Video: China’s Industrial Boom Illustrated In Three Minutes


Written by Stephen Lacey, Climate Progress

15 days. That’s all it took to build this 30-story, prefabricated hotel in the Southeastern Chinese city of Changsha. The speed of construction has left many astonished.

Built among dirt roads and dilapidated buildings, the hotel is a symbol of the development boom that has shifted 400 million Chinese into the urban environment — causing emissions to skyrocket in the process.

Typically, a prefabricated building will reduce construction time by about one-third to one-half. Construction time for this hotel was cut by up to two-thirds.

Johathan Kaiman of the LA Times wrote a fascinating piece last week on how the building came together and what it says about China’s construction industry:

“This is the tallest building in this county, and it’s also the fastest-built,” said Rong Shengli, one of the building’s planners, looking over the rural sprawl from a helicopter pad on the hotel’s roof. “Next we’re going to build a 50-story building. Then a 100-story one, then a 150-story one. And they’re all going to go up fast.”

Zhou Weidong, a vice president at Broad Sustainable Building, said the company was developing as quickly as its home country. Looking out the window of a company Buick, he noted that the squat concrete homes, convenience stores and auto repair shops lining the newly paved road between the headquarters of Broad Sustainable Building and central Changsha were at most a year old.

“Three years later, if you come back here, this will be a city,” he said. “That’s China. It changes overnight.”

Indeed, it is mostly construction activity — not just electricity — that is causing China’s greenhouse gas emissions to skyrocket. Last September, researchers writing in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal calculated that cement, iron and steel accounted for 46% of China’s carbon emissions, while electricity generation accounted for about 30%.

This post was originally published by Climate Progress, a branch of ThinkProgress.


Related Stories:

One Billion Cars Now on World’s Roads

Cancer Now #1 Cause of Death in China, Coal Largely to Blame

Living Near Cement Plant is…A Living


Photo: screenshot from the above video


Sandi C.
Sandi C6 years ago


Marie W.
Marie W6 years ago

China has whole new cities that are empty- why?

Debbie L.
Debbie Lim6 years ago

Holy cow...

Deborah W.
Deborah W6 years ago

ADDITIONAL AFTERTHOUGHT ... if high rankers occupy this building, structurally flawed as it surely is, perhaps leadership change will finally be forced, by their own hand. One can only dream.

Deborah W.
Deborah W6 years ago

US consentual mating has produced this boom ... the present dominance is shifting. Are you ready to become the underdog, incapable of calling the shots ... almost there.

Glenn M.
Glenn Meyer6 years ago

China did not compete for anything. We gave it to them. We sent our jobs, our production infrastructure, our corporate finances and even the American dream.

Ori M.
oriana M6 years ago

I wouldn't go in that building. THings that go up fast aren't trustworthy in my opinion.

But it's impressive how fast they do work.

Al Verdini
Gina Verdini6 years ago

It would have been very impressive. Except that it crashed back down soon after it was put up. Cheap and fast work makes cheap buildings that fall apart fast. Hoping and Praying that nobody was hurt.

Monica D.
Monica D6 years ago

Impressive and also a little frightening. Can the planet sustain much more development? We are already past the limits.

Brenda Towers
Brenda T6 years ago