September 3rd is Skyscraper Day, a date chosen in honor of Louis H. Sullivan, who is considered the father of skyscrapers. The first skyscraper was built in Chicago in 1885. It was a metal framed structure that reached a dizzying 10 stories into the sky. This was a time when most structures still relied on stone support and they worried that a human’s face would peel off if a train reached 60mph. Some continue to define a skyscraper as any building that reaches 10 stories, though most reserve the term for buildings that are at least 100 stories.
The skyscrapers of today are similar to a small town, where people get to know each other, throw community parties, and stand together during times of crisis. In fact, while people used to live their entire lives within a 20 mile radius, many people today could live out their lives without ever leaving their skyscraper. Residential buildings often contain medical facilities, shopping and grocery centers, office spaces, and small-scale manufacturing.
But whereas a small town can be self-sustaining, a skyscraper needs a constant supply of resources and maintenance.
Steiner Electric can provide just about anything a skyscraper needs to function properly for the people and businesses within its walls. We handle residential and commercial lighting, electricity generators, HVAC support, floor boxes, wiring, and even custodial supplies. Simply put, if the building needs it, we probably have it – and if not, we can get it.
What is the future for skyscrapers?
The tallest skyscrapers are often more of a show of wealth than something practical. However, designers of the future are exploring ways to make these super-structures feasible to traverse and afford. Elevators are an essential component of any skyscraper, and the elevators of tomorrow may operate without cable, and also move sideways as well as vertically. Vertical farming, where floors are designed to be crop fields, and photovoltaic paint coupled with wind turbines could make skyscrapers virtually self-sustaining. They would be producing more resources then they consume, generating energy, food, and goods for the surrounding populace. Or, imagine jet-powered construction drones that swap modules in and out of the building as needed. This is all technology that is possible and in development now. Whatever the future of skyscrapers turns out to be, Steiner Electric will be there, continuing to supply whatever is needed for the building to function.