The Great Wall of China – The Great Wall of China is one of the largest construction projects ever undertaken and holds the distinction of being the longest as well! The building of the Great Wall began in about 400 B.C and was completed in about A.D 1600 – that’s 2,000 years! Construction started and stalled and restarted as dynasties rose and fell throughout Chinese history.
- 1 What is the longest human built structure in the world?
- 2 Can a building last for 100 years?
- 3 What is the largest earth moving project?
- 4 Can a building last 1000 years?
- 5 What is the longest unfinished building?
- 6 What is the tallest thing ever?
- 7 What human structures will last the longest?
- 8 Will skyscrapers last forever?
- 9 What is the strongest built home?
- 10 What took 14 years build?
What building took 200 years build?
The Leaning Tower of Pisa : The tower is hollow inside with a spiral staircase, which consists of 257 steps. The construction started in 1173 and took 200 years in total to complete as construction halted for a period of 100 years.
What is the longest human built structure in the world?
The Great Wall of China, Longest Man-Made Structure in the World Just 45 miles northwest of Beijing sits the longest man-made structure in the world, the Great Wall of China, a symbol of ancient civilizations that still stands. So just how long is it? The 5,500 miles of wall consists of trenches, hills and rivers built by dynasties beginning in 476 BC towering to defend against nomadic tribes from the north.
Different kingdoms initially built walls at strategic points to protect their territories, but in 22 BC, following the unification of China during the Qin Dynasty, the emperor decided to link and extend the walls. Still, the wall itself is a series of discontinuous walls with spurs. Mongol invaders led by Genghis Khan could still maneuver around the wall and eventually conquered most of northern China between 1211 and 1223 AD, where they ruled until 1368 when the Ming defeated the Mongols.
Most of the wall as it stands now was rebuilt by the Ming Dynasty during the 16th century. About 1 million people, one-fifth of the population of China at the time, reconstructed the wall over 10 years. While folklore has it that the mortar used to bind the stones was made from human bones or that men are buried within the Great Wall to make it stronger, it’s mortar is made from rice flour.
No bones have been found in any of the construction materials. Watchtowers up to 40 feet in height were built at regular intervals. These lookout towers and fortresses housed troops and supplies. Defenders used beacons, smoke or flags to communicate. Workers often depicted Uranus, or Tianwang, the personification of Heaven, in reliefs found at strategic points on the Great Wall.
The Great Wall starts at Shanhaiguan Pass, a seaport along the coast of Bohai Bay, and travels on to Jiayuguan Pass in Gansu Province. At its highest point at Badaling it stands 2,624 feet above sea level. In most places, the wall is 25 feet high and ranges from 15 to 30 feet in width.
The highest point of the Great Wall is in Beijing at Heita Mountain at 5,033 feet. The lowest point is at Laolongtou at sea level. The Great Wall’s western section and its chain of watchtowers provided defense for those traveling the Silk Road. The most visited section of the Great Wall is in Badaling, close to Beijing, built during the Ming Dynasty.
It first opened to tourists in 1957 and a visit by President Richard Nixon in 1972 spurred tourism. The section served as the finish site of a cycling course in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Although some say you can see the Great Wall of China from the moon without visual aid, the factoid is a myth started in 1893 in a magazine, The Century, and later resurfaced in 1932 in Ripley’s Believe it Or Not.
Can a building last for 100 years?
What is the average age of your home? – According to structural engineers, the lifespan of any concrete structure ranges from 75 to 100 years. There are various factors, which may alter this age range. For example, the life of an apartment is 50-60 years while independent homes have a higher lifespan.
What is the largest earth moving project?
The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway is the largest water resource project ever built in the United States. It is one of the engineering marvels of the world. The federal project was designed and constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with annual appropriations from the U.S.
Congress. Corps employees performed most all of the engineering and design work and served as the construction manager for the project. Actual construction was accomplished by private contractors selected to build specific components of the project by competitive bids. The Mobile District of the Corps was responsible for the southern 195 miles of the waterway, including 9 of the locks and dams.
The remaining 29 miles of the project, including Whitten Lock and Dam, the third highest single lift lock east of the Rockies; and, the massive excavation of the so-called Divide Cut, were the responsibility of the Corps’ Nashville District. The Tenn-Tom is the largest earth moving project in history, requiring the excavation of nearly 310 million cubic yards of soil or the equivalent of more than 100-million dump truck loads. Construction began in December 1972 with the building of the Howell Heflin Lock and Dam (formerly Gainesville LD) at the southern end of the waterway. A total of 2.2 million cubic yards of concrete and 33,000 tons of reinforcing steel were used in building the 10 locks.
The 110 x 600-foot lock chambers hold an average of about 20 million gallons of water, an amount equivalent to that used each day by a city with a population of about 60,000. A series of culverts, resembling large tuning forks as shown here, were constructed in the bottom of each lock to allow the lock chambers to empty or fill in about 20 minutes without any turbulence or whirl pools that might cause safety concerns for boats being locked.
The safe raising or lowering of the water levels inside the chamber is most important since some of the commercial tows consist of shipments of as much as 6 million gallons of fuel as well as chemicals. Waterways are the safest mode for moving these kinds of commodities.
- The Tennessee-Tombigbee was the first large water resource project constructed in accordance with the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).
- Major design changes were made to better accommodate environmental quality as mandated by NEPA.
- An example of these changes in the project’s design is the nearly 50-mile levee shown above on the left side of the first photo.
The levee was added to prevent the destruction of prime wildlife habitat along the upper reaches of the Tombigbee River caused by permanent flooding from the impoundments of 5 locks. One of the most challenging features of the waterway to design and construct was the so-called Divide Cut, a 27-mile canal that connects the Tenn-Tom with Pickwick Lake on the Tennessee River. To build this navigation canal, which is 280 feet wide and 12 feet deep, required the removal of 150 million cubic yards of earth.
