The High Life: City Dwellers Prepare for Taller, More Skyscrapers in Coming Years
Ready or not, thousands of new skyscrapers will be built by 2050 according to current trends. City living is continuing to become more and more popular. By 2050, it is estimated that around six billion people will reside within the heart of different cities. As of September 2018, the number of city inhabitants is a measly four billion, but cities will have to adapt to the increased influx of people migrating into the city (https://bit.ly/2P8YucN).
Skyscraper construction has increased at an extremely consistent rate. According to a study done by Jonathan Auerbach and Phyllis Wan titled “An Extreme Value Analysis of the Urban Skyline,” skyscrapers exceeding 150 meters and 40 floors has risen eight percent each year since 1950. If this trend continues, 41,000 of these skyscrapers will be completed by 2050. To meet the demands of the increasing urban population, Auerbach and Wan have determined that the tallest buildings will rise 50 percent higher than the buildings today (https://bit.ly/2P8YucN).
Land space is hard to come by nowadays; expanding horizontally is just not an option. Growing vertically is one of the only choices that cities have to accommodate for city dwellers. The Middle East and China have pioneered the high rise lifestyle to accommodate for their fast-growing population.
It is clear that building to these great heights requires expert innovation. The Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia currently stands one kilometer high, and the standard elevator rope cannot be used because it is too heavy. In similar structures, elevator passengers normally require an elevator change at some point along the ride. However, due to the fairly recent development of a lighter carbon fiber cable, this allows elevators to move higher distances. Similarly, a three-legged base has been developed to support stability and reduce the sway of these large buildings.
"In order to be economical in designing buildings at these extreme heights, you have to look at the constructability, controlling the wind forces and the structural efficiency," says William Baker, the lead engineer for the Burj Dubai tower at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, via (https://bit.ly/2x0ns6W).
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