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What Is The World’s Largest Steel Building?

With the production of steel being one of the most fundamental materials in constructing the modern world and the dizzying scale it has reached, it is perhaps not too surprising that steel buildings are amongst the largest human-made buildings and structures on Earth.

However, whilst the tallest free-standing steel building in the world is the Willis Tower skyscraper in Chicago, the world’s largest steel building, and indeed the largest building by volume of any kind in the world has kept that title for nearly six decades.

In Everett, Washington, The Boeing Company has had an aircraft construction facility since 1943, but by 1966, the company was ramping up production of one of the most famous and most prolific aircraft in history in the form of the Boeing 747.

After receiving a contract from Pan American World Airways to build 25 Boeing 747s, the manufacturer bought a former military area known as Paine Field and constructed a factory that was 13,385,378 cubic metres, nearly five times the size of the Millennium Dome in London.

It took around five months between the first production workers arriving and the Everett Site being opened on 1st May 1967.

However whilst it had been opened, it was not necessarily complete, as the push to meet Pan American’s deadlines for the plans led to a group of workers later given the moniker “The Incredibles” to work on the first 747-100 at the same time the factory was being built around them.

The team, led by the late Joe Sutter produced the first model of the world’s largest aircraft in just 29 months from concept to rollout, which was seen as astonishing at the time

The building was so large that before an air circulation system was set up, clouds would form just below the ceiling due to warm air and moisture, making it one of the few buildings in the world large enough to have its own climate.

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