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SPECIAL EDITION: HOW THE BURJ KHALIFA WAS BUILT

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WEEK

JANUARY 16–22, 2010 [304]

NEWS, ANALYSIS, PROJECTS, TENDERS, CLASSIFIEDS, AND JOBS IN THE MIDDLE EAST SPONSORED BY:

INSIDE HOW TO

BUILD AN

ICON KEY STEPS TO ENGINEERING THE WORLD’S TALLEST BUILDING

INTER INTERVIEW

Emaar chair chairman Mohamed A Alabbar on buildingg the Burjj PAGE 8

TOWER TALK

Arabtec and Besix chiefs on challenges they had to overcome PAGES 12 & 15

TALL ORDERS

CW talks to the consultant and fitout designer for the Burj PAGES 17 & 19

HOW THEY DID IT From the bottom to the top, find out how they built the Burj PAGE 26


Samsung-Besix-Arabtec JV congratulates Emaar and the whole team on the successful inauguration of Burj Khalifa


CONTENTS JANUARY 16-22, 2010 | ISSUE 304 8

FEATURES

15

26 BUILDING THE BURJ A look at how the Burj Khalifa was put together from the ground up.

38 SPECIAL REPORT CW explores the latest trends in flooring solutions available on the market.

DIRECTORY

17

44 46 49 50

SHOWCASE TENDERS PROJECTS SPECIALIST SERVICES

12 24

19

REGULARS 2 ONLINE 4 MAIL & FOREWORD

INTERVIEWS Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar reveals the challenges of building the world’s tallest tower – and how it has changed him as a person.

19 DEPA

12 ARABTEC

Depa outlines the challenges of fitting out Dubai’s most famous skyscraper.

CW sits down with Thomas Barry to learn from his experiences in the construction industry.

20 FINO INTERNATIONAL

15 BESIX Philippe Dessoy reminisces about the day Besix was awarded the contract to help build the world’s tallest tower.

17 HYDER John Mills discusses what it takes to power the Burj Khalifa.

CHRIS JACKSON/GETTY IMAGES

8 MOHAMED ALABBAR

Fino managing partner Talal Saeed describes working on the interior design for the Armani Hotel and the private offices of Emaar as “enlightening”.

BACK 54 CITY UPDATE The latest news and projects from Abu Dhabi, UAE.

22 PRISME INTERNATIONAL

56 DIALOGUE

The man behind the opening ceremony of the Burj Khalifa, Pierre Marcout, talks to CW about the challenges he faced.

Doka project manager Martin Hörlesberger discusses his company’s contribution to the Burj Khalifa.

JANUARY 16–22, 2010 CONSTRUCTION WEEK

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WORLD’S TALLEST RENAMED BURJ KHALIFA TOP 10 BURJ KHALIFA FACTS SCOTT WILSON WINS MAKKAH MEDINA RAIL CONTRACT AABAR SNAPS UP ARABTEC SHARES QATARI DEVELOPMENT GIANTS AGREE TO MERGER

HAVE YOUR SAY WHAT DO YOU THINK 2010 WILL HOLD FOR THE INDUSTRY?

What are you looking forward to in terms of projects – and what are you worried about?

RTA DENIES DUBAI METRO SLOWDOWN A spokesman for Dubai’s Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) has denied reports that the Japanese-led consortium building the Dubai Metro has slowed work on the project due to a US $2.5 billion (AED 9.2 billion) payment dispute. “Work on the metro is proceeding as planned and is on target,” the RTA’s corporate communications director, Peyman Younes Parham, told Construction Week. “The contractors are also being paid on time. I am not sure where comments to the contrary are coming from.” Last month, Construction Week revealed that the Dubai Rapid Link consortium (DURL) was claiming $2.5 billion in over-costs for construction of the first Metro line which partially opened in September. The RTA is disputing the claim. For more images and stories, visit www.ConstructionWeekOnline.com

FEATURES

Senior Designer Hospitality, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Branch Manager, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Health & Safety Engineer, Doha, United Arab Emirates

ONLINE POLL WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN TO BUILDING MATERIAL PRICES IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2010?

47.9% 28.6% 23.5%

Costs should be pretty steady.

FM

PMV

ON GUARD Transguard Group managing director Mike McGeever explains FM success during a downturn.

MACHINE MONTH PMV delivers stories you might have missed from the world of machines last month.

Video

Design

BURJ KHALIFA LAUNCH See our amazing video of the Burj Khalifa fireworks and launch event.

DODGING IRRELEVANCE Interior specialist Ross Lovegrove explains the challenges behind ‘different and intelligent’ design.

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JOBS OF THE WEEK

CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010

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FOREWORD

BUILDING THE BURJ KHALIFA You saw the launch ceremony, heard about the name change and know the final height, but have you ever wondered how they built the Burj Khalifa? In this special edition of Construction Week, we tell you just that, from the bottom of the foundations to the very top of the spire at 828 metres. We will tell you how many reinforced, bored, concrete piles were used to support the concrete mat in the building’s foundations, you can find out how concrete was pumped vertically to a world record height of 606 metres and we’ll even tell you how the cranes at the top of the tower were dismantled. In addition to all that, we talk to key people involved in the project and hear about their personal experiences of working on the Burj Khalifa. Mohamed Alabbar, the charismatic chairman of Emaar Properties, tells us how building the Burj has changed him

as a person. Arabtec CEO Tom Barry and Depa’s managing director Nadim Akhrass reflect on the massive amount of logistics management involved in the project. Philippe Dessoy, general manager of Besix, remembers how he felt when told he would be working as a contractor on the world’s tallest building. Also, don’t miss Pierre Marcout’s account of how the fantastic Burj Khalifa launch party was put together. We hope you enjoy reading this issue of Construction Week as much as we enjoyed putting it together. And if you haven’t already seen our fantastic exclusive video of the launch event, please visit our web site constructionweekonline.com and search for ‘Burj Khalifa launch video’. CONSTRUCTION WEEK TEAM editor@ConstructionWeekOnline.com

MAIL RE: WORLD’S TALLEST RENAMED BURJ KHALIFA I am proud to be living in Dubai, it has undoubtedly achieved the highest standards that any country can dream of and envy. Whatever the situation now and whatever people say, Dubai will always be a paradise to live in and will never lose its prestige. Hats off to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed for such an achievement. I wish him all the success. SAMIRA SULTANA

The opening of the Burj Khalifa is going to bring new vigour and refreshed hope to the construction sector across the whole UAE and particularly in Dubai. It is a real gem, even by today’s high tall building standards. My

best wishes for the city and its people. MANOJ K GUPTA

RE: AL AIN GETS TOUGH ON SAFETY It is important to implement EHS in the field to avoid

serious injuries or fatalities. Almost all accidents occur due to ignorance and negligence. Road safety is also very important. Safety is ethically the right thing to do and businesswise it is also the smart thing to do. REGHUVARAN.R.NAIR Safety objectives cannot be satisfied by simply framing regulations, but full compliance from companies will come from understanding the advantages of health and safety regulation. Here’s hoping that companies will be checked on their levels of compliance. DENNIS M. BANDOJO

RE: GREEN BUILDING GURU LEED should be applied not only because leadership wants it, but because it’s essential to save ourselves from expected disasters in the future. I discovered LEED by myself; it’s a great idea which focuses on everything related to our daily life and I started studying LEED concepts. But many places haven’t heard anything about LEED or green building, so they aren’t ready to pay extra for green building. I think I’m fighting the tide alone in a country like mine, Syria, and I’m sorry for having to say that. REDDA

WRITE TO THE EDITOR Please address your letters to: Post, Construction Week, PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE or email editor@ConstructionWeekOnline.com. Please provide your full name and address, stating clearly if you do not wish us to print them. Alternatively log on to www.ConstructionWEEKonline.com and air your views on any one of a number of the latest Middle East business articles. The opinions expressed in this section are of particular individuals and are in no way a reflection of the publisher’s views.

