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Burj Dubai
Report about Concept, Design,
And Construction of Burj Dubai.

Instructor : Prof. Ossama El-Saeed

Student Name : Ahmed Essam, Mostafa Atteya,

Ramez Nazir, Mohamed Salah.
 Introduction
 Structural Analysis
 Foundations
 Wind Engineering
 Construction
 References
The Burj Dubai Project is a multi-use development tower with a total floor area of 460,000 square meters
that includes residential, hotel, commercial, office, entertainment, shopping, leisure, and parking

The Burj Dubai project is designed to be the centerpiece of the large scale Burj Dubai Development that
rises into the sky to an unprecedented height of 828 meters and that consists of more than 160 floors.

Burj Khalifa (formally Dubai) is the new tallest tower in the world. Construction began on 21 September
2004 & was completed on 1 October 2009. The building was officially opened on 4 January 2010.

The Client of Burj Dubai Tower, Emaar Properties, is a major developer of lifestyle real estate in the
Middle East; Emaar put a total investment of US$ 1.5 billion in the Burj Dubai project.

The tower is designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), Turner International has been designated
by the owner as the Construction Manager, and Samsung Joint Venture (consisting of Samsung, Korea
base contractor; Besix, Belgium base contractor; and Arabtec, Dubai base contractor) as the General

The design of Burj Dubai Tower is derived from geometries of the desert flower, which is indigenous to
the region, and the patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture.

Tallest Building in the world

From the head start , it has been intended that the Burj Dubai be the Worlds’ Tallest

Burj Dubai fulfils all three criteria for tall buildings of the Council on Tall Buildings and
Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The CTBUH ranks the world’s tallest buildings based on
Height to Architectural Top, Height to Highest Occupied Floor and Height to Tip.

• Burj Dubai is the tallest skyscraper to top of spire: 828 m

• Building with highest occupied floor in the world163rd floor
• Highest outdoor observation deck in the world (124th floor) at 452 m
• World's highest elevator installation, situated inside a rod at the very top of the
• World's fastest elevators at speed of 64 km/h (40 mph) or 18 m/s
• Highest vertical concrete pumping (for a building): 606 m
• World's highest installation of an aluminum and glass facade, at a height of
512 m
• World's highest New Year fireworks display
Architectural Concept

The context of the Burj Dubai being located in the

city of Dubai, UAE, drove the inspiration for the
building form to incorporate cultural and historical
particular to the region.

The influences of the Middle Eastern domes and

pointed arches in traditional buildings, spiral
imagery in Middle Eastern architecture, resulted in
the tri-axial shape of the building

Main Components of the tower

Burj Dubai includes163 habitable floors plus 46 maintenance levels in the spire and 9
parking levels in the basement, with a Floor Area of 309,473 m2.

The Residences
The world’s most prestigious address will be home to a select few. With 900 residences
including studios and one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments, The Residences at
Burj Dubai are designed for the connoisseur. The homes are spread over levels 19-108
of the tower.
For the convenience of homeowners, the tower is divided into sections with exclusive
Sky Lobbies on Levels 43, 76 and 123. There are state-of-the-art fitness facilities
including jacuzzis on Levels 43 and 76.
The Sky Lobbies on 43 and 76 both have swimming pools and a recreational room
that can be utilised for special gatherings and receptions.
Other facilities for residents include a private library, an upmarket convenience store,
The Gourmet Market, and a meeting place. Valet parking will be provided for guests
and visitors alike.

The Corporate Suites

The Corporate Suites are located on the highest levels of the tower. They occupy
37 floors, with the top three floors merged into a single office. The entrance lobby is
at the Concourse of the tower. In addition to valet parking, express lifts take office
visitors directly to a lounge lobby at Level 123.
The observatory

On level 123, At the Top, Burj Dubai, is a must-see attraction and

offers breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding emirate.

The Offices
A complement to The Corporate Suites is The Offices, a 12-
storey annex with direct access to Burj Dubai and The Dubai
Mall. Parking spaces for The Offices will be offered at the mall
and the tower for the convenience of tenants. The Offices have a
total area of 337,000 sq ft.

Armani Hotel Dubai

The world-first Armani Hotel Dubai. From the room designs to the
carefully selected textiles and fabrics, to the impeccable service,
every aspect of the Armani hotel experience will bear the
signature of fashion legend Giorgio Armani.
Offering 160 guest rooms and suites, restaurants and a spa, and
covering more than 269,000 sq ft, Armani Hotel Dubai brings to
life the Stay with Armani promise, an exceptional experience
defined by the highest standards of aesthetics and service

Mechanical Floors
Seven double-storey mechanical floors house the equipment that bring Burj Dubai to
life. Located every 30 storeys, the mechanical floors house the electrical sub-stations,
water tanks and pumps, air-handling units etc, that are essential for the operation of the
tower and the comfort of its occupants.

