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How the Burj was built

by CW Staff on Jan 16, 2010

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Fire safety
Fire safety and speed of evacuation were prime factors in the design of Burj Khalifa. Concrete surrounds all stairwells and the building service and fireman's elevator will have a capacity of 5500kg and will be the world's tallest service elevator.

Since people can't reasonably be expected to walk down 160 floors, there are pressurised, air-conditioned refuge areas located approximately every 25 floors.

MEP
The mechanical, electrical and plumbing services for Burj Khalifa were developed in co-ordination during the design phase with the co-operation of the architect, structural engineer and other consultants.

Hyder Consulting was appointed as a supervision consultant with responsibility for overseeing execution of the MEP. An ETA-Hitachi-Voltas joint venture was awarded the building’s MEP contract.

Seven double-storey mechanical floors house the equipment that bring Burj Khalifa to life. Distributed around every 30 storeys, the mechanical floors house the electrical sub-stations, water tanks, pumps and air handling units that are essential for the running of the building.

These mechanical areas typically serve the 15 floors above and below them. The primary distribution route for services is through the main risers within the central core of the structure, which remains the same size to level 150 despite the overall building shape tapering with height.

MEP operations are managed by a central BMS, with local control panels in each plant room, all connected by fibre-optic cabling. During construction, deliveries of MEP equipment tended to be made during the night, with the podium and basement used as storage space. Cranes, hoists and service lifts were used to transport the various materials.

The Burj Khalifa's water system supplies an average of 946,000 litres (250,000 gallons) of water daily. At peak cooling, Burj Khalifa will require about 10,000 tonnes of cooling, equal to the cooling capacity provided by about 10,000 tonnes of melting ice.

Dubai's hot, humid climate combined with the building's cooling requirements creates a significant amount of condensation. This water is collected and drained in a separate piping system to a holding tank in the basement car park.

The condensate collection system provides about 15 million gallons of supplement water per year, equal to about 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools. This water is to be redirected to the gardens surrounding the tower.

The tower's peak electrical demand will be an estimated 36mW, equal to about 360,000 100 Watt bulbs operating simultaneously. According to one report, the tower has more than one hundred thousand light fittings, 375km of fire alarm cabling and 34km of chilled water pipes.

Elevators & lifts
Burj Khalifa will be home to 57 elevators and eight escalators. The building service/fireman's elevator will have a capacity of 5500kg and will be the world's tallest service elevator.

The Burj Khalifa features distinct sections: residential apartments, serviced apartments and hotel rooms, and corporate offices. Elevators have been arranged in zones to serve these different audiences, with what is known as a ‘sky lobby’ system.

The sky lobby is an intermediate floor where residents, guests and executives will change from an express elevator to a local elevator, which stops at every floor within a certain segment of the building. Burj Khalifa’s sky lobbies are located on level 43, 76 and 123 and will include a lounge area and kiosk, amongst other amenities.

All elevators have been supplied and installed by Otis. No elevators are installed to travel all 160 floors of Burj Khalifa. Instead, they are grouped to align with the floor layout, offering passengers a direct express service to their destination by bypassing other floors.

The main service elevator, positioned in the central core of Burj Khalifa, has the world’s highest elevator rise at 504 metres – more than the height of Taipei 101 in Taiwan (448 metres). It travels at nine metres per second and also has the world’s longest travelling distance for an elevator. Another service lift in the spire has the world’s highest landing point at 636.9 metres.

Double-deck elevators, with built-in light and entertainment features including LCD displays, will exclusively serve visitors to At The Top, Burj Khalifa, the world’s highest outdoor observation deck situated on level 124, as well as office users transferring at the sky lobby at level 123.

These double-deck units – used for the first time in the Middle East by Otis – are the highest rising double-deck elevators in the world and will travel at the speed of 10 metres per second. They have a capacity of 12 to 14 people per cab.

Next: Podium and access, Landscaping and Fitout


FEATURED COMMENT

A great project intensified with the latest technology

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Readers' Comments


Simon (Apr 30, 2012)
Nairobi
Kenya

Burj Khalifa
A great project intensified with the latest technology

aries (Aug 11, 2011)
manila
Philippines

90degree
real neck stiffing , much stiffing if they built it at 1000 meters.. wish i could go there in dubai.. to stare at it personally!!:-)

Gautam Khanna (Mar 11, 2011)
Mumbai
India

Congrulations
A masterpiece in itself, Keep doing such things because it inspires other people to watch dreams, everything is possible for this country. I salute this country. Man made things are possible in this dream place. Nothing is impossible for them bcoz they break this word in three segments and i.e. I M PPOSSIBLE. God Bless and keep rocking all the time.

MULOKOZI EDMUND (Dec 18, 2010)
dar es salaam
Tanzania

AMAZING DESIGN
as a student of architecture, i have learnt a lot from BURJ KHALIFA.

Syed Rukunuddin (Jul 21, 2010)
Dubai
United Arab Emirates

A message from a peaceful people of the city
Dubai is the city where imagination can be seen in reality. Where dreams and expectation can be fulfilled. Where more than 200 different nationalities from around the globe are living in peace and safety. Dubai is a multicultural, multi-religious, beautiful, peaceful and harmonious city of the world. Such thing you can't find elsewhere. Thanks to the ruler of Dubai for providing a peaceful life for all inhabitants.

Syed (Jul 3, 2010)
Sharjah

Burj Khalifa
It's so fantastic seeing a glimpse of the lights of the world's tallest tower from my 12th floor balcony in King Faisal Street, Sharjah. Great!!!

vivek kapoor (May 29, 2010)
Toronto
Canada

Helipad on Burj Khalifai
I worked two years in this project as Electrical Engineer. The tower is conical as it goes up with three sides (noses) apart by 120 degree at all levels. It is not possible to use one of the nose as helipad. Which will look absurd. If helipad on tip top will be against architect features and also effect lightning protection system. Comments are welcome.

Ali Ahmad (May 10, 2010)
Duabi
United Arab Emirates

Burj Khalifa- Proud of Dubai
Very well written article.

Santhosh Abraham (Feb 24, 2010)
Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Amazing masterpiece
Definitely Burj Khalifa will remain as a benchmark for highrise projects for another decade. This is Dubai where the vision is set high and mission accomplished. Congratulations to all those who made the dream come true!

BASHAR (Jan 23, 2010)
DUBAI
United Arab Emirates

BURJ KHALIFA
WONDERFULL,AMAZING.DESREVE TO FEEL MAXIMUM PROUD WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF DUABI.ADDITIONAL REASON TO MAKE ALL PEOPLE ATTRACTIVE TO VISIT DUBAI & INVEST THERE.HAVE FUN & ENJOYING.LIFE STYLE,REGARDLESS OF THE FAINCAIL SITUATIONS.DUBAI KEEP PROGRESSING & SAFE TO EVERY ONE.WE GREATFULL & THANKS

Geendas (Jan 20, 2010)
dubai
India

Burj Khalifa
why couldnt a helipad be incorporated?

jun oyales (Jan 19, 2010)
Manila
Philippines

Burj Khalifa
"Brilliant", "Outstanding", The most qualified to enter as one of the present 7 Wonders of the World. Congratulations!

Anirban Dutta (Jan 19, 2010)
Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Burj Khalifa good report by CW
I have seen dreams turning to reality through this article. Well written.


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