How tall??

skyscrapersA post from student blogger Nicole

So I decided to take a detour from patent law to talk about my tech elective.  As a civil engineer I’ve taken courses in structures, water resources, transportation, etc.  The tech elective I’m currently taking is in the structures branch of civil engineering.  It’s called structural systems, and it is a completely different class than I’ve ever taken that deals with structures.  My teacher is having us look at buildings as a whole rather than analyzing each beam or bolt specifically.  We’re learning how a building as a whole will fail and what factors of the skyscrapers allow them to be so tall.  It’s actually very interesting because I’ve never has a class that was so broad.

What’s even better about the class is all the skyscrapers she’s talked about, such as the tallest or most known skyscrapers in the world.  Some of the known skyscrapers are the John Hancock Building and the Sears Tower in Chicago.  We also talked about the World Trade Center and the Empire State Building in New York.  If you think these buildings are tall then you have to visit the Burj Khalifa in Dubai or the soon-to-be tallest building in the world, Jeddah Tower (Kingdom Tower) in Saudi Arabia.  It is currently under construction and will be about 3,280 feet tall!  I would be freaking out if I went to the top of that building.  It would be an awesome experience, but I hate the ferris wheel so I’m not sure how much I would really enjoy it.  But anyway, they wanted to build it a mile high but there was an issue with the geology of the area so they reduced the height to 3,280 feet (about 0.62 miles).  Let’s put that into perspective.  The Jeddah Tower is about 3,280 feet and the One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower) is 1,792 feet.  So the Jeddah Tower is almost twice as tall as the One World Trade Center in New York!  That’s insane!

Is anyone else wondering why the United States hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon yet and tried to have the tallest building in the world?  Well if you’re like me then you didn’t know that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission don’t allow buildings to go over 2,000 feet in the U.S.  The reason is to prevent the structures from being a hazard to air navigation.

I love the saying ‘you learn something new every day’ because I definitely learned something new that day.

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