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Burj Khalifa

General Information

Other name(s): Burj Dubai
Beginning of works: 2004
Completion: 4 January 2010
Status: in use

Project Type

Location

Location: , ,
Coordinates: 25° 11' 50.01" N    55° 16' 27.30" E
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Technical Information

Dimensions

height 828 m
number of floors (above ground) 189

Products, Services & Reports

The Burj Tower in Dubai was officially opened in January of this year and since then has been accessible to the public. At 818 m high, the tower ...

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Chronology

14 September 2007

While still under construction and having reached a height of 555 meters, Burj Dubai becomes the tallest free-standing man-made structure.

4 January 2010

Inauguration and renaming of the tower to Burj Khalifa.

Architecture and Construction

The tower was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), which also designed the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) in Chicago and the One World Trade Center in New York City. Burj Khalifa uses the bundled tube design of the Willis Tower, invented by Fazlur Rahman Khan. Due to its tubular system, proportionally only half the amount of steel was used in the construction, compared to the Empire State Building. Khan's contributions to the design of tall buildings have had a profound impact on architecture and engineering. It would be difficult to find any worldwide practices in the design of tall buildings that have not been directly or indirectly influenced by his work. The design is reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's vision for The Illinois, a mile-high skyscraper designed for Chicago, as well as Chicago's Lake Point Tower. When Adrian Smith was conceiving the project at SOM, he looked out his office window toward Lake Point Tower's curved three wing layout, "There's the prototype", he said. According to Strabala, Burj Khalifa was designed based on the 73-floor Tower Palace Three, an all-residential building in Seoul. In its early planning, Burj Khalifa was intended to be entirely residential.

Subsequent to the original design by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Emaar Properties chose Hyder Consulting to be the supervising engineer and NORR Group Consultants International Ltd to supervise the architecture of the project. Hyder was selected for their expertise in structural and MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) engineering. Hyder Consulting's role was to supervise construction, certify the architect's design, and be the engineer and architect of record to the UAE authorities. NORR's role was the supervision of all architectural components including on-site supervision during construction and design of a 6-story addition to the office annex building for architectural documentation. NORR was also responsible for the architectural integration drawings for the Armani Hotel included in the Tower. Emaar Properties also engaged GHD, an international multidisciplinary consulting firm, to act as an independent verification and testing authority for concrete and steelwork.

The design is derived from Islamic architecture. As the tower rises from the flat desert base, there are 27 setbacks in a spiral pattern, decreasing the cross section of the tower as going upward and creating convenient outdoor terraces. These setbacks are arranged and aligned in a way that minimizes vibration wind loading from eddy currents and vortices. At the top, the central core emerges and is sculpted to form a finishing spire. At its tallest point, the tower sways a total of 1.5 m.

The spire of Burj Khalifa is composed of more than 4,000 tonnes (4,400 short tons; 3,900 long tons) of structural steel. The central pinnacle pipe weighs 350 tonnes (390 short tons; 340 long tons) and has a height of 200 m. The spire also houses communications equipment. This 244-meter spire is widely considered vanity height since very little of its space is usable. Without the spire, Burj Khalifa would be 585 meters tall. This was reported in a Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat study, which notes that the empty spire "could be a skyscraper on its own”. Such a skyscraper, if located in Europe, would be the 11th tallest building on that continent.

In 2009, architects announced that more than 1,000 pieces of art would adorn the interiors of Burj Khalifa, while the residential lobby of Burj Khalifa would display the work of Jaume Plensa.

The cladding system consists of 142,000 m² of more than 26,000 reflective glass panels and aluminum and textured stainless steel spandrel panels with vertical tubular fins. The architectural glass provides solar and thermal performance as well as an anti-glare shield for the intense desert sun, extreme desert temperatures, and strong winds. The glass covers more than 174,000 m² (1,870,000 sq ft) in area. The Burj's typical curtain wall panels measure 4'6" wide by 10'8" high and weigh about 800 pounds each, with wider panels near the building edges and taller ones near the top.

A 304-room Armani Hotel, the first of four by Armani, occupies 15 of the lower 39 floors. The hotel was supposed to open on 18 March 2010, but after several delays, it finally opened to the public on 27 April 2010. The corporate suites and offices were also supposed to open from March onwards, yet the hotel and observation deck remained the only parts of the building which were open in April 2010.

The sky lobbies on the 43rd and 76th floors house swimming pools. Floors through to 108 have 900 private residential apartments (which, according to the developer, sold out within eight hours of being on the market). An outdoor zero-entry swimming pool is located on the 76th floor of the tower. Corporate offices and suites fill most of the remaining floors, except for the 122nd, 123rd, and 124th, where the At.mosphere restaurant, sky lobby and an indoor and outdoor observation deck are located, respectively. In January 2010, it was planned that Burj Khalifa would receive its first residents from February 2010.

The building has 57 elevators and 8 escalators. The elevators have a capacity of 12 to 14 people per cabin, the fastest rising and descending at up to 10 m/s.

Plumbing systems

The Burj Khalifa's water system supplies an average of 946,000 L of water per day through 100 km of pipes. An additional 213 km of piping serves the fire emergency system, and 34 km supplies chilled water for the air conditioning system. The wastewater system uses gravity to discharge water from plumbing fixtures, floor drains, mechanical equipment and stormwater, to the city municipal sewer.

Air conditioning

The air conditioning system draws air from the upper floors where the air is cooler and cleaner than on the ground. At peak cooling times, the tower's cooling is 46 MW equivalent to that provided by 13,000 short tons (26,000,000 lb; 12,000,000 kg) of melting ice in one day. Water is collected via a condensate collection system and is used to irrigate the nearby park.

Window cleaning

To wash the 24,348 windows, totaling 120,000 m² of glass, the building has three horizontal tracks which each holding a 1,500 kg bucket machine. Above level 109, and up to tier 27, traditional cradles from davits are used. The top of the building is cleaned by a crew that uses ropes to descend from the top to gain access. Under normal conditions, when all building maintenance units are operational, it takes 36 workers three to four months to clean the entire exterior. Unmanned machines clean the top 27 additional tiers and the glass spire. The cleaning system was developed in Melbourne, Australia, by CoxGomyl, a manufacturer of building maintenance units, at a cost of A$8 million.

Text taken from the Wikipedia article "Burj Khalifa", version from 18.06.2019, and edited in accordance with CC BY-SA 3.0.

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  • About this
    data sheet
  • Structure-ID
    20016093
  • Date created
    18/04/2005
  • Last Update
    18/06/2019