The Largest Buildings in the World
The largest buildings in the world are ranked by two categories: by volume (usable space) and by area (floor space). In terms of usable space, these are the top four biggest buildings in the world today.
Boeing Everett Plant (Washington, USA)
Floor Area: 398,000 m² (4.3 million sq ft)
Volume: 13.3 million m³ (472 million cu ft)
The Boeing Everett Plant is where Boeing 747s, 767s, 777s and the new 787 Dreamliner are built. The factory floor space is equal to about 75 regulation football fields. It includes a theater, The Boeing Store, a BECU branch, 5 Tully’s Coffee stands and several cafes. The plant is so huge the heat of the lights and machinery alters the climate inside the humongous facility so they use giant fans to push the warm air down.
Jean-Luc Lagardère Plant (Toulouse, France)
Floor Area: 122,500 m² (1,320,000 sq ft)
Volume: 5.6 million m³ (199 million cu ft)
The Jean-Luc Lagardère Plant in Toulouse, France is the birthplace of the world’s largest commercial airliner in the history of civil aviation—the Airbus 380. The vast cathedral-like factory contains 32,000 tonnes of steel, four times more than the Eiffel tower and as much as the Millau viaduct. The building was named after the late Jean-Luc Lagardère, co-chairman of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), the Airbus’ main shareholder.
Aerium (Brandenburg, Germany)
Floor Area: 70,000 m² (753,000 sq ft)
Volume: 5.2 million m³ (184 million cu ft)
The Aerium is a €78 million freestanding steel-dome “barrel-bowl” structure built to house the construction of a giant airship—the CL160. Though a considerable amount of design and development work was undertaken, the airship was never built. The Aerium is now called Tropical Islands Resort, an artificial tropical resort which houses the said to be world’s largest tropical indoor pool and the world’s largest indoor waterpark. It was bought by a Malaysian company for €17.5 million and turned into a resort with man-made tropical habitat complete with rain forest, beach, artificial sun and clouds and even bird soundtrack.
NASA Vehicle Assembly Building (Florida, USA)
Floor Area: 32,374 m² (348,000 sq ft)
Volume: 3.66 million m³ (130 million cu ft)
The VAB, or Vehicle (originally Vertical) Assembly Building, located at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, is the fourth largest building in the world by volume. The interior volume of the building is so huge it can create its own weather including reports of “rain clouds forming below the ceiling on very humid days.” Originally built for the vertical assembly of the Saturn V rocket for the Apollo program, it is now used for housing external fuel tanks and flight hardware. It also houses the Space Transportation System (Space Shuttle) which is scheduled to retire from service in 2010. When the Shuttle retires, the VAB will become the assembly facility for the Ares I and the unmanned heavy lift Ares V launcher for the 2018 return to the Moon.
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