China’s Race to Reach the Skies

China's Race to Reach the SkiesLooking at the urban skyline in many Chinese cities one can see clusters of skyscrapers, and because of the race to build more and higher buildings have sparked concerns in bad investments.

The tallest building in Beijing right now is the 330 meter tall China World Trade Center Tower 3 which will be dwarfed by China Zun a 528 meter tall skyscraper developed by CITIC Group. The building’s design is said to model after an ancient Chinese wine vessel which is scheduled to be finished in 2016 at a cost of 24 billion yuan. China Zun is one of the numbers of skyscrapers filling up the skies across Chinese cities in the race to build high-rises. In the southwestern city of Chingqing is planning to invest 10 billion yuan to develop a 470 meter tall Chongqing International Financial Center. And in Shenzhen the 660 meter tall Ping’an International Financial Center will be completed in two years time with a total investment of around 9 billion yuan.

But all of these buildings are short in comparison to the planned skyscraper in Changsha the capital of central China’s Hunan Province that will start construction in the next few months that is said to be 10 meters higher than the 828 meter tall Bruj Khalifa Tower, the world’s tallest building. Any building that is higher than 152 meters are considered as skyscrapers and among the ten tallest buildings, 4 are found in the Chinese mainland.

But experts are saying developers must consider low occupancy as the cooled economic expansion have lower the demand for high end office buildings in Beijing. And rent for high end office buildings in Beijing have increased 50 percent in the second quarter of 2012 and increases in rent will likely push away small and medium sized companies.

Architects are also saying that fires in high rises are a serious threat to high buildings, because of this scaling heights rescue work in these high buildings usually requires helicopters and ladders are not much of use since they only reach 100 meters.

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