Broadcast and Communications Floors

The top four floors have been reserved for communications and broadcasting. These
floors occupy the levels just below the spire.
Architectural plan of a typical residential floor

Main Structure & Design

The tower superstructure of Burj Dubai is designed as an all reinforced concrete building with high
performance concrete from the foundation level to level 156, and is topped with a structural steel
braced frame from level 156 to the pinnacle.

Designers purposely shaped the structural concrete Burj Dubai – “Y” shaped in plan – to reduce the wind
forces on the tower, as well as to keep the structure simple and foster constructability.

The structural system can be described as a “buttressed” core. Each wing, with its own high
performance concrete corridor walls and perimeter columns buttress the others via a six-sided central
core, or hexagonal hub. The result is a tower that is extremely stiff laterally and torsionally similar to a
closed tube.

The crowning feature of Burj Dubai is its ‘telescopic’ spire comprising more than 4,000 tonnes of
structural steel. It can be seen from 95 km (60 miles) away. The spire was built inside the building and
jacked to its full height of over 200 meters (700 feet) using hydraulic strand jacks. The spire is integral to
the overall design, creating a sense of completion for the landmark. The spire also houses
communications equipment .It utilizes a diagonally braced lateral system.

The structural steel spire was designed for gravity, wind, seismic and fatigue in accordance with the
requirements of AISC Load and Resistance Factor Design Specification for Structural Steel Buildings
(1999). The exterior exposed steel is protected with a flame applied aluminum finish.

Each tier of the building sets back in a spiral stepping pattern up the building. The setbacks are
organized with the tower’s grid, such that the building stepping is accomplished by aligning columns
above with walls below to provide a smooth load path. This allows the construction to proceed without
the normal difficulties associated with column transfers. The setbacks are organized such that the
Tower’s width changes at each setback.

The advantage of the stepping and shaping is to “confuse the wind”. The wind vortices never get
organized because at each new tier the wind encounters a different building shape.

The center hexagonal walls are buttressed by the wing walls and hammer head walls which behave as
the webs and flanges of a beam to resist the wind shears and moments.

The core walls vary in thickness from 1300mm to 500mm. The core walls are typically linked through a
series of 800mm to 1100mm deep reinforced concrete or composite link beams at every level.

For the design of reinforced concrete link beams:

1. The conventional deep beam design method in the ACI 318-992

2. Strut-and-tie method in ACI 318-023 were used, with Appendix A enabling the design of link
beams somewhat beyond the conventionally designed maximum deep beam stress limit.

3. In the case of members subjected to very large shear forces, embedded built-up structural steel
sections were provided within the core of the concrete link beams to carry the entire shear and
flexure demand.

The residential and hotel floor framing system of the Tower consists of 200mm to 300mm two-way
reinforced concrete flat plate slabs spanning approximately 9 meters between the exterior columns and
the interior core wall.

Outriggers at the mechanical floors allow the columns to participate in the lateral load resistance of the
structure by linking them to the shear walls; hence, all of the vertical concrete is utilized to support both
gravity and lateral loads.
Structural Analysis

The structure was analyzed for gravity (including P-Delta analysis), wind, and
seismic loadings by ETABS version 8.4 .

The three-dimensional analysis model consisted of the reinforced concrete

walls, link beams, slabs, raft, piles, and the spire structural steel system.

The full 3D analysis model consisted of over73,500 shells and 75,000 nodes.

The reinforced concrete structure was designed in accordance with the

requirements of ACI 318-02 Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete.

Seismic Loads
Dubai is situated towards the eastern edge of the geologically stable Arabian Plate and separated from
the unstable Iranian Fold Belt to the north by the Arabian Gulf. The site is therefore considered to be
located within a seismically active area.

The Dubai Municipality (DM) specifies Dubai as a UBC97 Zone 2a seismic region with a seismic zone
factor Z = 0.15 and soil profile Sc.

The seismic analysis consisted of a site-specific response spectra analysis.

Seismic loading typically did not govern the design of the reinforced concrete tower structure, but
governed the design of the steel spire. Dr Max Irvine developed site-specific seismic reports for the
project, including a seismic hazard analysis.
Dynamic Analysis
The dynamic analysis indicated the first mode is lateral sidesway with a period of 11.3 seconds ,the
second mode is a perpendicular lateral sidesway with a period of 10.2 seconds, torsion is the fifth mode
with a period of 4.3 seconds

Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd (HCL) were appointed geotechnical consultant for the works by Emaar and
carried out the design of the foundation system.

