Facts About the Burj Khalifa; The World's Tallest Building
Officially opened on the 4th of January 2010, the 206 floors of the 828 metre high, Burj Khalifa on Sheikh Zayad Road, Dubai, has been hailed as the world's tallest man made structure.
Construction commenced on the 21st of September 2004 by building contractor Samsung C + T of South Korea at a cost of U.S $ 1.5 billion. The tower is composed of 4,000 tonnes of structural steel with 142 sq m of reflective glazing that consists of 26,000 glass panels installed by a 300 man team from China.
The primary structural system of the tower was reinforced concrete. 45,000 cubic metres, weighing 110,000 tonnes was used, by a method of pumping iced, liquid concrete into it's 55,000 tonne steel rebar frame, during the nightime hours, in order to combat the 50 degree Dubai heat and give the concrete time to set slowly, in order to allay cracking, due to it's considerable weight.
The tower had a 7,500 man workforce of which most hailed from south east Asia who worked a total 22 million man hours.
The tower was designed by Chicago based company Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, whose triple lobed design was created by design architect Adrian Smith and inspired by the desert flower, Hymenocallis.
The Hymenocallis or Spider lilly .
The tower is part of the U.S $ 20 billion Downtown Burj Khalifa complex that is surrounded by the 1,200,000 sq km Burj Khalifa park.
The complex consists of 19 residential towers, a 4 million square metre shopping mall, a 12 hectare man made lake and 3 hectares of parkland.
The parkland houses tree lined walkways with six waterfeatures which were designed by California based company WET designers, who also designed the record breaking Dubai Fountain, which is situated at the front of the tower,
At 275 m wide and with a water projection of 150 metres, complete with light show which is set to classical music, it is the largest fountain in the world.
THE DUBAI FOUNTAIN.
The interior is serviced by 57 elevators, 8 escalators and a 2,909 step stairway, all of which incorporate L.C.D screens depicting the building of the tower and the interior of the Armani hotel, to entertain visitors as they journey to the upper floors.
The escalators travel at 18 metres a second, or 40 miles an hour.
The interior has been decorated by Giorgio Armani, whose Armani hotel will ocupy 15 of the lower floors, that includes a luxury spa and fitness centre.
Floors 43 and 76 house sky lobbies complete with swimming pools.
Floor 46 houses the world's highest mosque.
Floors 77 to 108 contain 900 residential apartments, capable of housing 25,000 people.
Flooor 122 is the location of the Atmosphere restaurant.
Floors 123 and 124 contain indoor and outdoor observation decks, with views spanning the Arabian Gulf.
Floors 111 - 121, 125 - 135, and 139 - 159 will contain corporate cffice suites.
The lobby houses 196 gold plated bronze and brass alloy cymbals, each one of which represents the world's 196 countries.
The cymbals are struck by dripping water which emit a sound likened to rainwater gently splashing onto leaves.
The tower as a whole is adorned with over 1,000 pieces of artwork.
The tower's water system supplies 900,000 litres of water a day, which is accessed via means of a desalination plant, which uses water from the sea.
The building has a condensation collection system, which uses humid outside air, which is collected into a holding tank which is then pumped into the site irrigation system, for use in the Burj Khalifa park.
The tower's 24,348 windows are cleaned by way of 18 strategically placed, horizontal track systems, that takes a team of 36 men, four months to complete the cleaning of the tower in it's entirity.
The tower's 200 metre spire requires cleaning by a team of specialist cleaners, who are able to brave the great heights by way of hanging from suspending ropes.
Peak electicity demand is 36 mega watts, thats equivalent to 360,000 - 100 watt bulbs all burning simultaneously.
All plants in the comlex's park have been chosen to withstand Dubai's arid desert climate, whilst being able to offer as much shade as possible.
The most popular plants chosen have come from the Ficus genre, along with local flowering species, especially the Hymenocallis, of which the tower's design was created.
GUINESS WORLD RECORD
On the 29th of March, 2011, 48 year old urban climber, Frenchman Alain Robert, scaled the Burj Khalif in 6 hours, 14 minutes and 55 seconds, placing the man who calls himself Spiderman,into the record books.
The climb began just after six in the evening on the 28th of March 2011 and his record was finalised at 00.30 on the 29th March 2011, local Dubai time.
THE DUBAI SKYLINE.
VISIT THE BURJ KHALIFA WEBSITE; www.burjkhalifa.ae/
VISIT DUBAI TOURISM WEBSITE. www.dubai-tourism.net/
The author of this article wishes to express regret at the limited photographs in this article. It would appear that there are rigorous copyright restrictions in place regarding any photography of the Burj Khalifa and it's surrounding buildings at the present time.