Seven private contractors, using conventional equipment, completed this awesome task in less than 8 years. The deepest cut was 175 feet with an average excavation of 50 feet along the entire reach of the canal. The two photos shown here offer a before and after look at this construction challenge. The dirt removed from the Cut was placed in nearby valleys.
These spoil disposal areas were carefully contoured and landscaped in a manner that precluded one of the most potentially serious environmental problems associated with the waterway construction. Construction of the waterway also involved the relocation or replacement of 8 railroad bridges and 14 highway bridges. The States of Alabama and Mississippi were responsible for building the highway bridges, which cost $155 million. The accompanying photo is of a railroad relocation in the Divide Cut, showing a massive earth fill that had to be built to provide uninterrupted rail service and later was removed when the bridge was completed.
What is the most successful project?
Honorees include iconic achievements such as Apollo 11, the Boeing 747 ® airplane, and the Human Genome Project, as well as under-the-radar triumphs like the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway and China’s Tengger Desert Solar Park. The top ranked project is the creation of the World Wide Web.
What was the largest construction project in American history?
I t’s the American Independence Day once again and to celebrate this special day we are going to give you a glimpse of the most iconic construction projects ever made in American History. While it’s very rare for people to talk about buildings and mega structures during the day when heroes should be commemorated, we would like to tell the story of some structures that witnessed American history as well as the newer buildings that are making new history.
Today, construction is known as a major contributor to the U.S. economy. But if there are witnesses to the greatest events jotted down from the past, they are none other than the buildings. For a hundred years or over, some structures in the country are still standing tall and firm today. They survived all the tests of time including the wars of people and are now considered treasures of the country.
From the Empire State Building to the fallen Twin Towers the American construction and architecture industries certainly have a lot to brag about. After polling for the most noteworthy pieces of construction and architecture, we now present to you the top 10 most iconic buildings you can find across the country.
Empire State Building
No top list is written without mentioning the Empire State Building. It is known worldwide for being the tallest building made during the great depression. It is the American symbol for strength amidst a disaster and has definitely made a lasting impression in the world of construction and architecture.
Located in Midtown Manhattan, New York, this super tall building was finished in just a year and 45 days (1930-1931), which only proves the excellence of the Americans in construction. It has a total of 102 stories and measures 443.2 meters in height. But it still has a roof that extends to up to 380 meters high.
Some of its notable features include the ten million bricks used on its exterior and the 1,886 kilometers of elevator cable used in its interior.
The White House
Whoever misses the White House in a top list like this? The White House is another popular building in the US and did you know that it’s been standing in Washington, D.C. since the 1700s? Yes! The White House was actually made between 1792 and 1800 and it was designed by the Architect James Hoban.
The White House serves as the U.S. president’s executive residence and executive office building where he carries out most of his duties. The building has other various sections including the Blair house and the east and west wings. In total, the White House has 132 rooms, where the most famous of them all include the oval office and the press conference room.
But it shouldn’t be too boring with the bowling alley and chocolate shop somewhere in the house.
United States Capitol
Otherwise known as the Capitol Building, this structure is situated on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. This building was constructed almost at the same timing as the White House, finally opening its doors in 1800. It has 600 rooms in total and most of them serve as the main location for Congress meetings and deliberations.
More than those, though, the Capitol Building is the home to the state’s legislative branch. The original building is now almost gone because of the modifications made to improve it. Some of the revisions made include the addition of the enormous dome as well as the expansion of the chambers in the building.
It has a plain exterior, but it is famous around the world for its neoclassical style and large white dome. Besides being a hub for congress activities, the Capitol Building also has a huge gallery of American history and art that attracts over five million tourists annually.
Brooklyn Bridge in New York
The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is probably one of the most complicated construction and engineering feats in modern history. Built between 1869 and 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge claimed the lives of about 27 construction workers while it was being built. Today, it connects Brooklyn and Manhattan and serves as an accessory to New York City’s iconic skyline.
One of the most notable construction projects in the 1960s is the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, California. It is only the second-tallest building in the city but has made an impression because of its unique appearance. The building is made up of 48 floors and stands at 260 meters high.
The Hoover Dam in Nevada deserves a spot in this list of impressive construction projects as it is one of the most massive concrete structures in the U.S. It was finished in 1935 before the World War 2, and just like the Empire State Building, the Hoover tam was also the tallest of its kind at the time it was completed.
It stands in the way of the Colorado River to create a source of hydroelectric power to be distributed to homes in the southwestern United States. The most notable features of the dam, though, lies in the phase before the groundbreaking ceremony. The project was taken over by six construction and engineering companies that had to join forces to construct the dam.
Just imagine the kind of collaboration they had to establish back then when technologies like ours, especially construction project management software, are non-existent. It could’ve been very challenging but the dam still stands strong today. The dam employed over 21,000 people during the Great Depression, so thousands of folks from the west were helped during the trying time.
Golden Gate Bridge
The bridge to another part of the world, the Golden Gate Bridge, remains to be an icon on the west coast and continues to inspire the architectural world. The bridge was completed in 1937, during the Great Depression. Like the Hoover Dam, it has then created thousands of jobs to tackle the issues of unemployment in the country.
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
The museum is located in Boston, overlooking Dorchester Bay. This architectural piece was designed by I.M. Pei and it opened in 1979. The architect used his experience in designing with geometric shapes to create the 125-foot tall concrete museum and theater. It looks like a puzzle of merging shapes on a highly landscaped that creates an all-encompassing design.
Dulles International Airport
The maker of the Dulles International Airport, Eero Saarinen, was also the make of the famous St. Louis Gateway Arch of 1947. Making another history in the architectural world, he designed the airport which opened in 1962 in New York City. The architect made extensive research of passenger movements in airports, and from there, he made a long and narrow terminal for the Dulles International Airport.
