Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Changsha Regional Tour
CTBUH 2014 Conference: Shanghai

See more CTBUH Tours and Visits
See the report on the 2014 Shanghai Conference

September 20-21, 2014
Dario Trabucco, CTBUH Research Manager
China sets the pace in many domains, but the aspect on which it has an unmatched dominance is hospitality. The small CTBUH Conference Delegation for Changsha Regional Tour reached Changsha on a rainy Friday afternoon and was welcomed at the airport by Claire, Broad Group’s guide, who was responsible for the whole group until its departure on Sunday afternoon. Dinner was organized in Broad City’s internal canteen and the group was the accompanied to check in at the New-Ark Hotel (T15). The 15-story structure became world-famous in 2011 when a video on YouTube showed the entire construction process of the project taking less than one week. The assembly of the pre-fabricated steel structure, built with a patented technology, took less than 48 hours, with cladding and internal finishing happening in the remaining 5 days.
Inside one of the New-Ark Hotel (T15) rooms.
If one was not aware of this, and did not look at the video looping on a screen in the lobby, one would not have concluded one was inside a pre-fab structure. The rooms are extremely comfortable and of international standards in terms of the quality of the interiors and cleanliness.

After a quick breakfast, the following day started with an introduction of the Broad Group, and of the BSB concept. The group also visited Broad’s electricity-less cooling-systems assembly plant and viewed the remote control system, from which more than 10,000 giant heat exchangers located in more than 80 countries are controlled and monitored to assure maintenance and undisrupted operation.

The group was then brought to the construction site of BSB’s next major project, a 59-story tower which will – when completed – contain a whole city with residences, offices, shops and an internal pedestrian street.
Changsha tour group in front of the T30 building
T15 lobby area
After this, a smaller but even more innovate building was toured. This 8-story building is a showcase for the use of Broad’s new technology for fast-assembly buildings. The basic difference from the previous version of the system is based on the smaller size of the basic components that can now fit in standard 40-foot (12-meter) shipping containers, reducing the shipping cost.

After lunch, the group was transported via limousine van to the production site of the BSB system, where the famous T30 building dominates the industrial complex. The record-breaking speed of construction was achieved thanks to the simplicity of BSB building technology, and by using approximately 200 workers working 24 hours per day. The BSB factory is composed of six production lines, each located in a building 428 meters long by 84 meters wide. Each production line has an annual capacity of approximately 1 million square meters of built surface.

More than 30 buildings have been produced so far using this technology, with the T30 still being the tallest building completed. Other buildings include a pavilion in Mexico, the Broad Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, a 3-story office building with spans of 32 meters, a health care center, an 8-story dorm building and a 25-story office building.

BSB’s factory has been visited by wealthy individuals form many countries, architects such as Paul Andreu, construction companies and developers such as Bouygues and Emaar Properties, the steel producer ArcelorMittal, Sir Richard Branson from Virgin Group, representatives of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and politicians such as the Mexican president Felipe Calderon.
BSB buildings can be sold in 3 different “packages”:
  • Structural option: only structural elements
  • Building Shell: structural + exterior walls and main MEP services
  • Full Package option: a complete building with all services and finishes
All of the above packages require the construction of foundations to be conducted by local contractor.

BSB has now developed the fourth “generation” of its technology, and all pieces can now fit into standard shipping containers. In addition to being quicker and simpler to install, this newer generation of technology is also using a better-performing fire protection system, composed of rockwool insulation and cement-based panels.
Historic district of Changsha
The second day was spent by the group visiting the city of Changhsa, including the historic district around Taiping Street and the Yuelu Mountain, where the 1,000-year-old Yuelu Academy is located.
Changsha tour group photo
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