June 5, 2012

Building: Top 5 Highest Buildings in The World

Top 1 Burj Khalifa , known as Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is the tallest manmade structure in the world, at 829.84 m (2,723 ft). Construction began on 21 September 2004, with the exterior of the structure completed on 1 October 2009. The building officially opened on 4 January 2010, and is part of the new 2 km2 (490-acre) flagship development called Downtown Dubai at the 'First Interchange' along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai's main business district. The tower's architecture and engineering were performed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago, with Adrian Smith as chief architect, and Bill Baker as chief structural engineer. The primary contractor was Samsung C&T of South Korea.

The total cost for the project was about US$1.5 billion; and for the entire "Downtown Dubai" development, US$20 billion. In March 2009, Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman of the project's developer, Emaar Properties, said office space pricing at Burj Khalifa reached US$4,000 per sq ft (over US$43,000 per m²) and the Armani Residences, also in Burj Khalifa, sold for US$3,500 per sq ft (over US$37,500 per m²).

The project's completion coincided with the global financial crisis of 2007–2010, and with vast overbuilding in the country, led to high vacancies and foreclosures. With Dubai mired in debt from its huge ambitions, the government was forced to seek multibillion dollar bailouts from its oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi. Subsequently, in a surprise move at its opening ceremony, the tower was renamed Burj Khalifa, said to honour the UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his crucial support.

Due to the slumping demand in Dubai's property market, the rents in the Burj Khalifa plummeted 40% some ten months after its opening. Out of 900 apartments in the tower, around 825 were still empty at that time.

Top 2 The Abraj Al-Bait Towers, also known as the Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower, is a building complex in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The complex holds several world records, such as the tallest hotel in the world, the tallest clock tower in the world, the world's largest clock face, and the world's largest building floor area. The complex's hotel tower has become the second tallest building in the world in 2012, surpassed only by Dubai's Burj Khalifa. The building complex is meters away from the world's largest mosque and Islam's most sacred site, the Masjid al Haram. The developer and contractor of the complex is the Saudi Binladin Group, the Kingdom's largest construction company.

It was built at the same place as the former Ajyad Fortress, an old fort of the Ottoman epoch dating from the 18th century and which was destroyed in 2002 by the Saudi government in order to begin the building work, sparking global outcry. Contents

The tallest tower in the complex stands as the tallest building in Saudi Arabia, and the tallest and largest hotel in the world, with a height of 601 metres (1,972 feet). Currently it is the second tallest building in the world surpassing Tapei 101 and the fourth tallest structure in the world. The structure had surpassed Dubai International Airport having the largest floor area of any structure in the world with 1,500,000 m2 (16,150,000 sq ft) of floorspace. It also surpassed the Emirates Park Towers in Dubai as the world's tallest hotel.

The site of the complex is located across the street to the south from an entrance to the Masjid al Haram mosque, which houses the Kaaba. To accommodate worshipers visiting the Kaaba, the Abraj Al-Bait Towers has a large prayer room capable of holding more than 10,000 people. The tallest tower in the complex also contains a five-star hotel to help provide lodging for the millions of pilgrims that travel to Mecca annually to participate in Hajj.

In addition, the Abraj Al-Bait Towers has a five-story shopping mall (the Abraj Al Bait Mall) and a parking garage capable of holding over a thousand vehicles. Residential towers house permanent residents while two heliports and a conference center are to accommodate business travelers. In total, up to 100,000 people could be housed inside the towers. The project uses clock faces for each side of the hotel tower. The highest residential floor stands at 450 metres (1,480 feet), just below the clocks. The clock faces are 43 × 43 m (141 × 141 ft), the largest in the world. The roof of the clocks is 530 metres (1,740 feet) above the ground, making them the world's most elevated architectural clocks. A 71-metre-tall spire (233 ft) has been added on top of the clock giving it a total height of 601 metres (1,972 feet), which makes it the second tallest building in the world, surpassing Taipei 101 in Taiwan. The tower also includes an Islamic Museum and a Lunar Observation Center which will also be used to sight the moon during the Holy Months.

Building was planned to be 485 meters tall in 2006. In 2009, it was published that the final height will be 601 meters. The complex was built by the Saudi Binladin Group, Saudi Arabia's largest construction company. The clock tower was designed by the German company Premiere Composite Technologies, and the clock by the Swiss engineering firm Straintec. According to the Saudi Ministry of Religious Endowments, the project cost $15 billion.

Top 3 Taipei 101, formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, is a landmark skyscraper located in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan. The building ranked officially as the world's tallest from 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010. In July 2011, the building was awarded LEED Platinum certification, the highest award in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system and became the tallest and largest green building in the world. Taipei 101 was designed by C.Y. Lee & partners and constructed primarily by Samsung C&T and KTRT Joint Venture. The tower has served as an icon of modern Taiwan ever since its opening, and received the 2004 Emporis Skyscraper Award. Fireworks launched from Taipei 101 feature prominently in international New Year's Eve broadcasts and the structure appears frequently in travel literature and international media.

