Exciting things are happening in the construction industry. Around the world, projects are being designed, built, and completed that challenge the conventional perception of possibility. And in 2012, the world added many new projects to the list of Modern Marvels.
At iSqFt, we honor the achievements and accomplishments and celebrate the end of a great construction year with three of our favorite completed projects.
Makkah Royal Clock Tower- Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Why it makes the list: Height
Rising above all other buildings in Saudi Arabia, the newly completed Makkah Royal Clock Tower is a major achievement in architecture for 2012. Construction on this residential and hotel building began in 2004 and has already claimed several world records. Not only is the Makkah Royal Clock Tower the tallest clock tower in the world–at 1,972 feet (rising above even the Willis Tower in Chicago)–but it has also surpassed the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia, deemed the second tallest building in the world.
The clock on the tower claims the title for the world’s largest clock face, measuring 151 feet in diameter. The building also holds the record for world’s largest square footage. With the enormous size also comes lavish amenities for the millions of guests and residents, including a 20-story shopping mall, a parking garage with a capacity of 1,000+ vehicles, two heliports, and a conference center.
Height: 1,972 feet (making it the tallest building in Saudi Arabia)
Floor Count: 120
Total Floor Area: Tower- 3,343,680 sq ft; Development- 16,961,930 sq ft)
Olympic Stadium- London, England
Why it makes the list: Sustainability
When it came time for London to host the Olympics in 2012, many structures had to be built in order to house the iconic games. But London wanted to make their Olympic Stadium (a cornerstone of any games, hosting the opening and closing ceremonies and track and field events) the most sustainable ever.
The Stadium was designed to be innovative and flexible. The stadium’s 80,000 occupancy can be reduced to as few as 25,000 when the upper tier temporary steel and concrete seating (with an occupancy of 55,000) is dismantled.
But its occupancy is not what makes this building a construction marvel, it’s its sustainable design. The bowl shape allowed for the lower tier to be built into the ground, minimizing the amount of construction materials needed for the structure to stand. The 800,000 tons of soil that was removed to make room for the stadium was then used for construction and landscaping around other parts of Olympic park.
Materials were also used conservatively in the stadium with only 10,000 tons of steel being used to construct the site–a significant reduction in materials compared to other historic Olympic Stadiums. London’s 2012 efforts of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” were also implemented in the use of surplus gas pipes for top ring support.
What was the home for the 2012 games has now become an athletic and cultural center for the city of London. The Olympic Stadium will, for years, be a city landmark, mixing memories of the past and excitement for the future.
One World Trade Center
Why it makes the list: Major American Accomplishment
Eleven years after the Twin Towers in New York City fell, the final beam of the One World Trade Center building was set. Not only is this building a testament to America’s rebuilding following the tragedy of 9/11, but it stands to be among the list of modern construction marvels following its late 2013 completion. Even before the building was topped out it stood as the tallest building in New York City. After construction is complete, though, One World Trade Center will stand as the third tallest building in the world and the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere reaching a height of 1,776 feet (symbolic of the year the Declaration of Independence was passed).
One World Trade Center be one of the tallest buildings in the world, but it will also be known as one of the world’s most sustainable skyscrapers. The building’s structure is largely made of post-industrial recycled materials (almost 80% of building materials), and the building will implement a rainwater collection technique to be used for the Center’s cooling systems.
Most impressive, this building will stand as a symbol in New York City of America’s ability to rise from the rubble and rebuild to even greater heights.
Height: 1,776 feet (Third Tallest Building in the World)
Floor Count: 104 (plus 5 basement floors)
Main use: Office Space (69 floors)
Status: Topped out August 30, 2012
As we go into 2013, we at iSqFt take enormous pride in being part of such a thriving worldwide construction industry. With these great achievements in 2012, we look forward to helping our clients achieve their own construction project goals in 2013. And who knows? Your project could make our list in 2013. Here’s to a great year, and more years to come.