Wilshire Grand Center
Los Angeles boasts a 1,100-foot skyscraper named Wilshire Grand Center that’s situated on the bustling Financial District of L.A. It is still currently the tallest building in the city and the state of California. It is also the 11th tallest building in the United States.
The Wilshire Grand Center serves many purposes including hotel rooms, offices, a shopping mall, and observation decks. The original hotel in this building that existed in 1952 used to welcome prominent guests including President John F. Kennedy and Pope John Paul II. But it has gone though modification where the current design was made by the LA-based architectural company called A.C.
Can a building last 1000 years?
(For part I of this series, click here ) Designing our house to survive disasters (natural or otherwise) is important, and is something building codes and design standards are well-equipped to address – we can get significant survivability simply by designing our house to the standard that things like power plants and tornado safe rooms must meet. Reason for demolition of a sample of 227 buildings We see this even in years with extremely destructive natural disasters. For instance, 2018 was an extremely destructive wildfire season in the US. It was severe enough that it doubled the total amount of fire damage in the entire country that year, and nearly 25,000 structures were destroyed (most of which we can assume were single family homes). US annual fire loss, via NFPA Looking at the graph above, we see that the majority of building demolition falls into roughly two categories:
Maintenance costs are too high, or building hasn’t been maintained and is in poor condition The owner would prefer a different building on the parcel of land, such as a newer or larger house, or a more intensive use of the space
We can think of these as the result of something like a decay process – over time, the various systems of a home experience wear and tear and will need to be repaired or replaced. If people stop performing basic maintenance (so that damage accumulates), or large, expensive systems reach the end of their life and need replacing, or if the decay process follows something like a Gompertz curve and gets exponentially worse over time, the cost of repair may be high enough that people will prefer to just tear the house down rather than try to repair it.
In addition to physical decay, there’s also a process of “cultural decay” or “cultural drift” that occurs. Over time, the assumptions that went into the design of the house become less and less true, and the house will become less and less attractive compared to other things that might occupy that parcel of land.
A house built in the 1950s might remain perfectly serviceable, but if it has just a single bathroom and no easy way to add a new one, that limits its appeal to today’s buyers. Or if the surrounding area has massively urbanized, the land might have become so valuable that the owners are incentivized to make better use of it.
My home, for instance, is built on a plot of land that used to be occupied by a farmhouse. The farmhouse got knocked down and replaced by ~30 closely spaced single family homes, because the immediate area is seeing massive population growth and there was profit to be made in doing so. Decay will be both a function of the physical characteristics of the house (how durable the various building systems are, or how easily it can be changed to suit an owners’ needs), and how willing people are to invest in maintenance and upkeep.
With sufficient motivation and investment, buildings can be maintained virtually indefinitely regardless of the technology used to construct them (assuming you don’t adopt a very hardline stance on the Ship of Theseus problem). The Ise Jingu temple complex in Japan has survived for well over 1000 years despite using a relatively simple timber frame structure. I’ve previously mentioned the “pace layers” concept popularized by Stewart Brand, which provides a useful way of thinking about this. In this formulation, a building consists of several different layers, which age and get replaced at different rates. Some layers (such as the foundation) last for the entire life of the building, but others (such as the mechanical and electrical systems) will get replaced much earlier.
- In this framework, we don’t want to stop decay-based processes completely – there would be little utility in designing an electrical system to have an incredibly long lifespan, for instance, as it will almost certainly be replaced by newer, more capable technology at some point.
- Instead, we want to a) reduce the decay on the most permanent parts of the building, b) reduce the overall maintenance burden as much as we can, and c) make it as easy as possible to replace the faster pace layers and keep the house updated.
Our number one priority for avoiding physical decay (and the associated costs of repair and maintenance) is to keep the water out, Our number two priority is to prevent water from damaging the building when we inevitably fail to do this. A huge number of decay processes can be traced back to water finding its way into the building.
- Rust, corrosion, rot, mold, settlement, salt crystallization, sulfate attack, and freeze/thaw cycles are all due to water being somewhere it shouldn’t.
- To fight this, we’ll want to construct our home with well-vetted design details that will successfully keep water from intruding.
- Building Science Corporation is an excellent source for these, including a series of assemblies (supposedly) designed for a 500-year lifespan,
Things like a properly installed water resistant barrier, eaves that direct water away from the building, and simple roofs with steep pitches that quickly and effectively shed water are all design strategies for preventing water damage and intrusion.
- But for the time spans we’re talking about, this probably isn’t sufficient – it’s likely water will make its way into the building at some point over the course of 1000 years.
- So we’ll also want to use corrosion resistant materials, especially for the more permanent pace layers (the structural framing, the foundation, and the exterior ‘skin’).
Stainless steel, galvalume, unreinforced concrete, unreinforced masonry, slate, and stone are all materials that have demonstrably long lifespans – if we look at a list of surviving old buildings, their construction is dominated by corrosion-resistant materials such as these.
A track-record of long-term survival is important – for many modern materials (such as OSB), we don’t have good data on extremely long-term survival, and they’re often manufactured using glues, resins, or other components where it’s hard to predict how they’ll perform over long periods (and are also likely to be damaged by water exposure).
If we can avoid having to replace the foundation (because the rebar has corroded) or the framing (because the resins in the OSB have degraded), that obviously gives our house a much better chance of survival. Most other physical decay problems are a distant second after water exposure (and they will in general also be reduced by picking materials from a corrosion-resistant palette).
UV exposure will damage polymers like plastics, glues and resins over time, so we should limit their exterior use (though things like vinyl siding will have a UV-protectant to avoid this problem). Large temperature swings can cause gradual damage even in the absence of freeze/thaw action, which suggests locating our house somewhere in a moderate climate.
