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Best of Megastructures

In the last 100 years, 11 different skyscrapers have held the title of world's tallest building. With improvements in technology and materials, humans are pushing the limits of what buildings can do. The National Geographic Channel reports on designers pushing the limits in Best of Megastructures.

Dubai is developing a reputation for being the home of the most extreme buildings on the planet. Measuring more than 320 meters high, Dubai's Burj Al Arab is the tallest hotel in the world. As if being taller than the Eiffel Tower wasn't enough, it also stands on a massive man-made island 270 meters off the coast. Inspired by the shape of a traditional sail, the Burj Al Arab has faced, and withstood, numerous challenges to become Dubai's Dream Palace.

Down the beach from the Burj Al Arab and four kilometers into the Persian Gulf, another mammoth construction project is underway. This one won't break any records for height, but The World will become the largest man-made group of islands ever created. Requiring more than 320 million cubic meters of sand, The World will recreate a map of the globe in the form of 300 islands. After it''s completed, 250,000 people are expected to become residents of the World Island Wonder.

Of course, the best plans require the best materials. A variety of buildings, from the Roman Pantheon to the Panama Canal, have stood the test of time because of concrete. Over 9,000 years after inventing bricks, we're still using them by the billions. And speaking of the world's most amazing buildings, it's impossible to ignore steel. The past and future of these amazing building materials are revealed in Megastructures: Concrete, Megastructures: Brick, and Megastructures: Steel.

With the breathtaking structures that are being planned, the sky is literally the limit. Take a look at what architects are achieving and how they're doing it in Best of Megastructures.

     
  1. Dubai's Burj Al Arab is notable for being the world's _____.
       
    (A) biggest motel
    (B) longest island
    (C)

tallest hotel

    (D) largest building
       
  2. What will most likely be true about The World after it is completed?
       
    (A) It will be made up of 320 million islands.
    (B) It will be the world's largest artificial island.
    (C) It will require exactly 320 million cubic meters of sand.
    (D)

It will be home to 250,000 residents.

       
  3. What is similar about the Roman Pantheon and the Panama Canal?
       
    (A)

They were constructed with concrete.

    (B) They are both ancient buildings.
    (C) They include a mix of steel, bricks, and concrete.
    (D) They used to be the world's tallest buildings.
       
  4. In the fourth paragraph, the author is trying to _____.
       
    (A) explain which building material is the best
    (B) list all of the building materials that have ever been used
    (C)

give examples of some interesting building materials

    (D) show the history of materials that have replaced each other
       
      mammoth   extremely large
           
      stand the test of time   popular, strong, etc. after a long time
           
      the sky's the limit   there is no limit
           
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  Answers : 1) C    2) D    3) A    4) C
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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