The Tower foundations consist of a pile supported raft. The solid reinforced concrete raft is 3.7 meters
(12 ft) thick and was poured utilizing C50 (cube strength) self-consolidating concrete (SCC). The raft was
constructed in four separate pours (three wings and the center core). Each raft pour occurred over at
least a 24 hour period.

Reinforcement was typically at 300mm spacing in the raft, and arranged such that every 10th bar in each
direction was omitted, resulting in a series of “pour enhancement strips” throughout the raft at which
600mm x 600mm openings at regular intervals facilitated access and concrete placement .

Soil Investigation in 4 stages included 23 boreholes, in situ SPT’s, 40 pressuremeter tests in 3 boreholes,
installation of 4 standpipe piezometers, laboratory testing, specialist laboratory testing and
contamination testing, 3 geophysical boreholes with cross-hole, tomography geophysical surveys.

The groundwater in which the Burj Dubai substructure is constructed is particularly severe, with chloride
concentrations of up to 4.5%, and sulfates of up to 0.6%. The chloride and sulfate concentrations found
in the groundwater are even higher than the concentrations in sea water.

Due to the aggressive conditions present due to the extremely corrosive ground water, a rigorous
program of measures was required to ensure the durability of the foundations. Measures implemented
include specialized waterproofing systems, increased concrete cover, and the addition of corrosion
inhibitors to the concrete mix, stringent crack control design criteria and an impressed current cathodic
protection system utilizing titanium mesh.

A controlled permeability formwork liner was utilized for the Tower raft which results in a higher
strength / lower permeable concrete cover to the rebar. Furthermore, a specially designed concrete
mix was formulated to resist attack from the ground water.

The Tower raft is supported by 194 bored cast-in-place piles. The piles are 1.5 meter in diameter and
approximately 43 meters long with a design capacity of 3,000 tonnes each. The Tower pile load test
supported over 6,000 tonnes.

The C60 (cube strength) SCC concrete was placed by the tremie method utilizing polymer slurry. When
the rebar cage was placed in the piles, special attention was paid to orient the rebar cage such that the
raft bottom rebar could be threaded through the numerous pile rebar cages without interruption, which
greatly simplified the raft construction.

The concrete mix for the piles was a 60 MPa mix based on a triple blend with 25% fly ash, 7% silica
fume, and a water to cement ratio of 0.32. The concrete was also designed as a fully self-consolidating

Piles Tests:
1. Static load tests on seven trial piles prior to foundation construction.

2. Static load tests on eight works piles, carried out during the foundation construction
phase (i.e. on about 1% of the total number of piles constructed).

3. In addition, dynamic pile testing was carried out on 10 of the works piles for the tower
and 31 piles for the podium, i.e. on about 5% of the total works piles.

4. Sonic integrity testing was also carried out on a number of the works piles.

A detailed 3D foundation settlement analysis was carried out (by Hyder Consulting Ltd., UK) based on
the results of the geotechnical investigation and the pile load test results. It was determined the
maximum long-term settlement over time would be about a maximum of 80mm (3.1”). This settlement
would be a gradual curvature of the top of grade over the entire large site. When the construction was
at Level 135, the average foundation settlement was 30mm (1.2”).

