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Old April 3rd, 2006, 11:00 AM   #1
ch1le
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Architects have designs on a tower to dwarf mountains

Wed 29 Mar 2006

Articel from The Scotsman

IAN JOHNSTON SCIENCE CORRESPONDENT

AN INTERNATIONAL competition is under way to design a tower that would be a mile and a half high - nearly five times the height of the world's current tallest building.

At almost 8,000ft, the building would be so high that people at the top would become breathless. Any higher and people would be at risk of developing altitude sickness.

One and a half miles equates to 7,921ft, or 2,415 metres, nearly twice as high as Ben Nevis.

Such an extraordinary feat of engineering is likely to cost tens of billions of pounds and take at least two decades.

A key problem would be the amount of side-to-side sway, which could make people inside feel "sea-sick", according to one expert. High-speed lifts travelling at nearly 40mph would be needed to keep a reasonable journey time to the top.

Architects around the world, including Glasgow-born engineer David Scott, the chairman of the United States-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, were asked to submit designs for the structure. Mr Scott, who is also a director of the international engineering firm Arup, declined to reveal the developers' identity, but said they had already selected a city in the Middle East as the site of the tower.

Details of the competition emerged after The Scotsman yesterday revealed renewed interest in building the world's tallest tower.

The highest planned building is Dubai's Burj Tower, which could top 800 metres. But Mr Scott said one developer was thinking of going far higher. "We have recently been involved in a competition for a 1.5-mile high project in the Middle East," he said.

"I think it is technically achievable. It's just, 'Do you want to invest that amount of money on a single site?'

"And then there are security and safety issues."

He said while he knew the location of the proposed site, the developers were "keeping quiet for the time being" about the project, and he did not want to say where it would be built.

Mr Scott said that following a lull in tall-tower construction, things were taking off once again.

"There's been a great resurgence of interest in the iconic nature of tall buildings and increased understanding by designers about how to make these composite structures - most of them involve steel and concrete - work," he said. "And there has been an economic boom in real estate which is fuelling that.

"It's a combination of the technology, the economics and the will to go taller."

The International Society of Mountain Medicine defines high altitude as 5,000ft-11,500ft. At those heights the body has to acclimatise to adjust to the thinner air "over a period of days to weeks".

However, advice on the society's website says: "Practically speaking, we generally don't worry much about elevations below about 8,000ft, since altitude illness rarely occurs lower than this."

Tony Ryan, information officer for the British Mountaineering Council, suggested that putting a gym on the top floor would be a bad idea.

"My brother used to live in Colorado at 8,000ft and if I was walking around I wouldn't feel any real difficulty, but if I went for a walk I would notice I was struggling to walk uphill," he said.

Dr Nutan Subedi, an engineering lecturer at Dundee University and an expert on tall buildings, said the competition was probably at the conceptual phase - "an idea as to how it might work".

"It's only at the developmental stage. When they start to look at it in detail, when it comes to the real examination of feasibility - that's where the possibilities or impossibilities come in," he said.

"The air will be very thin at 8,000ft and one would have to look at the vibration of the building as well. The movement could make you sea-sick. These are still things that have to be researched."

sounds fairly interesting, what could it be? A supersuperhugetall?
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 11:01 AM   #2
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that sounds interesting, any renderings?
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 11:08 AM   #3
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nop, Didnt see any
but 2.5km... thats a bigger step than Burj is taking in comparison with Taipei 101!
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 11:14 AM   #4
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WOW interesting..
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 11:32 AM   #5
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A supertall today isn't all that super anymore, but this, would be pretty super. I didn't think 2,5km, was feasable. Can't wait for the designs.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 11:36 AM   #6
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I dont like towers over 1km. I hope they are a VERY rare occurance.
a 2.5km tower is enough to drain the demand of any city on earth ffs!
That means no more skylines
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 12:03 PM   #7
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Oh! yeah!! I got your point,umm!!! it's hard to occur like that.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 12:46 PM   #8
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It'll take too much time
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 01:39 PM   #9
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I hope at least one mile high building gets built during my lifetime.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 06:13 AM   #10
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On the swaying/ seasickness thing, there was a docco on discovery channel about it. Basiccally they put groups of people in simulated environments that constantly shifted (to obviously simulate the swaying of a building) - they tried people working in office situations as well as people in residential situations that included sleeping, and there was actually not one case of motion sickness!! so apparently the hype over the effect of swaying on people in office buildings is highly overrated. But then again - the simulation probably wasn't designed with the sway of a mile and a half scraper though.... damn that's friggin huge....
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Old April 4th, 2006, 07:07 AM   #11
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its one thing to design it, and yet another to build it. I would love to see a design for this, but i have a hard time believing something like this will be built in the next thirtry years. Engineering wise, it may be possible, but i can't see this thing being economically possible.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 07:11 AM   #12
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I don't think its unrealistic to have such a tower built in our lifetime. Well maybe atleast my lifetime. But is that anytime soon? ofcourse not. The most i see going anytime soon is a kilometre. 2.5 is far from that.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 07:12 AM   #13
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Al burj was said to be up to a mile tall. Intresting it's a comp and a study. Could see results in design evolution.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 07:29 AM   #14
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Sounds Awesome! Bring it on. That would truly be a wonder of the world to rival the pyramids!
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Old April 4th, 2006, 07:31 AM   #15
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Well, there was X-Seed 4000, 4000m high
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Old April 4th, 2006, 09:35 AM   #16
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"DWARF MOUNTAINS"
ARE YOU SURE?

Can anyone possibly DWARF MOUNT EVEREST? Or Olympus Mons in Mars?????
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Old April 4th, 2006, 09:46 AM   #17
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I don't think it's gonna be real or got built in the next 10 years.
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Old April 4th, 2006, 12:01 PM   #18
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I can't imagine this happening anytime soon........... And by the way, altitude sickness at just over 8,000 feet? Meh...give me a break!!!! I've been well over 12,000 feet quite a few times in an unpressurised a/c, no problems at all.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 04:12 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locke
Sounds Awesome! Bring it on. That would truly be a wonder of the world to rival the pyramids!
Yeah, and just like the pyramids, they could use foreign semi-slave labor in the middle east. They may have a few riots ( ala recent Burj incident), but oh well.
The question is, could it be built in a free market where the units or office space would be competitively priced and sell?
It is like space tourism, yeah we can do it, but the cost prices it out of the market.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 04:15 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spearman
A supertall today isn't all that super anymore, but this, would be pretty super. I didn't think 2,5km, was feasable. Can't wait for the designs.

Half Life 2 was such a fun game. I was awed by that tower (the Citadel).
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