Taipei 101 comprises 101 floors above ground and 5 floors underground. The building was architecturally created as a symbol of the evolution of technology and Asian tradition (see Symbolism). Its postmodernist approach to style incorporates traditional design elements and gives them modern treatments. The tower is designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes. A multi-level shopping mall adjoining the tower houses hundreds of fashionable stores, restaurants and clubs.

Taipei 101 is owned by the Taipei Financial Center Corporation (TFCC) and managed by the International division of Urban Retail Properties Corporation based in Chicago. The name originally planned for the building, Taipei World Financial Center, until 2003, was derived from the name of the owner. The original name in Chinese was literally, Taipei International Financial Center (Chinese)

The Taipei 101 tower has 101 stories above ground and five underground. Upon its completion Taipei 101 claimed the official records for:
Ground to highest architectural structure (spire): 508 metres (1,667 ft). Previously held by the Petronas Towers 451.9 m (1,483 ft).
Ground to roof: 449.2 m (1,474 ft). Formerly held by the Willis Tower 442 m (1,450 ft).
Ground to highest occupied floor: 438 m (1,437 ft). Formerly held by the Willis Tower 412.4 m (1,353 ft).
Fastest ascending elevator speed: designed to be 1010 meters per minute, which is 16.83 m/s (55.22 ft/s) (60.6 km/h, 37.7 mi/h).
Largest countdown clock: Displayed on New Year's Eve.
Tallest sundial. (See 'Symbolism' below.)

Taipei 101 is the first building in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. The record it claimed for greatest height from ground to pinnacle now rests with the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (UAE): 828 m (2,717 ft). Taipei 101's records for roof height and highest occupied floor briefly passed to the Shanghai World Financial Center in 2009, which in turn yielded these records as well to the Burj.

Taipei 101 displaced the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as the tallest building in the world by 56.1 m (184 ft).[7] It also displaced the 85-story, 347.5 m (1,140 ft) Tuntex Sky Tower in Kaohsiung as the tallest building in Taiwan and the 51-story, 244.2 m (801 ft) Shin Kong Life Tower as the tallest building in Taipei.

Various sources, including the building's owners, give the height of Taipei 101 as 508.0 m (1,667 ft), roof height and top floor height as 448.0 m (1,470 ft) and 438.0 m (1,437 ft). This lower figure is derived by measuring from the top of a 1.2 m (4 ft) platform at the base. CTBUH standards, though, include the height of the platform in calculating the overall height, as it represents part of the man-made structure and is above the level of the surrounding pavement.

Top 4 The Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC) is a supertall skyscraper located in the Pudong district of Shanghai, China. It was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and developed by the Mori Building Company. It is a mixed-use skyscraper, consisting of offices, hotels, conference rooms, observation decks, and ground-floor shopping malls. Park Hyatt Shanghai is the hotel component, containing 174 rooms and suites. Occupying the 79th to the 93rd floors, it is the second-highest hotel in the world, surpassing the Grand Hyatt Shanghai on the 53rd to 87th floors of the neighboring Jin Mao Tower.

On 14 September 2007, the skyscraper was topped out at 492.0 meters (1,614.2 ft), making it, at the time, the second-tallest building in the world and the tallest structure in Mainland China. It also had the highest occupied floor and the highest height to roof, two categories used to determine the title of "world’s tallest building". The SWFC opened on 28 August 2008, with its observation deck opening two days later. This observation deck, the world's tallest at the time of its completion, offers views from 474 m (1,555 ft) above ground level.

The SWFC has been lauded for its design, and in 2008 it was named by architects as the year's best completed skyscraper. The SWFC will be exceeded in height by the adjacent Shanghai Tower, which is due for completion in 2014.

The tower's foundation stone was laid on 27 August 1997. In the late 1990s, the Pierre de Smet Building Corporation suffered a funding shortage caused by the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, which halted the project after the foundations were completed. On 13 February 2003, the Mori Group increased the building's height to 492 m (1,614 ft) and 101 stories, from the initial plans for a 460-metre (1,509 ft), 94-story building. The new building used the foundations of the original design, and construction work was resumed on 16 November 2003.

A fire broke out in the incomplete SWFC on 14 August 2007. The fire was first noticed on the 40th floor, around 16:30 (GMT +8), and soon the smoke was clearly seen outside the building. By 17:45, the fire had been extinguished. The damage was reported to be slight and nobody was injured in the accident. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but according to some sources the preliminary investigation suggested workers' electric weldings caused the fire.

