Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Zhang Yue, Chairman Of China's Sky City Promises Significant Environmental Benefits From The World's Tallest Prefabricated Building...

A few weeks ago you saw posted here the story of China's proposed two hundred and twenty stories high, Sky City.
It was written perhaps with a fair or unfair amount of cynicism and implied criticisms.
In the interests of a balanced story, here is Mr Jhang Yue, Chairman of the Broad Group constructing the Broad Sustainable Building, justifying the City in the Sky and promising significant environmental and other benefits from the world's tallest prefabricated building.
His opinions are worth reading...

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  1. I haven't read them yet, but...promises, promises and pigs might fly too. I really must stop being so cynical!

  2. a significant reduction of local Population with the next earthquake?

  3. I don't know about the details of the building or the history of the Broad corporation, but Zhang Yue seems to argue cogently enough. His point about the need for improved insulation and and multiple glazing in ithe inerests of energy conservation makes sense. Housing units of 60 to 90 square meters don't sound like high-end luxury suites - in US terms this translates to 600 to 900 square feet, quite a modest size (yet not cramped like the Hong Kong chicken cage highrises you've posted about before). So I suppose it's possible the quality of life for the building's residents might be OK.

    I still think there are some reasonable concerns. First, I'm still not crazy about the aesthetics of the design. Monolithic box pyramid about sums it up. Second, colossal engineering projects can often have a certain despotic aspect to them. Have you ever lived under the flight path of a major airport? I have. They treat their neighbors like peons. And consider, for example, the people who were thrown out of their homes to make way for the Seven Gorges dam. I hope this project doesn't display any of those kind of attributes.

    Finally, even supposing these objections can be adequately rebutted, there are some long-term operability questions. If you believe, as I do, that global supplies of inexpensive fossil fuel energy have peaked, then that's a major issue. How affordable will it be, in a world of scarce expensive energy, to pump the bath water for thousands of people up to an average height of 80 stories or so? What about replacing worn-out standard gauge panels or windows a couple of generations from now, when the anticipated Chinese economic boom may have wound down, manufacturing capacity may not be what it is now, and fragile complex global chains of supply may have broken down? The building may work out all right for a couple of decades, maybe several, but its long-term habitability seems somewhat doubtful to me.

  4. I've read the article in Tree Hugger. He seems to talk the talk. What remain to be seen though is how it will develop in reality. Will they force people to live there for example? The chinese seems to be doing that a lot. Technically it's a pretty amazing scheme. But to live there from the craddle to the grave, without the undertaker, as he puts it? I'd rather live under a bush a the end of the lane. Rich Victorians used to build follies on their land. I feel this is a folly on a vast scale.

  5. He makes some interesting points but something in my gut says it would be a long term disaster. I agree city living needs to change but after two weeks inside I'd be out the front door looking for earth and a doctor.

  6. Mr Jhang Yue makes some very valid points in favour of his extremely tall building. I think other people have also made some valid points in the previous comments re long term sustainability... But for me I think I'll choose to live with both feet on the ground.