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A mega -structure is a very large manmade object, though the limits of precisely
how large this is vary considerably. Some apply the term to any especially large or
tall building. Some sources define a mega-structure as an enormous self-supporting
artificial construct. Other criteria such as rigidity or contiguousness are sometimes
also applied so large clusters of associated smaller structures may or may not
qualify. Mega-structures require vast amounts of material, capital, manpower,
energy, and logistic planning to construct. Some may take decades, centuries, or
even thousands of years to construct. The products of megascale engineering or
astroengineering are mega-structures.
or macro-engineering
of exploratory
engineering concerned with the construction of structures on an enormous scale.
Typically these structures are at least 1,000 kilometers in lengthin other words at
least 1 megameter and these large scale structures are termed mega-structures.
Examples of existing mega- structures


Excavation work began for Burj Khalifa

skyscraper in the world in January 2004 and
over the years, the building passed many
important milestones to become the tallest manstructure the world has ever seen. In just 1,325
excavation work started in January, 2004, Burj
became the tallest free-standing structure in the

the tallest


The goal of the Burj Dubai Tower is not simply to

the world's highest
building. Its to
aspirations. The superstructure has reached over 165
stories. The final height of the building is 2,717 feet
(828 meters). The height of the multi-use skyscraper
has "comfortably" exceeded the previous record
holder, the 509 meter (1671 ft) tall Taipei 101.The
280,000 m2 (3,000,000 ft2) reinforced concrete
multi-use Burj Dubai tower is utilized for retail, a
Giorgio Armani Hotel, residential and office.
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Structural System Description

