The flammable aluminium composite panels used to clad the tower were blamed for the rapid spread of the 2015 fire. The United Arab Emirates issued new fire safety rules earlier this year that requires buildings with flammable cladding to be retrofitted with fire-resistant panels.
- The reason, building and safety experts say, is the material used for the buildings’ sidings, called aluminum composite panel cladding.
What is the architectural style of the Burj Khalifa?
A supertall skyscraper under construction in Dubai will be designed to give the impression that it “breathes,” CNN reported. Wasl Tower, which sits right across the street from the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, will cost an estimated $400 million to build, according to CNN.
Are Dubai skyscrapers safe?
Usually the buildings’ façade go up in flames. But the interior are relatively safe, thanks to Dubai’s strict fire codes and such mandatory measures as sprinklers and fire-retardant panels.
When were skyscrapers built in Dubai?
The history of skyscrapers in Dubai began with the construction of Dubai World Trade Centre in 1979, which is usually regarded as the first high-rise in the city. At the time of its completion, it also stood as the tallest building in the Middle East.
What materials is the Burj Khalifa made of?
Construction Highlights Burj Khalifa’s construction will have used 330,000 m3 (431,600 cu yd) of concrete and 39,000 tonnes (43,000 ST; 38,000 LT) of steel rebar, and construction will have taken 22 million man-hours. The exterior cladding of Burj Khalifa began in May 2007 and was completed in September 2009.
What is considered modern architecture?
Modern architecture is a style of building that emphasizes function and a streamlined form over ornamentation. This design aesthetic is a departure from more elaborate and decorated homes like a Queen Anne, Victorian, or Gothic Revival styles.
Is Dubai building a new tallest building?
The final height has not been disclosed, but project developer Emaar officially talks about a minimum height of at least 828 metres (2,717 ft), which is the height of Burj Khalifa, Dubai’s tallest skyscraper. Upon completion, it will become the tallest supported tower in the world.
Is Dubai building another tallest building?
Dubai Starts Building New World’s Tallest Tower, And It Will Take Your Breath Away. Dubai already boasts the magnificent Burj Khalifa, but construction has just started on The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour. When it’s completed in 2020 it’ll be the new tallest building in the world.
Who is owner of Burj Khalifa?
Emaar Properties PJSC is the Master Developer of Burj Khalifa and is also one of the largest real estate companies in the world. Mr. Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said: “Burj Khalifa goes beyond its imposing physical specifications.
Are UAE buildings earthquake proof?
They’re all pretty well covered. Dubai’s buildings can withstand an earthquake measuring around 6 to 6.5 on the Richter scale [the tremors in the UAE on Tuesday measured at between four and five]. Office workers in high-rise buildings would undoubtedly have felt the swaying and shaking caused by the tremors on Tuesday.
Does Dubai ever get earthquakes?
Buildings swayed in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the Northern Emirates, causing computer monitors to shake. The country has also been hit by earthquakes, albeit on a smaller scale.
Was there an earthquake in Dubai?
Dubai: A 4.7 magnitude earthquake was recorded on the Richter scale in the Arabian Gulf at 6:49am on Sunday. The quake has had no effect in UAE, the NCM affirmed in a statement.
What is the big building in Dubai?
At over 828 metres (2,716.5 feet) and more than 160 stories, Burj Khalifa holds the following records: Tallest building in the world. Tallest free-standing structure in the world. Highest number of stories in the world.
Why are there so many skyscrapers in Dubai?
The city exploded in prosperity after the United Arab Emirates discovered oil in 1966, leading to a development boom that has resulted in the world’s tallest building, the second-biggest mall, one of the most luxurious hotels, and more skyscrapers than any city besides New York and Hong Kong.
Dubai says skyscraper facades being replaced after series of fires
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Following the Grenfell Tower incident in London in June, which claimed the lives of around 80 people, there has been increased global concern regarding cladding. Following early allegations that the flames spread throughout the residential tower as a result of combustible cladding that was used as insulation, a public inquiry into the incident is being conducted. Building cladding on all new structures above 15 meters (50 feet) in height must be fire-resistant, according to the United Arab Emirates’ building safety code, which was amended in 2013.
- However, because the new restrictions did not apply to structures constructed before that year, the great bulk of the country’s skyscrapers did not fall under its jurisdiction.
