When you think of tall buildings, what do you think of? And what is a tall building, anyway? We’ll take a look, today on Engineering Works!
Skyscrapers have been the symbol of big cities for more than a hundred years. Starting in the 1890s, when the new availability of lots of reasonably priced steel for beams and columns made it possible, big city buildings have pushed into the sky.
If you’re of a certain age, the tall building you think of is probably the Empire State Building in New York City. Or the former Sears Tower, now the Willis Tower, in Chicago. These days, those two buildings barely make it into the top 20 of tall buildings around the world.
This week, the Bourj Khalifa in Dubai holds the record at more than 27-hundred feet tall. But builders in China and Saudi Arabia are talking about going as high as 3,280 feet. That’s well over half-a-mile tall.
According to experts, the limits on how high buildings can go are mostly in everyday things, like designing elevators to go that high. Or simply raising the money to pay for it. If you could get solve those issues, workable designs exist. Look at the Burj Khalifa and think bigger. Or maybe something like a super-duper-sized Eiffel Tower.
Our taste runs more to buildings you can walk to the top of without breathing too hard. See you next time.
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Start the discussion: We don’t care for tall buildings, ourselves, but in cities, where the cost of land is astronomical, they make sense. What’s your favorite tall building – anywhere?