The 2,716.5-foot-tall Burj is not merely "the world's tallest building"; it's taller than any other building by more than 1,000 feet. In structure, scale and sheer weight, the pride of Dubai is "a different animal," says Skidmore Owings & Merrill engineer Bill Baker, who designed the beast with architect Adrian Smith. The engineering has the potential to transform the world's skylines.
Where the puny Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, for example, has a traditional relationship between height and girth (to make it taller, the footprint would have had to be to an unmanageable size), the Burj Khalifa can, because of its layout and core shape, rise without growing wider throughout its height. The tower's floors wind upward in a series of setbacks around a central hexagonal core. That core is supported by one of three "legs" that form a sort of flattened tripod. The Burj is stronger for being heavier—the spire alone weighs 4,000 tons—and all that downward pressure helps keep it in place, while reinforced concrete maintains the structure's stability.
Not that the architects didn't have to windproof the thing. They put models in a wind tunnel to measure vibrations from the powerful gusts that blow past the building's upper floors and compensated as they went. It took a while. "Our first shape was not so good," Baker says, "but like a musical instrument, you tune it."
isn't this old news?
Mass culture is clearly schizophrenic. While we castigate oil-rich conservatives in the states, we celebrate massive co2 outbursts like this. You guys are unhinged. If global warming is real [I have my doubts], why would anyone celebrate a culture indeed an entire city that's built on fossil energy and must be arrived at by jet-fuel consuming private jets? Are there trains to Dubai? Who uses them? The janitors?
You can want green tech to develop but still appreciate the awesome achievements by the engineers who built this. Like the Saturn V, which was ridiculously huge just to be huge and amazing. It wasn't efficient but just the fact that they built it warrants respect.
The spire alone weighs 4,000 tons? As in 8 million pounds? That's all?
Is this actually a real building? Or just a bad joke?
A bad joke? wtf... the only bad joke around here is having to do 10 captchas before you can post your comments.
I thought the joke was that this thing went up quicker than the WTC towers.
Fritz, the development in Dubai, although fueled by the sale of oil, is not a worship of petroleum. This is being congratulated as a masterpiece of engineering, not a product of oil wealth. Also, the United Arab Emirates as a whole has heavily invested in green technology. Truly, they will be well prepared for the day their oil wells run dry. Have you not heard of the Solar Islands proposed in Abu Dhabi? Or Masdar city?
Certainly I can appreciate this from an engineering point of veiw, and it looks nice too. But is it practical ? The whole point of going up with a building is so an area doesn't have to be spread out so much, making cities easy to travel. But If the building is half a mile high, then isn't that pushing the limit of practicality if you must ride an elevator that far ? You could just as well take the bus ! Or walk three blocks to the next building 1/3 of that height. One things for sure, someone has a small penis ! Now just wait, in the typical fasion of modern arcitecture; lacking in creativity as such; another building just like it ! Right next to it ! Coming soon ! Wow !
Look at this video, it's amazing how with all the hightech these guys hang on the building just like tom cruise. Really awesome !
I've been to the Willis Tower and stood in the sky deck and was amazed at how high up i was i can only imagine what it would be like to stand atop this building. In the most recent Mission Impossible the shots taken on the side of the building were awe inspiring. I enjoyed reading about how the building is supported. I would like to know more info about the design process, but overall a good article.