Burj Khalifa has "refuge floors" at 25 to 30 story intervals that are more fire
resistant and have separate air supplies in case of
emergency. Its reinforced concrete structure makes it
stronger than steel-frame skyscrapers.
In addition to its aesthetic and functional advantages, the
spiraling Y shaped plan was utilized to shape the
structural core of Burj Khalifa. This design helps 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, and
consists of high performance concrete wall construction.
Each of the wings buttresses the others via a six-sided
central core, or hexagonal hub. This central core provides
the torsional resistance of the structure, similar to a closed
pipe or axle. Corridor walls extend from the central core to near the end of each
wing, terminating in thickened hammer head walls. These corridor walls and
hammerhead walls behave similar to the webs and flanges of a beam to resist the
wind shears and moments. Perimeter columns and flat plate floor construction
complete the system. At mechanical floors, outrigger walls are provided to link the
perimeter columns to the interior wall system, allowing the perimeter columns to
participate in the lateral load resistance of the structure; hence, all of the vertical
concrete is utilized to support both gravity and lateral loads. The result is a tower
that is extremely stiff laterally and torsionally. It is also a very efficient structure in
that the gravity load resisting system has been utilized so as to maximize its use in
resisting lateral loads.
As the building spirals in height, the wings setback to provide many different floor
plates. The setbacks are organized with the towers grid, such that the building
stepping is accomplished by aligning columns above with walls below to provide a
smooth load path. As such, the tower does not contain any structural transfers.
These setbacks also have the advantage of providing a different width to the tower
for each differing floor plate. This stepping and shaping of the tower has the effect
of confusing the wind: wind vortices never
get organized over the height of the building
because at each new tier the wind encounters
a different building shape.
The superstructure is supported by a large
reinforced concrete mat, which is in turn
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supported by bored reinforced concrete piles. The design was based on extensive
geotechnical and seismic studies. The mat is 3.7 meters thick, and was
constructed in four separate pours totaling 12,500 cubic meters of concrete. The
1.5 meter
diameter x 43 meter long piles represent the largest and longest piles
conventionally available in the region. A high density, low permeability concrete
was used in the foundations, as well as a cathodic protection system under the
mat, to minimize any detrimental effects form corrosive chemicals in local ground
The podium provides a base anchoring the tower to the ground, allowing on grade
access from three different sides to three different levels of the building. Fully
glazed entry pavilions constructed with a suspended cable-net structure provide
separate entries for the Corporate Suites at B1 and Concourse Levels, the Burj
Khalifa residences at Ground Level and the Armani Hotel at Level 1.
Exterior Cladding
The exterior cladding is comprised of reflective glazing with aluminum and
textured stainless steel spandrel panels and stainless steel vertical tubular fins.
Close to 26,000 glass panels, each individually hand-cut, were used in the exterior
cladding of Burj Khalifa. Over 300 cladding specialists from China were brought in
for the cladding work on the tower. The cladding system is designed to withstand
Dubai's extreme summer heat, and to further ensure its integrity, a World War II
airplane engine was used for dynamic wind and water testing. The curtain wall of
Burj Khalifa is equivalent to 17 football (soccer) fields or 25 American football
The crowning touch of Burj Khalifa is its telescopic spire comprised of more than
4,000 tons of structural steel. The spire was constructed from inside the building
and jacked to its full height of over 200 meters (700 feet) using a hydraulic pump.
In addition to securing Burj Khalifa's place as the world's tallest structure, the spire
is integral to the overall design, creating a sense of completion for the landmark.
The spire also houses communications equipment.
Mechanical Floors
Seven double-storey height mechanical floors house the equipment that brings
Burj Khalifa to life. Distributed around every 30 storey, the mechanical floors house
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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.
Window Washing Bays
Access for the tower's exterior for both window washing and faade maintenance
is provided by 18 permanently installed track and fixed telescopic, cradle
equipped, building maintenance units. The track mounted units are stored in
garages, within the structure, and are not visible when not in use. The manned
cradles are capable of accessing the entire facade from tower top down to level
seven. The building maintenance units jib arms, when fully extended will have a
maximum reach of 36 meters with an overall length of approximately 45 meters.
When fully retracted, to parked position, the jib arm length will measure
approximately 15 meters. Under normal conditions, with all building maintenance
units in operation, it will take three to four months to clean the entire exterior
Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing
To achieve the greatest efficiencies, the mechanical, electrical and plumbing
services for Burj Khalifa were developed in coordination during the design phase
with cooperation of the architect, structural engineer and other consultant.
The tower's water system supplies an average of 946,000 liters (250,000 gallons)
of water daily at peak cooling, Burj Khalifa will require about 10,000 tons of
cooling, equal to the cooling capacity provided by about 10,000 tons of melting ice.
Dubais hot, humid climate combined with the building's cooling requirements
creates a significant amount of condensation. This water is collected and drained
in a separate piping system to a holding tank in the basement car park .The
condensate collection system provides about 15 million gallons of supplement
water per year, equal to about 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools .The tower's peak
electrical demand is 36mW, equal to about 360,000 100 Watt bulbs operating
Fire Safety
Fire safety and speed of evacuation were prime factors in the design of Burj
Khalifa. Concrete surrounds all stairwells and the building service and fireman's
elevator will have a capacity of 5,500 kg and will be the world's tallest service
elevator. Since people can't reasonably be expected to walk down 160 floors, there
are pressurized, air-conditioned refuge areas located approximately every 25
Elevators & Lifts
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Burj Khalifa will be home to 57 elevators and 8 escalators The building

service/fireman's elevator will have a capacity of 5,500 kg and will be the world's
tallest service elevator.
Burj Khalifa will be the first mega-high rise in which certain elevators will be
programmed to permit controlled evacuation for certain fire or security events.
Burj Khalifa's Observatory elevators are double deck cabs with a capacity for 12-14
people per cab. Traveling at 10 meters per second, they will have the world's
longest travel distance from lowest to highest stop.


The highest, longest and most expensive suspension bridge on earth, Mega-

structure Akashi Kaikyo bridge caries a huge 6 line free way linking Kobe with the
island of Awaji in to the south. For the people of the fishing villages on rural south
island it's a vital link to hospitals, schools and the city on the main land. For Japan
it's a symbol of national pride, it is the final linking network of bridges that will
unite all four islands. This bridge provides rapid transportation, rapid access and
opening up the island of shokoko to business commerce and tourism.