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CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010


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MOHAMED ALABBAR EMAAR PROPERTIES

HISTORY RISEN EMAAR CHAIRMAN MOHAMED ALABBAR REVEALS THE CHALLENGES OF BUILDING THE WORLD’S TALLEST TOWER – AND HOW IT HAS CHANGED HIM AS A PERSON

W

e are standing on the balcony of Mohamed Alabbar’s private office, admiring the world’s tallest building a few yards in front of us. The chairman of Emaar is putting the final touches to its grand inauguration, just a few hours away. And as always with Alabbar, nothing is being left to chance. “Sheikh Mohammed is my boss, and I want him to look at it and smile and say well done. And I want my people in the city to say; ‘yeah, yeah, that’s ok.’ Because this building is theirs, it’s not ours anymore,” he says. The chances are Alabbar will get more than a few pats on the back from his boss, not to mention millions around the globe. Barely six years since breaking ground, the Burj Khalifa is a reality. It is here, it is real. Alabbar has, once again, delivered. For Alabbar more than most, it is has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Eighteen months ago, speculators queued through the night, outside the very building we are standing in, desperate to get a slice of the property pie as Dubai’s boom looked unstoppable. Then came Lehmann Brothers. Then came the crash. Then came the recession. Then came the Dubai debt crisis. But as the new decade begins, both the Burj Dubai and Alabbar are still standing – and like the original plans for the tower, which were far less grand, Alabbar has undergone a transformation. “Am I a different kind of leader now? Without a doubt. I got better in many things along the way. I’m sure I made valuable mistakes, but I am becoming more emotional. I don’t know if it’s age or what. Or so much beating by the shareholders,” he says wryly.

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So is this a new softer Alabbar we are seeing? No, not quite. “I’m a harder leader now, you know,” he admits. “I mean, I’m a hard leader anyway… On the boss side, I am much tougher. Some people who got a job from me four years ago wouldn’t get it today. It’s [been] proven that so many people don’t actually work. Productivity of people is pretty bad. In those market conditions [before the crash], everyone was employed and spoilt. So I laid off a little bit, and then discovered there are mistakes – so now I am back in the same style.” Alabbar is known for his proactive leadership style and attention to detail. Some of his critics have rounded on this in the past, but the Emaar chairman says that if anything, the recent financial crisis has shown that his way is the right way. “I am trying to learn. In times like this you need to relearn. I think I thought ‘I’m conservative in my business policies’; but maybe I need to revisit that. My management style is hands-on and a lot of people criticise you for that. I think they have been proven wrong. I believe that hands-on is the only way to go.” He pauses. “But I’ve learnt a lot. I’ve done a lot of good things that I should do more of and I should avoid a few things as well.” Few would argue that the Burj Khalifa is one of the “good things.” Emaar’s fact sheet on the tower is several pages long, but the words ‘record-breaking’ appear in almost every paragragh. From the tallest building to the amount of concrete used; from speed of construction to the speed of the lifts - you name it; the Burj Khalifa has broken it. Alabbar is rightly proud of the achievement, but says a lot of the credit belongs to his “boss”, the Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. “He is a tough boss but a fair boss, and a great boss when you make a mistake,” he says. “He is there behind you like a mountain.

CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010

You push hard and then you make a mistake, but His Highness will pick you up, and I love him for that. “I have learned a lot from him – especially optimism and that you never go down,” he continues. “He pushes more than you think. This [the Burj Khalifa] would have not happened without him, it would have been an 80-storey building. I assure you, that is where my vision gets – 80, 90 that’s about it. “He takes you for a 5km walk in the desert. He just calls you and says; ‘Let’s walk. Never mind if you don’t have the right shoes, let’s walk.’ In that 5km you learn so much. Some people don’t get it even when HH explains it to them, but I grasped a lot from him. He gave me the chance to become a recognizable person in society and that is so special.” The Burj Khalifa should, according to financial experts, give Emaar’s share price a much-needed lift. Alabbar concedes that “maybe…maybe” he too was guilty of excessive optimism in the past, “but as long as we can manage during tough times, maybe we are not as guilty.” Emaar has suffered like other companies purely because it is in the property sector. But Alabbar is adamant that the firm’s fundamentals are as strong as ever, and in the “New Dubai” it will shine. “This is the city of the future for 500 million people,” he says. “With respect to all other cities, this is the one. It will grow, growth is coming back. I think, with respect to everyone else, there will be one player. Other players are a little injured. The market changed, we are tight and we have learned from our mistakes but this city will move on. Other friends of mine are hurting and I wish them well, but we will be the player… I feel it’s a new chapter for the city.” He agrees there needs to be more liquidity in the banking system, but says growth of 1% to 3 % in 2010 will be achieved “comfortably.”

G-NIE ARAMBULO/ITP IMAGES

By Anil Bhoyrul


> For more people interviews log on to www.ConstructionWEEKonline.com

“DUBAI IS SUCCESSFUL AND SEXY, IT HAS ALL THE GLITTER AND THE GLAMOUR. IT IS NEWSWORTHY, WITH GOOD DAYS AND BAD DAYS”

So has the property market bottomed out? “Without a doubt, without a doubt.” Would he advise his own son to buy property in Dubai today? “Yes, absolutely.” As for the likes of Moody’s downgrading Emaar’s ratings, “that doesn’t bother me.” Or the foreign media that has been putting the boot into Dubai big time? Alabbar shrugs. “That’s part of the game, part of life. Dubai is successful and sexy, it has all the glitter and the glamour. It is newsworthy, [with] good days and bad days, which get to be dramatised. And bad things do happen. Are there some people who wanted to take advantage of it? Yes, but that’s human nature, we are born like that.” Some critics would argue that Emaar would have been better off as a private company, without having to subject itself to the rigours of the financial community on a daily basis, but Alabbar thinks the opposite. He has no regrets at taking the company to the stock market, despite all the recent ups and downs. “Yes I feel it [the fall in share price] because I am responsible to the shareholders. I am an employee. I work for them and I should show them better value. But regret going public? No. Going public gave us great discpline and put on us a pressure to perform. It created a much more resilient Mohamed Alabbar.” So what next for the new, more resilient Mohamed Alabbar? He points out that he is now in the gym every two days, rides for 30km three times a week – not to mention the spontaneous 5km walks in the desert with Sheikh Mohammed. And he talks about doing social work in India at a later stage in his life, As the interview ends, I ask what his advice would be to the thousands of youngsters in the Middle East aspiring to be the next Mohamed Alabbar. Like him, they want one day to be remembered for building the world’s tallest tower. “Nothing comes easy,” he says. “You have to be determined and optimistic but you have to earn it by working really hard and long hours. The idea of making it by thinking; ‘I’ll get a free ride.’ Well you can, but it will be all fictitious. Because experience comes by sweating it. 

JANUARY 16–22, 2010 CONSTRUCTION WEEK

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THOMAS BARRY ARABTEC Pushing the limit PIONEERING SEEMS TO BE TOM BARRY’S FAVOURITE PASTIME. WHETHER IT WAS MOVING TO THE UAE ON A WHIM MORE THAN 30 YEARS AGO, OR BEING THE FIRST TO PUSH LIMITS TO SUCCESSFULLY BUILD THE TALLEST TOWER IN THE WORLD, HE’S DONE IT ALL. CONSTRUCTION WEEK SAT DOWN WITH HIM TO LEARN FROM HIS EXPERIENCES By Conrad Egbert

BARRY SAYS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN BUILDING THE BURJ KHALIFA WAS THE LOGISTICS INVOLVED IN THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS.

We all know desperation is the mother of invention. So building the tallest tower in the world, couldn’t have passed without a few desperate, sleepless nights either. The Burj Khalifa is 319m higher than the Taipei 101 in Taiwan, the second tallest tower in the world, so innovative techniques and new technologies that had never been used before were only too common a sight. “The biggest challenge in building a project of this magnitude was the logistics required in constructing it,” stresses Thomas Barry, CEO of Arabtec. “Mobilising and transporting manpower (which reached 12,000 at peak) and materials to so many floors simultaneously was difficult and demanded a specialist team, meticulous planning, coordination and execution. A dedicated, experienced and enthusiastic team with super organisational abilities, working day and night assisted by the client, management team, the subcontractors and the suppliers was vital to successfully managing this aspect of the project.”

