Over the semester we talked a lot about prefabricated buildings, discussing their authenticity in the design world. Zhang Yue, of the Broad Sustainability Group, has made it his mission to create structures that are environmentally friendly and earthquake resistant. The way he has done that is through using prefabrication. Zhang is most well known for T30, a 30-story hotel in the Hunan province of China that was built in 15 days in 2011 using nearly all prefabricated methods.
The T30 hotel was the first factory made skyscraper, 93 percent of the structure was prefabricated and put together like legos. Since it was primarily prefabricated it did not require scaffolding, welding, water, and little waste was created. Instead the prefabricated modules were bolted together. In creating the modules, less concrete was used; therefore, less steel was needed. The cost of the structure is lessened through fewer materials and less gear needed in construction.
When I first read about prefabricated skyscraper I thought about how stable the structure actually is. Earthquakes are a problem in China and structures need to be able to be resistant to them. Zhang’s structure is tested to be able to resistant an earthquake up to 9 magnitudes, meaning that the structure is very stable. The second thought I had about prefabricated skyscrapers was their appearance. The T30 is not that aesthetically appealing.
Zhang’s plan for Broad Group’s next structure is the world’s tallest skyscraper: City Sky One. It is suppose to be 220 stories, giving it its nickname J220. It is suppose to be built in 210 days and cost $628 million dollars. It is suppose to have a hospital, school, housing, and commercial institutions. It is about 33 feet taller than the Burj Khalifa, nearly a million dollars cheaper, and constructed in 5.5 years less. The Broad Group has opened the door to the prefabrication of the future and skyscraper design that is quick and sustainable.
Video showing construction of the T30 Hotel: http://www.archdaily.com/199963/chinese-high-rise-constructed-in-15-days/