- It forced hundreds of residents to escape the structure.
- Fire destroyed part of a tall skyscraper under construction in Dubai in August 2016, and a flame broke out in Dubai’s residential Sulafa Tower, which is 75 stories tall and is home to a variety of businesses.
- Andrew Torchia contributed reporting, and Andrew Bolton edited the piece.
Dubai blaze raises questions over Gulf skyscraper design
DUBAI (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). A fire that overtook a Dubai skyscraper on New Year’s Eve – the emirate’s third high-rise fire in three years – has prompted new concerns about the safety of materials used on the exteriors of tall buildings throughout the affluent area of the Middle East and North Africa. Plumes of smoke rise from the 63-story Address Downtown Dubai hotel and residential complex near the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest structure, on January 1, 2016, in Dubai, a day after the hotel was destroyed by fire on New Year’s Eve.
Ultra-modern, flamboyant designs frequently made extensive use of cladding, which are layers of material that are fastened to the outside of buildings for the purpose of adornment, insulation, or protection.
It was stated on Saturday by The National, a prominent daily in the United Arab Emirates, that “the flames that have broken out in Dubai monuments have prompted questions about the quality of the material used to coat the emirate’s structures.” According to the publication, experts believe that the majority of Dubai’s around 250 high-rise structures are made of cladding panels with thermoplastic cores.
Panels can be made out of plastic or polyurethane fillers placed between two sheets of aluminum aluminum.
As a consultant in the Gulf in 2012, Barry said he noticed “a general tendency of fires in high-rise buildings,” which he said showed a need for better oversight and stricter construction rules in some areas of the region.
The cause of the fire at the Address Downtown was still under investigation on Saturday, according to police. The Dubai Police Department said that 14 individuals were mildly hurt during the evacuation of the building; a medic on the spot reported that over 60 people were treated for moderate smoke inhalation and other ailments. Mr Mohamed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Properties, the company that owns the hotel, stated that it had been constructed to the highest quality standards and in accordance with international best practices.
- He did not elaborate on the cause of the fire or the financial impact on Emaar, nor did he provide a timeline for when the hotel would reopen.
- The building’s administration conducted an investigation and discovered that the majority of the damage was to the outer cladding.
- An investigation determined that the flame was caused by a discarded cigarette butt that fell on a mound of rubbish, and that the blaze rushed through cladding panels on the building’s outside.
- Buildings constructed before to that year, however, are exempt from the new standards; the Address Downtown, for example, was finished in 2008, despite the new laws being in effect since that year, according to Barry.
- A fire might result in the complete destruction of a supertall skyscraper, which would need the demolition and replacement of the structure, according to the authors.
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Fire that engulfs Dubai skyscraper raises questions about safety of exterior cladding practices
The tower just before it was destroyed by fire. (Photo courtesy of Christian van Elven/Flickr) Several ultra-high structures in Dubai, which have come to characterize contemporaryDubai, have been threatened by a roaring fire that engulfed a luxury skyscraper on New Year’s Eve. The Address Downtown Hotel, a 63-story structure near the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, was engulfed in flames just a few hours before the clock struck midnight last Thursday. In a matter of minutes, the flames had spread to reach nearly 40 storeys.
In February of 2015, a fire broke out at an 86-story tower, which was unfortunately dubbed the Torch, and which had been the world’s highest residential building when it first opened its doors in 2011.
Right now, in Dubai!
On Twitter, you may find the address Hotel at pic.twitter.com/Q5qzGuBYRO 31st December, 2015, AtiehS (@AtiehS) The cladding panels on the buildings, which, according to the website Gulf Business, can include a potentially hazardous mixture of aluminum and polyurethane, are most likely to blame for the quick spread of the flames in all three instances, according to Gulf Business.
While this type of cladding is not inherently dangerous, it can become very combustible under certain situations and depending on the design of the structure.
Our side of things was that we complied.
The Address Hotel was built in 2008 and opened its doors in 2009.
Moreover, while replacing the cladding on skyscrapers constructed before 2013 with safer materials would be an enormously costly endeavor, failing to do so might result in far more serious consequences, including the need for demolition and replacement owing to catastrophic damage.