The building reached its total height of 492 m (1,614 ft) on 14 September 2007 after the installation of the final steel girder. The final cladding panels were installed in mid-June 2008, and elevator installation was finished in mid-July. The Shanghai World Financial Center was completed on 17 July 2008, and was officially opened on 28 August. On 30 August 2008, the tower's observation floors were opened to the public.

Top 5 The International Commerce Centre ( ICC Tower) is a 118 floor, 484 m (1,588 ft) skyscraper completed in 2010 in West Kowloon, Hong Kong. It is a part of the Union Square project built on top of Kowloon Station. The development is owned and jointly developed by MTR Corporation Limited and Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hong Kong's metro operator and largest property developer respectively. It is currently the world's fourth tallest building by height, world's second tallest building by floors, as well as the tallest building in Hong Kong.

Its formal development name is Union Square Phase 7 and the name International Commerce Centre was officially announced in 2005. International Commerce Centre was completed in phases from 2007 to 2010. The tower opened in 2011, with the Ritz-Carlton opening in late March and the observatory in early April.

Sun Hung Kai Properties also developed, along with another major Hong Kong developer, Henderson Land, the second-tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong, the 2 International Finance Centre, which is located directly across Victoria Harbour in Central, Hong Kong Island.

The height had been scaled back from earlier plans due to regulations that didn't allow buildings to be taller than the surrounding mountains. The original proposal for this building was called Kowloon Station Phase 7 and it was designed to be 574 m (1,883 ft) tall with 102 floors. It would have risen 162 m (531 ft) over the then current tallest in Hong Kong, 2 International Finance Centre.

The tower was designed by the American architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) in association with Wong & Ouyang (HK) Ltd..

Source: Wikipedia

June 4, 2012

Water resource: Top 5 largest largest lake in the world

Top 1 The Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water in the world and accounts for 40 to 44% of the total lacustrine waters of the world. The coastlines of the Caspian are shared by Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan. The Caspian is divided into three distinct physical regions: the Northern, Middle, and Southern Caspian. The North-Middle boundary is the Mangyshlak Threshold, which runs through Chechen Island and Cape Tiub-Karagan. The Middle-South boundary is the Apsheron Threshold, a sill of tectonic origin between the Eurasian continent and an oceanic remnant, that runs through Zhiloi Island and Cape Kuuli. The Garabogazköl bay is the saline eastern inlet of the Caspian, which is part of Turkmenistan and at times has been a lake in its own right due to the isthmus which cuts it off from the Caspian.

An aerial view of the southern Caspian coast as viewed from a top the Alborz mountains in Mazandaran, Iran Divisions between the three regions are dramatic. The Northern Caspian only includes the Caspian shelf, and is very shallow; it accounts for less than 1% of the total water volume with an average depth of only 5–6 metres (16–20 ft). The sea noticeably drops off

towards the Middle Caspian, where the average depth is 190 metres (620 ft). The Southern Caspian is the deepest, with oceanic depths of over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft). The Middle and Southern Caspian account for 33% and 66% of the total water volume, respectively. The northern portion of the Caspian Sea typically freezes in the winter, and in the coldest winters, ice will form in the south.

Over 130 rivers provide inflow to the Caspian, with the Volga River being the largest. A second affluent, the Ural River, flows in from the north, and the Kura River flows into the sea from the west. In the past, the Amu Darya (Oxus) of Central Asia in the east often changed course to empty into the Caspian through a now-desiccated riverbed called the Uzboy River, as did the Syr Darya farther north. The Caspian also has several small islands; they are primarily located in the North and have a collective land area of roughly 2,000 km2 (770 sq miles). Adjacent to the North Caspian is the Caspian Depression, a low-lying region 27 metres (89 ft) below sea level. The Central Asian steppes stretch across the northeast coast, while the Caucasus mountains hug the Western shore. The biomes to both the north and east are characterized by cold, continental deserts. Conversely, the climate to the southwest and south are generally warm with uneven elevation due to a mix of highlands and mountain ranges; the drastic changes in climate alongside the Caspian have led to a great deal of biodiversity in the region.

Top 2 Lake Michigan–Huron is, geologically, the largest lake in the world and the largest of the North American Great Lakes. Traditionally considered to be two separate lakes, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, it is a single body of water connected at the Straits of Mackinac.

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society states, "Contrary to popular belief, the largest lake in the world is not Lake Superior but mighty Lake Michigan-Huron, which is a single hydrological unit linked at the Straits of Mackinac." The straits are 5 miles (8 km) wide and 120 feet (37 m) deep, small in comparison to the body of water as a whole. Lakes Huron and Michigan lie at the same elevation, 577 feet (176 m), rise and fall together, and the flow of water between them at times reverses from eastward to westward.

At 45,410 square miles (117,600 km2), Lake Michigan–Huron is 48% of the total surface area of the Great Lakes. Lake Superior holds more water, 3,000 cubic miles (12,500 km3) compared to Michigan–Huron's 2,000 cubic miles (8,300 km3), which makes Michigan–Huron the fourth largest lake by volume in the world after lakes Baikal, Tanganyika, and Superior.