Termites can potentially cause severe damage, but are unlikely to be a problem for the materials we’ve chosen. Gradual settlement and ground movement is another potential source of long-term damage, one that will be difficult to fix if it occurs. Long-lasting buildings tend to be built on large, substantial foundations to prevent this.
Our best bet here is avoidance, by using some sort of deep foundation system. None of this prevents damage from occurring – our building is subject to entropy like anything else. But it should dramatically reduce the burden of it. Cultural decay (or cultural drift) is what we get when a building’s design stays fixed, but society gradually changes around it.
This isn’t something that’s especially easy to accommodate with the design of the house itself. But we can try to guess at which trends are least likely to change, and use that to inform our house design. Consider, for instance, the basic architectural design of the house.
A “trendy” house design has a good chance of looking dated and unappealing after a relatively short period of time ( 80s modern houses are often offenders here). We’re probably better served by picking a ‘classic’ house style, one that has been popular more or less continuously. This will obviously vary depending on the region – in the US, this might be something like a Cape Cod.
We’ll also want to be strategic in how big we make it – small enough that maintenance and upkeep doesn’t become burdensome, but large enough to be appealing to a wide range of buyers. Choosing a single family home at all for our building can be thought of in terms of picking stable trends.
Most building types have changed significantly depending on the needs of the economy and the technology available – the office building is a relatively modern invention, and factories changed from tall, thin buildings to short, flat ones as technology changed. But single family homes are much more constant throughout history.
This strategy can also inform where we build the house itself – we want to pick an area that’s likely to still be somewhere people want to live over the next 1000 years. It doesn’t matter how robust your design or beautiful your architecture is if no one is interested in living where the house is built, as plenty of abandoned homes in Detroit or Baltimore can attest to.
- This isn’t trivial – looking at a list of largest cities in 100 AD, for instance, shows that many of them would later be abandoned, razed, or destroyed and later rebuilt (not ideal for our house’s survival chances).
- Our best bet here might be to bank on some sort of Lindy Effect, and pick a place that has a long period of being inhabited (and not just inhabited, but a popular urban area) – somewhere like London or Rome.
And we can also extend this principle to the systems we use to build the house – we’ll want to pick systems for the permanent elements that are as likely as possible to still be in use in the future, or at least able to be understood and modified by any future construction workers.
- This pushes us away from anything non-standard, proprietary, or that requires a complex production process or supply chain.
- This sort of failure is what will ultimately doom the Lustron Houses, prefabricated houses that turned out to be surprisingly durable (many of them survive today in excellent condition despite being 70 years old) but are essentially impossible to obtain replacement parts for.
Things like concrete, masonry, or timber on the other hand can often use locally available materials, and can draw from a large pool of commonly available skills. Of course, it’s hard to predict skill trajectories for the next 1000 years. Things like stone masonry or roof thatching were staple skills of civilization for centuries, until they weren’t.
- When building technology changed, the pool of skilled workers dried up, and many of these craft skills are becoming endangered.
- But sticking to something resembling current standard practices should at least tilt the deck in our favor.
- One successful strategy for ensuring a building stays maintained has been to have it stewarded by a long-lasting organization, like a church or a government,
But while it’s easy in retrospect to see which organizations ended up surviving, picking future winners is harder. The modal organization has a shorter lifespan than the modal building, and it’s not obvious to me which modern organizations are like the Catholic Church (which successfully maintained its buildings for centuries), and which are like the worship of Zeus or Marduk (which faded away and took their buildings with them).
- No matter how careful we are with our design, we’ll inevitably accumulate damage that will need to be repaired.
- And no matter how much we design the building to be timeless, future owners will inevitably want to make changes.
- The easier it is to make repairs and renovations, the better the chances for survival.
So, for instance, we should make it as easy as possible to swap out parts, favoring things like bolted connections over welded ones, batt insulation over spray-foam, and mechanical connections instead of epoxies or glues. We should also aim for components that are small and light enough that workers can manipulate them without needing a lot of heavy equipment.
We should also make the design of the building as legible as possible – drawings and other documentation are almost certain to be lost over 1000 years, so it should be possible to understand how the building works via visual examination. This pushes us away from things like reinforced concrete, where much of the capability is a function of the steel reinforcing, which is hidden from view once the concrete is cast.
One option for ensuring our house stays legible might be to emboss material properties and design information onto the structural frame itself. To keep the building as adaptable as possible, we want to make sure that the more permanent, slower pace layers are decoupled from the faster pace layers.
It should be as easy as possible to replace the mechanical and electrical systems, rearrange the interior partitions, add or remove bathrooms, etc. So we’ll want to avoid, for instance, load bearing walls, which would make it harder to rearrange the interior room layout. This also pushes us away from slab-on-grade construction, which requires running building services such as plumbing and electrical through difficult-to-remove concrete.
Our design strategy so far has been based around ensuring our building stays economically viable, by minimizing the costs of keeping it useful. But if we want to guarantee our houses’ survival for the full millenia, it’s unlikely we can get there by relying on pure economic calculus.
Most of civilization’s longest surviving buildings tend to be culturally important ones that people have devoted time, money, and effort into preserving in the absence of any sort of commercial gain. Historic England lists no houses built before 1000 AD, for instance, but lists over 50 churches. At some point our house will no longer be economically viable, and we’ll need to rely on cultural value to justify keeping it around.
Relying on cultural value will also allow us to escape the trap of urban land becoming too valuable to justify a lone single family house. If the building becomes culturally valuable enough, it can justify huge investments or otherwise foregone economic benefits – the restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral, for instance, will cost in the neighborhood of $15,000 per square foot, which is as much as the most expensive urban real estate costs,
So our goal will be to reach “cultural value escape velocity” – ensure the building survives to the point where people want to keep it around based on its cultural value alone. Fallingwater is an example of a house that has done this. Once a building accumulates enough cultural value, social infrastructure tends to spring up around it to ensure that it continues to survive.
