Daily digest: The second-tallest tower tops out in Malaysia, prepping Texas for more winter storms, and more

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Daily digest: The second-tallest tower tops out in Malaysia, prepping Texas for more winter storms, and more

Texas was battered by winter storms at the start of 2021, and preparations for the next round are going slowly. (Thomas Park/Unsplash)

Good afternoon and welcome back to the start of another workweek. As we continue the slow march towards the holidays, why not check out the 2021 gift guide from AN for inspiration?

Here’s what you need to know today:

The second-tallest building in the world tops out in Malaysia

The Merdeka 118, which is on track to become the world’s second-tallest tower (at 2,227 feet) when it opens at the end of 2022, has topped out in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Once open to the public, the $1.2-billion-Merdeka 118 will hold the highest observation deck in Southeast Asia, a mosque, museum, mall, and the country’s first Park Hyatt Hotel.

H/t to Bloomberg

Less than a year after deadly winter storms battered Texas, is the state prepared for more?

A winter storm shattered Texas’s fragile electric grid this past February, leaving residents freezing and, in the worst of cases, dead from the cold or carbon monoxide poisoning from improperly heating their homes. This “crisis of governance” from the local all the way up to the state level was acutely felt, but as winter approaches, has there been enough preparation to weather another deep freeze? The Texas Tribune has broken down the ways some cities are preparing (stockpiling drinkable water and generators, improving emergency communication lines, and retrofitting the natural gas generators that failed last time), but most of these measures won’t be ready until next year.

H/t to The Texas Tribune

Realtors to the stars are banking on metaverse real estate as the next frontier

If you’re already selling multimillion-dollar high-rise homes to celebrities, where can you go from there? For Douglas Elliman’s superstar brother duo Tal and Oren Alexander, the answer appears to be “digital.” The pair, already famous for closing ultra-large property deals and hobnobbing with celebs in their free time, is reportedly now looking to sell “trophy” properties across the various metaverses, including a forthcoming “planned community.”

H/t to Curbed

Billions of solar panels are getting trashed because they aren’t recyclable

Solar panels aren’t exactly designed with reusability in mind, and with billions reaching the end of their lifecycle, so too will the materials—the panels are shredded, rendering recovery impossible. Matthew Davies lays out how only 1 percent of materials used in renewable power generation are recoverable, an unsustainable proposition for the future.

H/t to Fast Company

The NGV in Melbourne, Australia, will get a pink pool after a design competition

people standing in a pink pool
Installation view of NGV Architecture Commission 2021 pond[er] by Taylor Knights and James Carey, on view from December 6, 2021, through August 28, 2022. (Courtesy the NGV)
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) has crowned a winner in its 2021 Architecture Commission for the Grollo Equiset Garden, choosing Melbourne, Australia-based firm Taylor Knights, in collaboration with artist James Carey. The team will now realize a pink pool filled with indigenous plantings for pond[er], an explorable architectural object in the garden at the NGV International building that integrates with but doesn’t overpower the existing landscape.

Canada rushes to repair damage from deadly flooding as rain continues

The western coast of Canada is still being battered by record rainfall, and the province of British Columbia remains under a state of emergency until December 17. Rail lines and roads around Vancouver and other major B.C. cities have been washed away already, and with winter looming, Canadian officials are looking into ways to harden the water infrastructure that hasn’t been crippled yet and get transit lines up and running again as soon as possible. Even temporary repairs for the collapsed bridges and highways are anticipated to take months, with permanent fixes likely years off in the future.

H/t to Construction Dive