During the last ice age, what is now Huron–Michigan was indeed two lakes, with what is now Lake Huron (known to geologists as Lake Stanley) separate from what is now Lake Michigan (Lake Chippewa). Before that Lake Chicago occupied the southern tip of the Lake Michigan basin, at the southern extent of the glaciers.

Top 3 Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, if Lake Huron and Lake Michigan are considered to be two lakes. It is the world's third-largest freshwater lake by volume.

Lake Superior has a surface area of 31,700 square miles (82,103 km2), which is approximately the size of South Carolina. It has a maximum length of 350 statute miles (560 km; 300 nmi) and maximum breadth of 160 statute miles (257 km; 139 nmi).[2] Its average depth is 80.5 fathoms (483 ft; 147 m) with a maximum depth of 222 fathoms (1,332 ft; 406 m). Lake Superior contains 2,900 cubic miles (12,100 km³) of water. There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover the entire land mass of North and South America with roughly 1 foot (30 cm) of water (roughly a depth of .93 feet) The shoreline of the lake stretches 2,726 miles (4,387 km) (including islands).

The lake is fed by over 200 rivers. The largest include the Nipigon River, the St. Louis River, the Pigeon River, the Pic River, the White River, the Michipicoten River, the Bois Brule River and the Kaministiquia River. Lake Superior drains into Lake Huron by the St. Marys River. The rapids on the river necessitate the Sault Locks (pronounced "soo"), a part of the Great Lakes Waterway, to move boats over the 25 feet (8 m) height difference from Lake Huron.

The lake's average surface elevation is 600 feet (183 m) above sea level. Until approximately 1887 the natural hydraulic conveyance through the St. Marys River rapids determined outflow from Lake Superior. By 1921 development in support of transportation and hydropower resulted in gates, locks, power canals and other control structures completely spanning St. Marys rapids. The regulating structure is known as the Compensating Works and is operated according to a regulation plan known as Plan 1977-A. The current water levels, including diversions of water from the Hudson Bay watershed, are governed by the International Lake Superior Board of Control which was established in 1914 by the International Joint Commission.

Superior's water levels temporarily reached a new low in September 2007, slightly less than the previous record low in 1926. However, the water levels returned within a few days.

Top 4 Lake Victoria is one of the African Great Lakes. The lake was named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, by John Hanning Speke, the first European to discover this lake.

With a surface area of 68,800 square kilometres (26,600 sq miles), Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, and it is the largest tropical lake in the world. Lake Victoria is the world's third largest freshwater lake by surface area (only Lake Michigan–Huron and Lake Superior in North America are larger). In terms of its volume, Lake Victoria is the world's eighth largest continental lake, and it contains about 2,750 cubic kilometers (2.2 billion acre-feet) of water.

Lake Victoria receives most of its water from direct precipitation or from thousands of small streams. The largest stream flowing into this lake is the Kagera River, the mouth of which lies on the lake's western shore. There are two rivers that leave the lake, the White Nile (known as the "Victoria Nile" as it leaves the lake), flows out at Jinja, Uganda on the lake's north shore and the Katonga River flows out at Lukaya on the western shore connecting the lake to Lake George.

Lake Victoria occupies a shallow depression in Africa and has a maximum depth of 84 metres (276 ft) and an average depth of 40 metres (130 ft). Its catchment area covers 184,000 square kilometers (71,040 sq miles). The lake has a shoreline of 4,828 kilometres (3,000 miles), with islands constituting 3.7% of this length, and is divided among three countries: Kenya (6% or 4,100 km2/1,600 sq miles), Uganda (45% or 31,000 km2/12,000 sq miles) and Tanzania (49% or 33,700 km2/13,000 sq miles). The lake supports Africa's largest inland fishery.

Top 5 Lake Tanganyika is an African Great Lake. It is estimated to be the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the second deepest, after Lake Baikal in Siberia; it is also the world's longest freshwater lake. The lake is divided among four countries – Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Tanzania and Zambia, with the DRC (45%) and Tanzania (41%) possessing the majority of the lake. The water flows into the Congo River system and ultimately into the Atlantic Ocean.,br>
The lake is situated within the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the geographic feature known as the East African Rift, and is confined by the mountainous walls of the valley. It is the largest rift lake in Africa and the second largest lake by volume in the world. It is the deepest lake in Africa and holds the greatest volume of fresh water. It extends for 676 km (420 miles) in a general north-south direction and averages 50 km (31 miles) in width. The lake covers 32,900 km2 (12,700 sq miles), with a shoreline of 1,828 km (1,136 miles) and a mean depth of 570 m (1,870 ft) and a maximum depth of 1,470 m (4,820 ft) (in the northern basin) it holds an estimated 18,900 cubic kilometres (4,500 cu mi). It has an average surface temperature of 25 °C and a pH averaging 8.4.