But the longer it can survive purely on economic grounds, the greater the chance that this process will occur – a house 100 years old may or may not be worth preserving, but one 500 years old almost definitely will be. Other than simply surviving long enough for age-based value to kick in, we can help this process along by designing our house to be the sort of thing that people want to preserve.
- This means making it, on the margin, architecturally impressive and beautiful – injecting some of the numinous that makes cathedrals such attractive targets of preservation efforts.
- There’s some drawbacks to this approach.
- For one, cultural value alone isn’t necessarily enough to ensure our house’s survival.
Plenty of culturally or architecturally important buildings haven’t survived. And this process probably only works for a relatively small number of homes – if every house had a 1000 year lifespan, it wouldn’t be considered important to preserve every one.
And if we’re not careful, this process might actually hamstring our house’s survival, if it’s considered too culturally important to change or modify (hamstringing its economic value) but not culturally important enough to attract preservation efforts. England’s listed buildings program gives a glimpse of what this looks like.
Buildings deemed of cultural importance are marked as “listed”, which places restrictions on what can be done with them. England has over 400,000 listed buildings, including nearly every one built prior to 1700. But listing is no guarantee that a building will be kept in good repair,
What is the longest unfinished building?
Partially constructed buildings – Construction of the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang was on hold between 1992 and 2008. Had it been completed on schedule, it would have been the tallest hotel in the world at the time. There are numerous unfinished buildings that remain partially constructed in countries around the world, some of which can be used in their incomplete state but with others remaining as a mere shell. Some projects are intentionally left with an unfinished appearance, particularly the follies of the late 16th to 18th century.
Some buildings are in a cycle of near-perpetual construction, with work lasting for decades or even centuries. Antoni Gaudí ‘s Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain, has been under construction for around 120 years, having started in the 1880s. Work was delayed by the Spanish Civil War, during which the original models and parts of the building itself were destroyed.
Today, even with portions of the basilica incomplete, it is still the most popular tourist destination in Barcelona with 1.5 million visitors every year. Gaudí spent 40 years of his life overseeing the project and is buried in the crypt. Germany’s Cologne Cathedral took even longer to complete; construction started in 1248 and finished in 1880, a total of 632 years.
What is the tallest thing ever?
Tallest structures in the world as of 2020. The tallest structure in the world is the Burj Khalifa skyscraper at 829.8 m (2,722 ft). Listed are guyed masts (such as telecommunication masts), self-supporting towers (such as the CN Tower ), skyscrapers (such as the Willis Tower ), oil platforms, electricity transmission towers, and bridge support towers.
What human structures will last the longest?
Synopsis – The book is divided into 27 chapters, with a prelude, coda, bibliography and index, Each chapter deals with a new topic, such as the potential fates of plastics, petroleum infrastructure, nuclear facilities, and artworks. It is written from the point of view of a science journalist with explanations and testimonies backing his predictions.
There is no unifying narrative, cohesive single-chapter overview, or thesis. Weisman’s thought experiment pursues two themes: how nature would react to the disappearance of humans and what legacy humans would leave behind. To foresee how other life could continue without humans, Weisman reports from areas where the natural environment exists with little human intervention, like the Białowieża Forest, the Kingman Reef, and the Palmyra Atoll,
He interviews biologist E.O. Wilson and visits with members of the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement at the Korean Demilitarized Zone where few humans have penetrated since 1953. He tries to conceive how life may evolve by describing the past evolution of pre-historic plants and animals, but notes Douglas Erwin’s warning that “we can’t predict what the world will be 5 million years later by looking at the survivors”. With material from previous articles, Weisman uses the fate of the Mayan civilization to illustrate the possibility of an entrenched society vanishing and how the natural environment quickly conceals evidence. To demonstrate how vegetation could compromise human built infrastructure, Weisman interviewed hydrologists and employees at the Panama Canal, where constant maintenance is required to keep the jungle vegetation and silt away from the dams.
- To illustrate abandoned cities succumbing to nature, Weisman reports from Chernobyl, Ukraine (abandoned in 1986) and Varosha, Cyprus (abandoned in 1974).
- Weisman finds that their structures crumble as weather does unrepaired damage and other life forms create new habitats.
- In Turkey, Weisman contrasts the construction practices of the rapidly growing Istanbul, as typical for large cities in less developed countries, with the underground cities in Cappadocia,
Due to a large demand for housing in Istanbul much of it was developed quickly with whatever material was available and could collapse in a major earthquake or other natural disaster. Cappadocian underground cities were built thousands of years ago out of volcanic tuff, and are likely to survive for centuries to come.
- Weisman uses New York City as a model to outline how an unmaintained urban area would deconstruct.
- He explains that sewers would clog, underground streams would flood subway corridors, and soils under roads would erode and cave in.
- From interviews with members of the Wildlife Conservation Society who developed the Mannahatta Project and with the New York Botanical Gardens Weisman predicts that native vegetation would return, spreading from parks and out-surviving invasive species.
Without humans to provide food and warmth, rats and cockroaches would die off. An abandoned house in a state of collapse Weisman explains that a common house would begin to fall apart as water eventually leaks into the roof around the flashings, erodes the wood and rusts the nails, leading to sagging walls and eventual collapse.
After 500 years, all that would be left would be aluminum dishwasher parts, stainless steel cookware, and plastic handles. The longest-lasting evidence on Earth of a human presence would be radioactive materials, ceramics, bronze statues, and Mount Rushmore. In space, the Pioneer plaques, the Voyager Golden Record, and radio waves would outlast the Earth itself.