The Wind Engineering of the Burj Dubai Tower


To determine the wind loading on the main structure wind tunnel tests were undertaken early in the
design using the high-frequency-force-balance technique. In this well established technique, (Tschanz,
1980), the model itself is rigid and is mounted on a fast response force balance. It is then tested in a
boundary layer wind tunnel where it is subjected to a simulated wind in which the full scale wind profile
and wind turbulence are properly reproduced at model scale. The advantage of the technique is that it is
relatively quick to undertake and provides the complete spectra of the wind generated.
modal forces acting on the tower. The wind tunnel data were then combined with the dynamic
properties of the tower in order to compute the tower’s dynamic response and the overall effective
wind force distributions at full scale. For the Burj Dubai the results of the force balance tests were used
as early input for the structural design and allowed parametric studies to be undertaken on the effects
of varying the tower’s stiffness and mass distribution. The building has essentially six important wind
directions. Three of the directions are when the wind blows directly into a wing. The wind is blowing
into the “nose” or cut water effect of each wing (Nose A, Nose B and Nose C). The other three directions
are when the wind blows in between two wings. These were termed as the “tail” directions (Tail A, Tail B
and Tail C). It was noticed that the force spectra for different wind directions showed
less excitation in the important frequency range for winds impacting the pointed or nose end of a wing,
see Figure 2, than from the opposite direction (tail). This was born in mind when selecting the
orientation of the tower relative to the most frequent strong wind directions for Dubai: northwest,
south and east.
Several rounds of force balance tests were undertaken as the geometry of the tower evolved and was
refined architecturally. The three wings set back in a clockwise sequence with the A wing setting back
first. After each round of wind tunnel testing, the data was analyzed and the building was reshaped
to minimize wind effects and accommodate unrelated changes in the Client’s program. In general, the
number and spacing of the set backs changed as did the shape of wings. This process resulted in a
substantial reduction in wind forces on the tower by “confusing” the wind. Figure 3 is a plot of the
response of original building configuration and the response after several refinements of the
architectural massing. In these plots, the horizontal axis is the wind tunnel model frequency that canbe
related to the recurrence interval for wind events and the vertical axis is proportional to the resonant
dynamic forces divided by the square of the wind velocity. Towards the end of design aeroelastic model
tests were initiated. An aeroelasatic model is flexible in the same manner as the real building, with
properly scaled stiffness, mass and damping. It is more accurate than a force balance study since the
aeroelastic interaction between the structure and wind is fully simulated, including such effects as
aerodynamic damping, and also the statistics of the dynamic response can be measured directly
providing a more accurate determination of the relationship between peak response and RMS response.
For the Burj Dubai the modal deflection shapes were similar to those of a tapered cantilevered column.
Therefore it was possible to obtain excellent agreement between frequencies and mode shapes on the
model with those predicted at full scale by using a single
machined metal spine in the model with outer shell segments attached to it. The aeroelastic model was
able to model the first six sway modes. Bending moments were measured at the base as well as at
several higher levels. Accelerations were also measured in the upper levels. In comparing the aeroelastic
model test results with the more approximate force balance results it was found that the base moment
and the accelerations in the upper levels were significantly lower in the aeroelastic model results. A part
of this was identified as a Reynolds number effect because the force balance tests had been run at lower
Reynolds number. On a very tall slender tower like Burj Dubai, the challenge in the force balance
method is to keep model resonance frequencies high enough to avoid them interfering with the
frequency range of interest and one solution is to run at lower tunnel wind speeds, which entails
reducing the Reynolds number. However, most of the differences between the force balance method
and the aeroelastic method on Burj Dubai were due to approximations in the force balance procedure as
applied to a highly tapered towered. Figure 4 illustrates the relative change in mean base moment
coefficient on the aeroelastic model as a function of wind tunnel test speed for two wind directions. The
fact that the moment coefficient dropped with test speed was a sign that Reynolds number effects were
present. It can be seen, that the results tended to flatten out at higher test speeds indicating an
asymptotic trend.

Figure 4 Effect of test speed on mean base moment coefficient for two wind directions relative to

On a circular cylinder the mean drag coefficient also drops at a certain critical Reynolds number but then
climbs again as the Reynolds number is further increased. To be sure a similar phenomenon did not
occur on Burj Dubai, special high Reynolds number tests at 1:50 scale were initiated using the model
shown in Figure 1b. Due to size limitations of the NRC 9 m x 9 m wind tunnel the 1:50 scale model was
limited to the top part of the tower only. The tests were run at wind speeds up to 55 m/s Measurements
were made of the mean and instantaneous pressure distributions around six crosssections of the tower
and were compared with similar measurements made at 1:500 scale in RWDI’s 2.4 m x 1.9 m wind
tunnel. Fig. 5 compares the sectional force coefficient on one of the crosssections at the two model
scales and shows very little difference. On the 1:500 scale model, tests were made both with and
without vertical ribs that are a feature of the tower’s wall system in order to understand how much their
effect was. At 1:500 scale the ribs were very small and thus had been left off for the main test program.
The conclusions from the comparison of the high Reynolds number results with those at normal test
Reynolds number were that the aerodynamic coefficients did indeed reach asymptotic values and that
the 1:500 scale aeroelastic model and pressure model tests had reached high enough Reynolds numbers
for the asymptotic state to be achieved closely enough for

engineering purposes. Thus no special Reynolds number corrections were needed. Furthermore, the
1:500 results with and without ribs showed that the effects of the ribs were very minor.

