We’d all suffocate due to asphyxia.
Also we’d end up with a sore neck from looking up towards the top of it.
Based on answers by writers such as Robert Frost, as well as plenty of reading about aircraft safety, it’s clear that the maximum altitude where we can comfortably and safely breathe without any extra air source is 10,000 feet, or roughly 3 kilometres.
Building up to 10 kilometres would also require a lot of work with regard to structural design, mainly due to the fact that the earth spins faster towards the outside of its turning radius than it does to the inside of said radius.
This naturally means that there is more resistance to the air pushing against the walls of the tower.
The World Trade Centre, for example, was designed to bend and sway several centimetres in a wind storm.
The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world at 830 metres, was designed with its radical styling specifically to combat wind resistance.
The Burj Khalifa among the skyscrapers of Dubai.
And then there are the materials needed to actually build the building.
Can I say exactly what they should be? No, I’m neither qualified nor experienced enough to talk about these. There are better people to go to for that. I will recommend something that doesn’t have holes in it though, for obvious reasons.
And finally: pressurisation.
You’re suggesting that we build buildings as tall as 33,000 feet, correct? This also poses a massive hazard for air traffic, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Speaking of air traffic: the inside of the buildings would need to be pressurised to around 8,000 feet or lower so that we can breathe, the same as a conventional aircraft
This means large amounts of emphasis on window and door design more than anything, so that this pressurised air doesn’t escape. UV protection so that people don’t immediately get burned by the sun is a necessity.
As Muhammad Irfan said in his comment, air conditioning would not be a necessity in this building, since the average air temperature at 10km is about -50°C. All that’s necessary are some good heat exchangers to move that cold air around the building.
Here’s the link to the full comment.
Sorry it took me so long to get this update out Muhammad. I’ll be honest: it slipped my mind.
Also doors between levels and the outside would need an air-lock system so that little to no air escapes. Or at least constant and filtered air pumps so air can be pumped in from outside.
Alongside this, as Dwi Aji Kurniawan mentioned in the comments, you’d need a high-speed lift system (or several high-speed lift systems) to get around the building, probably travelling at around 60 km/h, in order to get from the top to the bottom in less than a lifetime.
Speed control for the lifts would also be critical, as I don’t think it would be altogether comfortable to go from 0–60–0 kilometres per hour in the space of three to four metres. I’d imagine a few people would end up with broken legs if that was the case, and lawsuits aren’t exactly wanted in any business, much less the tourism business.
So that’s the main things that I can think of which would need to be done to build the thing, now let’s look at the effects of a building at such a height.
Aircraft require a drift-down altitude where they can fly to below 10,000 feet in the event of a cabin depressurisation or something similar, and they can’t exactly fly through a building can they?
Imagine that your are skidding a car on ice at 120 km/h (around 75mph for our American cousins) and you see a telegraph pole. You’ll struggle to get out of the way to avoid hitting the thing, and as such you can kiss your car and life goodbye.
This means that air travel over this building is a no-go, pilots can’t fly above it safely. And I have a feeling that would be slightly detrimental to your economy if it is built on tourism from the air.
Sounds random, and it is. The only issue I can think of is the amount of specialist training, bespoke safety equipment, bespoke cleaning equipment and bespoke techniques required to clean them, coupled with the sheer length of time required to clean them from such a height, would cost a small fortune.
While it would be absolutely awesome to build a building as high as an aircraft, at the moment with current regulations and building techniques it wouldn’t be safe or economically viable to do so. Let’s just stick with our sub-1,000 floor towers instead.
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