Tuesday, 7 May 2019

What If We Build A Skyscraper With A Billion Floors?


828 meters, That is the height of the record 150-storey Burj Khalifa. skyscraper in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, the tallest construction. ever built, the tallest building in the world. For those who have never seen such a grandiose structure, it is perhaps quite difficult to even imagine the entire scale of such an architectural masterpiece. However, this building is not at the limit of our capabilities. Try now to imagine a building whose windows open out into space, perhaps where the Moon almost seems closer than the shopping centre located next door! Perhaps we can go a little further...Try to imagine a skyscraper with a billion flowers. How one could actually bring this insane idea into the realm of reality.



 I want to first introduce you to another giant structure, with a billion flowers. which in the near future may just break the record of the Burj Khalifa. This is the Shimizu Mega-City Pyramid A 240 storey tall. The project is being actively developed by Japanese architects. In its design, it somewhat resembles the futuristic headquarters of the Tyrell Corporation from the much-beloved cult sci-fi film Blade Runner. The size of the structure will be 14 times larger than The Great Pyramid of Giza. It will consist of 204 smaller pyramid constructions, each of which is equal in area to the huge Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. Despite the greater number of floors, the Shimizu pyramid will be slightly shorter than the Burj Khalifa - just 730 meters. But it compensates for this with its impressive size in general, And its ability to accommodate an astounding over 1 million people. Now this project may seem a tad ambitious, but architects are already dreaming about even greater super-constructions. You might ask: would it even be possible for anyone ever to create a super building with a billion floors? Of course, nothing prevents you from endlessly laying brick on a brick on a brick, or mounting one section over another, and so on. But the higher a building rises, the greater the headache it becomes for the builders. First of all, the force of the structure pushes down with ever greater pressure on itself the taller and therefore heavier it is. Meaning: If you do not create some kind of a heavy duty foundation, the upper part will become too massive for the lower to support, and the entire structure will collapse, flattening into a pancake. According to the calculations of one of the creators of the Burj Khalifa, one William Baker, a skyscraper with a height of 8,849 meters - a little over 10 times the height of the Burj Khalifa would need to be built on a base of approximately 4.1 thousand square kilometres. This height was chosen as it is one meter higher than the tallest mountain peak above sea level on the planet. And that is, of course, Mount Everest. The area at the base for such a structure would have to be about equal to the area of Polynesia. However, it is quite very much more than difficult to prepare a site of that kind for such a huge foundation. This is because of such a ginormous, Bunyanesque foundation to be constructed, the area covered would most likely be spotted and crisscrossed by waterways, and perhaps even contain mountains or valleys. If this normal style foundation were abbreviated in the slightest, the building built atop it would fold like a house of cards. But William Baker proposes another possibility: building skyscrapers around a smaller but yet still powerful central core, which could then support numerous columns, which in turn support the building. In this way, the foundation could be significantly narrowed. If one were to construct a building using this “pedestal” method, and if one were to still use a base of 4000 square kilometres in area. According to the Baker method, it can hypothetically rise to an astounding 59 thousand meters in height...or about 6 and two-thirds times taller than Mount Everest  That’s approximately 10 thousand floors...give or take a floor or two.  True, even with a terrifically strong foundation, to build such a skyscraper would not be easy in any way, shape, or form. At that height, hurricanes force winds are frequent and troublesome. They would blow against the sides of the structure and create powerful and possibly deadly turbulence. They could rock the building back and forth during storms, making the structure somewhat dangerous to live in. In fact, the whole building could potentially be blown over. To avoid such difficulties, it is proposed that skyscrapers be built in a more streamlined fashion so that they will be less damaged by whirlwinds, hurricanes and tornados. A circular shape, an oval, a triangle, and a rhombus with rounded corners have all been proposed, all of which would work better than a square. Also needed: super strong and highly resistant meta-materials. Perhaps the new and quite innovative transparent aluminium could be used. This amazing stuff is three times stronger than steel, and see through to boot. Or maybe nanomaterials, as some of them, according to scientists, are almost completely impossible to destroy. But even after having built an uber-building from such exotic stuff, you will still probably stress your noggin to the breaking point over the interminable problem of the elevators. Conventional elevators tend to occupy way too much space, and in such an uber-building there would be almost no space left for anything BUT elevator shafts. However, the latest developments in the design and creation of super compact and ultra-fast catapult elevators might save the day. There is also a promising idea