Based on the High-Frequency-Force-Balance test results combined with local wind statistics the building
motions in terms of peak accelerations were predicted for various return periods in the 1 to 10 year
range. Initial predictions obtained in May 2003, at over 37 milli-g for the 5 year return period were well
above the ISO standard recommended values. However, through a combination of reorienting the
tower, adjusting its shape, modifying the structural properties, and more in-depth studies of the wind
statistics for the region the predictions came down By the end of 2004 November 2003 they had come
down to about 19 milli-g for the same return period and at a slightly higher level. About half of this
improvement came about as a result of improved knowledge of the wind statistics and the rest through
re-orientation, structural improvements and shape adjustments. improved. Several variations of tower
height were tested using aeroelastic models. The accelerations were found to be significantly less than
indicated by the force balance tests, down in the range of 12 milli-g. Part of this was due to the lower
Reynolds number of the force balance tests, which put them in a range where Reynolds number effects
were beginning to become significant, but aerodynamic damping and a lower kurtosis in the dynamic
response were also contributors. This
indicates the importance of considering aeroelastic effects in cases where building motions are having
important consequences. A range of damping values was considered in the test program. The
acceleration results quoted above were all evaluated assuming a damping ratio for the building of 1.5%
in its fundamental modes of vibration for each direction. This is a likely value for a slender concrete
structure such as the Burj Dubai. For higher modes, which involved significant flexing of the upper part
of the tower, lower damping values were examined also since the upper part of the tower is primarily
steel. Higher modes contributed little to motions in the residential levels. Studies were also undertaken
to examine adding supplementary damping systems such as tuned mass dampers but for the residential
units the wind tunnel predictions indicated the motions would be well within acceptable limits without
supplementary damping. The upper reaches of the spire are quite slender and supplementary damping
systems are still under study for controlling those motions.

Cladding loads were evaluated through testing a 1:500 scale model instrumented with 1142 pressure
taps and using the methodology described by Irwin, 1988. The procedures were essentially the same as
for a tower of lesser height and the predicted 50 year peak suctions, including an allowance for internal
pressures and stack effect, ranged from 2.0 kPa to 5.5 kPa. Most 50 year suctions were in the range 2.0
kPa to 3.5 kPa. The highest suctions were seen, as might be expected, near discontinuities in the surface
geometry. Peak positive pressures ranged from 1.5 kPa to 3.5 kPa with the great majority being in the
range 1.5 kPa to 2.5 kPa.


To make full use of wind tunnel data so as to predict the dependence of wind loads and wind response
on return period a good statistical model of the joint probability of wind speeds and direction is needed.
In the course of the Burj Dubai studies local ground based data from several weather stations in the
region were used, including most importantly the data from Dubai International Airport. Other stations
examined were Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ra’s al Khaimah, and Doha. Gust data from all stations were merged
into the equivalent a super-station to obtain an enlarged database and were analyzed using extreme
value fitting methods to produce a relationship between gust speeds in the region and return period.
The 50 year 3 second gust from this analysis was estimated to be 37.7 m/s in standard open terrain at
the 10 m level. In addition the mean hourly data from Dubai were used to obtain a model of the parent
distribution of hourly winds, from which mean hourly wind speed versus return period could be
predicted. The analysis took account of the terrain around the airport, adjustments being made to
correct the anemometer data for non-ideal exposure conditions using ESDU (1982) methods. This
yielded a 50 year mean hourly speed of 23.5 m/s, again in standard open terrain conditions at 10 m.
Depending on exactly which method one used to estimate the relationship between mean and gust
speeds the corresponding gust was estimated to be in the range 35.7 m/s to 37.6 m/s. This agreed well
with the value obtained from the super-station analysis. Therefore the parent distribution from Dubai
International Airport was adopted as the appropriate statistical model to use with the wind tunnel
results. An important question when designing a tower of over 600 m height is the nature of the wind
velocity profile and wind turbulence in the upper levels. It is a large extrapolation to go from ground
based data at the 10 m height to heights of over 600 m using standard assumptions about planetary
boundary layer profiles. Therefore for Burj Dubai more direct measurements of upper level winds were
sought. The closest station with balloon records was Abu Dhabi, where about 16 years of data were
available taken on average about twice per day. The balloon readings gave wind speeds at various milli
bar levels. An interpolation procedure was used to extract out wind speeds at heights of 600 m, 1000 m
and 1500 m, from which wind speeds versus return period could be estimated. However, this approach
gave a considerably lower 600 m level 50 year wind speed than deduced from the ground based data
and standard boundary layer models and it was conclude that the sparseness of the balloon data was
probably the main reason. With only two readings a day it was unlikely that the balloons had captured
the highest wind speeds in the period of record. A method of correcting for this was sought and the
method adopted involved advanced meso-scale modeling techniques (Qiu et al, 2005). Information on
upper-level winds can be obtained from the National Center for Atmospheric Research / National
Center’s for Environmental Prediction (NCAR/NCEP) global reanalysis data set. These data are based on
world-wide meteorological observations interpolated to a 3-dimensional grid by means of
meteorological modeling. The NCAR/NCEP Global Reanalysis combines 4-dimensional data assimilations
of surface and upper air meteorological observation data, and provides outputs at six hour intervals on
the global grid.
Horizontal and vertical grid resolutions are too coarse on the global grid for a through study of local
wind profiles at the study site (2.5 degree latitude by 2.5 degree longitude for most of the historical
record, improving to 1 degree grids since 1997). To improve resolution for the Burj Dubai project the
NCAR/NCEP reanalysis data was combined with a high resolution numerical meteorological model to
reproduce high-resolution 3-D wind fields for a selection of historical high wind events in the UAE area,
including a number of Shamals. The model known as the Fifth-Generation Penn State/NCAR Mesoscale
Model (MM5), was used to predict mesoscale atmospheric circulations (Grell et al, 1995). MM5 is a
widely used meteorological model that is based on solving the fundamental equations of atmospheric
motion on a 3-dimensional grid. The model incorporates parameterizations for the various grid and sub-
grid scale physical processes that influence atmospheric conditions such as convection, cloud formation,
precipitation, radiation, surface heat transfer and moisture flux etc.
The main results of the MM5 studies can be summarized as follows. When stronger surface winds occur
the ratio of 600 m mean winds to 10 m mean winds asymptotes towards a value of about 1.6 to 1.7, see
Figure 5. This is slightly lower than the value of about 1.8 implied by the standard boundary layer
assumptions. Comparing the peak winds at the upper levels computed by the MM5 method with the
balloon records at Abu Dhabi indicated that the balloons generally missed the peak winds of each storm
event resulting in an underestimate of extreme upper level wind speeds by about 15% on average. With
this correction the balloon data indicated a 600 m level 50 year wind speed of about 36 to 38 m/s,
compared with the value 41.7 m/s predicted from the ground data using standard boundary layer
assumptions. The MM5 simulations also showed that the relationship between ground and upper level
winds at Dubai was essentially the same as at Abu Dhabi. For design purposes it was decided to retain
the standard boundary layer model assumptions. Thus the main benefit of the detailed MM5 studies
was to lend confidence that the design wind assumptions used for the Burj Dubai were, if anything,
slightly conservative, which is not inappropriate for such a monumental structure.


