Daily Dose: Burj Khalifa

Add to TwitterToday, the world’s tallest building enjoyed its inauguration ceremony in Dubai, India. Nearing 2,717 feet, the “superscraper” is twice as tall as the Empire State building and 1,000 feet taller than the previous record-setter in Taiwan. Known throughout the design and construction phases as “Burj Dubai”, the tower was renamed “Burj Khalifa” (burj means tower in Arabic) to honor the President of Abu-Dhabi who helped alleviate Dubai’s recent economic crisis. The $1.5 billion building was designed by Chicago’s architecture firm, SOM (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill).

Burj Khalifa; Image courtesy of Kuni Takahashi

Burj Khalifa isn’t your run-of-the-mill skyscraper. Its innovative concrete technology is part of what makes its incredible height possible. A six-sided core of concrete, buttressed by concrete walls, supports the three sections of the Y-shaped monument to the future. The tower houses offices, hotels and condos, though it is still mostly vacant of residents. If you’re interested in the view from the top, you can visit the observatory on the 124th floor (169 floors total). Be prepared for an alternate climate system, though. It’s 10 degrees celsius (about 20 degrees fahrenheit) cooler at the top than on the ground floors!

India’s (and the world’s) loftiest structure doesn’t pass by without criticism, however. Some say that slave labor was used to complete Burj Khalifa: construction workers sometimes worked for as little as $5/day. Environmentalists are also worried about BK’s energy consumption in the city that already has the highest per capita carbon footprint in the world. SOM defends its design saying that because of its high density, the superscraper is naturally energy-efficient. Whatever the final verdict on this ultra-skinny, ultra-tall, ultra-modern structure, it sure is causing a world-wide buzz.

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3 Responses

  1. i m so proudly to be the muslim people…the tallest buliding the named burj khalifa is the more value to people at dubai….in malaysia, i so thats is the new era to give the world look around…get the best..

  2. Hello – just a short note to say thank you for this article. Very well-written.

  3. Thanks, Hollis. Visit us again and check out our other topics!

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