At 2,165 feet, Shenzhen's Ping An Finance Center is about to become the tallest building in China and the second-tallest in the world. And it's getting there very quickly: According to a new report from DesignBoom, workers are finishing a new floor of the 115-story building every four days.

That's a remarkable pace for a supertall building. For comparison's sake, both Burj Khalifa and One World Trade progressed at a rate of one new floor roughly every seven days (here's a great comparison of tall building construction rates around the world).

We can look to how Ping An was designed to find out more. Kohn Pedersen Fox, the architects behind the project, designed every aspect of the building to reduce its embodied energy and embodied carbon. These two terms are used to describe all the energy that goes into manufacturing, transporting, hoisting, and actually constructing a building, as well as its energy consumption after the fact. Here's a video that explains the concept:


It can apply to everything from aerodynamics—a building with too much drag will need more structure to keep it upright—to construction, which is a notorious energy hog. At Ping An, the entire building was designed for efficiency, including the structure, which was modularized so that the structure of each floor identical to the one beneath it. That makes it far easier to build, hence this new report about the incredible speeds workers are maintaining.


After all, they have reason to hurry: There's another supertall, the entirely prefabricated Sky City, hot on its heels to nab the title of China's Tallest. [DesignBoom]

Image: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images.