Holding the distinction of having the world’s tallest building is a coveted milestone for designers, builders, and countries alike, but no one has been able to top the 2,722 foot tall Burj Khalifa yet, since it opened in early 2010. The 2nd tallest tower in the world, the Shanghai Tower, opened 5 years later and stands 2,073 feet tall. Just recently, two more gigantic buildings opened their doors, taking over the 4th and 5th spots on the list for tallest in the world, pushing America’s One World Trade Center into 6th place.
The first to open was the 1,965 foot tall (599m) Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen China. Designed by supertall building experts Kohn Pederson Fox, the building features 100 floors of office space, as well as a central atrium with retail and restaurants.
Although the Ping An did not break the record for being the world’s tallest, it still holds the record for largest stainless steel facade. Over 1,700 tons of 316L stainless steel was used for the exterior, which Building Design + Construction explained was due to its corrosion resistance against harsh coastal atmosphere of Shenzhen.
Shortly after the Ping An opened up, the Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea officially became the new 5th tallest tower in the world. At 1,819 feet tall, it trails the Ping An by just a little over 100 feet and was also designed by Kohn Pederson Fox.
Like the Ping An, the Lotte also holds a few records of its own, including having the world’s highest glass-bottomed observation deck, the world’s highest swimming pool, and the world’s fastest elevator, according to Building Design + Construction. The observation deck is located on the 118th floor, which 1,640 feet in the air. The swimming pool is stationed way up on the 85th floor and the elevator can take passengers to the top of the building from the ground floor in around 60 seconds.
Despite having the 8th highest cost of living in the country, New Jersey relatively high construction wages were enough to keep them in the top 20. According to MERIC, it costs 22.5% more to live in the state, as compared to the national average.
West Virginia is either the southern most northern state and the northern most southern state, but either way it has done well and landed at #18 on our countdown. The wildest and wonderfullest state was helped on our list by having a cost of living 4.1% lower than the national average, according to MERIC, moving it approximately 8 spots up the list.
Over the past few years, it has been abundantly clear that many contractors have their choice of work and not enough resources to handle all of the opportunities. That abundance commonly leads to the labor field being able to bounce between companies for quick wage increases, leaving company owners and management struggling to keep fully staffed with qualified people.
Louisiana, home of jazz music, gumbo, and next door neighbor to #20 Texas, is the first one on our list to reach the teens in the rankings. America’s most swamp heavy state benefits from a low cost of living, 5.4% below the national average, according to MERIC.
You may have been sitting in your house or office one day and noticed the distinct sound of a bird hitting the window. It’s pretty common, as it’s estimated that as many as 988 million birds die in the US each year by colliding into glass. The new arena that will house the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks has incorporated some design elements that will reduce the amount of birds killed by the massive structure, allowing it to be dubbed the “World’s Most Bird Friendly Sports Arena.”
The construction industry ranks first in total suicides and second in suicide rate compared to all other industries in the United States, according to a 2016 study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). This sad fact led more than 75 industry groups to form an alliance to combat the epidemic in 2016. Some of the members recently met in in Washington DC to help construction companies to better address mental health issues among their workers.
Texas is the second largest state in the entire country by land area, trailing only Alaska. It’s significant land mass and relatively low population density help the state have a very low cost of living, according to MERIC, at 9.4% below average. That allowed Texas to drop over 12 spots in our ranking.
Just over a year ago, in September of 2017, Hurricane Irma blew through Miami, Florida, bringing extremely high speed wind with it. The wind caused 3 cranes to collapse in southern Florida, 2 in downtown Miami and 1 more in Ft. Lauderdale. Interesting video of the dismantling of one of the failed cranes was shared on Youtube.
In September of 2017, OSHA’s new standard on exposure to respirable crystalline silica went into effect in the construction industry. The rule lowered the allowable exposure to the harmful substance to 50 micrograms per cubic meter, a measurement that we’re all familiar with [/sarcasm]. After a full year of enforcement, OSHA is considering making a change to the rule.
Connecticut is a relatively small state with a very high population density, ranking 48th in total area and 4th in density. The state also has a very high cost of living, at 16.5% above the national average, according to MERIC.