The Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building and man-made structure in the world. It rises an impressive 829.8 m (2,722 ft) in the air and is more than 300 m (984 ft) taller than the previous tallest building (Taipei 101). The Burj Khalifa is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and was named in honor of the UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Construction work on the tower began in January 2004 and the tower was officially opened in January 2010. The final construction cost of the tower was estimated to be USD $1.5 billion. The Burj Khalifa is well known for its unique Y shaped design that is said to be inspired by the Hymenocallis flower. Let’s find out who designed and built this impressive structure.
The engineering and architecture for this enormous project was completed by the American architectural and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The lead designer of the project was Adrian Smith and the lead structural engineer was Bill Baker. The tower was designed with a bundled tube design, which means that much less steels is needed in the building (for comparison the Burj Khalifa uses approximately half of the steel in the Empire State Building). The designers chose to use historical and cultural elements from the region to ensure the building fits with the feel of the area. They also chose the unique Y shaped design, inspired by the flower, because it allows for spectacular views and natural light.
Much of the construction work was undertaken by Samsung Engineering and Construction Company of South Korea along with Besix from Belgium and Arabtec from the UAE. Construction of the building took 22 million man hours and used 330,000 m3 (431,600 cu ya) of concrete, 4,000 metric tons of structural steel, and 55,000 metric tons of steel rebar!
Did you know?
The global financial crisis, and subsequent slump in Dubai’s property market, has caused some major problems for the tower. 10 months after opening only 75 apartments out of 900 in the tower were occupied. By late 2012 about 80% of the apartments were occupied.