The comfort of pedestrians at ground level and on the numerous terrace levels was evaluated by
combining wind speed measurements on wind tunnel models with the local wind statistics and other
climatic information. Two aspects of pedestrian comfort were considered: the effect of the mechanical
force of the wind and thermal comfort, bearing in mind air temperature, relative humidity, solar
radiation and wind speed. The general methodology has been described by Soligo et al, 1997, and in the
ASCE state of the art report on Outdoor Human Comfort and Its Assessment (ASCE, 2003). Initial wind
tunnel tests used 1:500 scale models. Subsequently three 1:250 scale partial models were employed to
examine ground level areas, lower level terraces and higher level terraces in more detail, and to develop
detailed mitigation measures.

Initial results from the thermal comfort study highlighted the need to introduce shade structures to
avoid the strong adverse impact of solar radiation on thermal comfort in Dubai. A number of canopies
and other types of shade structure were architecturally designed at ground level. Initial tests on the
bare terraces indicated the potential for frequent uncomfortably strong winds. Further tests on the
terraces showed that significant improvements could be obtained through a combination of parapet
walls, overhead trellises, and vertical screens.
Construction of the Tower Superstructure
Currently the tower is under construction and the foundation system (pile & raft) were
completed in February 2005, including pile foundation and the raft foundation. The tower
superstructure construction started in April 2005.

Tower Raft Foundation

The original construction program is very tight. To complete the project within 48
months, Samsung, Besix, Arabtech Joint Venture (SBAJV) established the following
strategic approach:
 Achieve a three (3) day-cycle for structural works.
 Develop optimum transportation systems with large capacity high speed
 Utilize optimum formwork system to accommodate various building shapes along
the building height.
 Develop organized logistic plans throughout the construction period.
 Apply all high-rise construction technologies available at the time of construction.
Since the construction planning is extensive and cannot be covered in detail in this paper,
only a brief summary of the major construction planning works will be covered in this
Planning for the Concrete Work
Prior to the construction of the tower, extensive concrete testing and quality control
programs were put in place to ensure that all concrete works are done in agreement with
all parties involved.
The testing regimes included, but were not limited to the following programs:
 Trial mix designs for all concrete types needed for the project.
 Mechanical properties, including compressive strength, modulus of elasticity, and
split tensile strength.
 Durability tests which included initial surface absorption test and 30 minute
absorption test.
 Creep and shrinkage test program for all concrete mix design.
 Water penetration tests and rapid chloride permeability test.
 Shrinkage test program for all concrete mix designs.
 Pump simulation test for all concrete mix design grades up to at least 600 meters.
 Heat of hydration analysis and

Heat of Hydration Mockup Test Creep Test

Pump Simulation Test

Site Logistic Plan
The Burj Dubai site area is approximately 105,600m2 and encompassing the tower, the
office annex, the pool annex, and the parking areas, divided into three zones (Zone A,
Zone B, and Zone C).

