Chinese Builders Construct 30-Story Hotel — In 15 Days

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Builders in China completed a 170,000 square foot, 30-story prefabricated hotel in just 15 days, ending on New Year’s Eve – and posted a time-lapse video (above) to show off their impressive feat, the Huffington Post reports.

Construction workers bolted together the new hotel, in Dongting Lake in Hunan province, from pre-made modules put together in a factory and then placed them on steel structures at the construction site, according to the International Business Times. It can reportedly withstand an 9.0-magnitude earthquake.

“It completely changes the way buildings are constructed and, I believe, is about to change the entire industry,” architect Lloyd Alter wrote on the blog Treehugger.

The Chinese company behind the speedy process, Broad Sustainable Building Corporation, has some former success with building quickly. Once the world’s largest producer of air conditioning equipment, it previously built the 15-story Ark Hotel in Changsha, China, in just six days.

The implications of the latest project seemingly go beyond simply adding to the Dongting skyline in a speedy fashion. “Construction is just about the only industry that has not been exported,” Alter explained. “But now the Broad Sustainable Building Corporation has designed a system that will let them build anywhere, to construction tolerances of +/- 0.2 mm.”

Which likely means American hotels will soon be added to the growing list of things that come with a “made in China” stamp.

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Great that the Chinese bought into this 1960's concept.  When I went to architectural school in 60's at University of Houston,  we visited the San Antonio Hemisphere which featured a modular design/construction of the onsite hotel at the Fair.  The modules were cast in the yard miles away and trucked to site where erection crane placed these prefab and prefinished models onto each other.  This concept had interior all completedly finished with carpet, wall pictures, most furniture in place.  As I developed my career as an architect here in USA and now in Hawaii,   I find American design and construction industry are way too conservative to embrace these over 40 year old concepts and technologies and want to design as to show off their brand and looks more than embracing new ideas.  The construction industry is mired with worker and union problems, so it is no wonder, the chinese, the japonese, the whoever will eventually outdo the west and america in anything including manufacturing, electronics, computers, cars, buildings, and eventually technnology and space travel. 

I commend you China for picking up the left overs the Americans throw away and making it work over and beyond what America shuns.  Keep up the good works.

Allen, AIA,   Honolulu, Hawaii