Breaking from the theme of the natural environment after humans, Weisman considers what could lead to the sudden, complete demise of humans without serious damage to the built and natural environment. That scenario, he concludes, is extremely unlikely.
- He also considers transhumanism, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, the Church of Euthanasia and John A.
- Leslie ‘s The End of the World: the Science and Ethics of Human Extinction,
- Weisman concludes the book considering a new version of the one-child policy,
- While he admits it is a “draconian measure”, he states, “The bottom line is that any species that overstretches its resource base suffers a population crash.
Limiting our reproduction would be damn hard, but limiting our consumptive instincts may be even harder.” He responded to criticism of this saying “I knew in advance that I would touch some people’s sensitive spots by bringing up the population issue, but I did so because it’s been missing too long from the discussion of how we must deal with the situation our economic and demographic growth have driven us too (sic)”.
Can concrete last 1000 years?
By itself, concrete is a very durable construction material. The magnificent Pantheon in Rome, the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome, is in excellent condition after nearly 1,900 years. And yet many concrete structures from last century – bridges, highways and buildings – are crumbling.
Many concrete structures built this century will be obsolete before its end. Given the survival of ancient structures, this may seem curious. The critical difference is the modern use of steel reinforcement, known as rebar, concealed within the concrete. Steel is made mainly of iron, and one of iron’s unalterable properties is that it rusts.
This ruins the durability of concrete structures in ways that are difficult to detect and costly to repair. While repair may be justified to preserve the architectural legacy of iconic 20th-century buildings, such as those designed by reinforced concrete users like Frank Lloyd Wright, it is questionable whether this will be affordable or desirable for the vast majority of structures. Old bridges need new money to replace. Phil’s 1stPix/Flickr.com, CC BY-NC Steel reinforcement was a dramatic innovation of the 19th century. The steel bars add strength, allowing the creation of long, cantilevered structures and thinner, less-supported slabs.
- It speeds up construction times, because less concrete is required to pour such slabs.
- These qualities, pushed by assertive and sometimes duplicitous promotion by the concrete industry in the early 20th century, led to its massive popularity.
- Reinforced concrete competes against more durable building technologies, like steel frame or traditional bricks and mortar.
Around the world, it has replaced environmentally sensitive, low-carbon options like mud brick and rammed earth – historical practices that may also be more durable. Early 20th-century engineers thought reinforced concrete structures would last a very long time – perhaps 1,000 years.
In reality, their life span is more like 50-100 years, and sometimes less. Building codes and policies generally require buildings to survive for several decades, but deterioration can begin in as little as 10 years, Many engineers and architects point to the natural affinities between steel and concrete: they have similar thermal expansion characteristics, and concrete’s alkalinity can help to inhibit rust.
But there is still a lack of knowledge about their composite qualities – for example, in regard to sun-exposure-related changes in temperature, The many alternative materials for concrete reinforcement – such as stainless steel, aluminium bronze and fibre-polymer composites – are not yet widely used. Cheap and effective, in the short term at least. Luigi Chiesa/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA There are technologies that can address the problem of steel corrosion, such as cathodic protection, in which the entire structure is connected to a rust-inhibiting electric current.
- There are also interesting new methods to monitor corrosion, by electrical or acoustic means.
- Another option is to treat the concrete with a rust-inhibiting compound, although these can be toxic and inappropriate for buildings.
- There are several new non-toxic inhibitors, including compounds extracted from bamboo and bacterially derived “biomolecules”,
Fundamentally, however, none of these developments can resolve the inherent problem that putting steel inside concrete ruins its potentially great durability.
How long do Chinese buildings last?
Can China’s Largest Cities Look Like This in 5 Years? Apartment buildings crowd the skyline in Chongqing, China. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel) After decades of rapid urbanization, China is taking a step back and thinking more critically about the future of its booming cities. The country’s urban policy unit recently met for the first time in 38 years to craft a set of guidelines for future development.
According to since the Central Urban Work Conference last met in 1978, China’s urban population has jumped from under 20 percent to 57 percent. That boom’s largely due to cities building hundreds of new sub-cities and towns, leading to sprawling urban areas that are difficult to navigate without a car.
These cities were often thrown up fast and with little attention to sustainability; the average life span of a building in China is only 25 to 30 years. (By comparison, the average lifespan of a U.S. building is 74 years, and in the U.K. it’s 132 years.) “The breakneck speed of urbanization during this era often outpaced quality planning,” say the authors of the City Metric article, “and China gradually became a land of single-use, car-dependent, Soviet-style superblocks.” The new guidelines (posted in full in Chinese ; a summary in English is available ) released Feb.21 are aimed at refocusing China’s urban areas from building as fast as possible to revitalizing existing spaces into,
- Ey recommendations in the guidelines include: 1.
- Denser street networks and narrow roads 2.
- Historical preservation 3.
- Expanded public transportation networks 4.
- Increased public and 5.
- More energy-efficient and high-quality construction 6.
- Enforcing urban growth boundaries and reducing sprawl The focus on sustainable development is in line with the country’s recently released five-year economic plan.
reports that China aims to double its 2010 GDP and per capita income levels by 2020, primarily through new innovation and technological advances. Premier Li Keqiang’s government work report released Saturday outlined a number of policies, including tax incentives for high-tech firms and encouraging alternative methods for funding startups, including crowdsourcing, angel investors and venture capital, aimed at driving innovation.
The country’s 13th five-year plan, which covers the period from 2016-2020, also puts a focus on green development — particularly in the country’s largest cities. Li said he wants the country’s major cities to have “good or excellent” for 80 percent of the year. And a few of the $800 billion renminbi ($122.7 billion U.S.) worth of major projects Li mentioned include projects that could reduce carbon emissions, such as hydropower, smart grids and urban rail transit.