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Barry also said that “being ready to achieve joint venture, managed this successfully. the impossible [all the time]” was also very Constructing the 140m spire was very chalchallenging and included coping with project lenging. It was fabricated on the ground in changes and additions, maintaining pro- 25 parts, lifted by crane to the 156th floor, grammes and achieving assembled and deadlines, and sourcthen hydrauliing and managing sub“A DEDICATED, cally lifted, secEXPERIENCED AND contractors working on tion by section, ENTHUSIASTIC TEAM WAS the project. into place.” VITAL TO SUCCESSFULLY “The formwork sysBarry also said MANAGING THIS ASPECT OF tem had to be the most that the project THE PROJECT” sophisticated, allowing has taught him not to underestimate construction of one floor every three days,” explains Barry. the value of team work on projects, which “Prefabricated rebar cages supported involved various contractors. this requirement. “If the joint venture had not worked “Concrete was high strength and had to closely and patiently as a team with the be pumped up to record heights of more client, consultant and all the subcontractors than 600m. Specially designed concrete and suppliers, the project would not have mixes and concrete pumps ensured the been such a success. We all shared a comsuccessful completion of this activity. mon objective and purpose – to successfully “The tower’s concrete frame verticality had complete Burj Khalifa on time and with the to be super accurate and satellite assisted highest quality, and teamwork was vital for GPS surveying techniques, developed by the this to happen,” he concluded. 

CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010


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PHILIPPE DESSOY BESIX Aspiring heights WINNING THE CONTRACT TO BUILD THE CUMULUS-PIERCING BURJ KHALIFA (PREVIOUSLY BURJ DUBAI), WHICH WAS WORTH A WHOPPING US $800 MILLION (AED3 BILLION) AT THE TIME, DEFINITELY SAW SOME IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY SHED A FEW TEARS OF JOY. PHILIPPE DESSOY OF BESIX, ONE OF THE CONTRACTING FIRMS TO WIN THE JOB, WAS ONE SUCH INDIVIDUAL By Conrad Egbert

DESSOY SAYS THE MOST AMAZING ENGINEERING IDEA THAT WENT INTO BUILDING THE BURJ KHALIFA WAS THE INNOVATIVE SPIRE CONSTRUCTION.

“I don’t think I will ever forget the moment had a say in the selection process, but the we were told that we’d won the contract client didn’t extend that opportunity to us. to build the tallest tower in the world,” But we’ve learned from that now and in the reminisced Philippe Dessoy, general manager future things will be different. But all in all, of Besix. “It was a dream come true; it was everything that we had to go through was the best day of our lives I think. And it was worth it in the end,” he said. with pure inspiration and pride that we And talking about doing things differbegan our work on the Burj.” ently, Dessoy said the most creative and But despite the elation over the jaw-dropping innovative piece of engineering that was paycheck, building undertaken during the the world’s tallest construction of the Burj tower wasn’t as “THERE WERE ALL THESE Khalifa was the controWORKERS WORKING INSIDE easy as it might versy-courting spire that have seemed QUITE A RESTRAINED SPACE” went on top. and it did come “One of the most with troubles of thought-about tasks during the construction process was how its own. “Even though winning the contract was to get the spire on top of the concrete at the best thing that had ever happened to us, 600m. One of the engineers from the Samwe had quite a difficult time on the project sung team came up with the solution, which all along,” admitted Dessoy. was quite brilliant. It was decided that the “We specially had a lot of trouble with some spire would be built inside the building in a of the subcontractors. Emaar had selected shaft and then jacked up to its position on some companies that were too small to be the top of the tower,” said Dessoy. Constructing the 140m spire was very chalworking on a project of this size and that created a lot of problems. We should have lenging. It was fabricated on the ground in

25 parts, lifted by crane to the 156th floor, assembled and then hydraulically lifted, section by section, into place. “It was pretty amazing. There were all these construction workers, working inside the shaft, which was quite a restrained space, putting together, piece by piece, the spire that was to crown the tallest tower in the world,” he added proudly. He concluded that the fantastic team working on the project was the main reason for its successful completion. 

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THE HEIGHT OF THE SPIRE ON TOP OF THE BURJ KHALIFA TOWER IN METRES

JANUARY 16–22, 2010 CONSTRUCTION WEEK

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JOHN MILLS HYDER CONSULTING Power House THE BURJ KHALIFA IS FINALLY OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, BUT JUST WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO POWER THIS MAMMOTH STRUCTURE? CW TALKS TO HYDER CONSULTING PROJECT DIRECTOR JOHN MILLS TO FIND OUT THE ANSWER By Sarah Blackman

The international press may have critisised the building now it has been completed the double delay of the world’s tallest and plans for cleaning the building have building, but was the media right to judge already been mapped out. or did they simply not realise the sheer “Facade cleaning of the tower is carried scope of the work that went into creating out from cradles suspended from building maintenance units. The podium level is such a mammoth structure? Believe it or not, cleaned from a cradle even looking up at attached to telescopic the Burj Khalifa, it “THE MAXIMUM DEMAND arm machines and LOAD AT ANY ONE TIME IS can be easy to underabseiling techniques ESTIMATED AT 40MW TO estimate the scale of are needed to clean 45MW, DEPENDENT ON THE construction involved 50m at the top of the LEVEL OF OCCUPANCY” in the project; it is not building,” he says. common knowledge, Each ‘cleaning’ of for example, that 175km of water pipes (for the Burj will take around eight to 12 weeks chilled water and plumbing) were installed, to complete. which, if stretched out in a straight line, could In terms of electricity, the total connected cover the length of Dubai, from Sharjah to load the building can manage at one time is 80MW – enough to power 1.3 million 60W the border of Abu Dhabi, 2.3 times. “The biggest challenges were overcom- light bulbs. The maximum demand load ing the complexity and scale of the many at any one time is estimated at 40MW to interfaces of the project,” says Hyder Con- 45MW, but this can vary dependent on the sulting project director John Mills. level of occupancy inside the tower. As design consultant on the project, Hyder’s A district cooling plant will deliver cold role was to certify and adopt Skidmore, water to the building and keep it cool and, Owings and Merrill’s design, including to be as sustainable as possible, the buildstructural design, MEP work, facade design, ing’s chilled water system is a closed loop, architectural base-build, peer review and with pumps circulating the chilled water at master planning and infrastructure design the rate of 1200 litres per second. of Downtown Burj Khalifa. “In order to minimise pump pressures Hyder provided construction supervision there are further heat exchangers situated of around 12,000 men during its involve- at plant rooms within the tower. This water ment at the Burj – a daily logistical test for does not go to waste,” insists Mills. In addition, the condensate that is produced the company. The firm also had to take the building’s as a result of the cooling – enough to fill 20 ability to cope with severe wind conditions Olympic-sized swimming pools – will be into account. used to irrigate the park and water features “Extensive wind tunnel testing took place that surround the Burj Khalifa. during design and construction. Hyder also The tower may be kept cool, but, according instigated physical building movement testing to recent reports, serious problems could be during construction, verifying correctly the created as the temperature drops towards designed building behaviour,” says Mills. the top of the building. So how will the building be maintained post A German newspaper stated that the temconstruction? According to Mills, monitors perature at the pinnacle of the structure is have been installed to detect movement of eight degrees lower than at the base, meaning

JOHN MILLS: EXTENSIVE WIND TUNNEL TESTING TOOK PLACE DURING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION.

that, if a door was opened at the top of the building and at the podium level, as well as air locks in between, a storm could rush through the tower and destroy everything in its wake. Mills confirms that the effect described by the paper is genuine but says there is no cause for concern. “It is called a stack effect. Hyder has carried out separate research to try to harness the power, which could be generated by this. The effect has been recognised on the Burj Khalifa and engineered out using air locks, which cannot be opened continuously.” Implementing air conditioning systems, electrical power and wind provisions were just a few of the many tasks that had to be ticked off the job list at the Burj Khalifa construction site. Outsiders may not have realised just how long that list really was. 

