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Engineer: Kingdom Tower is practical challenge

Structural concerns no problem for Kingdom Tower says project engineer

The main challenges of delivering supertall buildings are practical rather than structural, says Kingdom Tower engineer.
The main challenges of delivering supertall buildings are practical rather than structural, says Kingdom Tower engineer.

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A top engineer behind the 1km-tall Kingdom Tower in Jeddah believes that the main challenges of delivering supertall buildings are practical rather than structural.

Speaking to ConstructionWeek, Bob Sinn, principal at engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti, said: “At extreme heights, the main challenges are along practical and architectural lines, not material or structural.

“The elevators take up a lot of the floor plate and it becomes more difficult to transport materials to the top.”

He continued: “Concrete quality is getting better and better, as is pumping technology. There have been very strong advances in reinforced concrete over the last 20 years.

“Kingdom Tower is certainly feasible. It’s not a structural challenge. Technically I think a 2km-tall tower could be done, but I don’t think it will be done anytime soon.”
 

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Construction Week - Issue 749
Sep 15, 2019