In the following articles, we will tackle about different engineering achievement, from world’s tallest building, longest bridge, biggest building, and the likes. This post is the first of the series, so let’s start.
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an organization that certifies buildings as the "World’s Tallest", recognizes a building only if at least fifty percent of its height is made up of floor plates containing habitable floor area. Structures that do not meet this criterion, such as the CN Tower, are defined as "towers".
Since 2010, the structure that holds the “World’s Tallest Building” title is the Burj Khalifa (“Khafa Tower”, Burj Dubai) located in Dubai, UAE. It measures 829.8 meters (2, 722 ft). The construction of the building began on September 21, 2004, its exterior was completed October 1, 2009 and its official inauguration and opening was on January 4, 2010.
The tower was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, who also designed the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) in Chicago and the new One World Trade Center in New York City. The Burj Khalifa uses the bundled tube design, invented by Fazlur Rahman Khan. Proportionally, the design uses half the amount of steel used in the construction of the Empire State Building thanks to the tubular system. Its design is reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's vision for The Illinois, a mile high skyscraper designed for Chicago. According to Marshall Strabala, an SOM architect who worked on the building's design team, 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 with NORR Group Consultants International Limited chosen to supervise the architecture of the project. Hyder was selected for its expertise in structural and MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) engineering. Hyder Consulting's role was to supervise construction, certify SOM'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-storey 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 of Burj Khalifa is derived from patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture. According to the structural engineer, Bill Baker of SOM, the building's design incorporates cultural and historical elements particular to the region such as the spiral minaret. The spiral minaret spirals and grows slender as it rises. The Y-shaped plan is ideal for residential and hotel usage, with the wings allowing maximum outward views and inward natural light. As the tower rises from the flat desert base, there are 27 setbacks in a spiralling pattern, decreasing the cross section of the tower as it reaches toward the sky and creating convenient outdoor terraces. 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 (4.9 ft).
To support the unprecedented height of the building, the engineers developed a new structural system called the buttressed core, which consists of a hexagonal core reinforced by three buttresses that form the ‘Y' shape. This structural system enables the building to support itself laterally and keeps it from twisting.
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 weighing 350 tonnes (390 short tons; 340 long tons) was constructed from inside the building and jacked to its full height of over 200 m (660 ft) using a strand jack system. The spire also houses communications equipment.
|Inside Burj Khalifa|
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, featuring 196 bronze and brass alloy cymbals representing the 196 countries of the world. It was planned that the visitors in this lobby would be able to hear a distinct timbre as the cymbals, plated with 18-carat gold, are struck by dripping water, intended to mimic the sound of water falling on leaves.
The exterior cladding of Burj Khalifa consists of 142,000 m2 (1,528,000 sq ft) of reflective glazing, and aluminium and textured stainless steel spandrel panels with vertical tubular fins. The cladding system is designed to withstand Dubai's extreme summer temperatures. Additionally, the exterior temperature at the top of the building is thought to be 6 °C (11 °F) cooler than at its base. Over 26,000 glass panels were used in the exterior cladding of Burj Khalifa. Over 300 cladding specialists from China were brought in for the cladding work on the tower.
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 a 122nd, 123rd and 124th floor where the At.mosphere restaurant, sky lobby and an indoor and outdoor observation deck is located respectively. In January 2010, it was planned that Burj Khalifa would receive its first residents from February 2010.
Burj Khalifa can accommodate up to 35,000 people at any one time. A total of 57 elevators and 8 escalators are installed. The elevators have a capacity of 12 to 14 people per cabin, the fastest rising and descending at up to 10 m/s (33 ft/s) for double-deck elevators. However, the world's fastest single-deck elevator still belongs to Taipei 101 at 16.83 m/s (55.2 ft/s). Engineers had considered installing the world's first triple-deck elevators, but the final design calls for double-deck elevators. The double-deck elevators are equipped with entertainment features such as LCD displays to serve visitors during their travel to the observation deck. The building has 2,909 stairs from the ground floor to the 160th floor.
The graphic design identity work for Burj Khalifa is the responsibility of Brash Brands, who are based in Dubai. Design of the global launch events, communications, and visitors centers for Burj Khalifa have also been created by Brash Brands as well as the roadshow exhibition for the Armani Residences, which are part of the Armani Hotel within Burj Khalifa, which toured Milan, London, Jeddah, Moscow and Delhi.
Other records Burj Khalifa holds are:
- Tallest free-standing structure in the world
- Highest number of stories in the world
- Highest occupied floor in the world
- Highest outdoor observation deck in the world
- Elevator with the longest travel distance in the world
- Tallest service elevator in the world
Some other facts about Burj Khalifa:
- The design is an abstraction of the Hymenocallis, a flower that has long petals that extend from its center. The flower is found in tropical and subtropical spots around the world, and its name means “beautiful membrane” in Greek.
- The Burj Khalifa is roughly three times the height of the Eiffel Tower, 15 times the highest point at Niagara Falls and almost twice as tall as the Empire State Building.
- The actual construction of the building was done by a South Korean company, Samsung Engineering and Construction. It took more than 110,000 tons of concrete, 55,000 tons of steel rebar, and 22 million man-hours to complete the Burj Khalifa.
- There was so much rebar used to construct this building—31,400 metric tons, in fact—that if it were all laid end to end it would cover more than a quarter of the way around the world.
- The building’s exterior is made up of 26,000 individually cut glass panels. More than 300 cladding experts from China collaborated on the Burj Khalifa’s cladding system, which was designed specially to withstand the heat of a Dubai summer.
- How do you keep the world’s tallest building—covered in 24,000 reflective windows—clean? For the Burj Khalifa, 36 cleaners board 12 13-ton machines that move along tracks attached to the outside of the building, at heights of 20,000 feet. There actually was a competition for the cleaning gig, and Australian company Cox Gomyl won.
- It comes as no surprise that the world’s tallest building consumes a whole lot of resources. The Burj Khalifa is supplied with an average of 250,000 gallons of water every day, and can reach an electrical demand equal to that of 360,000 100-watt bulbs burning at once.
- The Burj Khalifa’s designers anticipated the difficulty of running down 120 flights of stairs in an emergency, so they developed the first-ever elevator system for a mega–high rise that can carry out controlled evacuations for some fire or security issues.