Skyscrapers are one of the greatest symbols of the modern world. These tall and heavy structures are reflections of the massive advancements of modern technology. With wonderful architecture and excellent engineering, the sky is truly the limit for these marvelous structures.
Most big cities around the world have some of the tallest skyscrapers to showcase their capability to handle mega projects. These state-of-the-art engineering wonders attract both tourists and business companies. But skyscrapers of this modern era have a long history full of interesting facts. Here are six surprising facts about modern skyscrapers.
1. Skyscrapers Do Have a Height Limit
Even a few decades back, skyscrapers used to have a height limit. But in recent times, modern-day skyscrapers have surpassed all their predecessors. The heights of today’s skyscrapers are quite astonishing. And there are possibilities of going even higher.
The famous Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest skyscraper in the world, with an astounding height of 830 meters. But there is another skyscraper in Saudi Arabia called the Jeddah Tower. This structure is currently under construction, and it’s supposed to be taller than Burj Khalifa. Tokyo is also planning to build a skyscraper that will be twice the size of burke khalifa. To learn more about these amazing structures, check out the list of the world’s tallest skyscrapers.
So you might wonder if there is any height limit for building skyscrapers. Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Earth’s curvature limits the structure’s base, so the height of skyscrapers will be limited at some point. But engineers can build even taller buildings before reaching that limit.
2. Skyscrapers Had Different Meanings
With the word “skyscraper”, we refer to very tall buildings. But it was not always the case. A couple of centuries back, the meaning of this word was completely different. According to The Oxford English Dictionary, the word “skyscraper” was used to describe a very tall horse in 1788. In 1790, this was used to mean a triangular sky-sail. For several decades, this word was used to describe things like a bicycle rider, a tall man, or a tall hat.
But in the 19th century, people started constructing very tall buildings and structures. At that time, the word “skyscraper” seemed most fitting to describe these tall buildings.
3. Skyscrapers Need Less Construction Time
Modern-day skyscrapers are usually very tall. Some are so tall that you can’t even guess their heights without measurement. But considering their heights and heavy foundations, skyscrapers take surprisingly less time to build. It only took five years to complete the construction of Burj Khalifa. Another skyscraper, The Empire state building, took only about 20 months to build. On top of that, a 57-storied building was built within three weeks in China. It might seem almost impossible to finish such large constructions within this short time.
That’s where modern engineering technology comes into play. Because of technological improvement, most construction of skyscrapers was prefabricated in the factory. This method reduces the construction time by a significant margin. It is called the modular construction technique and has revolutionized the modern skyscraper construction system.
If you’re living in a skyscraper, you might feel like you have less space because of the modular structure of the apartment. In that case, you can use your interior design techniques to maximize space in your home.
4. Skyscrapers Can Cause Earthquakes
Although skyscrapers can demonstrate extraordinary architectural beauty, they can often come with a price. Because of the tall structure, a wide magnitude of digging is required for a skyscraper. That leads to the possibility of damaging the environmental balance.
In 2003, the construction of one of the tallest skyscrapers “Taipei 101” was completed. But after it was built, a series of earthquakes started hitting the local areas. Later it was found that large and heavy foundation materials were used to make this skyscraper earthquake-proof. As a result, this heavy construction process significantly strained the Earth’s crust. So if you’re planning to build your house near a skyscraper, try to design your home with maximum safety measures.
5. Time Runs Faster on Skyscrapers
One fascinating thing about skyscrapers is that people living in them age faster than others. It might seem impossible at first, but it’s 100% true. If a person lives at the top of a skyscraper, he or she will age faster than people living on the ground. There is a solid scientific explanation behind this extraordinary phenomenon. In scientific terms, this is called gravitational dilation. According to this theory, if a person moves away from the earth’s surface, time will go faster for that individual.
So if you’re living in a skyscraper, you will age faster than the rest of the people. Is it concerning? Absolutely not. You will only age a few seconds faster and you won’t even notice any difference.
6. Skyscrapers Can Sway in the Wind
This might be one of the most surprising facts about modern skyscrapers. Many tall structures are designed actually to sway in the wind. This is not a fancy feature of a skyscraper.
Since a modern skyscraper requires a very complex design, engineers must be precise about it. Architects must consider many factors for designing a skyscraper, such as high wind, earthquakes, storms, etc. For that, they often focus on the flexibility of the structure so that it can withstand any natural disaster.
That’s why many skyscrapers are designed to sway in the wind. It allows the building to stay upright at all times. But if you live on a skyscraper, you won’t notice any movement because of the excellent architectural design.
Skyscrapers are one of the fascinating creations of the modern era. Engineering innovation combined with some excellent architectural designs made people’s imagination a reality. With newer technologies in the future, we can actually reach the sky with skyscrapers.