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KILOMETRES OF WATER PIPES FOR CHILLED WATER AND PLUMBING WERE INSTALLED, WHICH COULD COVER THE LENGTH OF DUBAI, FROM SHARJAH TO ABU DHABI, 2.3 TIMES

JANUARY 16–22, 2010 CONSTRUCTION WEEK

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NADIM AKHRASS DEPA The great indoors FITTING OUT THE HEART OF DUBAI’S FIRST SUPERSCRAPER ISN’T A TASK FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED – EVEN IF YOU ARE THE WORLD’S LARGEST INTERIOR FITOUT CONTRACTOR By Claire Ferris-Lay

When Depa won the contract to fit out a major marble imported from Italy, 100,000 square portion of the interiors of the Burj Khalifa, metres of parquet flooring and 8,500 timthe world’s tallest skyscraper, in 2006, the ber doors, was completed at night, using a Dubai-based firm was under no illusion that dedicated lift. This move allowed labourers the multimillion-dollar project would be one working the day shift to concentrate solely of its most challenging yet. on the materials’ installation. Depa, the world’s largest interior fitout Depa won the ‘S06’ contract to fit out all of contractor, regularly works on large scale the building’s residential apartments in April projects such as luxury hotels, airports, cruise 2006. As part of the mandate, the firm has ships, malls and offices. But completing the completed the interiors of 900 apartments Burj Khalifa at the same time as installing the between floors 19 and 107 on the middle tiers, interiors for another of Dubai’s major projects, which are located above the Armani hotel and the Metro, was one below the office space of its toughest tests on the top section. to date. “WE NEVER EXPECTED IT TO In addition to kitting “We never expected BE AN EASY PROJECT; AFTER out all of the interior ALL, THIS IS THE WORLD’S it to be an easy projwalls, flooring, wood TALLEST TOWER” ect; after all, this is the paneling and the joinworld’s tallest tower ery and stone work and we always knew it would be a challeng- for the kitchens and bathrooms in all of the ing project,” said Nadim Akhrass, managing apartments, Depa was also responsible for director of operations for Depa. “It’s been chal- four amenity floors. lenging since the first day but the bright side At the height of Dubai’s five-year real estate is that the world will soon be able to see the boom, the cost of an apartment in the Burj Khalifa complex reached as much as $3,540 fruits of three years of very hard work.” Many of the problems centred around the per ft ², topped only by Nakheel’s now-delayed logistics of transporting thousands of tonnes Trump Tower on the Palm Jumeirah. Despite of materials up to some of the tallest residen- the estimated 50% decline in Dubai’s house tial apartments in the world. prices in the wake of the global financial criThen there was dealing with the sheer size sis, the area has managed to hold its prices of Depa’s labourforce. While the firm had 150 better than most. staff working in the office from the beginning Akhrass says end users will be more than of the project, during the peak of construction, satisfied with the end results of the firm’s which continued for more than a year and three years of hard work. a half, the firm employed more than 2,400 “The apartments are beautiful. While the labourers onsite. contractors had a tough time building them, “There was a logistical challenge working the end users will enjoy very high-end, quality on the Burj Khalifa given its huge height. To apartments,” he says confidently. Each apartment features a significant amount move hundreds of workers up hundreds of floors to the final work location, to feed them, of wood. While 90% of the apartments are take care of their sanitary facilities and get fitted out with a modern design using wenge them back to buses at the end of the day is a wood, the other ten percent feature a more very challenging process,” admits Akhrass. classic design that focuses on timber veneers To overcome the time constraints, Depa and parquet flooring. In the communal areas, ensured that all transportation of the materials, 8,000 m² of rose wood was procured from which included a staggering 8,000 tonnes of Germany and Brazil.

AKHRASS: DECISION TO UPGRADE INTERIORS WAS CORRECT, DESPITE IT PROLONGING WORK.

Ahkrass says that if it wasn’t for Depa’s subsidiaries, Depa Industrial Group and Singapore-based Depa Design Studio, taking direct control over the timber finishes and the joinery work, it wouldn’t have been able to complete the project to the specified date. “If we had not had any control over those companies, which are vertically integrated into the Depa business, we wouldn’t have been in any position to complete the project because it’s so timber-oriented,” he explains. “We are talking about kilometers of skirting, hundreds of thousands of metres of veneer from Brazil and Germany and a vast amount of rose wood, which is very expensive, that is used in the lift lobbies corridor walls and amenities. When visitors get out of the lift, they won’t feel like they are in a residential building. It’s more of a high end hotel finish.” The final interiors were the second set of designs following a decision by the project’s developer Emaar to upgrade the finishes in June 2008. This decision, which Akhrass concedes was correct in hindsight, set the completion of the interiors back slightly. The changes are likely to affect the overall cost of Depa’s work. In April 2007, the firm signed a $118m financing agreement with Mashreq and HSBC to fund the project. Fortunately, says Akhrass, materials for the project were procured before the significant rise in commodities prices during 2008. “[The rise and fall in commodity prices had] no impact at all because we procured 100 % of the materials a long time ago, at 2006 and 2007 prices.” 

JANUARY 16–22, 2010 CONSTRUCTION WEEK

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TALAL SAEED FINO INTERNATIONAL The highest contracting job in the world FINO INTERNATIONAL MANAGING PARTNER TALAL SAEED DESCRIBES FITTING OUT THE ARMANI HOTEL AND THE PRIVATE OFFICES OF EMAAR AS “ENLIGHTENING” By David Ingham

TALAL SAEED: THE HIGHEST INTERIOR CONTRACTOR IN THE WORLD.

Working on the interior fitout of the Because this is the world’s tallest tower Burj Khalifa was both “enlightening” and and because Armani was involved in the “surprising,” according to Talal Saeed, hotel part, Fino has worked with materimanaging partner of Fino International. The als sourced from all over the world to the four year old, Dubai-based interiors specialist highest specifications. was appointed to work on three separate Materials such as marble, onyx and gypsum were sourced from countries as far areas of the world’s tallest building. The largest part of the job was the fit- apart as Canada, Pakistan and Madagasout of the Armani car. Those materiResidences and the als were shipped Armani Hotel Dubai, “EVERY SINGLE WALL to Italy, where IN THE HOTEL HAD TO which required painsthey were treated BE INSPECTED AND taking attention to and inspected, and APPROVED BY SOM, detail and close cothen sent to Fino in TURNER AND ARMANI” ordination with teams Dubai for cutting and from Armani and water-jetting prior Emaar Hotels. to installation. The second part of the work was the tower’s A brand new type of paint, developed by public area, which included the main entry Armani specifically for the Burj Khalifa lobby, the Armani café, various restaurants, project, was used throughout the Armani prayer areas, a health club and spa. properties. Four coats of the paint had The third and “highest” part of the contract to be applied, with at least 24 hours of was the corporate offices and the private drying required between application of each layer. offices of Emaar, on levels 152-154. Reflecting the level of care that has gone The job, which is now almost done, has taken 33 months and is worth AED400 mil- into the building, Saeed explained that every lion to Fino International. single wall in the hotel had to be inspected “The specification in the job is one of the and approved by SOM, the project architect; highest I’ve ever seen and experienced,” Turner, the construction project manager; said Saeed. “There are so many consultants and Armani. supervising and reporting to each other to Fino was also the last company to make make sure everything works perfectly.” use of the crane on level 154 of the build-

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CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010

ing, which it employed to help lift large sheets of glass. Fino International started the job with around 300 people on site, a figure that rose to around 2500 people at peak times. Around 30% of those people were new hires. Saeed said he has spent almost every working day and some weekends on the site over the last 33 months. Among the things he remembers about working on the Burj Khalifa are the incredible heights involved, the fluctuations in temperature between ground and upper levels, and the strict enforcement of health and safety procedures. “You cannot just bring a new employee along and go inside,” said Saeed. “You have to give them a lecture on how to move around inside the building and what to do in case of fire… there were training exercises for the workers almost weekly.” Now that the job, the largest the company has ever handled, is nearly over, it will be looking to win more jobs in Qatar and Abu Dhabi. In the meantime, it continues to work towards the completion of its Metro Red Line commitments this month. Fino has also been awarded parts of the Green Line. Armani Hotel Dubai will open on March 18. Handover of apartments in Armani Residences will begin in February. 