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In 1998, Japanese engineers stretched the limits of bridge engineering with the
completion of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. Currently the longest spanning suspension
bridge in the world, the Akashi Kaiko Bridge stretches 12,828 feet across the
Akashi Strait to link the city of Kobe with Awaji-shima Island. It would take four
Brooklyn Bridges to span the same distance!
The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge isn't just long -- it's also extremely tall. Its two towers, at
928 feet, soar higher than any other bridge towers in the world.

Statistics / Facts:
1. Location: Kobe and Awaji-shima, Japan
2. Completion Date: 1998
3. Cost: $4.3 billion
4. Length: 12,828 feet
5. Type: Suspension
6. Purpose: Roadway
7. Materials: Steel
8. Longest Single Span: 6,527 feet
9. Engineer(s):
Bridge Authority
The design features a two-hinged stiffening girder system, which allows the entire
structure to endure earthquakes (8.5 on the Richter scale), 286 kph winds, and
extreme sea currents. The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge also has pendulums designed to
damp forces. The bridge expands up to 2 meters a day because of heating. It is
located at a height of 280 meters and is the highest suspension bridge on earth. Its
two towers each stand as tall as 80 story building with a central span just over a
mile. It's also the longest suspension bridge in the world nearly twice the length of
San Francisco golden gate and at $4.3 billion it's the most expensive bridge ever
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Facts about Akashi Kaikyo Suspension Bridge:
1. The bridge is so long, it would take eight years Towers laid end to end to
span the same distance.
2. The length of the cables used in the bridge totals 300,000 kilometers. That's
enough to circle the earth 7 times!
3. The bridge was originally designed to be 12,825 feet. But on January 17,
1995, the Great Hanshin Earthquake stretched the bridge an additional three
4. The bridge holds three records: it is the longest, tallest, and most expensive
suspension bridge ever built.
5. Over 2 million workers, billions of dollars, 181,000 tons of steel and 1.4
million cubic meters of concrete were used in its construction
6. Its foundation is as deep as a 20 storey apartment blocks, towers almost as
tall as the Eiffel towers in Paris.
7. Its span is nearly 2 km (1/3 times more than any other suspension bridge
built ever before)
8. Theory of suspension bridge design
9. Two main cable suspended across the water, held up by two towers


Itaipu dam is the world's most powerful

dam built in Brazil in 1984. In 1994, the
American Society of Civil Engineers
selected the Itaipu Dam as one of the
Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
1. It was supposed to generate 90,000
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Giga Watts of electricity each year. In 2000, the generating capacity of Itaipu
reached 93.4 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), which supplied 93% of the energy
consumed by Paraguay, and 20% of that has been consumed by Brazil. The
frequency of generated electricity is 50 Hz but on Brazilian side a power
converter transmits the 50 Hz into 60 Hz, which is the Brazilian grid
This amount is so high that it can fulfill London's electricity needs
continuously for 3 years.
The project cost was estimated at that time to be 13.5 billion pounds and
was completed in 7 years by an army of 40,000 workers who took part in the
project, of which 149 died in accidents during the construction of Itaipu dam.
The key consultant engineer for the project was an Italian engineer named
Piero Sembenalli.
The dam design showed that it was 18 times larger than Hoover dam in USA
and 9 times heavier than that. Moreover it produced 6 times more electricity
than Hoover dam in USA Constructed on bed rock of river bed.
River was re-routed. A 2km long and 80m deep channel was dug. It was
biggest diversion canal ever attempted. Mechanical diggers were used to dig
the diversion canal and it took three years for this channel to be completed.
Reservoir of the Itaipu dam is 100 m (330 ft) deep and has a size equal to
the area of Chicago
Its area reaches 1 350 sq. km, its length 170 km and its average width 7 km.
Population displaced was about 10,000 families

