At more than 800m and 162 floors high, the Burj Dubai has notched up a string of titles. The superscraper is currently both the tallest building and the tallest free-standing structure in the world. It boasts more stories than any other building on the planet, is home to the highest-occupied floor and has the world’s highest outdoor observation deck – situated on the gaspingly-high 124th floor.
The total weight of aluminum used in the Burj Dubai’s construction is equivalent to that of five A380 aircraft, while the total length of stainless steel bull nose fins used in the building is equal to 293 times the height of the Eiffel Tower. A staggering 58,900 cu yd of concrete was used in the tower’s construction – enough to lay a 2,065km-long pavement and equal in weight to around 110,000 elephants.
The Burj Dubai is expected to use an average of 946,000 litres of water each day. During peak cooling conditions, the tower will drink up around 12,500 tons of cooling – equal to the cooling capacity offered by about 10,000 tons of melting ice. On to electricity, and the tower will power through around 50 MVA of electricity at peak times – the equivalent of having some 500,000 100-watt lightbulbs burning at the same time. That’ll be some utilities bill.
More than 28,000 glass panels, each individually hand-cut, were used in the exterior cladding of the Burj Dubai - requiring some 300 cladding specialists to be flown in from China to attach the panels.
At the peak of construction, 175 cladding panels were added to the Burj Dubai per day. Each has been specially designed to withstand Dubai’s scorching summer heat and has undergone dynamic wind and water testing - at the hands of a World War II airplane engine no less.
Courtesy of Dubai’s steamy climate, the Burj Dubai is expected to sweat out a significant amount of condensation – particularly in the summer months. These droplets will be siphoned off to a tank in the basement car park, and used to water the tower’s plants and landscaping features. It’s expected that 15,000 litres – enough to fill 20 Olympic-sized pools- will be gathered each year.
Construction on the Burj Dubai began in January 2004, and took some 22 million man-hours to complete. The tower became the world’s tallest free-standing structure after just 1,325 days, eclipsing Canada’s CN Tower, which stands at 533.33m tall.
Some 35,700 metric tons of steel was needed to kit out the Burj Dubai, enough to stretch a quarter of the way around the globe if laid end-to-end. The tower’s curtain – or outer – wall is 27-5 acres across, equivalent in size to 17 football fields.
There will be 1,044 residential apartments, 49 office floors and the Armani Hotel Dubai, which will have 160 rooms spread amongst the first 39 floors. Additional features include an eleven hectare park, six water features and space for 3,000 underground parking spaces.
Burj Dubai is home to 57 elevators and eight escalators. The tower’s service elevator will have a capacity of 5,500 kg and is the world's tallest service elevator. The lifts serving the Observation Deck will travel at an eye-watering 10m per second. Still, with the job of traversing the world’s longest travel distance from lowest to highest stop, they do need to be fast. Each cab will hold between 12 and 14 people.
In the event of fire – don’t panic. You won’t be expected to walk down all 162 floors if the lifts are out-of-service. Instead, there are pressurized, air-conditioned refuge areas every 25 floors or so, where you can huddle to await rescue.
With 28,261 glass panels stretching up more than 600m, keeping the Burj Dubai’s windows clean is a challenge in itself. The building has a string of permanent machines installed at floors 40, 73 and 109 that can cross the building on tracks to keep the windows sparkling. But during ‘normal’ weather conditions, it’s expected to take three to four months to clean the tower’s entire exterior façade.
On a clear day, the tip of the Burj Dubai’s spire can be seen from 95km away. Up on the Observation Deck, situated on the 124th floor, visitors will be able to see as far as 80km away through the room’s ceiling-to-floor glass walls - that’s twice the distance from Dubai to Al Ain.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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