INSPIRED DESIGN Like petals from a stem, the tower's wings extend from its central core. No stranger to Middle Eastern design, architect Adrian Smith incorporated patterns from traditional Islamic architecture. But his most inspiring muse was a regional desert flower, the Hymenocallis, whose harmonious structure is one of the organizing principles of the tower's design. HYMENOCALLIS Organic Inspiration
Architecture The architecture features a triple-lobed footprint, an abstraction of the Hymenocallis flower. The tower is composed of three elements arranged around a central core. The modular, Y-shaped structure, with setbacks along each of its three wings provides an inherently stable configuration for the structure and provides good floor plates for residential. Twenty-six helical levels decrease the cross section of the tower incrementally as it spirals skyward. The central core emerges at the top and culminates in a sculpted spire. A Y-shaped floor plan maximizes views of the Arabian Gulf. Viewed from the base or the air, Burj Khalifa is evocative of the onion domes prevalent in Islamic architecture.
Wind Tunnel Testing Over 40 wind tunnel tests were conducted on Burj Khalifa to examine the effects the wind would have on the tower and its occupants. These ranged from initial tests to verify the wind climate of Dubai, to large structural analysis models and facade pressure tests, to micro-climate analysis of the effects at terraces and around the tower base. Even the temporary conditions during the construction stage were tested with the tower cranes on the tower to ensure safety at all times. Stack effect or chimney effect is a phenomenon that effects super-tall building design, and arises from the changes in pressure and temperature with height. Special studies were carried on Burj Khalifa to determine the magnitude of the changes that would have to be dealt with in the building design.
BURJ KHALIFA HEIGHT, FACTS & FIGURES Bringing Burj Khalifa to life required a combination of visionary ideals and solid science. In the process, the project amassed an awe-inspiring number of facts, figures, and statistics. At over 800 metres (2625 feet) and more than 160 stories, Burj Khalifa holds the following records: Tallest building in the world 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
FOUNDATION The superstructure is supported by a large reinforced concrete mat, which is in turn supported by bored reinforced concrete piles. The design was based on extensive geotechnical and seismic studies. The mat is 3.7 meters thick, and was constructed in four separate pours totaling 12,500 cubic meters of concrete. The 1.5 meter diameter x 43 meter long piles represent the largest and longest piles conventionally available in the region. A high density, low permeability concrete was used in the foundations, as well as a cathodic protection system under the mat, to minimize any detrimental effects form corrosive chemicals in local ground water..
Construction Highlights The tower accomplished a world record for the highest installation of an aluminium and glass façade, at a height of 512 metres. The total weight of aluminium used on Burj Khalifa is equivalent to that of five A380 aircraft and the total length of stainless steel bull nose fins is 293 times the height of Eiffel Tower in Paris. In November, 2007, the highest reinforced concrete corewalls were pumped using 80 MPa concrete from ground level; a vertical height of 601 metres. Smashing the previous pumping record on a building of 470m on the Taipei 101; the worlds second tallest tower and the previous world record for vertical pumping of 532 metres for an extension to the Riva del Garda Hydroelectric Power Plant in The concrete pressure during pumping to this level was nearly 200 bars. The amount of rebar used for the tower is 31,400 metric tons - laid end to end this would extend over a quarter of the way around the world.
Diagram comparing the height of Burj Khalifa to other buildings and structures
World's tallest building. A living wonder. Stunning work of art. Incomparable feat of engineering. Burj Khalifa is all that. In concept and execution, Burj Khalifa has no peer. More than just the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa is an unprecedented example of international cooperation, symbolic beacon of progress, and an emblem of the new, dynamic and prosperous Middle East It is also tangible proof of Dubai's growing role in a changing world. In fewer than 30 years, this city has transformed itself from a regional centre to a global one. This success was not based on oil reserves, but on reserves of human talent, ingenuity and initiative. Burj Khalifa embodies that vision Unfortunately, the end!