This Skyscraper Shrinks Right Before Your Eyes

By: | March 31st, 2014

Building demolition is typically executed through wrecking balls, explosives and jackhammers. All these processes are very noisy, disruptive and messy, producing a lot of dust and not a lot of building material can be salvaged.

Taisei, a Tokyo-based building corporation, is doing things a little more subtly, and making demolition a more eco-friendly endeavor in the process. They have developed the Taisei Ecological Reproduction System (Tecorep) that not only preserves building materials but also generates energy from the demolition process. Moreover, it is safer, quieter and better for the environment as all the destruction happens inside the skyscraper.

Taisei used this technique to gradually lower the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka and confused passersby have already witnessed the 140m-high tower quietly shrink to 110m.

How it demolishes:

Rather than taking the building apart from the outside, Tecorep starts from the inside. It is using giant jacks and electricity-generating cranes to dismantle a high-rise tower in Tokyo, floor by floor. When a floor is completely stripped, the temporary columns and jacks holding it up are lowered; the building looks roughly the same – giving the building the outside appearance of shrinking into itself.

Per Taisei Corp, the entire process reduces noise by between 17 and 23 decibels. Not only that, it also reduces dust levels by 90% and can be carried out at any time, regardless of the weather conditions. The vanishing building looks normal for as long as possible as people are not able to really see the demolition work.

This time-lapse video shoes the Taisei Ecological Reproduction method at work, bringing down the upper floors of the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, Japan:

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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