January 20, 2013

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The Japanese way of demolishing a skyscraper - photos & video

The Japanese have yet again come up with a new way to raze skyscrapers: they shrink them from inside out. By so doing, they reduce noise (17 to 23 decibels), dust (by 90%), and other inconveniences, as Taisei Corporation explains. Moreover, they manage to generate power while taking down the debris by cranes.

The time-lapse video shows the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, which is located in Tokyo and stands at 138.9 metres tall, shrinking before your eyes as workers take it apart from the inside. The photos show a 105-meter building being systematically razed in Tokyo last year using Taisei's eco-friendly Tecorep method.

How does it work?
“It’s kind of like having a disassembly factory on top of the building and putting a big hat there, and then the building shrinks from the top,” Hideki Ichihara, who oversees construction technology development said. Temporary columns are set up indoors to hold up the roof of the existing building. Then jacks lower the columns as higher floors are disassembled. This action creates the effect of shrinking the building from the top down.

The method attracted public attention when the contractor began tearing down the hotel, one of Tokyo's landmark hotels, which closed down in March 2011.

According to Ichihara, statistics show that most buildings over 100 meters around the world are torn down after 30 or 40 years. Japan has 797 buildings that are more than 100 meters, and 99 of them will be 30 to 40 years old in 10 years, he said.

via Japan Times Online and Yahoo News