PIERRE MARCOUT PRISME INTERNATIONAL Blast off WE ALL SAW THE LAUNCH OF THE BURJ KHALIFA GO OFF WITH A BANG, BUT WHAT WERE THE MAIN CHALLENGES IN CREATING SUCH AN EXPLOSIVE CEREMONY? CW TALKS TO PRISME INTERNATIONAL CEO AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR PIERRE MARCOUT By Sarah Blackman

Eight weeks ago, Pierre Marcout and his Mosque Hassan II in Casablanca. In Dubai, team of event architects were given the task his work includes the grand show for the of producing a ceremony that would be opening of the Shopping Festival, Dubai witnessed by billions of people across the World Cup and the Dubai Airshow. globe – a show that would dazzle, mesmerise But, it was the Burj Khalifa, which created and mark a defining moment in history. the biggest challenge for Marcout: to devise It was an event that would not only see a show that would captivate a worldwide the opening of the world’s tallest building, audience but last just 11 minutes, so where but also the unveiling of two of the biggest did his ideas stem from? “I wanted the audience to hear about the kept secrets in construction. Their task was fuelled with pressure but, story of the Burj through different elements, for Marcout, it was a dream come true: such as light, water, fireworks and the pro“For three years, I have been dreaming jected images to support the naration of the that I would design story,” he explains. The construction the inauguration of “FOR THREE YEARS I HAVE phases of the tower the Burj and now I BEEN DREAMING THAT were highlighted have,” he says. I WOULD DESIGN THE Marcout started through Marcout’s INAUGURATION” his first management designs, starting role in 1981 for the with the projected Sonepar Group, overseeing the lighting of image of the Hymenocalis desert flower – large-scale buildings. In 1987, he created the the architect’s inspiration for the design of company “Prisme 3”. His first large scale the building – onto a 1000m2 screen. show was in 1993 for the inauguration of the The height of the building wasn’t the only record breaker revealed on the night – a 72,000W light projector, the biggest ever used, illuminated the structure during the ceremony. In addition, 320 space canon projectors – the most canon projectors used in one event – created a shadow effect on the outline of the tower. Backstage, kilometres of wire linked computers, so the Prisme International team THE NUMBER OF CANON could synchronise the lighting and fireworks PROJECTORS USED DURING with other elements of the show. THE OPENING CEREMONY “I was a little like an orchestra conductor, – THE MOST EVER USED IN in the sense that it was my job to give the ONE EVENT signal to my staff to control each aspect of the show at a given time.”

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CEO OF PRISME INTERNATIONAL PIERRE MARCOUT.

The inauguration of the ceremony appeared to have run like clockwork, but according to Marcout, it could have gone terribly wrong. For instance, the firework display was not practised before the ceremony, leaving the Prisme International team just one take to get it absolutely right. “We obviously didn’t want everybody to see the show before the launch, so there was a lot of tension before the inauguration because we wanted everything to work in the right frequencies,” adds Marcout. An area of 200m was cleared around the tower to ensure the safety of the public when the 10,000 fireworks were set off. “The massive challenge for me was when Sheikh Mohammed and his staff were signalling the launch from an area where there were fireworks. We had to make sure that


“THE MASSIVE CHALLENGE FOR ME WAS WHEN SHEIKH MOHAMMED AND HIS STAFF WERE SIGNALLING THE LAUNCH FROM AN AREA WHERE THERE WERE FIREWORKS”

there was no possibility that the fireworks would go off so we disconnected this area until it was cleared.” Another last minute challenge was incorporating the new name of the world’s tallest building into the show. Only three members of his company knew about this revelation. “I wanted for the music to be very dynamic in order to build up to the unveiling of the new name and the exact size of the building. We incorporated the new name into the narration shortly before the launch, so it was a surprise for my staff too.” The renaming of the tower has attracted a lot of debate among the international press, but, for Marcout, the change is positive.

“I think it’s a good thing because this tower is not only for Dubai, it’s for the UAE and I think the country should encourage the world not to make comparisons with Dubai and Abu Dhabi – it is one nation.” Whatever the public’s reaction to the Burj Khalifa itself, the launch ceremony certainly had people talking for all the right reasons. 

10,000 THE NUMBER OF FIREWORKS SET OFF DURING THE INAUGURATION OF THE BURJ KHALIFA A 72,000W LIGHT PROJECTOR ILLUMINATED THE STRUCTURE DURING THE CEREMONY.

Exova Façade Tesng Services in Abu Dhabi From January 2010 Exova, one of the world’s leading testing houses opens a new façade testing facility in Abu Dhabi. The operation, which reects the company’s vision and values, has been prompted by the policy to enhance its services in Abu Dhabi. One of Exova’s key strengths is the large, integrated network of local, regional and international laboratories, including two facade testing facilities in the UAE, which ensures that clients can benet from the company’s specialist expertise. “We are looking forward to supporting you, our customers, and adding value to your business by delivering on our promise for exceptional service and where possible exceeding your expectations.” said Chris Davey, General Manager, Abu Dhabi. The new facility, situated on Reem Island, is capable of testing complex facade samples with respect to air leakage, static water penetration, dynamic water penetration, wind resistance, seismic, building movement, thermal cycling and impact resistance tests. The tests can be performed to relevant ASTM, BS/EN and CWCT standards.

For further information please contact: Exova Limited (Abu Dhabi) Plot 25, Umm Al Naar (Sas Al Nakhl) P.O. Box 9191, Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates. T: +971 (0) 2 558 2345 F: +971 (0) 2 558 4515 M: +971 (0) 50 6171168 E: market@exova.com W: www.exova.com


LAITH HABOUBI AND NAHEED YOUNIS IBS MAPEI

ITALIAN STYLE CONSTRUCTION ADHESIVES AND BUILDING CHEMICAL SPECIALIST IBS MAPEI PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN ENSURING THE BURJ KHALIFA WAS DELIVERED ON TIME. IBS MAPEI’S LAITH HABOUBI, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, AND NAHEED YOUNIS, COMMERCIAL MANAGER, DISCUSS THEIR COMPANY’S ROLE IN HELPING BUILD THE WORLD’S TALLEST TOWER

How was your company involved in the Burj Khalifa project? Laith Haboubi: IBS Mapei supplied

several solutions for the project and in particular, The Armani Hotel. As befitting one of the most stylish and luxurious hotels in the world, the level and quality of finishes and the demand on materials for the installation were tremendous. Mapei supplied its KERAFLEX MAXI adhesive for the installation of the marble flooring and KERACOLOR FF coloured grout for grouting of joints to ensure the maximum aesthetic effect and long term durability. KERAFLEX MAXI is a high performance adhesive complying as a C2TE to ISO 13007. Other adhesives included ADESILEX P10, a product specifically for the installation of glass mosaic. Substrate preparation was carried out to certain critical areas such as the ballroom and business centre using Mapei’s rapid hydrating systems such as MAPECEM screed and ULTRAPLAN self-levelling compound. All these systems are capable of accepting subsequent finishes 24 hours after application. This was an important factor to consider due to the tight program of works, but also to avoid compromising quality. A dazzling array of Mapei products was used to complete the finishing on The Armani Nightclub, which will surely become one of the hottest night spots in Dubai. Mapei supplied GRANIRAPID and KERAFLEX MAXI for the rapid and safe installation of marble and stone. Wet areas were first waterproofed with MAPELASTIC, a highly flexible cementitious waterproofing membrane, which ensures complete compatibility with the subsequent tile installation. Tile joints were grouted with ULTRACOLOR PLUS

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and also KERAPOXY, a hard wearing and highly durable coloured epoxy grout. The project also included some of the highest quality pre-engineered wooden flooring ever installed in the region. To ensure the complete success and long term durability of such an application, ULTRABOND P990 1K, a specially formulated singlecomponent polyurethane adhesive with very low VOC emissions and which complies to the stringent GEV Emicode standards as class EC1R, was selected and provided problem-free, safe and efficient use. Our involvement on the Burj Khalifa is typical of projects where world class standards are to be met while also working with different materials and substrates and also keeping up with tight program times. Mapei products consistently perform under such high pressure situations; hence they are the systems of choice for professionals working in such environments. What was unique and challenging about working on this project? LH: For us,

the most challenging part was the Armani Hotel. It’s not just the quality, but also the style and for the contractors to get it right was obviously extremely important. Because Mapei

CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010

is an Italian company, we are often specified by a lot of Italian companies, be it for the installation of tiles,

LAITH HABOUBI, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER.


wallpaper and even leather wall coverings. These are not the usual type of materials you would associate with projects here and therefore a lot of expertise in installing them was not available here. From our side, although we were able to supply from the UAE, a lot of the technical advice came from our head office in Italy, from our technical assistance department. Quite simply, some things on this job had not been done here before. Naheed Younis: Our involvement started

right at the beginning of the job even though the finishing would not happen until twelve months after. Our testing of the material started eight to twelve months prior to the work starting. We conducted an intensive process of research to ensure its compatibility and long term durability. We have a technical team here on the ground, but there were things that hadn’t been done before in the UAE. Therefore, the technical team from Italy was involved in helping us in the selection of materials. LH: We had the products, but correct

selection of products was something we needed help with. We may have up to four different solutions for each application. We make it our job to test all of those to see which one is the best for the job and which one is most cost effective. NY: A client may sometimes change the

material he wants to use and we have to be as quick as him in selecting the right product. The product may not be available in the UAE and we have to airfreight it in immediately. Within 72 hours, it has to be in Dubai to do the mockup. We always had people on site and prior to any application, we would be there training people how to use our product. LH: In certain parts of the project, we were able to provide rapid-setting screeds; the whole idea of that is you install it, and you can walk on it three or four hours later without damaging it and work on it within 24 hours because the moisture content is so low. There’s no trapped moisture that will come back through and damage the adhesive or

stain the subsequent finishes. That’s not something that is done here very often; this is one of the first projects here that actually used the MAPECEM technology. Why was Mapei selected for the job? LH: When you look generally at Italian

workmanship, it’s well known why there are so many Italian designers. A lot of the Italian suppliers of tiles, furniture and wooden flooring really rely on Mapei. It’s a product they’re very used to. To be involved in the highest project in the world is an accolade for everyone. NY: It is very much part of our strategy

not to go into every job, but to focus on the prestigious jobs, like Burj Khalifa and Dubai Metro. In volume and size, they are large, but it’s the prestige that is important to us. Now that this job is coming to an end, how do you view the business outlook? LH: We’re cautiously optimistic, looking

at a period of stability in 2010. Our expectations are perhaps more realistic than other people’s, but we are still growing. We grew in 2009 over 2008. What we are finding is that owners, consultants and architects are keen to raise standards. It doesn’t cost a lot to raise the bar. We’re not the cheapest in the market, but the feedback we receive from customers is that we save them money, whether through time, reduced wastage and reduced snagging.

add value. We can advise the designers on which adhesives to use to achieve the finish they want. Anything final to add about your plans for the region in 2010? LH: As Mapei, we are expanding our product

ranges this year. We’re number one in adhesives worldwide, but we will be introducing more ranges this year. We have a new range of waterproofing as part of our acquisition of Polyglass, we will also be bringing in some new concrete admixtures as well as other building and finishing products. We are broadening our offering, but with the same Mapei quality and the same level of on-site support. 

NAHEED YOUNIS, COMMERCIAL MANAGER.

NY: The principle we try to promote is: Do it right the first time. LH: One area where

we’re adding value is with the changes in tile technology. Adhering new materials onto new substrates requires a new type of adhesive. You cannot keep using the same materials as before and this is where we

JANUARY 16–22, 2010 CONSTRUCTION WEEK

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FROM THE CONCRETE IN ITS FOUNDATIONS TO THE SPIRE AT THE TOP, A LOOK AT HOW THE BURJ KHALIFA WAS PUT TOGETHER

HOW THE

BURJ WAS BUILT

V

ision is a word you hear a lot in the GCC. But just imagine if you will, sitting down in a meeting and deciding to construct the world’s tallest building in your city. Not one that is going to be the tallest by a few dozen metres, and relinquish its title to another tower, in another city, within a few years, but the tallest by a massive margin. If you can imagine that, then you can get a feeling for the vision that went into coming up with the Burj Khalifa, now open and officially the world’s tallest tower, a whopping 300m-plus taller than the next nearest rival. More than six years in the making and not fully-finished just yet, the project was and is a massive undertaking, one that has paired bold vision with a brave leap into the engineering unknown. Making it happen not only needed vision, but cash and a fair whack of design and engineering genius. Pushing at the envelope of engineering means trying new things, developing new techniques and doing a ton of testing. And while it’s hard to find a construction contractor or supplier who doesn’t claim

to have been involved in the making of the Burj Khalifa, CW takes a look at what those who were really there had to do to build an icon.

FINANCE Once you’ve had the vision, the real work doesn’t start until you find a way to pay. The final finished cost of the Burj Khalifa will be tough to calculate, once a complete interior

28,261 GLASS CLADDING PANELS MAKE UP THE EXTERIOR OF THE TOWER AND ITS TWO ANNEXES

fit-out is taken into account. Mohammed Alabbar himself recently suggested a final budget of US $1.5 billion. Mashreqbank, Emirates Bank International and Abu Dhabi

2005

2004 JANUARY 2004 Excavation starts RABIH MOGHRABI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

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FEBRUARY 2004 Piling starts NASSER YOUNES/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010

MARCH 2005 Superstructure work starts CHRIS JACKSON/GETTY IMAGES

Commercial Bank formed a syndicate to provide finance way back in 2005. The triumvirate of banks signed a financing agreement with Korean contractor Samsung Corporation and its project partners Belhasa Six Construct and Arabtec. The good news is that around 90% of saleable space was sold off-plan, helping ensure that money never ran tight.

DESIGN Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was the architecture firm behind the design and engineering of the tower. The design team developed what has become known as a spiraling “Y” shaped plan, which was used to shape the structural core of the building. Key considerations included the impact of wind forces and ‘constructability’, architecture cant for practical construction considerations. The design employs a ‘buttressed core’, which has each wing of the building buttressing the others via a six-sided central core. It is this central core that provides the structure’s torsional resistance. The design of wall and corridor intersections means that all of the vertical concrete is used to support both gravity and lateral loads.

2006

June 2006 Level 50 reached KHATUNA KHUTSISHVILI/ITP IMAGES


WORLD RECORDS • At over 828 metres 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 • Highest occupied floor in the world • Highest outdoor observation deck in the world • Elevator with the longest travel distance in the world • Tallest service elevator in the world Source: Emaar

As the building spirals in height, the wings set back to provide many different floor plates. 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 disrupting the flow of the wind over the height of the building.

DAYS AFTER EXCAVATION WORK STARTED IN JANUARY 2004, THE BURJ KHALIFA BECAME THE TALLEST FREE-STANDING STRUCTURE IN THE WORLD

RUEL PABLEO/ITP IMAGES

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2007

January 2007 Level 100 reached CHRIS JACKSON/GETTY IMAGES

MARCH 2007 Level 110 reached

APRIL 2007 Level 120 reached

MAY 2007 Level 130 reached

AFP/GETTY IMAGES

KHATUNA KHUTSISHVILI/ITP IMAGES

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Increasing high-rise construction worldwide has led lift manufacturers to develop a double-deck or twin elevator design. With this, instead of the conventional one lift car per shaft design, two passenger cars are contained within the same shaft, using the same guide rails. Separate traction drives enable the two cars to travel to different floors simultaneously using the same set of guide rails. The passenger destination and direction of travel for the elevators is recorded at the start of all passenger calls and an electronic destination control system assigns the cars to the levels according to efficiency of operation. The electronic control also ensures that the cars never collide within the lift shaft. One of the major benefits of such a system is the reduction in service core space that is needed in a building by effectively combining two lift systems into one. Time saving for passengers is also a major advantage.

WORK ON BURJ KHALIFA PROGRESSED RAPIDLY AND HAD REACHED LEVEL 150 BY SEPTEMBER 2007.

EFRAIM EVIDOR/ITP IMAGES

FRANCISCO FERNANDEZ/ITP IMAGES

NEED A LIFT?

