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Building Skyward with Speed and Safety

Skyscraper with tower crane

The year 2019 was big for skyscraper construction worldwide, according to a recent column at International Construction Magazine. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) recorded that 26 “supertall” buildings were completed last year, an increase of eight over 2018. A supertall building is categorized as standing 984 feet (300 meters) or higher. The tallest building erected in 2019 was Tianjin CTF Finance Centre in Tianjin, China, standing at 1,739 feet tall.

One reason for the increase in the number of tall buildings is population growth. 70 percent of the world’s populace is expected to live in cities by 2050, and with limited space available the solution for many housing developments is to build vertically. Unfortunately, vertical is often slow due to traditional workflow and complexities of design, planning and verification. Completed stages that need to be reworked waste materials and cost time and money, but advancements in verification technology have resulted in faster, more efficient and cost-effective building. Verification technology involves a scanner and software that reports anything out of tolerance almost in real time. This happens at all stages of construction, reducing reworks.

Lifting heavier materials

An economical way to build tall buildings is with prefabricated components, and the use of one or more tower cranes makes it possible to lift heavy loads hundreds of feet into the air. The necessity to protect workers and the general public comes into play at this point because of the risk of falling debris. Contractors often use heavy duty safety screen systems to temporarily enclose exposed building floors and window openings while construction takes place.

2020 Expectations

The council expects between 115 and 145 building projects will be completed this year that stand 656 feet (200 meters) or taller with 17 to 30 at the supertall rank, so high-rise construction will continue.

The article can be read at International Construction’s website, click here. Image above courtesy of International Construction Magazine.

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