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A simple design innovation let a Chinese entrepreneur build a 57-story skyscraper in 19 days

Published by Business Insider on Fri, 19 Jun 2015

Broad Sustainable Building, a Chinese architecture company, recently constructed a57-story, 800 apartment building in 19 working days.It's called Mini Sky City. The man behind it isZhang Yue, a Chinese entrepreneur with an Elon Musk-ian streak for launching revolutions.As the BBC reports, Zhang wants to start a revolution in building.Which you can see from Mini Sky City'sthree-floors-per-dayconstruction.The full video is nuts.But as the 'mini' in its name implies, Mini Sky City is just the beginning.Broad Group wants to build the tallest building in the world, higher than the Burj Khalifain Dubai.It'll be called Sky City, standing a full 220 stories high. Founder Zhang Yuetells the BBCthat Broad Group will build Sky City in a fraction of the time. While it took the Burj five years to be completed, Zhang says that Sky City will only take seven months. It'll come complete with everything you need to "live vertically," like an indoor farm or a helipad.The key' A little hack calledmodular construction.The Modular Building Institute defines it like this:Modular construction is a process in which a building is constructed off-site, under controlled plant conditions, using the same materials and designing to the same codes and standards as conventionally built facilities ' but in about half the time. Buildings are produced in 'modules' that when put together on site, reflect the identical design intent and specifications of the most sophisticated site-built facility ' without compromise.Modular design has been used at a smaller scale for a while now.We probably know it most intimately through the work of Ikea, a company with a furniture empire that has come to dominate the world.Here's how Ikeadescribes its sectional sofas:The great thing with a modular sofa is that you can create your own combination, so you get exactly what you want. Then you can adapt or add on to what you have if your needs change. And with our big choice of styles and covers, it's easy to get the look that suits you, too.Broad Group's skyscrapers are kind of like the Ikea sofas of construction.As BBC reports, the process for building is the same: steel comes into Broad Group's factories, and it gets welded into modules like a column or cross beam.Then those modules get trucked out.Crane them up.And snap them into place, Tetris-style."With the traditional method they have to build a skyscraper brick by brick, but with our method we just need to assemble the blocks," company engineer Chen Xiangqian told the Guardian. "This is definitely the fastest speed in our industry."To read the full BBC feature on Broad Sustainable Building, go here.Join the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: Two models in Russia just posed with a 1,400-pound bear
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