Every year, hundreds of new skyscrapers are built around the globe. As nations vie for prestige and developers look to maximize limited urban space, these shimmering towers are rising higher and higher. In China alone, dozens of buildings reach over 1,000 feet, with a few approaching 2,000 feet. But for all their impressive engineering, are these buildings safe?
And can they be made livable? Are building regulations keeping up with the vertical building boom? In San Francisco, skyscrapers can be built on unstable, sinking ground. And internal sprinkler systems—the only hope for extinguishing fires that burn beyond the reach of firefighters' ladders—are often ineffective. Now, NOVA explores the science behind the risks of sky-high buildings, from the structural limits of building materials to the threats presented by wind, fire, and earthquakes. Experts show how the science of evacuation has shaped buildings in recent years, and what we have—and haven't—learned from past tragedies.
Producer: Laurie Cahalane
Executive Producer: Julia Cort, Chris Schmidt
Production Company: NOVA; Lawrence Klein Productions, LLC; WGBH Boston
Production Year: 2021
Copyright Year: 2022
Director: Lawrence Klein Productions, LLC, NOVA, WGBH Boston
Narrator: Jay O. Sanders
Writers: Larry Klein
Number of Discs: 1
Length: 54 minutes
Number of Episodes: 1
Subtitle Languages: English (SDH)
Audio Format: Stereo
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen