What is the Largest Building in the World?

Boeing built the biggest building based on bulk volume, but the Aalsmeer Flower Auction building is built on a bigger base… Alright, enough of that.

When it comes to the largest building in the world, the question comes down to, just what we are measuring? If we want to find the largest building by internal volume, then travel no further than Everett, Washington. Here sits the Boeing Everett Factory building used to assemble some of Boeing’s biggest planes like the 747, 767, 777, and 787. It has an internal area of 472,370,319 cubic ft and covers just shy of 100 acres (98.7). That’s the equivalent volume of nearly 13 Empire State Buildings.

Image Source: Concerning Reality

30,000 people work in the building every day and 150,000 people visit each year. Across the entire world, there is no building with a larger internal volume.

But if we measure by ground footprint, then we have to travel all the way to Aalsmeer, Holland.

The Aalsmeer Flower Auction building has an immense 5.6 million square feet of floor space. Here, millions upon millions of the world’s finest flowers are auctioned off to destinations and bidders across the world. 20 million flowers are sold daily inside this building that occupies 128 acres of ground. If you were to take that area and stretch it out into a band one square foot wide, you’d be left with an area of a  of 1,056 miles long – enough to stretch from New York City to Miami Florida.

Image Source: Concerning Reality

There’s no other building in the entire world with a bigger ground footprint than the AFA building in the Netherlands.

But, if you’re in search for the most amount of usable square footage, then look no further than the New Century Global Center in Chengdu, China. Built in 2013, the multipurpose building has a floor area of 18.9 million square feet. This building is perhaps the most architecturally beautiful one on the list of world’s largest buildings, standing at 330 feet tall. Inside there are waterparks, business suites and more shopping than you could ever need.

Image Source: Concerning Reality

These three buildings make up the current largest buildings ever constructed in the world, but one new building is slowly nipping at the heels of all three. The final size is unknown, but Tesla’s gigafactory is currently estimated to be 13.6 million square feet. As designed, it would take the second spot for world’s biggest building by volume, right behind the Boeing factory. However, Tesla owns the adjacent plot of land and has hinted at expanding the building into a double factory pending positive earnings. If they take these steps, Tesla may soon beat out one or all three of these buildings for their top spots.

So, the largest buildings in the world are spread surprisingly far apart and determining the largest depends greatly on what you measure “large” by.

Trevor is a civil engineer (B.S.) by trade and an accomplished writer with a passion for inspiring everyone with new and exciting technologies. He is also a published children’s book author and the producer for the YouTube channel Concerning Reality.


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