Skyscraper Construction in China Going Up

Nancy Anderson
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There are few architectural firms and construction companies that specialize in building skyscrapers, but those that do are finding that their services are being called upon in cities all over China. Traditionally, the U.S. has been the leader in tallest buildings on Earth, but it’s projected that by 2012, the U.S. will fall from having 80 of the world’s tallest 100 buildings to only 18; China will have 34.

Much of this demand comes directly from the Chinese government, and they’re basing the downtown skyline of many of their cities on the success of the Pudong district in Shanghai. Pudong has made itself known as the Wall Street of China, and with the country’s projected annual economic growth steady at 10%, the demand for office space is rising. China is highly populous, and is beginning to undergo a massive shift toward urbanization, further crowding exceptionally large cities, and driving up demands for any sort of real estate in city centers that are seemingly becoming smaller by the minute.

The demand for commercial office space in cities stands in stark contrast to the recent boom in luxury tenements -- that government stepped in to quell the most recent round of housing construction for fear that a glut of these buildings would drive down demand. This leaves lenders in a tenuous position if developers, not making sales, default on their loans. The U.S. is seeing something similar in their construction industry, as financing is not readily available for most contractors and developers, and were that to happen in China, it would likely drive the U.S. construction industry further into recession.

Skyscraper image is © Copyright Colin Babb and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.

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Mike Wrightly is mostly diesel fumes and duct tape; he grew up around heavy equipment, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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