HOW DID THIS DUBAI SKYSCRAPER BURN SO QUICKLY?
On New Year’s Eve, around 10 months ago, a hotel in Dubai was completely destroyed by fire and explosions. An investigation into the cause of the incident revealed that a pair of drapes had caught fire on the 63-story building. The fire grew at an alarming rate, necessitating a detailed inquiry into what happened. What caused the fire to spread so quickly? Is it possible that something fueled it? Was there any reason to be concerned? One guy suffered a heart attack while trying to escape the blaze, which claimed the lives of at least 60 people.
- But, once again, why did this one go up in flames so quickly?
- Building and safety experts believe that the rapid spread of the fire was caused by the fact that the siding used on the building (which is referred to as composite panel cladding) was not built to fulfill safety regulations.
- Experts are unsure of the exact number of towers across the globe that have been constructed with this type of combustible cladding, putting them at danger of suffering the same fate as the Dubai hotel.
- “It happens at a breakneck pace.” The number of high-rise buildings in the globe is increasing (the top six cities in the world have approximately 20,000 high-rise structures in total), and it is impossible to predict what sort of fire hazard may arise as a result of this increase.
- The most serious problem with solar panels is that their cores are entirely or completely made of polyethylene, which is a prevalent sort of plastic material.
- Some of the older materials, even some that are fire-rated, nevertheless contain a significant amount of polymer.” To be clear, these panels do not act as a source of ignition for the fires.
- These panels, if positioned in a straight line and without interruption, can accelerate the rate at which a fire spreads up the side of a skyscraper, as seen in this Dubai fire video.
The fire climbed 20 stories in just 6 minutes, causing millions of dollars in damage to the structure below it.
In the city, around 50 houses were constructed with a flammable siding, whereas over 1,700 structures were constructed in Victoria.
(stating that fire-retardant cladding must be used on buildings taller than 15 meters).
Because it is estimated that up to 70% of the towers in Dubai built before the rule was passed may be coated with combustible panels, this poses another dilemma for the city’s residents.
You never know when something like this will occur in your building.
Touching the Sky: Aluminum panels clad the world’s tallest structure
At the close of the decade, while the globe was plunging into an economic abyss, a skyscraper of historic proportions was soaring towards the sky in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. During the building of the Burj Khalifa structure, which debuted in early this year, Dubai, a Middle Eastern city famed for booming development and riches, was experiencing a collapse of its own. Although the $1.5 billion luxury project was a financial success, the New York Times reports that it “by no means signifies a comeback in Dubai’s beaten-down real estate market, where prices have dropped by as much as 50% and many developers are having difficulties finding inhabitants for their towers.” The Burj Khalifa, on the other hand, is without a doubt the highest skyscraper ever constructed by man.
It should be enough to give you a sense of the scope of this project, which will comprise elements such as residential, office, and hotel space.
Located in Dubai’s International Financial Hub, it is the centerpiece of a 500-acre (200 hectare) commercial and landscape development by Emaar Properties, with the goal of attracting tourists and enhancing the city’s reputation as a worldwide financial center.
Efstathiou, chief architect and managing partner of Chicago-based Skidmore, OwingsMerrill LLP, which designed the building, “from the outset, it was going to be a 550-meter skyscraper.” “It was evident as soon as we started the design process that everyone believed we should definitely aim a little higher.
- He stated that while aesthetics were important to the project’s success, the biggest problems included coping with the severe desert environment, creating a wind-resistant building and developing an elevator system that was swift and efficient while still being safe and secure.
- With each wing, a setback occurs at the end bay, creating an upward spiraling pattern that causes the tower’s mass to diminish as it rises higher in the sky.
- On top of the reinforced concrete core wall is a structural steel mega bracing system, which acts as a lateral load resisting system for the higher steel structure and offers resistance to wind and earthquake effects.
- But the architects persuaded Emaar that when it came to designing a forward-looking, modern high-rise structure, metal and glass were the only materials that would do the job properly.
- According to records, it was the highest-ever erection of an aluminum and glass façade.
- The overall weight of aluminum used in the construction of the Burj Khalifa is equal to the weight of five Airbus A380 airplanes, and the total length of stainless-steel bull nose fins is 293 times the height of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, according to the International Building Code.
- It’s impossible for me to imagine of another substance that you would employ.
