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speed building

The latest craze to sweep the Japanese construction industry is known as speed building (スピード ビルディング).

This is where builders arrive on the scene at seven in the morning and knock down the existing building, before hurriedly building a new one - all this by dinner time on the same day. Tenants could be in by 10pm.

It's all very impressive. In England, a small block of flats can take upwards of six months to complete, but this is mainly due to construction workers taking an excessive number of tea breaks.

Below I have chronicled one such speed building project that took place in Osaka last Sunday.

0700 hours: First, the existing building is destroyed - but not before stringent checks have been made to ensure all people and pets are safely out, together with at least some of their belongings.

0900 hours: Having cleared a space, the builders are ready to do what they do best - build (quickly).

1230 hours: By lunchtime, after much high-speed hammering, drilling, sawing, banging and a little bit of swearing, the first half of the new building is already up.

1500 hours: Astonishing progress has been made. The building is almost ready. And the flag-wavers have been brought in to direct people around the brand new construction.

1700 hours: The wraps come off and the new residence is ready to be occupied. And tomorrow it will all happen again (but in a different place, obviously).
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On Monday, 24 September, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Woow! This is incredable!
Is this for real, or is this a joke? I hope for real, and that Europe will follow our asian ubermasters, the Japanese.  

On Monday, 24 September, 2007, Anonymous A Plumber said:

I'm a plumber and I don't think they would be able to get all the plumbing done in that time.  

On Monday, 24 September, 2007, Blogger Contamination said:

Wow! That's so cool.

Of course they would have done about 90% of the work off site before anything was demolished.

But I guess the foundations would be crap as there would be no time to set something strong and wait for the concrete to dry. I wouldn't want to live in that place during the next earthquake!

Do you like Dr Pepper? Read about it at jDonuts.com  

On Tuesday, 25 September, 2007, Blogger William Deed said:

We should do an exchange program between the Japanese and the Congolese. I'm sure one, if not both nationalities would explode in just a few days.  

On Tuesday, 25 September, 2007, Anonymous mikesblender said:

Hahahaha! Not sure which is funnier, your post, or the people that commented above!  

On Tuesday, 25 September, 2007, Anonymous Michaels said:

Amazing, and not a workman in site. Must be one of those high-tech Japanese inflate-a-house jobs, complete with realistic constuction noises/swearing. I hear the premium version even comes with several cardboard cutout bricklayers with their jeans in a realistic "too low" position.  

On Tuesday, 25 September, 2007, Anonymous Jamaipanese said:

wow I'd sit all day and watch them, prolly create a video as well  

On Tuesday, 25 September, 2007, Anonymous Yanpa said:

There's something wrong with these pictures. Took me a while to put my finger on it, but if you look carefully it's clear there are hardly any elderly men waving illuminated batons. I think these pictures are fakes, maybe shot on a film set in North Korea.  

On Tuesday, 25 September, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

I live in that little village you might have heard of called Tokyo. All the flags were stollen in th great flag heist of 1988 so old people here are given batons to wave before being sent out into the streets to prevent people walking anywhere safe without assistance.


On Tuesday, 25 September, 2007, Anonymous Deas said:

I think the fun part is all in the speed demolition (スピード・デモリション). Who cares about the building part? Gimme a turbocharged pneumatic jackhammer and let me at it. :-)

I am also amazed at the speed roadwork (スピード・ロッドワーク) that they do here. Makes interesting patchwork patterns, so it has a decorative value too.  

On Tuesday, 25 September, 2007, Anonymous Steebu said:

Tip for anyone who feels that they may be missing out - as the builders work so fast, you can't see their builder's crack ビルディアー クラーク. So as not to miss out on this spec-crackular sight, record them in action and then play-back in slow motion (something to remind you of home at least!?)...best enjoyed with a few tinnies!  

On Tuesday, 25 September, 2007, Anonymous Matt said:

...I'm never sure whether I'm supposed to take your entries with a (sizeable) pinch of salt...  

On Wednesday, 26 September, 2007, Anonymous Yanpa said:

Oddly enough, I was unable to find "builder's crack" aka "builder's bum" in any of the English-Japanese dictionaries I possess. I'd hazard it would be spelt ビルダーズクラック though... or how about 職人尻?

On Wednesday, 26 September, 2007, Anonymous hl said:

This is amazing, really. The building is ugly though.  

On Thursday, 27 September, 2007, Anonymous George said:


Thank you for pointing out the superiority of the Japanese constuction industry management. Consider- or beware Japan! The West is bound for decline. Britain is trapped by unions and tea-breaks, Germany by builders' associations and beer breaks and don't even mention the French.

Data from Anthropology and Political Science, such as the late Prof. Malcolm Dimwit, backs up your claim: while Japanese builders need only 1 day, British ones need x% of that and French even y%! Another study says blablabla blablablablab lablablablablablablablab lablabla blablablabla

Yours sincerely
-- G. Smallpox, Brigardier (ret.)  

On Friday, 28 September, 2007, Blogger tornados28 said:

Hilarious. Not the post but the comments. People are so gullible.  

On Saturday, 29 September, 2007, Anonymous Alex Case said:

Japanese builders spend just as much time sitting around drinking tea as in any other country. They just look cooler doing it with the baggy trousers and the tabi boots... The time saving comes from making the houses out of recycled cardboard and shortcrust pastry (or is that just mine??)

TEFLtastic blog- www.tefl.net/alexcase  

On Monday, 01 October, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Would be interesting to know how long it really took. I bet it would still be super quick. But there is a lot of bureaucracy in japan and i can image it slowing things down.  

On Wednesday, 03 October, 2007, Anonymous Harvey said:

Now if only the government office workers could move as quick...

The post idea is great, hilarious. I can't believe that some people took it as reality though... Or can I.  

On Sunday, 07 October, 2007, Blogger James Powell said:

Thats really cool. I wish it was like that over here.  

On Monday, 08 October, 2007, Anonymous nationwide said:

I can put a tent up in a lot less time than that. A really big one.  

On Friday, 19 October, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said:

pffft provide proof noob. i can take photos of a building being built and say it was built backwards through time while i was taking pictures from the delorean. crap.  

On Tuesday, 06 November, 2007, Blogger Dan said:

Yea of little faith!!! But then again seeing is believing, and I have witnessed streets being done in mid Tokyo during the very tiny hours of the night. One impressively hilarious think to watch. I wouldnt recommend trying to capture the whole thing on film, you might be ostricized !!!  

On Wednesday, 28 November, 2007, Blogger sonali said:

The first question that comes to mind ... what is the house made of? A pack of cards? Visibly not i guess ... brick and mortar? prefab stuff? a few enlightening words will surely help!!!  

On Wednesday, 30 December, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Ya canna hanna manna granda Pana (home)  

On Saturday, 24 September, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is complete nonsense, the building being demolished would not be taken down that quickly, the building next door would be damaged, where have the power cables gone, the concrete would not have cured, let alone the footings (This is Japan) an earthquake zone with very tight stringent building regs.
This is a poorly executed hoax.  

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