What’s the life expectancy of a Chinese skyscraper with too much sea sand in the concrete?

I think most people assume skyscrapers will last a long time. But, a number of newer skyscrapers in China are endangered because of too much sea sand in the concrete:

A sand scandal is brewing in China, with concerns that low-quality concrete has been used in the construction of many of the country’s largest buildings — putting them at risk of collapse.

The recipe to make concrete is pretty simple — cement, aggregate and water — but the strength of the final batch can vary wildly depending on the kinds of aggregate and cement used and the proportions they’re mixed in. Commonly the aggregate used in many modern building projects consists of crushed gravel or other rock, including sand, and that’s the cause of so much distress in the Chinese construction industry at the moment. Inspections by state officials have found raw, unprocessed sea sand in at least 15 buildings under construction in Shenzhen, including a building which, when finished, was set to become China’s tallest…

It can take only a few decades for a building to become dangerously unsafe if untreated sea sand is used in its concrete — including the possibility of collapse. While this scandal has been confined only to Shenzhen thus far, the possibility of it spreading to other Chinese cities is cause for concern. The country currently has nine of the 20 tallest buildings in the world under construction, while there were reportedly so many skyscrapers under construction in 2011 that it worked out as a new one being topped out every five days right through into 2014.

This raises an interesting question about the life expectancy of major buildings. Just how long will the skyscrapers in the major skylines in the world last? How soon do they need to be replaced? What plans are in place to destroy or gut the buildings before they fall down? I have never heard such a discussion but I hope cities are prepared.

This particular concrete problem wouldn’t arise if only they had built the skyscrapers out of wood

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