When creating bespoke extrusions, aluminum enables you to cope with a variety of challenges such as connection, installation, and vapor barriers without difficulty.
In addition to serving as an attractive feature, we have polished stainless steel vertical fins that stretch from floor to floor, which also contribute to the structural integrity of the curtainwall.” They serve to draw attention to the building’s verticality.
When it comes to erecting a modern structure these days, there is no other option.” Efstathiou stated that choosing aluminum made the curtainwall system easier to install.
In order to reflect both visible and infrared heat while still allowing for a sufficient amount of daylighting to enter the area, high-performance glazing was employed on the glass.
It made things a whole lot simpler.
‘Because light is equated with heat in traditional Arabic design, you’ll notice little windows in traditional Arabic building,’ says the architect.
There are 18 window-washing devices incorporated inside the skyscraper to ensure that every corner of the Burj Khalifa sparkles, including nine track-mounted telescopic cradles, each with an extending jib arm for cleaning that can reach more than 66 feet (20 m).
Apartments in the bottom area of the tower have begun to be occupied, while the first Armani Hotel is nearing completion with the completion of the final touches.
The following are some facts about the world’s tallest structure: The Burj Khalifa (formerly known as the Burj Dubai) is a large-scale mixed-use project in Dubai that primarily consists of luxury condominiums, as well as a five-star luxury hotel consisting of hotel units and hotel residences.
Over 2 million square feet (185,800 m2) of gross floor area is available above grade, with a total gross floor area of 5 million square feet (including below grade floors) available above grade.
The Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building in all three categories recognized by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
The Burj Khalifa also has the world’s highest observation deck, which is open to the public.
Extensive wind tunnel testing has been conducted to ensure that the structure can withstand high wind loads while reducing vibration.
Reinforced concrete slabs and corridor walls have a naturally high fire resistance because of their reinforced concrete construction.
Vertebrate Transportation Systems (VTS): Double deck cabs have a capacity of 21 people on each deck and have the world’s longest journey distance from the lowest to the highest stop, according to the International Transport Association.
Condensate Collection System (also known as condensation collection system): The combination of hot and humid outside air and the cooling requirements of the building results in a substantial quantity of moisture condensation from the air.
This water is piped into the site irrigation system, where it is used to water the landscaping plants surrounding the tower.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates’ Burj Khalifa skyscraper Emaar Properties is the owner of the property.
Turner Construction is the construction manager. Arab countries in the Middle East Samsung C T, based in Seoul, South Korea, is the contractor. Arabian Aluminum Co., Dubai, and Far East Aluminum, Hong Kong, www.fareastgp.com, are two companies that specialize in exterior cladding.
Dubai tower block fire draws Grenfell comparison
A massive fire ripped through the residential Torch Tower in Dubai overnight, with firemen battling to keep the 79-story skyscraper from being destroyed. The Torch Tower has been on fire twice in the last two years, the second instance being this week. Earlier in 2015, a similar fire engulfed the building, necessitating significant cooling procedures to prevent the tower from falling. Despite worries about the structural integrity of the building’s outside cladding, neither fire took a single life, and all inhabitants were evacuated in a timely manner, according to authorities.
- In their investigation, the Metropolitan Police discovered that the fire was caused by a malfunctioning refrigerator-freezer and spread swiftly owing to the outer cladding of the building.
- According to the BBC Today Programme, the origin of the Dubai fire is now unknown, however combustible cladding was confirmed to be the cause of a fire at the site in 2015.
- According to the New York Times, “cladding has played a role in at least three previous tower fires in Dubai in recent years,” including one in 2010.
- Buildings created before 2013 are exempt from the requirement, and the Torch Tower, which was completed in 2007, continues to employ the flammable coating.
- Even while there are obvious similarities in the outside architecture of the two buildings, the Grenfell tower revealed a fault in the inside design and arrangement that contributed to the disaster.
In the view of Sam Alcock, director of fire engineering firm Tenable Dubai, “design and construction were the most important factors in saving lives.” Several fires at Torch Tower had resulted in no fatalities, according to the business, which attributed this to “the design and structure of the buildings,” which “enabled firemen to combat the flames and inhabitants to evacuate via smoke-free, fire-free safety zones.” “Compartmentation” – which confines the fire to the point where it begins in a horizontal sense – appears to have succeeded in this case, although it clearly did not at Grenfell Tower, according to Dave Parker, technical editor of New Civil Engineer Magazine, in an interview with the Today Programme.
