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Skywards services

With each milestone passed by the Burj Dubai, the skills involved in creating the structure become even more evident.


Over the last year the worldwide interest in the Burj Dubai has sky-rocketed. As the tower has stretched ever skywards the reality of the project's scale has hit home.

And with each new milestone passed, the engineering and construction skills involved in creating the structure have become even more evident.

Creating a tower that is over 160 storeys tall within the given timescale has been a major achievement for all involved and has required much pre-planning, co-ordination and tight logistics. Providing the mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) services for the project has taken particular skill.

As demonstrated in this special 24-page report, MEP services will not simply be needed to operate the building after completion, they are playing a vital role during the construction period. So much so that an entirely independent system of temporary MEP services has been installed within the tower by the main contractor.

Rising floor-by-floor with the structure, these systems are ensuring that vital power, water and fire safety systems are provided to the construction team at all times.

Without these services the structure could not feasibly have been completed. And without the final MEP systems being installed, the operation of this already iconic building would not be possible.

The building's height is the most obvious aspect that had to be overcome, but add to this the small footprint and the space constraints on the distribution of services also come into play.

As with all high-rise building the vertical transportation systems will play a key role in its successful, long-term operation, and the lifts and escalators installed here are among the most sophisticated in the world.

With reportedly the world's longest lift shaft and fastest car speed included in the system, these are likely to become as much a talking point in future as the building itself.

Providing secure electrical supplies and plumbing distribution have also brought some inventive solutions on the project, with new as well as tried-and-tested techniques being applied.But the key factors for the MEP designers and installers throughout has been quality and reliability, with the need to ensure a risk-free operation.

Throughout this special report we take a delve into the MEP services in the Burj Dubai and give an overview of the systems that are being installed to operate the world's tallest building. Read on to find out some of the solutions provided.

Alison Luke is the editor of Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Middle East.

RELATED LINKS: Servicing the Burj, Going up..., Cool runnings, Tower power, Pipe plans, Fire safety at height, Making initial preparations

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Construction Week - Issue 767
Sep 01, 2020