The enormous depth and tropical location of the lake can prevent 'turnover' of water masses, which means that much of the lower depths of the lake is so-called 'fossil water' and is anoxic (lacking oxygen). The catchment area of the lake covers 231,000 km², with two main rivers flowing into the lake, numerous smaller rivers and streams (due to the steep mountains that keep drainage areas small), and one major outflow, the Lukuga River, which empties into the Congo River drainage. ' The major river that flows into this lake, beginning 10.6 ka, is the Ruzizi River, entering the north of the lake from Lake Kivu. The Malagarasi River, which is Tanzania's second largest river, enters the east side of Lake Tanganyika. The Malagarasi is older than Lake Tanganyika and was formerly continuous with the Congo river.

Source: Wikipedia

June 2, 2012

Economy: Top 5 Countries with Highest GDP

Top 1 The United States of America has a capitalist mixed economy, which is fueled by abundant natural resources, a well-developed infrastructure, and high productivity. According to the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. GDP of US$15.1 trillion constitutes 22% of the gross world product at market exchange rates and over 19% of the gross world product at purchasing power parity (PPP). Though larger than any other nation's, its national GDP is about 5% smaller than the GDP of the European Union at PPP in 2008. The country ranks ninth in the world in nominal GDP per capita and sixth in GDP per capita at PPP. The U.S. dollar is the world's primary reserve currency.

The United States is the largest importer of goods and third largest exporter, though exports per capita are relatively low. In 2010, the total U.S. trade deficit was US$635 billion. Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, and Germany are its top trading partners. In 2010, oil was the largest import commodity, while transportation equipment was the country's largest export. China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. public debt.

Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, the world's largest bourse by dollar volume In 2009, the private sector was estimated to constitute 86.4% of the economy, with federal government activity accounting for 4.3% and state and local government activity (including federal transfers) the remaining 9.3%. While its economy has reached a postindustrial level of development and its service sector constitutes 67.8% of GDP, the United States remains an industrial power. The leading business field by gross business receipts is wholesale and retail trade; by net income it is manufacturing. Chemical products are the leading manufacturing field. The United States is the third largest producer of oil in the world, as well as its largest importer. It is the world's number one producer of electrical and nuclear energy, as well as liquid natural gas, sulfur, phosphates, and salt. While agriculture accounts for just under 1% of GDP, the United States is the world's top producer of corn and soybeans. Coca-Cola and McDonald's are the two most recognized brands in the world.

In August 2010, the American labor force comprised 154.1 million people. With 21.2 million people, government is the leading field of employment. The largest private employment sector is health care and social assistance, with 16.4 million people. About 12% of workers are unionized, compared to 30% in Western Europe. The World Bank ranks the United States first in the ease of hiring and firing workers. In 2009, the United States had the third highest labor productivity per person in the world, behind Luxembourg and Norway. It was fourth in productivity per hour, behind those two countries and the Netherlands. Compared to Europe, U.S. property and corporate income tax rates are generally higher, while labor and, particularly, consumption tax rates are lower.

Top 2 People's Republic of China (China) As of 2012, China has the world's second-largest economy in terms of nominal GDP, totalling approximately US$7.298 trillion according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, China's 2011 nominal GDP per capita of US$5,184 puts it behind around ninety countries (out of 183 countries on the IMF list) in global GDP per capita rankings. If PPP is taken into account in total GDP figures, China is again second only to the United States—in 2011, its PPP GDP reached US$11.316 trillion, corresponding to US$8,394 per capita. In 2009, China's primary, secondary, and tertiary industries contributed 10.6%, 46.8%, and 42.6% respectively to its total GDP.

China is the third-most-visited country in the world, with 55.7 million inbound international visitors in 2010. It is a member of the WTO and is the world's second-largest trading power behind the US, with a total international trade value of US$3.64 trillion in 2011. Its foreign exchange reserves reached US$2.85 trillion by the end of 2010, an increase of 18.7% over the previous year, making its reserves by far the world's largest. China owns an estimated US$1.6 trillion of US securities. China, holding US$1.16 trillion in US Treasury bonds, is the largest foreign holder of US public debt. China is the world's third-largest recipient of inward foreign direct investment (FDI), attracting US$115 billion in 2011 alone, marking a 9% increase over 2010. China also increasingly invests abroad, with a total outward FDI of US$68 billion in 2010.

China's success has been primarily due to manufacturing as a low-cost producer. This is attributed to a combination of cheap labor, good infrastructure, relatively high productivity, favorable government policy, and a possibly undervalued exchange rate. The latter has been sometimes blamed for China's huge trade surplus (US$262.7 billion in 2007) and has become a major source of dispute between China and its major trading partners—the US, EU, and Japan—despite the yuan having been de-pegged and having risen in value by 20% against the US dollar since 2005. China is moreover widely criticised for manufacturing large quantities of counterfeit goods—in 2005, the Asia Business Council alleged that the counterfeiting industry accounted for 8% of China's GDP at the time.

