Burj Khalifa | All the Engineering Secrets of the Mega structure
The world’s tallest building in Dubai is called the Burj Khalifa. It is seen as an exemplar of global cooperation, a symbol of advancement, and emblematic of the emerging and vibrant Middle East. Yet, exactly how long did it take to build the Burj Khalifa and when was the Burj Khalifa built? In this article, we will answer these questions by looking at Burj Kalifa’s architecture and Burj Khalifa’s purpose.
Burj Khalifa is the incredible centerpiece of a massive development project which will upon completion include nine hotels, 19 residential buildings, a mall, a lake, and 30,000 houses. The Burj Khalifa’s purpose was apparently to steer the local economy away from being purely reliant on oil and more geared towards an economy that was tourism and service based.
At some point during the design phase, the early Emaar developers ran into financial issues and needed extra economic financing. The United Arab Emirates’ ruler, Sheikh Khalifa, provided financial assistance, causing the name change to “Burj Khalifa.” The strategy of profit gained from high-density structures and malls built around the skyscraper has proven to be effective. The project’s surrounding hotels, stores, and residences in Dubai’s downtown have earned the greatest income, while the Burj Khalifa itself has made little profit.
The Construction work on the project started in January 2004. 111,000 tons of concrete were used for the foundation. Cladding of the exterior started in May 2007 and it would take two years to complete. It would take around 380 technicians and engineers to execute the project. When they started installing the external panels, they were able to install around 20 panels every day, and towards the end of the project, they were up to 175 panels daily.
It needed to be able to withstand the incredible temperatures of the desert as well as the force of thousands of tons. To avoid this, the concrete was not laid during the day. Rather, ice was included in the mixture during the summer season, and it was poured during nighttime when the air was colder and the humidity in the air was higher. Cold concrete cures more consistently, making it less prone to crack and set too soon.
Burj Khalifa’s Architecture
Despite the Burj Khalifa’s height, it is the architecture that really makes the structure stand out on the Dubai skyline. Architects from across the globe were invited to send in their design ideas. Adrian Smith was awarded the honor of being Burj Khalifa’s builder after the design was subjected to various safety programs to test the structural integrity of the proposed structure.
This is a highly effective design that only requires half the steel that was required in older structures such as the Empire State Building. Khan is highly revered in engineering and architectural circles as his techniques forever changed how we build tall structures. Burj Khalifa’s builder got the idea for the shape of the structure when he looked out of his office window and saw the curving three wings of Lake Point Tower and realized that it was the perfect design to use as a starting point for Burj Khalifa.
The architects revised the design many times so that the interior layout worked with the shape of the building. The structural design that they created for the building is called the buttressed core. Other aspects of the design are based on Islamic architecture, such as the spiraling minaret of Samarra’s Great Mosque.
The shape of the building is believed to have been inspired by the Hymenocallis flower. The building’s structure is composed of a central core, around which three separate wings are arranged. This Y-shaped modular design aids in providing the skyscraper with inherent stability as well as sufficient residential floor plates. A sculpted spire sits atop the central core at its apex.
Wind Tunnel Tests
In order to test the effect that winds could have on the structure, it was subjected to more than 40 wind tunnel tests. These tests ranged from effects that the climate of Dubai would have on the building, as well as how the design would stand up to winds in microclimates such as the terraces. To ensure that the correct safety precautions were in place through every step of the construction process, wind tests were even carried out with the cranes placed on the tower. Tests were also carried out to ensure that the building’s design took pressure and temperature changes at high altitudes into account.