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Skyscraper expert says 2km tower is now possible

Ultra tall 2km towers possible but impractical says leading expert

Building 2km towers is feasible, says supertall tower expert.
Building 2km towers is feasible, says supertall tower expert.

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It is structurally feasible to build a tower that is twice the height of Jeddah’s 1km-tall Kingdom Tower, according to the chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

Speaking to Middle East Architect, Dr Sang Dae Kim, said: “With the Kingdom Tower we now have a design that reaches around 1km in height. Later on, someone will push for 1 mile, and then 2km.”

He continued: “At this point in time we can build a tower that is 1km, maybe 2km. Any higher than that and we will have to do a lot of homework.”

Yet Kim believes that it is impractical to build a 2km-high tower. He added, “In terms of practicalities, we don’t need to built at 2km. At this height you have to provide a large percentage of elevator space and this is impractical. But someone with a lot of money might still want to do it.”

He pointed out that building at such height will incur many structural challenges. “There might be constraints for the structural engineering – we don’t know many things. When you go up to one of two kilometres, we don’t have much information surrounding the wind conditions.”

Kim also noted that there may be issues with floor lean due to the shortening of columns over time.

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Construction Week - Issue 764
May 31, 2020