FOUNDATIONS If you want to build high, you must first dig deep, driving foundations down well below the surface. The tower’s superstructure is supported by a large reinforced concrete mat, which is in turn supported by 192 bored reinforced concrete piles. The mat is 3.7m thick, and was constructed in four separate pours totaling 12,500 cubic metres (m³) of concrete. Bauer Spezialtiefbau, with Middle East Foundations,

took on much of the piling work, which required bores to be sunk for cast in-situ piles, to a depth of 43 metres. Known by some as the ‘Rolls-Royce’ of the drill rig world, the Bauer BG40 can deliver, as the name suggests, 40nm of torque. Of course, there isn’t a situation that we could imagine where you would need such heavy power for drilling piling holes – half of this would be sufficient for

2008

2007 JULY 2007 Level 141 reached, making it the world’s tallest building AFP/GETTY IMAGES

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SEPTEMBER 2007 Level 150 reached KARIM SAHIB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010

APRIL 2008 Level 160 reached, making it the world’s tallest manmade structure DMITRY DOLZHANSKIY/ITP IMAGES

OCTOBER 2009 AND WORK ON THE OBSERVATION DECK AT LEVEL 124 IS IN FULL SWING.

most situations. However, a reserve of torque means there is less stress put on the machine, so it can get on with what it is required to do. Around 45,000m³ of concrete, weighing more than 110,000 tonnes, were poured for the foundations – that’s equivalent to 18 Olympic sized swimming pools – with 192 piles running to a depth of over 50m. A high density, low permeability concrete was used in the foundations, as well as a cathodic protection system under the mat.

2009

JANUARY 2009 Completion of spire; Burj Khalifa tops out ALEXANDER HASSENSTEIN/GETTY IMAGES


12,000

WORKERS AND CONTRACTORS WERE ON SITE EVERY DAY AT THE PEAK OF CONSTRUCTION

around the world. For the construction of the tower, BASF developed a special concrete mix that was pumped to a height of more than 600 metres (see ‘Pump’) without segregating. Thanks to BASF’s admixture Glenium Sky 504, the concrete could be worked on for more than three hours before hardening took place. This allowed for a shorter construction time and gives the building a longer useful life, making it more sustainable.

PUMPING of the tower’s foundations. The overall construction process will have used 330,000 m³ of concrete and 39,000 tonnes (43,000 ST; 38,000 LT) of steel rebar. Laid end to end, the rebar used in the tower would extend over a quarter of the way

In November, 2007, the highest reinforced concrete corewalls were made using concrete pumped from ground level to a vertical height of 601 metres. This broke the previous pumping record for a building of 470m on the Taipei 101 and the previous

KEEP COOL This is an effort to counter the effects of the highly-corrosive ground water. Bores for the 192 deep piles were sunk in 2004. Each of them was designed to be cast in situ, and as such needed to be very deep. Ground conditions at the Burj site were favourable – the soft, but not unstable, soil proved easy to dig into. Other sites in the region are not so fortunate – naturally occurring limestone requires breaking with a breaker attachment first.

CONCRETE AND STEEL You know already that over 45,000m³ of concrete was used to in construction

To boost the energy efficiency of the Burj Khalifa cooling system, an ice thermal storage system is being employed within the district cooling plant serving the tower. This helps to reduce power consumption in the daytime and high-load conditions. The system involves the use of a store of ice slurry to reduce the temperature of the chilled water. The ice is created during off-peak periods and through the night-time and held within a thermal storage unit for use when required. The system is now commonly used in the USA and Europe for commercial and district cooling applications; it is believed that the system at the Burj Khalifa development will

be the first to be employed in the Middle East. In general, the use of an ice storage system can reduce the total installed chiller capacity by up to 35%. The latent energy stored in ice is eight times greater than that possible with a similar volume of chilled water, which makes such systems favourable for large district cooling plants. Further benefits include a reduction of 30-40% in the size and cost of all auxiliary equipment needed and the ability to deliver chilled water at lower temperatures than would normally be possible from chillers, enabling the use of smaller equipment such as pipes and pumps.

2010

SEPTEMBER 2009 Exterior cladding completed

JANUARY 2010 Official launch ceremony

OLIVER LANG/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

JANUARY 16–22, 2010 CONSTRUCTION WEEK

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STOREYS UP IS THE PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE OBSERVATION DECK, WITH AN OUTDOOR TERRACE

overall world record for vertical pumping of 532 metres for an extension to the Riva del Garda Hydroelectric Power Plant in 1994. The concrete pressure during pumping to this level was nearly 200 bars. When the record was set, a photocall was arranged and a distance of 601 metres was reported as the new record. However, it was discovered shortly afterwards that

CHRIS MATTISON/GETTY IMAGES

the concrete needed to go a little further and so an extension was added to move the concrete to 606 metres. The mix was able to reach such astounding heights by running through a high-pressure trailer mounted pump (a Putzmeister 14000 SHP D). The concrete required approximately 40 minutes from the filling of the hopper to its discharge from the delivery line. The concrete volume in the line amounted to approximately 11m³ with this installation height – meaning there was roughly 26 tonnes on the pump after every piston stroke – or five big elephants. Over a period of about 32 months, the high pressure pump and two others delivered more than 165,000m³ of high-strength concrete, which, using our preferred unit of measurement, is about 66 Olympic sized swimming pools.

EFRAIM EVIDOR/ITP IMAGES

CLADDING Exterior cladding of Burj Khalifa began in May 2007 and was completed in September 2009. At the initial stage of installation, the team progressed at the rate of about 20 to 30 panels per day and eventually achieved as many as 175 panels per day. Burj Khalifa has set a new world record for

THE CRANES AT THE TOP OF THE TOWER WERE THE CAUSE OF MUCH FASCINATION AND SPECULATION.

IS THE BURJ KHALIFA A STORM MACHINE?

IT’S A LONG WAY DOWN AND THE VIEW IS PRETTY AMAZING IF YOU CAN STAND THE HEIGHTS.

There is much speculation, on various architectural blogs, that the temperature of the Burj can be as much as eight degrees different from top to bottom. This has led to some pretty wild suggestions about the physical properties of the supertall building. An article in the German newspaper Das Spegiel provided one of the best examples, with the most outlandish claim as follows: “The tower is so enormous that the air temperature at the top is up to eight degrees celsius lower than at the base. If anyone ever hit upon the idea of opening a door at the top and a door at the bottom, as well as the airlocks in between, a storm would rush through the air-conditioned building that would destroy most everything in its wake, except perhaps the heavy marble tiles in the luxury apartments.” There is certainly truth in that that there would be something of a ‘chimney

effect’, this is why skyscrapers and other tall buildings with high atriums feature revolving doors which are never fully open to the air outside. However, speculation on architectural blogs suggests this downdraft might be so great that it could modify, or even cause, extreme weather over continents. The idea of a janitor being able to cause the next cyclone Gonu is an odd one. Trevor Patt, a Harvard graduate in theoretical maths disputes this though: “Given that the cubic volume of Burj Khalifa is more than 8 orders of magnitude (100 million times) smaller than the cubic volume of even a very small or midget cyclone, I’m guessing the cyclone would be doing most of the negation; my understanding is that the Burj Khalifa was tested for winds up to 55m/s or 125 mph, which should make it a decent bet to survive a category one cyclone at least.”

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the highest installation of an aluminium and glass facade, at 512 metres. The total weight of aluminium used on Burj Khalifa is equivalent to that of five A380 aircraft and the total length of stainless steel bull nose fins is 293 times the height of Eiffel Tower in Paris. 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 the tower. Over 300 cladding specialists from China were brought in to do the work. 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 fields.