- Despite the fact that it appears to be climbing up one area of the structure, the majority of the building is undamaged, and consequently the escape staircases will have been unaffected as well,” says the architect.
- The other issue that Grenfell encountered was with the building’s fire protocol.
- Specifically, this is due to the fact that firemen and evacuating people both use the same stairway, which will slow firefighters’ progress up the building.
- The ideas of this strategy, on the other hand, are founded on the notion that, with effective compartmentation, individual flats can hold a fire for at least 60 minutes and, in certain cases, for as long as three hours.
- In recent years, hundreds of buildings have been renovated, including what the Metropolitan Police claim was an unapproved renovation at Grenfell, reducing the compartmentation capabilities of these structures.
As a result, the “stay put” policy has only added to the death toll by encouraging people to remain in their homes.
Dubai tower blaze shows risks in common building material
United Arab Emirates — DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Within minutes, the excitement of New Year’s Eve in Dubai had turned to fear as people gathering for fireworks downtown watched flames run up the side of one of the shimmering city’s most renowned luxury hotels, the Burj Al Arab. However, the incident at the 63-story The Address Downtown Dubai wasn’t the first, second, or even third fire to engulf the outside of skyscrapers that have risen from the desert at a dizzying rate in and around Dubai over the last two decades, nor was it the most recent.
- The reason for this, according to construction and safety experts, is the siding material used on the structures, which is known as aluminum composite panel cladding.
- Experts agree that they have no idea how many towers contain the potentially flammable paneling and are at danger of similar fast-moving flames, despite the fact that new standards for construction in Dubai and other places have been put in place recently.
- It happens at a breakneck pace.” Cladding became popular more than a decade ago, at a time when Dubai’s construction boom was in full swing.
- Since then, Dubai has grown into a global business center with a population of more than 2 million people.
- Expatriate professionals, in particular, are lured to the eye-popping flats that the city’s hundreds of high-rise buildings have to offer, and skyscraper hotels host millions of visitors each year in their towering residences.
- As a result, individuals from all over the world are affected by the threat of high-rise fires.
- The panels are then attached to the side of a structure, one by one, in a piecemeal fashion.
“The ones with a 100 percent polyethylene core have a tendency to burn rather easily,” Dean explained.
In order to greatly minimize their flammability, it is possible to replace a portion of the plastic contained within the panels with a substance that does not burn readily.
That was the case in 2012, when a series of flames engulfed the emirates of Dubai and Sharjah, which were both affected.
On the same day as a 40-story skyscraper in Sharjah burned down, Dubai published new building standards prohibiting the use of combustible materials in the construction of outside cladding and other exterior finishes.
However, the laws did not call for upgrading buildings that already had combustible cladding placed, and it is unclear how many of these structures exist in Dubai or the other six emirates of the United Arab Emirates.
“There’s a risk because there are so many of them, and unfortunately they don’t come with a ‘X’ on the building to identify which ones they are,” said Sami Sayegh, global property executive for insurance giant American International Group, Inc.
Officials from Emaar Assets, which created The Address Downtown as well as other properties such as the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest structure, said they were still investigating the New Year’s Eve blaze.
Details concerning the sort of cladding that was utilized have not been made public by the company.
Authorities in Dubai, according to Lt.
Jamal Ahmed Ibrahim, head of preventative safety for the Dubai Civil Defense, take the subject of cladding fires seriously and are devoted to “identifying solutions and preventing these incidents from occurring.” As a result of the Address fire, a statewide study of existing structures has been ordered, and new building construction criteria will be implemented in March to guarantee that new buildings are designed to a better level, according to the mayor.
- The emirate’s chief architect, Ibrahim, emphasized that the sort of cladding that was implicated in prior tower fires seemed to have been utilized on just a tiny percentage of all buildings, with some estimates suggesting as few as 5 percent of all structures.
- ‘Without (doing) some sort of survey or whatever, we can’t give you an actual figure,” he explained.
- In 2010, a similar incident at a high-rise building in Shanghai claimed the lives of at least 58 people.