regarding flying up and down on the exterior of the building using industrial strength balloons. I’ll believe it when I see it. But Let's say the engineers are able to solve such problems and overcome the milestone of 10000 floors. Now let us try to mentally climb higher and build a mega scraper of 100 thousand floors. The top of this architectural the extravaganza will reach near-Earth space.And suddenly it will be right in the middle of a microgravity dumping ground, full of debris from space stations, probes, comets, and asteroids. Already, according to NASA estimates, about 170 million remnants of satellites rotate here, from tiny little specks to fairly large hunks and chunks of broken machinery. And to top it off, the speed of many of these objects reaches a deadly 56 thousand km/h - something like the speed of a bullet fired from a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Scientists are promising to have this area swept clean of debris in the near future. They have already tested something called the “Remove DEBRIS” device, a kind of high technology space harpoon with a net, which during testing did manage to gather quite a good catch of space rubbish. And experts from the Surrey Space Center created a model of an orbital vacuum cleaner with a kind of sail, capable - they say - of carrying out the general cleaning of all of near-Earth space. So then, theoretically anyway, we will be able to continue building our super-duper ultra-skyscraper without fearing that a hunk of a satellite or wayward piece of the leftover rocket will destroy the entire thing in an instant. So, if we put one hundred mega-scrapers, each with a height of 100 thousand floors, on top of each other, then we get a mega-mega building with 10 million floors. And then if we build another 100 of those mega-mega buildings on top of each other, then...finally, we will have our giga-scraper with a total of one billion floors. Alas, according to the calculations of specialists, there is barely enough material and energy in the entire world to fashion even half of such a giga-scraper For this we need the resources of other celestial bodies. Judging by the rapid pace of development of science and technology, according to some forecasts, this will be do-able in the coming centuries. At that time then, finally, perhaps, it will be possible to encapsulate a star with a swarm of energy gathering satellites, whereupon we can consume as much energy as our heart's desire. The building materials could be borrowed from any other resource-rich nearby planets and asteroids. And finally, a skyscraper will appear with a billion floors, which, most likely, won’t be just a building, or even a city, but something like an entire world unto itself. It could be enveloped in a flexible shell filled with an artificial atmosphere and lit by the light of a man-made sun. Inside their different sectors, people will ride on supersonic elevators, and between different sections on some type of aircraft or even spacecraft. But at the apex of our Giga-scraper will be the Moon itself, and our Lunar companion could even crash into our structure if we aren’t careful. So, we will have to protect our Giga-floor-building from our eternal night light with, say, a protective grid. Or we might even have to remove our satellite a bit from the Earth to some safe distance a tad farther away. Still, the main problem with our building will be an incredible price. It will probably cost hundreds of trillions of dollars, which is quite a lot. With this amount of money, we could alternatively give each inhabitant of the planet a lump sum payment in the millions of dollars, or even rent a fleet of dozens of huge space ships No one really wants super tall buildings if they have to pay for most of it out of their own pockets. But what if one day, say, some global catastrophe, cataclysm, or epidemic drove everyone to have to hide together in the same building? Let's see if our giga-skyscraper could shelter all of humanity. Now on our planet, we have a population of about 7,600,000,000 people. According to some calculations, ten people of average height and weight can stand on one square meter. So, a square with sides 28 kilometres long, giving it an area of ​​784 square kilometres, could accommodate the entire population of the Earth. This is slightly larger than the total area of ​​New York City. Many experts are quite confident that a building the size of a city. Many experts are quite confident that a building the size of a city could be built today. However, to fit everyone on Earth into this structure, they would have to stand shoulder to shoulder, and back to face with all of their neighbours. To live under such conditions is, of course, impossible. We do not want to be packed into such a building like sardines in a can - or monkeys in a barrel, as it were. According to UN and UNESCO standards, an average person needs a space of at least 30 square meters to live anywhere near a normal lifestyle. And we will need space to accommodate communications, common and ancillary facilities and etcetera. Then, if we consider that roughly 500 people can be comfortably accommodated on one floor in a modern skyscraper, then a little more than 15 million of these will be needed for all of the present inhabitants of the Earth. So then, with a billion floors, there will be more than enough space for stadiums, parks, artificial lakes and ponds, recreation areas and all the other various spaces you can think of. In time, if such a situation came to pass, we would even have enough room for a small alien civilization to move in with us, if need be.

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