Construction Time-Lapse Released on Hudson Yards Opening Day

The official Hudson Yards construction time-lapse of the enormous New York City development was released today in celebration of its partial opening. EarthCam’s 4K-quality  construction timelapse movie chronicles each stage of the project, starting in December 2012 and continuing to the present day. Challenges included the continual reprogramming of more than 72 unique robotic camera angles positioned around Manhattan’s West Side and across the Hudson River in New Jersey.

The largest private real-estate development in the history of the U.S., Hudson Yards’ main retail portion and the Vessel, Thomas Heatherwick’s interactive, public sculpture, are now open. Sales have also begun for the multimillion-dollar residences in 35 Hudson Yards, the tallest residential tower rising in the Related/Oxford Properties Group development at more than 1,000 ft. tall.

CTBUH Says 2018 Was a Big Year for Tall Towers

This chart, courtesy of CTBUH, is a graphic representation of 50 years’ worth of tall building (200+ m) construction. Note the explosion in numbers of new skyscrapers over the past decade.

Last year didn’t quite match the record for skyscraper completions we saw in 2017, but an interactive look at 2018 in review, courtesy of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), shows that the tall trend isn’t close to abating. Some of the highlights:

  • 143 buildings of at least 200 m (656 ft.) were completed, just shy of 2017’s record of 147 and bringing the worldwide total to 1,478
  • Of the new buildings, 76% were in Asia
  • China led the world with 88 completions of towers at least 200 m tall; the city of Shenzhen alone had 14, nearly 10% of the worldwide total
  • Among all countries, the United States was a distant second place, with 13 completions
  • China also had the tallest building to complete, the 528-m (1,732-ft.) China Zun in Beijing
  • 19 cities around the world got a new tallest building
  • And, how’s this for a sky-high trend? There were 18 supertalls (skyscrapers standing at least 300 m [984 ft.]) completed worldwide, the most ever in one year.

The future of tall-building construction looks brighter than ever, thanks to the rapid urbanization of the global population. This year appears to be another big year for skyscraper news; check out ELEVATOR WORLD’s Web Exclusive for March.

Tackling Tube Troubles

Transport for London recently revealed the interesting above video and other details on how it maintains, replaces and continually upgrades its vertical-transportation equipment. The London Underground’s care of its massive collection of 440 escalators and 184 elevators involves a smart strategy of inspections and timetables. The hardworking escalators are checked and maintained every week, refurbished every 20 years and replaced every 40 years (except, apparently, the ones in the video that have been there 80 years). “Physical and geological considerations mean that every escalator on the London Underground network is custom-built for its location. Many components are made bespoke by the manufacturers, which mean a stockpile of spare parts can’t be built up,” London Underground Capital Programmes Director David Waboso commented, though the increasing modularity of newer units helps when something goes wrong.