However, The Diplomat argues that the environment still is by no means China’s top priority: “While China is saying all the right things about its environment — promising to cut emissions from coal use, increase the use of renewable energy, and punish polluters — the environment is not given as much emphasis as other areas of focus.” Kelsey E. With all the focus urbanists put on European cities, I’m always fascinated by stories about urbanism coming out of Asia and Africa. Here are a few stories to get you started. : Can China’s Largest Cities Look Like This in 5 Years?
Will skyscrapers last forever?
How long is a skyscraper meant to last? – by Punctual Abstract City skylines are iconic. One glance at the skyline of major cities like New York, Los Angeles Chicago or Seattle and you know what you’re looking at. Skyscrapers are more than just buildings.
- They’re iconic.
- They work their way into the very fabric of a city’s identity.
- We’ve written in the past about the cities with the oldest housing stock in the country, which got us thinking: What’s the intended lifespan of a skyscraper? How long are they designed to last? The earliest skyscraper, the Great Pyramid of Giza, was built in 2540 BC, and it’s still standing.
So how long will the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building last? And what about the Empire State Building, which was built in 1931 and held the title for the world’s tallest for nearly 40 years until the construction of the Sears Tower in 1970? Will they still be standing in the year 7,000 AD – the equivalent if they exist as long as the pyramids? First let’s look at the stresses, or ‘loads’ in engineering-speak, that modern skyscrapers are meant to withstand.
Lightning One common stress upon skyscrapers is lightning strikes, one bolt of which can pack up to two billion volts. During the rare storms that pass through Skyscrapers are designed with protective enclosures, similar to the wire mesh on microwave oven doors, that divide and subdivide the energy from a lightning strike and guide it to the ground where it is spread out harmlessly.
Here’s a cool article with many pictures of famous skyscrapers being hit by lightning, Wind Wind is the most obvious stressor placed upon skyscrapers, and its speed increases with elevation. When hitting a flat face, wind whirls into an organized gust which alternates first to one side of the face and then the other, causing the object, in this case a building, to sway.
- If the wind is strong enough, the building can collapse.
- That’s why skyscrapers are designed with irregular shapes and angles that prevent wind from becoming organized.
- Features which are often thought of as simply for style or artistry are actually there to divide the wind and direct it away from the structure.
According to Bill Baker, the structural engineer behind the Burj Khalifa, the typical building is designed to withstand winds from a 700-year storm, while larger skyscrapers are designed to withstand events that occur just once every two millennia. Earthquakes For certain regions, like the West Coast, the primary concern is earthquakes.
- In these areas, resonance, a phenomenon in which a vibrating system or external force drives another system to oscillate with greater amplitude at specific frequencies, is the key concern.
- In these videos, shot during a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Tokyo, you’ll see the power of resonant design as the skyscrapers sway dramatically but do not collapse.
The Verdict So, will the skyscrapers of today still be around in the year 7,000 AD? According to Bill Baker, the man responsible for the structural integrity of the tallest skyscraper in the world, yes. Skyscrapers constructed after the 1930s were made of concrete reinforced with steel, as opposed to just steel, which gave them the tensile strength of steel and the compressive strength of rock.
- They can resist both stretching and squeezing forces.
- The earliest steel skyscrapers, like the Empire State Building, which date from the 1930s are least likely to remain standing in 7,000 years because they are constructed almost exclusively of steel, meaning they have exceptional tensile strength but are quite rigid and inflexible.
The primary threat to today’s skyscrapers isn’t that they’ll collapse, but that they’ll be torn down to make way for something better. It’s predicted that the trend of people moving from rural areas into cities will only accelerate in coming decades, forcing us to build ever higher into the sky.
- In 100 years, today’s tallest skyscrapers could be looked at the same way we view a ten story brick structure built at the beginning of the 20th century.
- Your National Solution with a Local Touch Punctual Abstract is a national title abstracting company located in Harvey, LA.
- Whether you need an abstractor for a certain county or region, or you’re looking for a national provider, Punctual Abstract is here to help.
We have extensive experience performing commercial and residential abstracts of all kinds and perform complete title searches plus attorney opinion package-deals all with the same average turn-time of 24-48 hours! Visit our homepage or contact us today for more information.
How long does a brick last?
500 years is the average brick lifespan Research undertaken by Adrian Bown from Leeds Metropolitan University of 860 homes found that brick structures can have a lifespan of 500 years or more. This research focussed on traditional low-rise residential housing and smaller commercial brick built properties.
- It found that “.under the right circumstances clay bricks have the potential to remain serviceable up to 650 years.
- This is approximately the time at which clay brickwork was first introduced to the UK from the continent.” In sharp contrast, some of the lightweight timber and fibre-cement panels used in construction have a design life of 50 years or less.
Sustainability is not just about recycling or the use of carbon-free materials. Nor is it just about the embodied energy accrued through the processes of sourcing, production and transport. It’s about the whole life energy consumption of a product. The crucial additional element in any sustainability calculation is how much it costs to look after a product once it’s become part of a building.
- There is evidence all around us that brick only gets better and better with age.
- Maintenance is minimal – repointing may be necessary after 68 years for cavity walls and 113 years for solid walls.
- In contrast to other materials, brick will not rot, rust, erode or decay.
- Wind and rain and snow will not damage it, weather merely mellows it.
So as brick ages its looks improve and the embodied energy becomes insignificant. And, when the time comes to knock down brickwork, it can be crushed and recycled on site – and old lime mortar bricks can be cleaned up and re-used. But why stop at recycling brick when it’s possible to recycle and successfully adapt entire brick buildings – or at least their shells? Re-using a brick building not only saves it from demolition but helps meet carbon reduction targets and preserves the character of an area.
- Bricks blend easily with their environment, go comfortably with other building materials and will not rot, rust, erode, decay or ignite.
