The Haphazard Blog

Tag: burj khalifa

Skyscrapers Have Me Thinking

by on Jan.09, 2010, under News, Politics

With the completion of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai it reminded me of a couple things. It’s a sad reminder about how inefficient the United States has become in so many areas. Politically we can’t make positive progress on much. Healthcare reform has been bounced around in Congress for six months now. There still hasn’t been any work done to adjust regulations for financial institutions. Matt Drudge purposely lets the ignorant know global warming is a joke. I’m sure climate change will also end up going nowhere.

Nothing illustrates how ineffective and inefficient we are than 1 World Trade Center (The Freedom Tower). There was a time where the biggest skyscrapers were being built here. People would set out to build something and it would get done. Now, over eight years after the attacks, there is still nothing there. What is supposed to be a symbol that the terrorists won’t win is around 200 feet of steel so far. Estimated completion date is 2013, over 7 years after the groundbreaking and nearly 12 years after the attacks at an estimated cost of $3.5B.  Comparing that to the Burj: Ground breaking to completion was 5 years, 4 months; Total cost was $1.5B; Nearly 1M more square feet; 1,000 feet taller (1,350 feet if you exclude the antennas.). In summary, for $2B more, we get a smaller building that takes longer to build.

The other thing the Burj reminded me about was a science fair project I had done in 8th or 9thgrade. My friend Mike and I did a project called “How High can a Skyscraper Go?”. The answer ended up being pretty much as high as you want. There would be logistical issues to overcome (plumbing, elevators, etc.) but structurally the sky really was the limit. In retrospect, the project probably should’ve focused on a specific height instead of being open ended. But that’s not why I was thinking about it. I was talking to Mike recently and he mentioned that he saw a design that looked like the model we had built back then. Unfortunately he couldn’t remember where he saw it. We build it with balsa wood and hot glue. It was about 6 feet tall, but I’m told it no longer exists. Since I didn’t have any pictures of it, I spent part of the day messing with Google SketchUp to create a mock-up of it.

Mile High Skyscraper in SketchUp

If anyone recognizes it from somewhere, let me know. I want a commission or at least some credit!

Google SketchUp is a pretty good product, especially considering it is free. For someone with a more artistically geared mind than me, I bet it works great. You are always working in 3D. There are very few drawing tools which keeps it simple, but it’s very capable. I wanted to design a house, but I don’t think that is the best thing to use. It’s a little too generic for that purpose in my opinion. Better to use something geared just for that purpose.

Leave a Comment :, , , , , more...