Engineering the Impossible focused on three incredible, yet physically possible, engineering projects: the 170-story Millennium Tower, the nine mile (14 km)-long Gibraltar Bridge, and the 4000+-foot-long Freedom Ship.
Imagine a skyscraper almost twice the size of the Empire State Building. This colossus would be a city within a city, hosting its own hospitals, schools, and a range of entertainment and retail options large enough to attract and keep the traffic necessary for the financial success of such an endeavor.
Height: 2,755 feet, 170 stories
Resident Population: 52,000
Elevator Traffic: 100,000 people per day
Location: Hong Kong Harbor
Closest Living Relative: Petronas Towers, Kuala Lampur (1,483 feet, 88 stories) Construction Duration: Approximately 10 years
Cost: $10 billion
Beyond the physical challenges of building the tallest skyscraper in the world, it will only be successful if it attracts residents, tourists and offices. The Millennium Tower needs to offer many choices to make it a destination of choice. Residents can go to not just one grocery store, but many. Office workers can browse a few clothing stores on their level or the same amount 30 floors up. Tourists can find the movie they want in at least one of the many theaters available. Designers say Millennium Tower will house as many options as you'd find in several city blocks.
Construction of the Millennium Tower will include traditional building techniques, that, in this case, will put ironworkers thousands of feet in the air to place 5-ton girders with a minimum of safety gear. But engineers are planning to also use a new technology — building by computer.The Self-Rising Factory is a set of computerized cranes and lifts surrounded by a weatherproof enclosure. According to a precise schedule, the steel beams are essentially handed to the machinery which then places them for workers to bolt together. Once the beams and...