraper cube 1km x 1km x 1km consisting solely of cubic modules and will house 50 million people.


"A full floor installed and finished out every 48 minutes?" Hmmmmm

Isn't it 90 days x 24 hrs x 60 mins = 129,600 minutes. Now 129,600minutes/220 floors = 1 floor every 589 minutes (or roughly every 10 hrs.)

Russell Vonthien

Would be impossible without prefab, since the only real limit to vertical growth is the drying time of the concrete before it can support the next layer. With prefab and enough manpower it does sound possible. I wish them the best of luck.


Why would I entrust a company that builds air conditioners to build a 220-floor skyscraper......and in only 90 days?!

Sambath Pech

90 days doesn't sound like enough time to let the concrete in the foundation cure.


I would imagine the 90 day time is just to install all the prefab. So once the foundations are cured and initial services set up and all the modules built then it will take 90 days to put the tower together. I, like others here, doubt it would be 90 days from first breaking ground to the first customer walking in. Having said that, much of the cost and complexity of building is in building everything on site. By building it all in nice factories with air conditioning / heating and at ground level you can save a ton of cash.


@Russell - thanks...I slipped a decimal point in my head


Excellent - cutting edge building technique meets century old skyscraper design. It's vile - I pity anyone working/living in this Orwellian nightmare.


The Broad Group has already shown the strong possibility that they will do as they say.This will set conventional skyscraper construction at a new level. Good luck with this amazing project


«Why would I entrust a company that builds air conditioners to build a 220-floor skyscraper......and in only 90 days?! » Perhaps because this particular company, which is much more than a manufacturer of air conditioners, has a great deal of experience in erecting high-rise prefabricated buildings ( ? Check the company out on the English-language version of Wikipedia (



NO CONCRETE! ...Bamboo.


So technically, it's being ASSEMBLED in 90 days, not constructed. Most of the construction will be done off-site ahead of time and simply assembled here.

Dave Andrews

What? Prefabrication doesn't count as part of the construction?


Pretty sure I don't want the company that built the building whose top floor I'm sitting on to have done it trying to beat a record.


When I was in Shanghai recently I watched high rise buildings going up with bamboo scaffolding being used by the workmen. A pre-fab would take away this unique Chinese blend of the modern and the ancient.

I wonder if this building will have a 90 day warranty starting on the first day of construction?

Mr. Gizmo

People scoff at the 90 day claim, but speed of construction is extremely important for cutting costs - that is the benefit of Project Management. For the twin towers of the World Trade Center for example, compared to former, similar projects, construction was sped up considerably with the use of prefab. My first house was a factory manufactured double wide, and I still think it was better built than any of the stick-built homes I've had since. Pre-fab is awesome, I live nearby to a new development, and for every building they started by erecting a concrete stairwell up into the sky. Once the stairwell was complete, it seems the rest of the building was built in just a couple days!


Saying they're putting it up in 90 days is kind of fudging just a bit. To be honest, they would have to add in the time it took to order, process and ship the prefab pieces. But they're going for the headlines.


pre-fab a 220 storey 'block' then just drop it off on-site - built in less than a day!


Maybe the contractors building the new WTC should consult with these guys! That project is taking eternity to complete, one reason the costs are so high!

Mark Radell

Well, using prefab means that it should be also calculated in building time. The 90 days is not the buliding time, just an assembly time... just the usual marketing rubbish.

Iván Imhof

Construction time is how long it takes from when you break ground to when it's ready for tenants. The prefab process is completely separate. You wouldn't consider the time it took to make the plywood, shingles and heater for your house part of construction time would you? But 90 days is unreasonable due to the amount of time you need to put a solid foundation in place. But once that's done, yeah 90 days seems doable. Sad that it's taken this long to come up with this idea.

Siegfried Gust

Faster is definitely not always better.

I used to work with a guy who was a victim of a builder who participated in a contest for speed-building of houses. The contest involved teams from each company competing to see how quickly they could finish a house.

The poor guy was in and out of court for years trying to get satisfaction for the numerous construction defects, including -- oh, joy -- a cracked slab. He finally dumped the place as-is for a huge loss.

Cap Curmudgeon

Remember most high rises in this country are built by the contractor with the lowest bid. Think about it...

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