- In February 2009, a major blaze engulfed Beijing’s TV Cultural Center, resulting in the death of a fireman.
- Peter Rau, the chief officer of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade in Melbourne, Australia, has first-hand experience with the dangers that such fires may pose to the community.
- The fast-moving flames wreaked millions of dollars’ worth of damage to the structure, despite the fact that no one was wounded.
- It’s merely a matter of taking a few steps back and asking yourself, ‘What does it mean for Australia, and what does it mean (when you’re talking to me from Dubai)?’ Rau shared his thoughts.
“I believe that this is a huge issue around the world. There is no doubt that this is a game-changing development.”
- Fires, wildfires, the American International Group, the Burj Khalifa, and other topics.
The Torch blaze reignites concerns over cladding used for Dubai towers
Once the world’s highest residential skyscraper, The Torch lived up to its name and made news across the world again last month when a massive fire engulfed the 1,105 foot tall structure, causing it to collapse and burn. Despite the fact that dramatic videos of the blaze were broadcast across the internet, no one was injured as a result of the blaze, and Kingfield Owner Association Management Services, the building’s management company, reported last week that the structure of the tower had not been affected by the fire and that “the majority of the damage was limited to the exterior cladding.” The stunning fire film has, however, re-ignited long-standing worries about the type of cladding used in Dubai buildings, as Dubai Civil Defence begins its arduous investigation into what caused the incident, cleaners clear away the debris, and many homeowners return to their residences.
- It is far too soon to guess on what caused the Torch fire that occurred last month in Los Angeles.
- Both the Al Baker Tower 4 and the Al Tayer Tower in Sharjah in 2012 were destroyed by fires that started in flammable cladding materials that had plastic or polyurethane fillers – referred to as a thermo-plastic core – placed between aluminum panels.
- The fires in the emirate in 2012 spurred the emirate’s Ministry of Interior to introduce an addendum to the emirate’s Fire and Life safety code, which requires that cladding for new structures comply to stringent new fire safety requirements and prohibits the use of foamed plastic insulation.
- The operators of the 86-story Torch building, which has 676 apartments and six stores, are eager to remind out that the structure, which was finished in May 2011, complied with all Dubai fire safety regulations when it was constructed.
- However, the usage of aluminum composite panels in towers is causing increasing anxiety among building insurers, who are forced to shoulder the expenses of exorbitant claims in the case of a fire.
According to A K Ravindran, technical director at RSA Insurance, “what we look for in a building is if these panels are used excessively or whether they are used to a fair extent.” Therefore, “we do not believe it to be a significant risk to underwrite” any structure that has less than 50% of its façade made up of these panels, adds Mr.
- According to the company, “we categorize for up to 10%, 10-20%, 20%-50%, and more than 50% of the population.” It provides us with the ability to assess our exposure in these areas.
- He claims that insurance alternatives are restricted for people who have a large proportion of panels on their vehicles.
- This is a problem that all insurance firms have to deal with on a regular basis.
- “We have reinsurance assistance since we are one of the biggest insurers in the region and have been in the industry for over 40 years,” a spokesman said.
- Every structure is built uniquely, according to EC Harris’s head of property, Christopher Seymour.
- “There have been incidents in Dubai where it has been reported that the spread of the fire was due to the specification of the foam core in the sandwich cladding panels,” says the author.
- “The conventional course of action for structures constructed prior to the implementation of the new regulations would be to have a technical evaluation performed on the building to identify these hazards,” Mr Seymour continues.
- Mr Ravindran concurs with this statement.
- It should be noted that “glass cladding” is not a perfect solution because there is also the possibility that a fire would spread from one story to another.
- [email protected]
Detail: Burj Khalifa Curtain Wall
Formerly known as “The Torch,” the 1,105-foot-tall residential structure lived true to its moniker and made headlines across the world once more last month when it was destroyed by a massive fire. Despite the fact that dramatic videos of the blaze were broadcast across the internet, no one was injured as a result of the blaze, and Kingfield Owner Association Management Services, the building’s management company, reported last week that the structure of the tower had not been compromised and that “the majority of the damage was limited to the exterior cladding.” However, as Dubai Civil Defence begins the time-consuming task of determining what caused the blaze, cleaners clear away the debris, and many residents return to their homes, the dramatic fire footage has rekindled long-standing concerns about the type of cladding used in Dubai towers, which have been raised previously.
