Empire State Building.jpg

 

Skyscrapers

 

A skyscraper is a very tall building which has people living inside it. To describe these buildings, people sometimes use the word ‘supertall’ (over 300 metres), and ‘mega-tall’ (over 600 metres). One thing is certain: people are building taller and taller buildings – and in the future, we will probably be saying ‘super-mega-tall’.

 

Being so tall, skyscrapers need a strong steel structure, with thin (and light) walls – often made of glass, one of the lightest of materials. These buildings most also be strong enough to stand upright in strong winds and during earthquakes. They obviously must also have very good elevators, since no one would want to walk all the way to the top floor.

 

So why do we build such tall buildings? The answer is that skyscrapers are usually in city centres of big cities, where the price of land is very expensive – so much that it becomes more economical to build upwards instead of outwards This does create one problem: where to park all the cars of the people who stay in that building. Thus, many large buildings have underground carparks, or adjoining multi-level carparks.

 

Obviously, skyscraper cost a lot to build, but they also last a long time. For example, the famous Empire State Building in America [see the picture above] was built in 1931, and is still being used. Skyscrapers also cost a lot to operate, since all the water, food, and parts, have to be carried to the very top. In hot weather, they need a lot of energy to stay cool, and washing the windows is a difficult and dangerous job. Still, with the land being so expensive, we just keep building more of these ‘mega-tall’ buildings.

 

 

Question Time

 

What do we call buildings over 600 metres high? ………………………………..………

 

Why are the walls of skyscrapers often made of glass? ………………………….……..

 

Why do they need elevators? ………………………………………………….…..….……

 

Why do we build skyscrapers? ………………………………….………………………….

 

 Why are skyscrapers expensive to operate? ………………….…………………………

 

 

Word-Learning Time

 

Do you know the meaning of the underlined words?

 

To describe

A structure

An elevator

To be economical    

To be adjoining

To operate

                                                    

 

By the way, you can find out more about me at www.aisielts.com .

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