The Chinese economy is highly energy-intensive and inefficient—on average, industrial processes in China between 20% and 100% more energy than similar ones in OECD countries. China became the world's largest energy consumer in 2010, but still relies on coal to supply about 70% of its energy needs. Coupled with lax environmental regulations, this has led to massive water and air pollution, leaving China with 20 of the world's 30 most polluted cities. Consequently, the government has promised to use more renewable energy, planning to make renewables constitute 30% of China's total energy production by 2050. In 2010, China became the largest wind energy provider in the world, with a total installed wind power capacity of 41.8 GW. In January 2011, Russia began scheduled oil shipments to China, pumping 300,000 barrels of oil per day via the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean oil pipeline.

Top 3 Japan Some of the structural features for Japan's economic growth developed in the Edo period, such as the network of transport routes, by road and water, and the futures contracts, banking and insurance of the Osaka rice brokers. During the Meiji period from 1868, Japan expanded economically with the embrace of the market economy. Many of today's enterprises were founded at the time, and Japan emerged as the most developed nation in Asia. The period of overall real economic growth from the 1960s to the 1980s has been called the Japanese post-war economic miracle: it averaged 7.5 percent in the 1960s and 1970s, and 3.2 percent in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Growth slowed markedly in the 1990s during what the Japanese call the Lost Decade, largely because of the after-effects of the Japanese asset price bubble and domestic policies intended to wring speculative excesses from the stock and real estate markets. Government efforts to revive economic growth met with little success and were further hampered by the global slowdown in 2000. The economy showed strong signs of recovery after 2005; GDP growth for that year was 2.8 percent, surpassing the growth rates of the US and European Union during the same period.

As of 2011, Japan is the third largest national economy in the world, after the United States and China, in terms of nominal GDP, and the fourth largest national economy in the world, after the United States, China and India in terms of purchasing power parity. As of January 2011, Japan's public debt was more than 200 percent of its annual gross domestic product, the largest of any nation in the world. In August 2011, Moody's rating has cut Japan's long-term sovereign debt rating one notch from Aa3 to Aa2 inline with the size of the country's deficit and borrowing level. The large budget deficits and government debt since the 2009 global recession and followed by earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 made the rating downgrade. The service sector accounts for three quarters of the gross domestic product.

Top 4 Germany has a social market economy with a highly qualified labour force, a large capital stock, a low level of corruption, and a high level of innovation. It has the largest national economy in Europe, the fourth largest by nominal GDP in the world, and the fifth largest by PPP in 2009. The service sector contributes approximately 71% of the total GDP, industry 28%, and agriculture 0.9%. The official average national unemployment rate in March 2012 was 7.2%. However, the official average national unemployment rate also includes people with a part-time job that are looking for a full-time job. The unofficial average national unemployment rate in 2011 was 5.7%.

Germany is an advocate of closer European economic and political integration. Its commercial policies are increasingly determined by agreements among European Union (EU) members and by EU legislation. Germany introduced the common European currency, the euro, on 1 January 2002. Its monetary policy is set by the European Central Bank. Two decades after German reunification, standards of living and per capita incomes remain significantly higher in the states of the former West Germany than in the former East. The modernisation and integration of the eastern German economy is a long-term process scheduled to last until the year 2019, with annual transfers from west to east amounting to roughly $80 billion. In January 2009 the German government approved a €50 billion economic stimulus plan to protect several sectors from a downturn and a subsequent rise in unemployment rates. Germany is part of a monetary union, the Eurozone (dark blue), and of the EU single market.

Of the world's 500 largest stock-market-listed companies measured by revenue in 2010, the Fortune Global 500, 37 are headquartered in Germany. 30 Germany-based companies are included in the DAX, the German stock market index. Well-known global brands are Mercedes-Benz, BMW, SAP, Siemens, Volkswagen, Adidas, Audi, Allianz, Porsche, Bayer, Bosch, and Nivea. Germany is recognised for its specialised small and medium enterprises. Around 1,000 of these companies are global market leaders in their segment and are labelled hidden champions.

Top 5 France A member of the G8 group of leading industrialised countries, it is ranked as the world's fifth largest and Europe's second largest economy by nominal GDP; with 39 of the 500 biggest companies of the world in 2010, France ranks world's 4th and Europe's 1st in the Fortune Global 500 ahead of Germany and the UK. France joined 11 other EU members to launch the euro on 1 January 1999, with euro coins and banknotes completely replacing the French franc (₣) in early 2002. France derives 79% of its electricity from nuclear power, the highest percentage in the world.