- They add structural stability, thermal mass and durability to an external wall.
- Furthermore brickwork can be adapted as a building changes use.
- As brick ages its looks improve.
And when the time comes to knock down brickwork it can be crushed or recycled on site – and old lime mortar bricks can be cleaned up and re-used. What’s more it’s possible to recycle or adapt entire brick buildings, or at least their shells. Yet these environmental attributes are twinned with exceptionally low cost – most bricks are priced like a commodity.
How long do Japanese buildings last?
Built to Not Last: The Japanese Trend of Replacing Homes Every 30 Years Courtesy of NKS Architects In most countries around the world, value is placed on older buildings. There’s something about the history, originality, and charm of an older home that causes their value to sometimes be higher than newly constructed projects.
But in Japan, the opposite is almost always the preference. Newly-built homes are the crux of a housing market where homes are almost never sold and the obsession with razing and rebuilding is as much a cultural thing as it is a safety concern, bringing 30-year-old homes to a valueless market. Unlike in other countries, homes in Japan rapidly depreciate over time, becoming nearly valueless 20-30 years after they were built.
If someone moves out of a home before that time frame, the house is seen as having no value and is demolished in favor of the land, which is seen as being high in value. This approach to building longevity is explained by both the poor construction techniques that were created to meet the booming demand for housing after World War II, and also the frequently updated building codes that aim to improve resilience against earthquakes and the looming threat of other natural disasters.
- Additionally, because people believe that their homes will quickly lose value, there’s little incentive to maintain them in a way that would make them enticing to a potential future buyer.
- What this provides is a market where homeowners feel more liberation to design homes as they want while simultaneously accepting their negative equity.
In fact, Japan has nearly five times the number of registered architects, due to the need for newly built custom homes. © Tatiana Knoroz While this trend seems to apply to most of Japan, there are small signs that this trend of rebuilding may be experiencing some change. Some homeowners are taking a smaller-scale approach to the wrecking ball, and considering renovating their homes by redesigning floor plans, demoing walls, and opening up spaces in a more modern way.
- For the first time in many years, people are beginning to appreciate an older home.
- Part of this niche market movement is just a reflection of what is happening across Japan,
- Population growth is on a rapid decline, expected to decrease by nearly 40 million by 2065,
- The country is also an aging population- soon more than one-third of people in Japan will be over the age of 65.
These demographic trends are causing an above-average number of homes to be vacant, and that number is expected to rise to about 30% in 2033 – giving Japan a reason to rehab old homes instead of building new ones. © Takawo In the more urban areas where the majority of the population skews younger, people have more flexible options. Companies in Tokyo are looking at non-traditional and less-cultural forms of housing. From transforming buildings into having new uses (like the popular method of taking old office space and converting it into apartments), and designing new co-living areas, new spaces and ways of living are being introduced into a society that lends more traditional and conservative.
What is the strongest built home?
What is the strongest material for a house? – Research-wise, concrete foundations, insulated concrete form framing (ICF), and a corrugated galvanised steel roof are the strongest house materials. Foundations are usually constructed from concrete because it is our strongest building material and it’s important to have a sturdy house foundation. It’s easy to create a durable, even finish with concrete no matter where you are building. It has great durability when it comes to standing against all kinds of elements.
The foundation is not likely to move or cave because it will be thick and solid. This gives you a strong house foundation to build on. Insulated concrete forms are believed to be one of the strongest house frame options. They are energy efficient, as well as water and disaster-resistant. But they are not as common when it comes to building houses.
Steel and timber frames are the most common house frames in today’s construction business. Timber can be sturdy and flexible which is great for building a house frame. It is still considered one of our stronger frame materials, As for walls, you have a few options.
- Some modern homes are built using concrete blocks, while others have walls constructed of bricks.
- Cut stone is another great option.
- Limestone and sandstone are easily cut and carved, and widely available.
- Granite is incredibly hard-wearing but difficult to work with.
- All of these are popular options in Ireland.
Brick and stone are great materials for building strong exterior house walls and are the most common materials. With every build, it’s important to have the best quality stonemason tools to ensure the strongest finish. When it comes to roofing, corrugated galvanised steel is considered one of the strongest material options.
What was the hardest building to build in the world?
Page 6 – As a shining symbol of civic pride in Los Angeles County, Pasadena City Hall stood as the stately centerpiece of Pasadena’s Civic Center since 1927. To the casual observer, the rectangular edifice, designed by San Francisco Classicists John Bakewell, Jr., and Arthur Brown, Jr., appeared to be aging gracefully. : Taipei 101 tower named ‘world’s toughest’ building by Popular Mechanics
What took 14 years build?
Time to build: 14 years (from formal proposal to finish) – David Rockefeller, grandson of the first billionaire in the U.S., had the idea to build a World Trade Center in the port district in Lower Manhattan in the 1950s. By 1960, city, state and business leaders came on board.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey presented a formal proposal to the two states’ governors in 1961, then hired an architect and cleared 14 blocks of the city’s historic grid. They broke ground in 1966. Two or three stories went up weekly. The towers used 200,000 tons of steel and, according to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, enough concrete to run a sidewalk between New York City and Washington, D.C.
The ambitious project overcame community opposition, design and construction setbacks, attempted sabotage by New York real estate rivals and major engineering challenges to open its doors in April 1973 while still under construction. The towers were completed in 1975.
What building took 300 years?
|Basílica de la Sagrada Família
|Gothic Revival and Art Nouveau and Modernista
|Construction Board of La Sagrada Família Foundation
What building took the shortest time?
3. Instacon, Mohali in 48 Hours – The Indian construction industry changed when Synergy Thrislington, an infrastructure company, developed a ten-storey commercial project within 48 hours. This Indian commercial project has made quite a sprint in the world’s fastest building construction.