According to New Delhi Television, they recently put up a 10 story building in India.
No, what’s remarkable is that this new building was erected in 48 hours.
Yes, that’s right. They put up an entire building in less time than it takes Cablevision to hook up HBO.
They even had time to name the building. It’s name is Instacon, which I’m guessing is short for “Instant Construction,” which is more appealing than referring to it as “That Building That Went Up in a Couple of Days So How Safe Could It Be?”
You might ask why someone would want to construct a building in two days. I’ll bet you can guess, because it’s the same reason why anyone undertakes any ridiculous endeavor. But I’ll let a spokesperson for the construction company tell you:
“We wanted to prove that this could be done.”
Yes, they put up a 10-story building for the same reason that students at the Rochester Institute of Technology (my wife’s alma mater) build elaborate catapults in order to launch watermelons.*
Unlike the college students however, the Indian construction company was allowed to cheat. All the building materials were manufactured somewhere else over two months; it was just assembled in 48 hours. So what I’m picturing here are some huge trucks arriving at the site with a bunch of industrial-sized Legos.**
Of course, we don’t know how sturdy the building is. For all we know, it can be knocked over by, let us say, some college students with a catapult and a watermelon.***
But company officials aren’t afraid of fruit-wielding undergrads, because the outer wall of the building is made of “double-skinned PUF panel” and “no sand has been used.”
Well, that’s comforting. So it may be studier than a sand castle, and it’s covered with puffy skin. But at least there are two layers of it.
The entrepreneur behind the project, Harpal Singh, informs us that we have nothing to worry about, even if students with medieval weaponry are spotted in the vicinity:
“This will be the first building of its kind in the country to be built in just 48 hours. The model has been cleared for Zone-V seismic area, the highest risk area (for earthquakes).”
Well, that is impressive indeed, especially when you consider it once took me four hours to put up a tent, and it collapsed as soon as it rained.
Harpal Singh really should see a doctor, because that’s what the commercials tell you to do when you take Viagra and have a 48-hour erection. He owns the JW Marriot Hotel in Chandigarh, which I’m hoping took longer to build, otherwise I won’t be staying there on my next vacation to Chandigarh, home to Asia’s largest rose garden.^ I kind of wish Mr. Singh had built a tunnel somewhere, just so it could be called the Harpal Tunnel.
But I have to ask again, what’s the point? The building doesn’t even have any tenants, which is not surprising. I mean, would you be ready to move into a building that took 48 hours to build? (“I don’t know if we should buy that credenza for our new apartment, honey. It looks awfully heavy.”)
Harpal Singh doesn’t even live or work there. In fact, his own house took two years to build. He took his time with that.
Nowhere does it say how much this thing cost to build. If it was fast and cheap, then perhaps it has applications as housing for the homeless, or maybe you could throw up a couple of buildings in the wake of a disaster like Hurricane Sandy, although I bet you’d want to be pretty sure there wasn’t another storm behind it that would cause the building to end up in Ohio.
See you soon.
*The students, of course, have another reason for launching watermelons: what the hell else are they going to do in Rochester? When my wife went there, they created an installation made of wading pools filled with different colors of Jell-o.
***But it would have to be at close range; the RIT kids haven’t managed to get the watermelons to go very far.
^And even if this hotel was in California, I’d much rather stay at the Legoland Hotel, wouldn’t you?