And I Thought I Was Fast
Sunday, October 27, 1996 was a special day for my pole building construction company. Bob Vila’s Home Again was airing at 10 a.m. Pacific. Beginning at 9:30, live on the same network, we set a world record for a “fastest building”, the fastest site-constructed two car garage, completing the work in 31-1/2 minutes.
Now all of us who participated thought this was pretty darn quick, and the record has never been challenged. But, just like anything, there is always something even more impressive.
When it comes to homes, Habitat for Humanity built one in under 3-1/2 hours, however it was mostly prefabricated. The fastest primarily site built house was probably done by Bowen Construction of Post Falls, Idaho, taking four hours.
However, we may all be humbled by this achievement……
Almost anywhere you travel, you’re bound to run into construction of some kind. Whether it’s on a building or a highway, it seems as if construction is everywhere and takes forever to complete.
Well this is not the case with a new project in China. Near the Dongting Lake in the Hunan Province, a 30-story, 183,000 square foot hotel was just built in only 360 hours–and there’s video to prove it! The time-lapse YouTube video is going viral with more than half a million views already.
The construction of the hotel “fastest building”, coordinated by Chinese Firm, The Broad Group, used prefabricated modules mounted on a steel structure. The Broad Group’s specialty is sustainable architecture. In the video, teams are seen working around the clock in shifts, not stopping even once over a 15 day period.
Just like when we built the “World’s Fastest Pole Building” in 1996, with the process moving this quickly many people are wondering about the quality of the building. After over 15 years of daily use as a garage in Millwood, WA, our pole building still performs admirably. There has never even been a roof leak!
According to The Broad Group, the hotel can withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake (tested by the China Academy of Building Research), making it five times more earthquake resistant than similar structures. Plus, the hotel has four-paned windows, which makes it five times more energy efficient than typical buildings. On Twitter, some people are wondering how the U.S. can compete with this kind of growth and efficiency, with one person tweeting, “let us welcome our Chinese overlords.”
Fast does not necessarily equal poor quality, as successful speed construction is a product of carefully orchestrated choreography. As for my own “fastest building”, following wrapping up the filming, I headed to the local restaurant to join my crew to celebrate our accomplishment. I had to laugh as I found my contracting crew busily scribbling on napkins while debating taking minutes off here and there as they discussed finessing movements to build an even “faster pole building.” I’m sure someday someone will beat my record, but the main point was ease of construction does not detract from overall quality. This alone…Hansen Buildings is a winner every time.