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China’s Shanghai Tower

China’s tallest building – at more than twice the height of London’s Shard.


Shanghai Tower is in Lujiazui Finance and Trade District of Pudong, with Shanghai World Financial Center to the east and Jin Mao Tower to the north. On August 3rd, 2013, its shadow stands at a height of 580 meters (about 1,903 feet). When finished in 2015, it will stand 632 meters (about 2,073 feet) high, and will rank as China\’s tallest and second only to the world at large. The foot print takes up 30,368 square meters (about 326,878 square feet) with floor space of about 576,000 square meters (about 6,200,012 square feet), with 5 basement levels, 121 floors above ground and 5 podium floors.


As Shanghai is on a seismic belt and the construction site is in a river basin, a firm foundation for this skyscraper is very important. To firm up the ground, engineers first put 980 foundation piles underground to a depth of 282 feet, and then poured 2.15 million cube feet of concrete to set a 20-feet-thick baseboard for anchoring the main building. 

The exterior of the building spirals upward like a snake. It twists about one degree per floor to offset the wind effect on higher altitude. This is very important to a super tall building in Shanghai to withstand frequent typhoons.

The tower supports two glass facades, an inner one and an outer one, like overlapping \”tubes\”. The space between the two \”tubes\” varies from 3 to 33 feet wide, providing more public space inside the building. At the mean time, the space functions as a heat insulation layer like in a thermos flask. This is environment-friendly and costing less.

As a complex super tall building, Shanghai Tower is subdivided into five main functional areas: 24-hour offices for multinational companies and financial services; super five-star hotels and support facilities, offering personalized service and amenities; high end retail shops etc; recreation zone, forming a new business and cultural center in Shanghai, a clear departure from ghost town image of Lujiazui after working hours; conference facilities, including sightseeing rooms in upper floors, and a multifunction conference center measuring over 2,000 square meters (about 21,528 square feet) and a multifunction banquet hall measuring more than 1,000 square meters (about 10,764 square feet) in podium building.


The building will be serviced by 149 elevators, of which 108 are lifts. Three of the lifts can send passengers up to the 500-meter (about 1,640 feet)-high sightseeing platform from street level within one minute, which is a world record holder. 

The builders have & made peace signs as they made the finishing touches to the skyscraper, which at 632m is second only to Dubai’s 828m Burj Khalifa in height. The Shard looks modest by comparison at 306m despite being the tallest building in Britian by more than 70m.


About author

Saad is a civil engineer by profession and love to explore innovative ideas relevant to construction, civil engineering, and home improvement. He loves writing about concrete, DIY guides, home improvement tips, technologies, and more.
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