Skyscraper Construction

This post answers the following questions

1) What are the purpose of Skyscraper?
2) How to construct a Skyscraper?
3) What are the characteristics of a Skyscraper?
4) Why skyscrapers are amazing?
5) What are the things you need in constructing a Skyscraper?

The quest for height is one that architects have been pushing for throughout history.  From the pyramids of ancient Egypt to the spires on the cathedrals of Europe, engineers, architects and builders throughout history have always strived to make their buildings bigger, taller, and grander.

Today, skyscrapers serve a dual purpose.  They’re popular in big cities because they’re convenient – land is precious, and a skyscraper can accommodate many more people than a humble cottage.  Ego does play some role in their development, though – designing a building that dominates the skyline is a privilege that few architects would turn down.

Gravity Defying Constructions

Modern skyscrapers are amazing feats of engineering, and not just because they’re tall.  The thing that makes skyscrapers so amazing is that they’re both tall and narrow.  If you’ve ever built a house of cards, you’ll know how important that solid base is – the bigger you make the base, the taller you can make the pyramid.  Skyscrapers defy that logic, and go straight up.

If you were to try to build a skyscraper out of only bricks and mortar, you wouldn’t be able to get much higher than ten stories before the building would collapse under its own weight.  The thing that makes super-tall skyscrapers possible is the availability of iron and steel. Steel is light and incredibly strong, and it’s those properties that are valuable in the construction of tall buildings.

Steel Girder Grids

Steel girders are welded together into a grid, which forms the skeleton of a skyscraper.  These steel girders are huge, and incredibly heavy, so they need to be manoeuvred with a welding positioner.  The welder then uses a seam welding machine to carefully join the girders, making a super-structure out of them.  The weight of the building is transferred across the columns of girders, and these transfer the weight to the substructure under the building. If the welds are imperfect, and there are weak spots in the superstructure, then this could make the building unstable.

The Curtain Wall

One of the best things about using steel girders to make a skeleton structure is that the outer part of the structure is no longer important for holding the building together.  The outer wall, which is known as the “curtain wall” only needs to be able to support its own weight, so the designers could make it out of glass, or even solar panels if they wanted to.

Safety and Comfort

The question of building safety goes further than ensuring that the person using the seam welding machine does a good job.  Once the structure is finished, it needs to be safe for the occupants.  This means that there needs to be an efficient elevator system, fire evacuation options, sprinklers, a functional water system (imagine trying to design a pump which can provide enough water for 80 floors worth of residents), and a way for everyone in the building to get gas, electricity, TV reception and internet access.

Many older skyscrapers were triumphs of engineering in that they were tall, safe, and wind-resistant, but inside they were dark, oppressive, and stale smelling.  It’s only in the last couple of decades that engineers have mastered making buildings that are both tall, functional, and pleasant to live in.

Attached Images:

This article was written by Crispin Jones on behalf of Westermans, retailers of welding positioners and seam welding machines. Vist their site to see their range of welding positioners, seam welding machines and other products by clicking this link.

Photo: sakeeb

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