What caused the Torch fire last month is still too early to comment on.
Both the Al Baker Tower 4 and the Al Tayer Tower in Sharjah in 2012 were destroyed by flames that started in flammable cladding materials that had plastic or polyurethane fillers – known as a thermo-plastic core – placed between aluminum panels.
These panels have traditionally been employed for insulation, to increase stiffness, and for aesthetic reasons.
The Civil Defense Department announced an expansion of current fire safety standards in 2013, which requires owners of high-rise buildings with combustible exteriors to install an outside perimeter of fire retardant panels every three stories, to prevent flames from spreading, as well as external sprinklers.
As stated by Kingfield Owner Association Management Services, “The Torch Tower was built strictly to code and all clearances from necessary authorities were secured prior to the authorities issuing a completion certificate for the tower.” However, the usage of aluminum composite panels in towers is causing increasing anxiety among building insurers, who must face the expenses of high-value claims in the case of a fire.
- As a result, the structures are becoming more difficult to insure.
- “We categorize for up to 10%, 10% to 20%, 20% to 50%, and greater than 50%.” It provides us with the ability to assess our exposure in various markets and industries.
- The majority of the buildings insured by RSA in Dubai, according to Mr Ravindran, are made up of aluminium panels “in some form or another.” This is especially true for those located near major shopping malls such as JLT or Dubai Marina.
- As a result, he says, “we don’t insure many structures that have more than 50% foam panels.” Fire exposure is something that most insurance companies take very seriously.
- “There will very certainly be a few structures that will be absolutely uninsurable.
- Our reinsurance support is provided by “one of the region’s major insurers,” according to an official who stated that the company has been in the industry for about 40 years.
- Every structure is designed uniquely, according to EC Harris’ head of property, Christopher Seymour.
- “There have been incidents in Dubai where it has been reported that the spread of the fire was due to the specification of the foam core in the sandwich cladding panels,” says the expert.
- Buildings constructed before the new regulations were implemented would normally be subjected to a technical examination in order to identify the dangers associated with them, says Mr Seymour.
- According to Mr Ravindran, After all is said and done, he continues, “it comes down to risk management.” It should be noted that “glass cladding” is not an ideal solution because there is also the possibility of a fire spreading from one story to another.
Torch occupants will be thankful that the building’s evacuation protocols were successful and that the professionalism of the Dubai emergency services prevented greater misery from occurring. [email protected]
State-of-the-Art & Structural Design Elements
To argue that the Burj Khalifa marks the pinnacle of architectural achievement would be an understatement. An innovative structural design process, along with many significant technical advancements and structural design breakthroughs, has resulted in a superstructure that is both energy efficient and structurally durable, from conception to completion.
a large reinforced concrete mat, which is in turn supported by bored reinforced concrete piles, provides the structural support for the superstructure. An extensive geotechnical and seismic investigation was carried out before the design was finalized. Construction of the mat, which is 3.7 metres thick and comprised four separate pours totaling 12,500 cubic meters of concrete, took place over four days. The piles, which measure 1.5 meters in diameter and 43 meters in length, are the largest and longest piles currently available in the region on a conventional basis.
The platform serves as a foundation for the tower, attaching it to the ground and providing on-grade access to three distinct floors of the structure from three separate sides of the building. Entry pavilions made of a suspended cable-net framework provide distinct entrances for the Corporate Suites on the B1 and Concourse Levels, the Burj Khalifa apartments on the Ground Level, and the Armani Hotel on the first floor.
Reflective glass, aluminum and textured stainless steel spandrel panels, and stainless steel vertical tube fins make up the external cladding, which also includes a reflective roof. The outside cladding of the Burj Khalifa was constructed using about 26,000 glass panels, each of which was painstakingly hand-cut. In order to complete the cladding work on the skyscraper, more than 300 cladding professionals from China were brought in. Dynamic wind and water tests were performed on the cladding system to verify that it can resist Dubai’s intense summer heat.
For comparison, the curtain wall of the Burj Khalifa is the equivalent of 17 football (soccer) fields or 25 American football fields in length.
