The history of building construction started can be traced back from the ancient time. Since prehistory period, people have been constructing buildings and other structures that include dams, canals, bridges, amphitheaters and many more magnificent structures. The building history is marked by major of progress like for example, contractors nowadays are able to overcome many challenges that were common in the past. One of the greatest challenge was to overcome the problem of height. However, todays architecture have proven that they can overcome this challenge by erecting taller and taller building. One of the buildings that has beaten all odds is the construction of Burj Khalifa, the building is located in Dubai, and it is one the tallest human-made feature on the face of the planet. This essay will describe the construction of Burj Khalifa.
Burj Khalifa is the one of the greatest achievement in the engineering history, it is the tallest building on earth, standing at 829.8 meters(2,722). Its construction began in 2004 and took five years to be completed in 2009. The original design of this building was derived from systems symbolized in Islamic architecture. The buildings design integrate historical and cultural element specifically to the religion; it was designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merril, who designed the Willis Tower in USA, Chicago and also the new World Trade Center New York City among many more magnificent buildings.
Burj Khalifa was constructed using the bundled tube design, which was invented by Faxlur Rahman Khan. The tubular system used a half of the steel in the construction of the Empire State Building, hence bringing the construction cost down. The design was based on the 73 floor Tower Palace Three, a residential building in Seol. It is also good to note that the early planning intended the building to be used for residential purposes. Additionally, it is a Y-shaped plan is perfect for hotel and residential usage, the wing allows more light in the building and maximum outward view.
The tower consists of three elements arranged around the central core. As the tower rises from the bottom, setbacks appear at each element assuming a spiral pattern, decreasing the cross section as rises. The building has 27 terraces, and A Y-shaped floor plan allows a maximum view of the Persian Gulf. When the building is viewed from the top or the bottom, it takes the shape of the onion domes of the Islamic architecture. To support its height, the constructors developed a new structural system know as the buttressed core; it incorporates a hexagonal base supplemented with three buttresses that assume the Y shape. The structure makes the building firm and enable it to support itself and always ensure that the building does not twist.
On the outside wall of Burj Khalifa consist of 1,528,000 sq ft) of reflective glazing, aluminum and textured stainless steel panels. The system is designed to withstand the extreme summer temperature that is experienced in Dubai. Also, the outside temperature at the top of the building is very low. More than 300 cladding specialists were brought from China for the cladding job on the tower.
Burj Khalifa holds up to 35000 people at any one time; the building also has eight escalators and 57 elevators, each elevator has a capacity of 12-14 people with fastest rising and descending speed reaching up to 18m/s. Engineers installed a double deck elevators equipped with an entertainment feature to serve visitors during their travel to the observation deck.
World population keeps on growing day by day, which is translating to shrinkage of land. Due to this factor, finding land to build houses in the future will be our major problem. In these regards, we have to find another alternative for us to overcome this challenge. This topic is very relevant to me in that the construction of Burj Khalifa has saved a lot of land and if other countries can emulate this idea of erecting building like this or even taller one, then we will be able to safe land for our future generation.
Aldred, James. "Burj Khalifaa new high for high-performance concrete." Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers-Civil Engineering. Vol. 163. No. 2. Thomas Telford Ltd, 2010.
Ahmad Abdelrazaq, S. E. "Design and construction planning of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE." 2010 Structures Congress. 2010.
Baker, William F. "The Worlds Tallest Building." STRUCTURE 51 (2011).
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