Safety First

The difficult part of constructing extremely tall buildings and other large structures is not, despite initial appearances, the use of dynamic compressive members, electromagnetic coupling, paragravitation, and other such tricks to make the entire structure hang together. That part is child’s play.

The difficult part is arranging that, should all your clever dynamic trickery fail, along with its auxiliaries and backups, the building will come apart in a safe manner that both doesn’t result in any casualties, and preferably permits the building to be easily reassembled afterwards.

And if you aren’t clear on why this is considered difficult, consider well the design issues of a long-term-stable, instant-use-no-fail, one-shot rocket motor capable of pushing a twelve-storey slice from the stratosphere into a stable recovery orbit, while being safe to use around all the other building segments doing the same thing.

– Cessír Claves-ith-Estenv,
Octarthius Professor of Megastructural Engineering

Notable Replies

  1. More reasons to love the Eldraeverse: a civil engineering job being more exciting than modern-day humanity’s aerospace jobs.

    Although, what do they have against a “simple” smart-fabric parachute?

  2. Parachuted parts of buildings go on unpredictable arcs towards the ground by giving that part of the building to the chaos of aerodynamic effects, causing it to possibly smash into other things, hopefully not civilians

  3. Avatar for avatar avatar says:

    @Tronzoid has it right. Generally speaking, down is a bad direction to go for large chunks of building, because the rest of the city is, y’know, right there, being full of potential casualties, property damage, and lawsuits waiting to happen.

    Up, on the other hand, may not be entirely empty, but it is mostly empty.

  4. That’s part of the reason I suggested a smart-fabric parachute, with the understanding it could possibly paraglide to a safe destination, but I guess I forgot just how sprawling Imperial cities can get.

  5. Avatar for avatar avatar says:

    It’s not so much that, as…

    Okay. Let’s take as our baseline the hypothetical Ultima Tower, which is intended to be 500 storeys and 10,600 ft. in height without resorting to dynamic support. But, hell, that’s not even a third of the height of the troposphere, which tops out at 37,000 ft., near enough. There are even still bigger mountains! Lame!

    So instead we’re building the Skypiercer, at an ambitious 2000 storeys and 42,400 ft. in height, outdoing all of nature’s puny rock-piles and going right into the stratosphere. We’re gonna need some mass streams to hold this baby up, you betcha.

    Let’s handwave a few things even though it wouldn’t be good engineering to build it this way, and assume the bottom 500 storeys can still be self-supporting. That leaves 1500 as the ones we have to care about in this emergency scenario. Break those up into manageable 12 storey chunks for the escape system to handle (since there’s only so much escape rocket or parachute you can reasonably deploy in one place), and you’ve got 125 of them.

    You don’t need a particular sprawling city to not find 125 completely empty, softlandable, building-sized lots within convenient paragliding range. :slightly_smiling_face:

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