Good Thinking

Building a 15-story hotel in less than six days

Building a 15-story hotel in less than six days
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China's impressive building credentials have been in the news regularly over the past few years, particularly those in evidence at the Shanghai World Expo and Beijing Olympic Games. The most recent example of the striking capability of the Chinese building industry took place in Changsha, Hunan province a few months ago. China's Broad Group showcased their rapid building technology by constructing the 15-story Ark Hotel in less than six days. Using a team of 200 workers the structural framework was erected in just 46.5 hours and the external cladding and internal non-structural surfaces were completed in another 90 hours.

The Ark Hotel used one sixth the material of an equivalent sized building with a cost saving of 20% while still being able to withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. In addition the building uses several technologies to result in energy efficiency five times that of comparable buildings. This includes triple pane windows, external solar shades, 6 inches of thermal insulation, heat recovery ventilation, and LED lighting systems. The plan is to construct 15 similar structures in China and 30 more in other countries.

To be fair, the foundations and other below-ground construction were completed prior to starting the clock and the construction system makes significant use of prefabricated components produced in a dedicated factory, so the "time cost" of these aspects of the process have been left out of the six day figure. But even taking those caveats into account the speed from ground level to 15 stories is certainly impressive as shown in the video below.

NewArk Hotel construction timelapse: 15 storeys in 48 hours.

The Broad Group and its rapid building technology first came to international attention when they constructed a pavilion for Shanghai's World Expo in one day! The following video shows that remarkable feat and also showcases some of the innovations integral to the building approach.

2010 Broad Pavilion Shanghai World Expo, construction timelapse: 24 hours.

While it is undoubtedly the speed of construction that will bring this building technology to the attention of developers worldwide it is the environmental aspects that are, I believe, most impressive. Energy efficiency, reduction in material use and building waste minimization are all of paramount importance if we are to build a sustainable human environment into the future.

Anumakonda Jagadeesh
Wonderful. Hitherto Italians are supposed to be good at construction but China has surpassed it.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India
6 days from ground up to 15 storeys must be a world record !My hat is taken off for this incredible feat
Mark in MI
In the early 1940\'s the US built a ship in 4 days, fully outfitting it in another 3. A ship is more complex in many ways, but simpler than a building in others. But it was almost 70 years ago. Prefabrication is a large part of any building project such as this and is mostly more expensive and inefficient since all the workers stand around waiting for their turn to do their small part most of the time. This is done almost weekly on the American TV show where they select a needy family and completely gut their house and rebuild it in one week. the amount of work they do to completely rebuild electric, plumbing, and all the walls, roof, etc resulting in a nicely decorated and furnished house is amazing, but sometimes they show the crowd of workers outside that are waiting their turn to run in and perform their specialty.
Just like the Liberty ships os WW2:
The fastest ones were built special to make a record, but they did refine techniques to go from 50 days in drydock to less than 19 days each by the end of the war.
William Silverthorn
I\'d like to see a watch them build it movie as you must have had the camera rolling as it was being built. How about showing that in a snap it as it goes movie
The benefits of planning and teamwork. However, do the construction workers get laid off before they get their first paycheck?
Yang Pei
The speed is amazing, but the building looks like it\'s made out of Lego.
Tim Smalley
I wonder about safety; I\'d let someone else move in first.
Anyone care to guess how long before it falls down?
looks impressive BUT if you follow the time stamp then they have about 20 hours of daylight, and 9 hours of night, This gives a 29 hour day does not make sense to me.China seems to be good at fabricating stories ( remember the Top Gun footage on cctv a few weeks ago, google it if you do not)
Alex Lanni
Seems good but the points of Yang, Tim and teeduke stand valid.Alex