The spiralling “Y” shaped plan was used to create the structural core of the Burj Khalifa, which provided both aesthetic and practical advantages. This design aids in the reduction of wind stresses on the tower, as well as the preservation of structural simplicity and the convenience of construction. As a “buttressed core,” the structural system is made up of high-performance concrete wall construction, which is described as follows: Each of the wing’s buttresses the others through the use of a central core or hexagonal hub with six sides.
corridor walls stretch from the central core to the near ends of each wing, where they meet thicker hammer headwalls at the end of each wing In terms of resistance to wind shears and moments, these corridor walls and hammer head walls act in a manner similar to the webs and flanges of a structural beam.
- Outrigger walls are used to connect the perimeter columns to the internal wall system, allowing the perimeter columns to participate in the lateral load resistance of the structure.
- As a result, the tower is exceptionally rigid both laterally and torsionally in both directions.
- As the structure rises in height, the wings recede, allowing for a variety of floor plates to be accommodated.
- There are no structural transfers in the tower as a result of this design.
Wind vortices are never able to assemble as they climb the tower because each new tier confronts a different building form, resulting in a phenomenon known as “wind confusion.” This effect is achieved by the stairwell’s stepping and shaping.
The telescoping spire of the Burj Khalifa, which weighs more than 4,000 tons of structural steel, is the building’s greatest achievement. An internal hydraulic pump was used to raise the spire to its maximum height of more than 200 metres (700 feet) by constructing it from the interior of the structure. Along with maintaining Burj Khalifa’s position as the world’s tallest tower, the spire is a vital part of the overall design, lending a feeling of completeness to the monument. In addition, telecommunication equipment is housed within the spire.
The technology that brings the Burj Khalifa to life is housed on seven mechanical levels that are twice the height of the building. The mechanical floors, which are distributed throughout the tower’s 30 floors, hold the electrical substations, water tanks and pumps, air-handling units, and other components that are required for the proper running of the tower and the comfort of its tenants, among other things.
Window Washing Bays
The tower’s outside is accessible for window cleaning and façade maintenance with the use of 18 permanently placed track and fixed telescopic, cradle equipped, building maintenance equipment, which are also permanently installed. When not in use, the track-mounted units are housed in garages located within the structure and are not visible to the public. The manned cradles have the capability of gaining access to the full facade, from the top of the tower down to level 7. When fully extended, the jib arms of the building maintenance units will have a maximum reach of 36 meters and an overall length of around 45 meters.
To clean the whole outer façade under normal circumstances, with all building maintenance equipment in operation, it will take three to four months to complete the task.
Broadcast and Communications Floors
The top four levels of the building have been designated for communications and broadcasting purposes. These floors are located on the levels immediately below the spire.
The mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services for the Burj Khalifa were designed in coordination throughout the design process with the assistance of the architect, structural engineer, and other experts in order to reach the highest level of efficiency. A total of 946,000 litres (250,000 gallons) of water is supplied daily by the tower’s water system on average. At its peak cooling requirements, the Burj Khalifa will require around 10,000 tons of cooling, which is approximately the same amount of cooling capability given by approximately 10,000 tons of melting ice.
All of this water is collected in a separate pipe system that drains into a holding tank located in the basement car lot.
The highest electricity consumption of the tower is 36mW, which is equivalent to about 360,000 100 Watt lights functioning at the same time.
The design of the Burj Khalifa took into consideration the safety of the building and the speed with which it might be evacuated. All stairwells are surrounded by concrete, and the building service and fireman’s elevator, which will have a capacity of 5,500 kg and be the world’s highest service elevator, will be constructed of steel. Because it is not reasonable to expect people to go down 160 levels, there are pressurized, air-conditioned refuge chambers every 25 floors, which are positioned about every 25 floors.
The Burj Khalifa will include 57 elevators and 8 escalators, which will be the tallest structure in the world. A capacity of 5,500 kg will be provided by the building service/elevator, fireman’s which will be the world’s highest service elevator when completed. When specific fire or security incidents occur, some elevators in the Burj Khalifa will be programmed to allow controlled evacuation. This will be the world’s first mega-high rise to use this feature. The Observatory elevators of the Burj Khalifa are double-deck taxis with a capacity of 12-14 persons per cab, according to the company.