France has a mixed economy which combines extensive private enterprise (nearly 2.5 million companies registered) with substantial (though declining) state enterprise and government intervention (see dirigisme). The government retains considerable influence over key segments of infrastructure sectors, with majority ownership of railway, electricity, aircraft, nuclear power and telecommunications. It has been gradually relaxing its control over these sectors since the early 1990s. France is part of a monetary union, the Eurozone (dark blue), and of the EU single market.

The government is slowly corporatising the state sector and selling off holdings in France Télécom, Air France, as well as the insurance, banking, and defence industries. France has an important aerospace industry led by the European consortium Airbus, and has its own national spaceport, the Centre Spatial Guyanais.

According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), in 2009 France was the world's sixth-largest exporter and the fourth-largest importer of manufactured goods. In 2008, France was the third-largest recipient of foreign direct investment among OECD countries at US$117.9 billion, ranking behind Luxembourg (where foreign direct investment was essentially monetary transfers to banks located in that country) and the United States (US$316.1 billion), but above the United Kingdom (US$96.9 billion), Germany (US$24.9 billion), or Japan (US$24.4 billion). In the same year, French companies invested US$220 billion outside of France, ranking France as the second most important outward direct investor in the OECD, behind the United States (US$311.8 billion), and ahead of the United Kingdom (US$111.4 billion), Japan (US$128 billion) and Germany (US$156.5 billion). With 39 of the 500 biggest companies of the world in 2010, France ranks 4th in the Fortune Global 500, behind the USA, Japan and China, but ahead of Germany and the UK.

Buildings: Top 5 largest Stadiums In The World

Top 1 Rŭngrado May First Stadium (May Day Stadium) is a multi-purpose stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, completed on May 1, 1989. It is regarded as the largest stadium in the world by capacity.

The stadium was constructed as a main stadium for the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students in 1989. It is currently used for football matches, a few athletics matches, but most often for Arirang performances (also known as the Mass Games). The stadium can seat 150,000, which is the largest stadium capacity in the world and the world's 12th largest sporting venue.

Its name comes from Rungra Islet in the Taedong River, upon which it is situated, and May Day, the international day celebrating labour and particularly celebrated among communists. Its scalloped roof features 16 arches arranged in a ring, and it is said to resemble a parachute or a magnolia blossom. It is not to be confused with the nearby 50,000 capacity Kim Il-sung Stadium.

It hosts events on a main pitch sprawling across over 22,500 m² (242,200 ft²). Its total floor space is over 207,000 m² (2.2 million ft²) across eight stories, and the lobes of its roof peak at more than 60 m (197 ft) from the ground.

While the stadium is used for sporting events, it is most famous as the site of massive performances and shows celebrating Kim Il-sung and the North Korean nation. In June–July 2002 it was the site of the colossal and meticulously choreographed "Arirang" gymnastic and artistic performance (often referred to elsewhere as "mass games"). The extravaganza involved for the first time some 100,000+ participants—double the number of spectators— and was open to foreigners, a rare occurrence. These performances are now an annual feature in Pyongyang, usually in August and September. The Guinness Book of Records has recognized these events as the largest in the world.

In the late 1990s, a number of North Korean army generals implicated in an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-il were executed via burning in the stadium.

It was also the venue in which Kim Jong-Il in 2000 entertained Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton.

Top 2 Salt Lake Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Bidhannagar, Kolkata, West Bengal. It is the largest stadium in India and second-largest in the world.

The stadium is the second largest non-auto racing stadium in the world and the largest in the Indian sub-continent. It is currently used for football matches and athletics. The stadium was built in 1984 and holds 120,000 people in a three-tier configuration.

It is situated approximately 10 km to the east of the Kolkata downtown and is elliptical in shape. The roof is made of metal tubes and aluminum sheets and concrete. There are two electronic score boards and control rooms. The lighting is uniformly distributed to facilitate nocturnal sports. There are special arrangements for TV broadcasting.

The stadium covers an area of 76.40 acres (309,200 m2). It was inaugurated in January, 1984. The salient features of the stadium are unique synthetic track for athletic meets, electronic scoreboard, main football arena measuring 105m x 70m, elevators, VIP enclosures, peripheral floodlighting arrangement from the roof-top, air conditioned VIP rest room and Conference Hall. Other features of the stadium are also commentary boxes for All India Radio and TV along with several platforms for TV cameras, press boxes, dormitories and AC. rooms, player's changing rooms, practice grounds for football, cricket and khokho, volleyball field and an ultra-medium gymnasium. The stadium has its own water arrangements and standby diesel generation sets.

