The Burj Dubai, developed by Emaar Properties, has claimed the record for the tallest building in the world, at 512.1 metres (1,680 ft), and it is not even finished yet.The developers say that there is still a long way to go.
The Burj Dubai is now taller than Taipei 101 in Taiwan, which at 508 metres (1,667 ft) has held the tallest-building-in-the-world title since it opened in 2004. Burj Dubai has now reached 141 storeys - more storeys than any other building in the world.
On schedule for completion in 2008, Burj Dubai will be the tallest structure in the world in all four of the criteria listed by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The council measures height to the structural top, the highest occupied floor, to the top of the roof, and to the tip of the spire, pinnacle, antenna, mast or flag pole.
During its construction, the Burj Dubai has left behind the skyscrapers that previously defined tall tower architecture around the world, such as the Petronas Towers in Malaysia (452 metres, 1,483 ft); Sears Tower, Chicago (442 metres, 1,451 ft); Jin Mao Building, Shanghai (421 metres, 1,381 ft) and Empire State Building, New York (381 metres, 1,250 ft).
The Burj Dubai story is only beginning. The final height and number of storeys, a topic of enthusiastic debate among media and experts alike, has not yet been revealed. But from now on, the tower will set new records for its technical and architectural ingenuity.
When completed, Burj Dubai will have consumed 330,000 cubic meters of concrete, 39,000 metric tons of steel rebar and 142,000 sq m of glass - and 22 million man hours. The tower will have 56 elevators travelling at 1.75 to 10 metres/sec and double-decker observatory elevators that can carry 42 people at a time.
More than 313,700 cubic metres of reinforced concrete and 62,200 tonnes of reinforcing steel have been used in the tower’s construction so far. Burj Dubai has already set a new world record for vertical concrete pumping for a building by pumping to over 460 metres (1,509 ft). The previous record of 448 metres (1,470 ft) was held by Taipei 101.
Reflecting a no-compromise approach to safety, Burj Dubai has been designed to manage the effect of wind and seismic movements. High-strength concrete makes up the tower’s super-structure, which is supported by large reinforced concrete mats and piles. The 80,000 sq ft foundation slab and 50-metre deep piling are waterproofed and feature cathodic protection.
Burj Dubai became the tallest building in the world in just 1,276 days; excavation work started in January, 2004. More than 5,000 consultants and skilled construction workers are employed on site, and the world’s fastest high-capacity construction hoists, with a speed of up to 2 m/sec (120 metres/min), move men and materials.
Structural steel work for the tower is expected tol begin soon, and cladding work using a high-performance system has already started.
The primary cladding materials of reflective glazing, aluminium and textured stainless steel spandrel panels and vertical stainless tubular fins accentuate the tower’s height and slenderness to the eye.
“Four years ago Burj Dubai was conceived by Emaar Properties as a 90-storey structure. It was the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who inspired us to ‘resist the usual’ and build a global icon,” said Mr Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties.
He said, “Burj Dubai is not just an architectural and engineering masterpiece in concrete, steel and glass. It is a human achievement without equal. Burj Dubai will inspire future generations to think beyond the ordinary and to challenge their mind and spirit.”
Emaar Properties has partnered with best-in-class consultants such as South Korean construction major Samsung Corporation and New York-based Project Manager Turner Construction to realise the design of internationally admired architect Adrian Smith and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of Chicago.
Burj Dubai will be at the centre of Downtown Burj Dubai, a US$20 billion, 500-acre downtown development billed as the most prestigious square kilometre on earth.
Burj Dubai will feature residential, commercial and retail components including the world’s first Armani Hotel & Residences, exclusive corporate suites, a business centre, four luxurious pools and spas, an observation platform on Level 124 and 150,000 sq ft of fitness facilities.