Eight construction world records

  • 5 May 2015

World’s tallest dam: Completed in 2014, China’s Jinping-I Dam stands at 305 metres tall and 568 metres long.


Construction records have been continuously made and broken in recent years as architects, engineers and developers push the boundaries of the industry to create some awe-inspiring structures.

Here are eight world records that have set the standard for future innovations:

Tallest structure

Standing at 829.8 metres tall, with 163 stories and an additional 46 maintenance levels, Burj Khalifa in Dubai has stood as the tallest man-made structure in the world since 2010, a record previously held by the KVLY-TV mast.

The skyscraper – which has a total floor area of over three million square feet – currently holds over a dozen world records, which include the building with the most floors, highest observation deck and highest restaurant.

The structure cost almost £1 billion to manufacture.

Highest bridge

China’s Sidu River Bridge holds the record for the world’s highest bridge, with the biggest drop distance from the bridge deck to the ground below.

Opened to traffic in 2009, the 1,222 mile-long suspension bridge was built to accommodate the new Shanghai-Chongqing Expressway.

At 496 meters high, the £65 million bridge sits impressively across the wide mountain belt which separates the Sichuan Basin from the lowlands of eastern Hubei.

Tallest bridge

Despite the impressive height of the Sidu River Bridge, the Milau Viaduct in France holds the record of the world’s tallest bridge, with one mast reaching 343 metres above the structure’s base.

The £300 million structure was opened in 2004 and is highly regarded as one of the greatest feats of engineering of all time.

Longest tunnel

The Delaware Aqueduct still holds the record for being the world’s longest tunnel, despite being constructed during the Second World War.

Built to transfer water between reservoirs in New York City, the 85-mile tunnel still continues to provide approximately half of New York’s water supply, transporting nearly 5 billion litres per day.

Tallest dam

With an electricity generation capacity of 3.6GW, China’s Jinping-I Dam stands at 305m tall, making it the tallest dam in the world.

Completed in 2014, the Jinping-I sits across the Yalong River.

The dam’s primary purpose is to supply energy for expanding industrialization and urbanization in the region, whilst improving flood protection and protecting from erosion.

Largest power station

Another Chinese phenomenon is Three Gorges Dam, which has stood as the world’s largest operating hydroelectric facility in terms of installed capacity (22,500MW) since 2012.

The power station generated nearly 100 TWh of electricity in 2014. The 181 metre tall dam took 14 years to construct, opening officially in 2008.

Largest usable space

Based in Washington, Boeing’s Everett Factory contains a usable floor area of over 4 million square feet, making it the largest usable space in the world.

The aircraft assembly site is home to the Boeing 747, first introduced in 1968 and still widely-used today.

Furthest leaning tower

Whilst the title of the most famous leaning tower belongs to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the furthest leaning tower is Abu Dhabi’s Capital Gate skyscraper, which was completed in 2011.

Standing at 160 metres tall, the skyscraper was built to lean at 18°, in comparison to the Leaning Tower of Pisa’s 4° tilt.

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