Published on 13th December 2021
Human beings have always been fascinated with architecture. The tallness and size of the buildings were essential in giving them a glorious feeling. As time progressed and people outgrew their lands, buildings became taller and taller to accommodate more in little space.
In every urban sprawl, these rising towers aid human progress by rapidly increasing the number of inhabitants. Think of dreamy places like San Francisco, Hong Kong, Midtown Manhattan, the Middle East, Kuala Lumpur, or even New Zealand! An urban habitat needs Skyscrapers for its progress!
A skyscraper is a building with at least 150 meters of height! A skyscraper with more than 300m of altitude is a supertall skyscraper. And one with more than 600m of height is known as a mega tall skyscraper.
But have you ever wondered how skyscrapers are built?
Here are the major steps in building a skyscraper:
Building a skyscraper is, obviously, not an easy task. Skyscrapers need to battle major forces of nature such as gravity, heavy winds, and others. The hurdles put forward by nature can be overcome by using ingenious engineering methods and creative designs.
For instance, Shanghai Tower in China is built twisted to confuse the incoming winds. Similarly, Lotte World Tower, located in Seoul, also whirls its body to respect the wrathful winds.
Design is not just for safety precautions. It is also an art. Architecture is at its best in gorgeous buildings such as Chrysler Building, Flatiron Building, Hudson Yards and the Empire State Building in New York City. Also, Wainwright Building, Petronas Tower, Central Park Tower, and the list goes on!
Usually, the building of skyscrapers is contract-based. And a designer is hired through any of the common construction contracts.
Just like any other building, a skyscraper also requires strong foundations. Without a strong foundation, the building is always prone to collapse.
Now, the basic principle of the foundation of a skyscraper is “the deeper you dig, the higher you build.” Or “The size of the base is proportional to the height of the building.” But it no longer has to be like that! With the help of clever engineers, one could even build a skyscraper on the sand. Remember, the world’s tallest building- Burj Khalifa, was constructed on sands!
Usually, the foundations are laid in a bedrock. But the availability of bedrock is susceptible to the geography and geology of the region. But, as we mentioned before, engineering marvels have made it possible to build a tall building anywhere on the planet!
The next step after building the foundation is to erect the structural system. The skeleton of skyscrapers is usually made using steel beams as they can take more strain and have more compression.
The skeleton is the central part of the structure. The vertical beams are built at the perimeter of the building, and each side is connected by horizontal girder beams to the adjacent sides. For more strength, diagonal beams are linked from the vertices to the centre of the structure.
After the steel skeleton is built to perfection, the concrete is poured into, glueing it together.
And using cranes, the steel structure is built upwards till its spire!
So, the skeleton is ready. Now it’s time to fill it up with muscles and fluids!
After the steel structure is made, then the floors are paved. After flooring, essential services like water, wiring, painting are done. Also, transportation services like stairs, elevators, and highspeed lifts are installed.
The Buildings are then dressed in shiny glasses of various colors. It is important to note that this dressing is not just decoration. It adds to the beauty of the building and the city. The art of architecture should never be overlooked in skyscraper construction.
So, that’s all? Is the Skyscraper ready?
Well… almost! But we have to create one more substructure!
Since the beginning of construction, the spires have had an elevated significance. This is because they can be considered the head or the crown of the towers.
Naturally, it has to be the most elegant part of the skyscraper.
Modern skyscrapers have spires that are decorative and functional. The spire could serve as a lightning rod or a communication tower. Not just that spires make the buildings look more appealing, but they also increase the skyscraper’s height. A taller building without a spire can become the tallest building with one!
As for the flat roof areas, they can serve as public viewing decks!
Skyscrapers are symbols of human ingenuity. We progress better and build higher. Who knows where the finish line is? Maybe one day, the skyscrapers would reach for the stars. Quite literally!