Cofferdam's stability was also checked by another engineer against torrential rains
of Brazil and River Parana's Floods 400 m height was needed for the dam to
produce the promised electricity. Note: Higher the height of the dam walls more is
the produced electricity But the river bed was only 50 m deep. The Solution was to
build a series of secondary dams running across the valley for 7 km.
The reservoir was the filled up with water by re-diverting the river. It took 14 days
for the river Parana's water to completely fill the reservoir up to a depth of 100m.
To stop the overflow of dam, spillways were built and designed to cope with 64
million liters/second of water. When first tested it was the biggest man made water
fall ever. It was 22 times larger than the Niagara Falls in Canada. To dissipate the
energy of high thrust water, a slope (jump) was provided at the end.
Note: The water from the spillway had a high thrust and when if it were left to go
directly down the stream it would have caused the production of high-energy
waves, hence flooding. So, the water was thrown into the air. Hydraulic Engineers
found out the angle of jump by scaled models. Each turbine was 800 tons and
transported by specially built vehicles. Electricity was planned to be transferred
1000 km away to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro
Interesting facts about Itaipu Dam
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1. The total length of the dam is 7235 m, with the crest elevation of 225 m. It is
actually several dams joined together - from the far left, an earth fill dam, a
rock fill dam, a concrete main dam, and a concrete wing dam to the right.
2. The maximum flow of Itaipu's fourteen segmented spillways is 62.2
thousand cubic meters per second. It is equivalent to 40 times the average
flow of the Iguau Falls.
3. The flow of two generators (700 ms-1 each) is roughly equivalent to the
average flow of the falls (1500 ms-1).
4. If Brazil were to use Thermal Power Generation to produce the electric power
of Itaipu, 434,000 barrels (69,000 m 3) of petroleum would have to be burned
every day.
5. The dam is 196 meters high, equivalent to a 65-story building.
Environmental Impact of Itaipu Dam

129 species of birds

32 species of mammals
9 species of reptiles
And, about 40,000 people were displaced

Speed of Construction of Itaipu Dam

1. With the speed of work that Itaipu dam was built, 20 story buildings could
have been made in just 55 minutes.
2. 140 tons of concrete trucks every 20 minutes were needed to fulfill the
concrete needs of the dam.
3. 40,000 workers were working day and night to make this mega-structure a
4. The course of the seventh biggest river in the world was shifted; as was 50
million tones of earth and rock.
5. The amount of concrete used to build the Itaipu Power Plant would be
enough to build 210 football stadiums the size of the Estdio do Maracan.
6. The iron and steel used would allow for the construction of 380 Eiffel Towers.
The volume of excavation of earth and rock in Itaipu is 8.5 times greater
than that of the Channel Tunnel and the volume of concrete is 15 times
End of the project
1. Project was completed on May, 1984. The electric power cables were of such
a length that they could run 1-1/2 times around the globe.
2. Run and Maintained by Itaipu Binacional Company


For 2008 Olympics games the vision of international teams of architects and
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engineers called for an adventure of steel

is 320m
long and 297m wide. It accommodated
91000 spectators to see 200 countries
competing. When Beijing was selected as
the venue of 2008 Olympic games, in 2002,
Chinese officials announced a global
competition for the design of Beijing
Olympics stadium.
Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron also participated in the competition. They
wanted to get inside the Chinese way of thinking. They came up with a concept
inspired by Chinese art, particularly vases.
Structural Design of Bird Nest Stadium
The 91,000-seat stadium was designed to
incorporate elements of Chinese art and culture.
The National Stadium's main structure is an
enormous saddle-shaped elliptic steel structure
42,000t. The stadium extends 333m from north to south
and 294m from east to west, with a height of 69.2m. The stadium design included
demountable seats of 11,000. The circular shape of the stadium represents
heaven, but has been described as a bird's nest, with its pattern inspired by
Chinese-style crazed pottery. A series of cantilevered trusses has been designed to
support the roof, shading the seats. While designing the stadium, architects and
engineers also ensured comfortable seats and optimum view for all spectators.
Focus was also given to designing the stadium in such a way that it should be able
to withstand earthquakes without much damage as the stadium is located in one of
the world's most seismic zones.


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