Snap Shot of Site Logistic Plan (M+14)

Technologies used to achieve 3-day cycle
The tower consists of more than 160 floors and is expected to be completed within a very
tight schedule and 3-day cycle. Hence, the following key construction technologies were
incorporated to achieve the 3-day cycle set for the concrete works:
 Auto Climbing formwork system (ACS)
 Rebar pre-fabrication
 High performance concrete suitable for providing high strength, high durability
requirement, high modulus, and pumping
 Advanced concrete pumping technology
 Simple drop head formwork system that can be dismantled and assembled quickly
with minimum labor requirements
 Column/Wall proceeding method, part of ACS formwork system
Sequence of Construction and ACS
Figures 9 and 10 depict the construction sequence of the tower and show the auto
climbing formwork system (ACS), designed by Doka. The ACS form work is divided
into four sections consisting of the center core wall that is followed by the wing wall
construction along each of the three tower wings. Figure 10 also demonstrates the
following construction sequence:
 the center core wall construction is followed by the center core slab construction;
 the wing wall construction is followed by the wing flat plat slab construction;
 the nose columns are followed by flat plate and flat slab construction at the nose
In addition, the core walls are tied to the nose columns through a series of multi-story
outrigger walls at each of the mechanical levels.
The construction of these outrigger walls are complex and time consuming because of the
congestion of reinforcing bars at the connection zones. Therefore, the reinforcing bars are
now replaced with structural steel sections to help resolve the design forces more
effectively at the joints, eliminated the reinforcing bar congestion issues, and most
importantly ensuring the joint integrity.
These levels were constructed at a later stage and taken out of the critical path.

Figure 9: Sequence of Construction

Figure 10: Sequence of Construction
Rebar Pre-fabrication
Most of the reinforcing bars for the core walls, wing walls, and the nose columns were
prefabricated at the ground level. This rebar fabrication and pre-assembly method
resulted in man quality control advantages and reduced the number of workers going up
and down the tower. Moreover, whenever possible, the rebar was assembled in double
story modules to speed up the vertical element construction time.

Rebar Prefabrication
Composite Link Beams
In addition to connecting the vertical core wall elements rigidly for maximum strength
and stiffness for the lateral load resisting system, the link beams are also used as means
of transferring and equalizing the gravity loads between the vertical members (core-wall
elements and nose columns). This equalizes stresses and strains between the members.
Because the link beams are subject to large shears and bending moments, many of the
link beams had to be composite (steel members encased in high strength concrete). Thus
the steel beams imposed special demands on the cranes, pre-assembly and lifting
Composite Link Beam Installation
Slab Formwork System
Figure 13 shows a drop head system (also known as slab support system is specially
designed to sustain a large combination of grid sizes, resulting in maximum reusability of
formwork & economy) used for the slab construction. Meva Deck Drop Head slab
formwork system was selected because of its installation simplicity, lightness, panel
formwork material and strength, prop strength and stiffness, system flexibility and
suitability for the slab hanging geometry, and allowance for cambering where needed.

Figure 13: Typical Slab Formwork System

The slab shoring system consists of four levels of shores and one level of re-shore to
control the maximum loads in the slabs at the lowest level. However, the shoring props at
the upper-most slab were left undisturbed Figure 14 provides an outline of the slab
construction methodology used.

Figure 14: Outline of slab Construction Method.

Concrete Pumping
The utilization of high strength concrete and concrete pumping technologies was critical
in the construction of the project. See Table 1 for a summary of the concrete types used
for both the vertical and horizontal members.

Table 1. Grade of Concrete in Tower

Direct concrete pumping and delivery methods required considerations for the following:
 selecting an optimum concrete mix design with excellent flow characteristics to
minimize/avoid blockages;
 choosing equipment that has enough capacity to deliver concrete to the highest
level, more than 160 floors up;
 designing a pipe line that can be installed with maximum construction efficiency;
 selecting equipment and pipe line system that work well with the site’s overall
logistics and planning; and
 maintaining quality control of the pumping system and placement method by
monitoring all components of the system and ensuring the concrete properties
A horizontal pump simulation test, shown in Figure 6, was performed, using over 600m
of pipe length to confirm the pump capacity and evaluate the overall pressure losses in
the pipes due to friction/connections/concrete type, etc..
Major Equipment
Tower Cranes
Three high capacity self climbing luffing type tower cranes were optimally selected and
located at the center core of the tower.

