Biggest, tallest, heaviest, fastest, whatever “–est” you are, there’s probably a chance for you to break a record doing it. Guinness World records has been publishing their book of records for the past 60 years and the records range from weird to extraordinary. Construction world records are no different. The list below compiles the most interesting construction records we could find. If we missed one, let us know in the comments below!
Record Breaker: Burj Khalifa
Record: 2,716 feet tall
Year Broken: 2010
You’ve undoubtedly heard of the Burj Khalifa in the past five years, as it holds many records, including one of the most sought after records in history: the World’s tallest building. It’s so tall that if you actually placed the Empire State Building in New York (World’s 28th tallest building at 1250 feet) on top of the Willis Tower in Chicago (World’s 12th tallest building at 1450 feet) it would still be taller. The other records that the Burj holds include: tallest structure ever built, building with most floors (163), World’s longest travel distance elevators (1,654 feet), World’s highest observation deck (1,821 feet…yikes!), and World’s highest nightclub (party on the 144th floor).
Video below gives you a great overview of just how incredible the building is and a frightening look at how a cleaning crew washed the windows. It takes 3 months to clean all the windows on the building.
Record Breaker: Lakhta Center Multifunctional Complex
Location: Saint Petersberg, Russia
Record: 25,667.22 cubic yards in 49 hours
Year Broken: 2015
Recently breaking the record a year after the Wilshire Grand Tower in Los Angeles poured over 21,000 cubic yards in 18 hours, the Lakhta Center Multifunctional Complex completed an incredible 49 hour, 25,667 cubic yard concrete pour. 13 concrete plants were required to supply all of the concrete needed to sustain that volume of concrete and, on average, a concrete truck arrived on site every minute. That’s some incredible planning. Then foundation poured at this site was a box foundation, which better allows for uniformly distributed loads than a monolithic slab.
The video below gives a great summary of the design process and execution of the record.
Record Breaker: Horyu-ji Temple
Record: Built in 607 AD
Year Broken: N/A
There’s something to be said for a building that can stand for over 1400 and there’s something even more to be said about a wooden building that can stand that long. That’s some craftsmanship that you can be proud of. The Buddhist temple is actually one of 48 ancient buildings in the area.
Record Breaker: Willi Maier
Location: Vienna, Austria
Record: 24 in 60 seconds
Year Broken: 2010
This record was broken at the Vienna Recordia event in Austria on September 26, 2010. Maier completed the record using 6 inch nails. While there unfortunately does not seem to be any video footage of the record, we did find a video of a guy hammering 20 nails into a wood block in 63 seconds. We’d like to challenge our readers to try and break the record. If you try it, be sure to record it and send it to us. Disclaimer: we’re not responsible for any broken thumbs or other injuries… good luck!
Record Breaker: Steve Schmidt
Location: Columbia, Missouri
Record: 5 nails in 7.44 seconds
Year Broken: 2014
As we said above, some of the records can get pretty weird and this is certainly one of them. We definitely wouldn’t recommend trying to demo your next project using your teeth, nor do we think your dentist would approve, but it’s an impressive record nonetheless. This particular record was broken at Clark’s Championship Gym in Columbia by Steve Schmidt and, while we couldn’t find footage of that exact record, we did find a video of the strong man pulling 27 nails out of wood in one minute. Didn’t know teeth exercises were getting so popular at the gym.
Record Breaker: Montreal Olympic Stadium Tower
Location: Montreal, Canada
Record: 541 feet and 4.05 inches
Year Broken: 1987
Originally designed to be a part of the 1976 Olympic Games, the Montreal Olympic Stadium Tower was not completed until 10 years later. The 45 degree tower is only occupied at the top 3 floors currently and was built to be able to give a panoramic view of the city and stadium below. It was also engineered to support 75% of the roof of the stadium.
Not only does the video below show you the nice view the tower shows, but it has some amazing 1980’s style synthesizer music.
Record Breaker: Fu Gang Building
Record: 33.3 million pounds
Year Broken: 2004
Moving any building is a pretty incredible feat, but a 33.3 million pound build is incredible. That’s exactly what Chinese authorities did when they had to move the 6 story tall Fu Gang building about 100 feet from wear it originally stood. According to the Daily Mail, workers used 18 lifting jacks, which were each capable of lifting 200 tons. The move took 11 days to complete.
Watch the video below to find out more about the move
Want to break some records of your own?
Visit the Guinness World Record’s web site FAQ page applications and other important info.
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