The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world found in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is
828m tall and has 162 floors. Currently it holds 6 world records:
– Tallest building in the world
– Tallest freestanding structure
– Highest number of stories
– Highest occupied floor in the world
– Highest outside observation deck
– Elevator with the longest travel distance
– Tallest service elevator in the world.
Not only is it just the tallest building in the world but it has surpassed “its competition” in
various other ways. This fascinating project took 5 years to build from 2004 to 2009 and was
officially opened in 2010. Due to its large space the Burj Khalifa has divided its space for
different functions for example a hotel, residential area, restaurant, deck observatory and
much more! The minds behind this groundbreaking tower are Adrian Smith, which is the
architect that designed the model and Bill Baker who was the structural engineer. In 2008, it
was announced the tallest building in the world beating other enormous buildings like the
Shanghai tower, TaiPei 101, Petronas Towers ect. The Burj Khalifa is made primarily out of
concrete and steel rubber.
You might ask yourself, how an 828 metre tall building made of concrete won’t not fall or
move even slightly. This all depends on the centre of mass this building has.
The centre of mass is the point where an object tends to concentrate on.
The base of any building is the most important part as the rest of building depends of its
foundation. The Burj Khalifa base was inspired by the Hymenocallis flower, and has this
shape as its base.
As the tower grows the building steps back consecutively, creating a spiral like base,
continually concentrating on one pint, right in the centre. Not only does it allow a point a
strategic place for the centre of the mass, if benefits the amount of window space the
building can have. The strategic positioning of the point allows excellent torseline resistence,
lateral bending resistance and avoids wind vortexes.
The Burj Khalifa may encounter some difficulties due to its location which is in the complete
desert. In the day time it is 40 degree celsius, so to contain the coolness within the building
and protect the inside from the sun rays and extreme heat, the tower is covered with 24,348
cladding panels. Another natural phenomenon this tall building faces,like many others, is the
wind, specifically for the Burj Khalifa, the strong desert winds. As Bill Baker says, “they have
mastered the capability of confusing the wind”. When there is a lot of wind the building tends
to sway, they were capable of “tuning” it by having various levels of height around the tower.
In this picture we can see the different heights and levels around the tower, which keeps the
” It’s almost like you have several different buildings with height and each one of them
has different vortices shedding at different winds speeds. All of those things can’t
happen at the same time so what you’re left with is very little vortex shedding.” – said
by one of the people working there.
They created 1,140 pressure taps that collect wind data, which then benefited them from
adapting to its strength and impact