Tower Crane Types and Location.

Tower Main Hoist
The figure shows the location of the main hoists and the hoist specifications. The hoists
were installed in three different phases following the construction sequence of the tower.
Additional Jump hoists were installed in accordance with the specifications shown in
Concrete Pumping Equipment
While the horizontal concrete pump simulation test was very successful and indicative
that re-pumping was not required, pumping the concrete vertically and under different
environmental conditions could potentially present unexpected complications. Therefore,
a secondary pump at level 124 was in place in case of an emergency situation.
Three major pumps were placed at the ground level as shown in Figure.
Pumping line 1 situated at the center core, with pumping lines 2, 3 and 4 at the south,
west, and east wings of the core. An additional pumping line 5 was located at the center
core area for emergency use. At of the time of writing this paper, the secondary pump has
not been used and most of the concrete has been pumped directly to the highest concrete
elevation, that in excess of 585m.

Tower Pump Equipment and Pipe Lines

Spire Erection and Pinnacle Assembly and Lifting Method.
At Level 156, the reinforced concrete core wall will reach its highest point and serves as
the foundation for the spire’s structural steel works. The central pinnacle structure, which
consists of 1200mm-2100mm diameter structural steel pipe, varies in thickness from
60mm at the lowest level to 30mm at the top.
The structural steel works above level 156 consists of the spire structure surrounding the
central spine pinnacle structure, and provides the basis for its lateral support and stability.
The spire structural system consists of an exterior diagonal braced frame system to
provide for the lateral stability system.
The erection of the spire and the pinnacle starts from level 156, and the erection of the
spire was done in traditional steel construction method. However, the pinnacle pipe
sections are stacked from level 156 and lifted to the final position from within the spire as
shown in Figure.

Spire & Pinnacle Erection and the Pinnacle Lift-up method

The lift of the pinnacle will occur in three steps.
After each lifting step, the cladding on the pinnacle will be completely installed. The sequence of the
pinnacle installation is shown in Figure below and as follows:
 Erection of the spire structure
 Installation of the support beam
 Installation of the lifting block and assemblies
 Installation of the lifting equipment and assemblies
 Lifting the pinnacle in a three step process
 Installing cladding after each lift
 Completing lift of the pinnacle and all connection connections (gravity and lateral)
 Completion of the cladding installation
Fire Resistance
Burj Dubai has built in fire protection as its concrete back bone is naturally fire resistant but how
will people go out in an emergency? The answer they don’t The Burj Dubai contains 9 special
rooms build throw layers of reinforced concrete and fire proof sheeting The walls of these rooms
will stand the heat of a fire for 2 hours Each room has special supply of air pumped throw fire
resistant pipes, sealed fire proofed doors stop smoke from leaking in There is 1 of these rooms in
about every 30 floors How they prevent the smoke from blocking the access route to the rooms?
Early warning system:

 Fire activate a smoke detector

 Heat sensor
 Water sprinklers
 Network of high power fans kick in
 Fans force new clean cool air throw fire resistant ducts into the building
 The fresh air pushes the smoke out of the stair way keeping the evacuation route clear.

30000 glass panels of high quality European glass enough to cover 17 football fields, The
glass is thicker at the top to resist the high wind. Its designed to let the maximum light in
and to keep heat out.

Tests on Cladding
Test 1 : Air infiltration test
To measure how much air gets in through the joints
Test 2 : static water test
• Water is spread evenly for 15 minutes from nozles attached to the glass
• Transducers measures how much water gets in
• The data is transferred to computer for analysis
Test 3 : Dynamic water Test
• It’s a simulation for a desert – Storm
• The wind is Generated by a giant Fan and its Spread water against the glass for 15
Test 4 : Earthquake Test
• Earthquake Simulation which move the mock-up floor of curtain walls 10 mm in
two directions
• With this test the know that curtain wall won’t break

Façade Maintenance
The tower's primary window washing and facade maintenance system consists of three
permanently-installed, track-mounted, telescopic building maintenance machines located
in internal "garage" positions on uppermost levels. it will take 36 workers three to four
months to clean the entire exterior façade.
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Documntary Movie – Discovery Channel - Megabuilders Extreme Elevation Burj Dubai

Documntary Movie – National Geographic Channel - Burj Dubai