The floodlights which illuminate the stadium consist of 624 bulbs of 2 kW each and two electronic scoreboards consisting of 36,000 bulbs of 25 watt each. The four underground reservoirs have unique fire-fighting arrangements with a capacity of 10,000 gallons. The architectural and structural design of the stadium was the work of the Joint Consultants viz., M/S. Ballardie, Thompson & Matthews Pvt. Ltd. and M/S. H.K. Sen & Associates – both from Kolkata, West Bengal. The track was prepared by Reckortan Tartan Track, Germany. The electronic scoreboards were supplied by Electro Impex of Hungary.
After its inauguration in January, 1984 with the Jawaharlal Nehru International Gold Cup Soccer Tournament, the Salt Lake Stadium has hosted several important international tournaments or matches such as The Pre-World Cup Tournament in 1985, Super-Soccers in 1986, 1989, 1991 and 1994, 3rd S.A.F. games in 1987, U.S.S.R. Festival in 1988, Charminar Challenger Trophy in 1992, Jawaharlal Nehru International Gold Cup in 1995. The chief engineer of the stadium is Somnath Ghosh.

The stadium also hosts different kinds of cultural programs such as dance and music concerts.

There is a climbing wall at the northern side of the stadium, it is maintained by the West Bengal Mountaineering and Adventure Sports Foundation under the Youth Service Directorate of the Government of West Bengal.

Top 3 Michigan Stadium, nicknamed "The Big House," is the football stadium for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan Stadium was built in 1927 at a cost of US$950,000 and had an original capacity of 72,000. Before playing at this stadium, the Wolverines played football on Ferry Field. Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in the United States with an official capacity of 109,901. The football game attendance often exceeds 111,000 when band members, stadium staff, and others are added. On September 10, 2011, 114,804 attended a game at Michigan Stadium between Michigan and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the largest crowd to see a college football game since 1948 and an NCAA single-game record. The game was also the first night football game at Michigan Stadium. Michigan Stadium also holds the current NCAA single-season average home attendance record, which was set in 2011 at 112,179 fans per game.

Michigan Stadium is the third largest stadium in the world and the 31st largest sports venue including auto racing and horse racing tracks, among others. The one "extra seat" in Michigan Stadium is said to be reserved for former athletic director Fritz Crisler, although its location is not specified.[8] Every home game since November 8, 1975 has drawn a crowd in excess of 100,000, an active streak of more than 200 contests. "Football Saturdays" in Ann Arbor have a profound effect on the city, dramatically increasing traffic and business at local establishments. The size of the crowd in the stadium nearly matches the city's population of 114,000.

Michigan Stadium was designed with footings to allow the stadium's capacity to be expanded beyond 100,000. According to the University of Michigan Library's and Athletics Department's history of the stadium, Fielding Yost envisioned a day where 150,000 seats would be needed. To keep construction costs low at the time, the decision was made to build a smaller stadium than Yost envisioned but to include the footings for future expansion.

Michigan Stadium is the site of the University of Michigan's main graduation ceremonies; renovations in April 2008 caused that year's ceremony to be moved to the Diag.

On December 11, 2010, the "Cold War II", a Michigan versus Michigan State hockey game, took place at Michigan Stadium. The event was officially called "The Big Chill at the Big House", and over 100,000 tickets had been sold by May 6, 2010, when sales to the general public were stopped. The remaining seats were set aside for students. The attendance for the game was 104,073, smashing the previous record for a hockey game by nearly 25,000.

On February 9, 2012, the NHL announced that the stadium will be hosting the 2013 NHL Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Top 4 Beaver Stadium is an outdoor college football stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania, United States, on the campus of The Pennsylvania State University. It is home to the Penn State Nittany Lions of the Big Ten Conference. The stadium is named for James A. Beaver, a former governor of Pennsylvania (1887–91) and president of the university's board of trustees.

Beaver Stadium has an official seating capacity of 106,572,[5] making it currently the second largest stadium in the Western Hemisphere and the fourth largest in the world.

Beaver Stadium is widely known as one of the toughest venues for opposing teams in collegiate athletics. In 2008, Beaver Stadium was recognized as having the best student section in the country for the second consecutive year.

The stadium is the first to have its interior included in Google Street View.

Top 5 Estadio Azteca is a stadium in Santa Ursula, Mexico City, Mexico. It is the official home stadium of the Mexico national football team and the Mexican team Club América.

The stadium was the venue for football in the 1968 Summer Olympics.

It has the honour of being the only stadium in the world to have hosted two FIFA World Cup Finals.[3] In the 1970 World Cup final, Brazil defeated Italy 4-1 and in the 1986 World Cup final, Argentina defeated West Germany 3-2. It also hosted the 1986 quarter-final between Argentina and England in which Diego Maradona scored both the "Hand of God goal" and the "Goal of the Century". The stadium also hosted the "Game of the Century", when Italy defeated West Germany 4-3 in extra time in one of the 1970 semifinals. With a capacity of 105,064, it is the largest stadium in Latin America, fifth largest in the world and the largest football-specific stadium in the world.