CRANES

METRES IS THE HEIGHT TO WHICH CONCRETE WAS PUMPED, A WORLD RECORD FOR CONCRETE PUMPING

stories circulating about ‘the Indian on top of the world’ which speculated that he was paid a king’s ransom, and that he had been made an honorary UAE citizen. All of this was really nothing more than idle gossip – the figure had become more of a mystery man through Emaar’s refusal to let the media have any access to him, though this was most likely due to the developer keeping the exact height of the structure a closely guarded secret – a figure which the high-level operators undoubtedly knew. Despite this conundrum, there is quite a lot that we do know about the high-level cranes. For a start, there was

DISMANTLING Installing the three high-level cranes was relatively straightforward as sections of the cranes could be moved up the tower with the completion of new levels. Getting the towers down however, required a little more lateral thinking. The first high-level crane was moved in November 2007 down to level 99 in order to serve as a future recovery crane. The next high-level crane came down in October 2008, leaving one prominent machine EFRAIM EVIDOR/ITP IMAGES

They’re graceful, mysterious and it seemed for a time everybody’s favourite topic. The high level cranes at the Burj were always enigmatic, enshrouding the operator of the very highest unit in mystery. There were

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not one, but three Favelle Favco cranes that served right up to level 156. Given that the machines worked 24 hours for much of the project’s duration it would be safe to assume that there was a team of at least nine drivers and many other technicians to ensure safe operation. (In fact, Emaar recently confirmed that a 35-strong workforce were on hand to run the cranes, though this is a drop in the ocean compared to the total of 12,000 employees on the project.) Usually, the cranes’ loads consisted of steel reinforcement beams, but welding equipment, scaffolding, gensets and even tanks of fuel for the diesel powered cranes all needed to be lifted to the correct floor.

BURJ KHALIFA HAS 57 ELEVATORS AND EIGHT ESCALATORS. DOUBLE-DECK LIFTS, USED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE MIDDLE EAST, SERVE VISITORS TO THE OBSERVATION DECK AND MOVE AT TEN METRES PER SECOND.

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CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010

URBAN MYTHS Among the many facts and figures about the Burj Khalifa, here are some that just aren’t true: • The building will be the headquarters of the Dubai Base Jumping Association • Nothing within a 10km radius of the Burj Khalifa will ever be struck by lightning again • A construction worker, known only as Dev, set the unofficial record for the Burj Khalifa vertical marathon, running to the top of the building in 23:45 • The crane driver lived at the top of the Burj Khalifa for the duration of the construction and has been made a UAE citizen as a reward for his perilous task • The Burj can be seen from Iran • More levels can be added to the building at a later date, should any other structure surpass its height • The Burj Khalifa can be seen from space


504

METRES IS HOW HIGH THE BURJ KHALIFA’S MAIN SERVICE LIFT TRAVELS, THE MOST OF ANY ELEVATOR

PEOPLE Burj Khalifa was an international collaboration between more than 60 contracting and consulting companies from all over the world. At the peak of construction, over 12,000 workers and contractors were on site every day, representing more than 100 nationalities. According to Emaar, construction will have taken 22 million man hours.

IT IS NO SMALL ORDER TO CLEAN THE BURJ KHALIFA’S WINDOWS. A TOTAL CLEAN COULD TAKE THREE TO FOUR MONTHS TO COMPLETE.

FIRE SAFETY Fire safety and speed of evacuation were prime factors in the design of Burj Khalifa. Concrete surrounds all stairwells and the EFRAIM EVIDOR/ITP IMAGES

apparently stuck at the top, while people on the ground speculated how it might come down. The answer was that another small crane had to be lifted to floor 159. With a crane on this floor as well as the one on level 99, the dismantling process was ready to begin. The process started with the crane climbing down from its working height of over 700 metres. The crane removed its own mast sections and lowered them to the ground until the boom and power pack were at the position of the Level 159 recovery crane. From there, the Level 159 recovery crane dismantled the remainder of the main crane, lowering the pieces of boom,

mast and power pack to the recovery crane at Level 99, which further lowered them to the ground. The dismantling of the cranes at Burj Khalifa was indeed a finely orchestrated set piece – except that the artists here were huge machines. The three cranes on the tower were all diesel Favelle Favco units, of various specifications. This type of diesel-hydraulic crane is popular on ‘supertall’ skyscrapers, due to a useful turn of speed and power. However, one of the main challenges was actually getting the fuel to the required height – there are no petrol stations on the 159th floor.

building service and fireman's elevator will have a capacity of 5500kg and will be the world's tallest service elevator. Since people can't reasonably be expected to walk down 160 floors, there are pressurised, air-conditioned refuge areas located approximately every 25 floors.

MEP The mechanical, electrical and plumbing services for Burj Khalifa were developed in co-ordination during the design phase

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ELEVATORS WILL MOVE OCCUPANTS AROUND THE VIEW OF THE DOWNTOWN AREA FROM THE OBSERVATION DECK ON BURJ KHALIFA’S 124TH FLOOR.

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CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010


with the co-operation of the architect, structural engineer and other consultants. Hyder Consulting was appointed as a supervision consultant with responsibility for overseeing execution of the MEP. An ETA-Hitachi-Voltas joint venture was awarded the building’s MEP contract. Seven double-storey mechanical floors house the equipment that bring Burj Khalifa to life. Distributed around every 30 storeys, the mechanical floors house the electrical sub-stations, water tanks, pumps and air handling units that are essential for the running of the building. These mechanical areas typically serve the 15 floors above and below them. The primary distribution route for services is through the main risers within the central core of the structure, which remains the same size to level 150 despite the overall building shape tapering with height. MEP operations are managed by a central BMS, with local control panels in each plant room, all connected by fibre-optic cabling. During construction, deliveries of


KHALED TERMANINI/ITP IMAGES

AUGUST 21, 2008 AND THE TOWER IS BEGINNING TO APPROACH ITS FINAL HEIGHT OF 828 METRES, WITH INTERIOR WORK ALSO WELL UNDERWAY.

MEP equipment tended to be made during the night, with the podium and basement used as storage space. Cranes, hoists and service lifts were used to transport the various materials. The Burj Khalifa's water system supplies an average of 946,000 litres (250,000 gallons) of water daily. At peak cooling, Burj Khalifa will require about 10,000 tonnes of cooling, equal to the cooling capacity provided by about 10,000 tonnes of melting ice. Dubai's 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. This water is to be redirected to the gardens surrounding the tower. The tower's peak electrical demand will be an estimated 36mW, equal to about 360,000 100 Watt bulbs operating simultaneously.

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According to one report, the tower has more than one hundred thousand light fittings, 375km of fire alarm cabling and 34km of chilled water pipes.

ELEVATORS & LIFTS Burj Khalifa will be home to 57 elevators and eight escalators. The building service/ fireman's elevator will have a capacity of 5500kg and will be the world's tallest service elevator. The Burj Khalifa features distinct sections: residential apartments, serviced apartments and hotel rooms, and corporate offices. Elevators have been arranged in zones to

CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010

5500 KG IS THE CARRYING CAPACITY OF THE SERVICE LIFT

serve these different audiences, with what is known as a ‘sky lobby’ system. The sky lobby is an intermediate floor where residents, guests and executives will change from an express elevator to a local elevator, which stops at every floor within a certain segment of the building. Burj Khalifa’s sky lobbies are located on level 43, 76 and 123 and will include a lounge area and kiosk, amongst other amenities. All elevators have been supplied and installed by Otis. No elevators are installed to travel all 160 floors of Burj Khalifa. Instead, they are grouped to align with the floor layout, offering passengers a direct express service to their destination by bypassing other floors. The main service elevator, positioned in the central core of Burj Khalifa, has the world’s highest elevator rise at 504 metres – more than the height of Taipei 101 in Taiwan (448 metres). It travels at nine metres per second and also has the world’s longest travelling distance for an elevator. Another service lift in the spire has the world’s highest landing point at 636.9 metres.


Double-deck elevators, with built-in light and entertainment features including LCD displays, will exclusively serve visitors to At The Top, Burj Khalifa, the world’s highest outdoor observation deck situated on level 124, as well as office users transferring at the sky lobby at level 123. These double-deck units – used for the first time in the Middle East by Otis – are the highest rising double-deck elevators in the world and will travel at the speed of 10 metres per second. They have a capacity of 12 to 14 people per cab.

PODIUM AND ACCESS The podium provides a base anchoring the tower to the ground, allowing 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. The number of underground car parking spaces is reported to be 3000, which suggests that the owners are keen for people to use the nearby metro station and downtown light railway for access.

LANDSCAPING At the foot of the mighty Burj sits the ‘The Park’, an 11 hectare expanse of gardens, trees and water features. What is perhaps most noteworthy about The Park is that is irrigated using a water collection system that recovers the condensation from the tower’s cooling equipment. This provides the park with around 15 million gallons of water a year – or enough to fill 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The Park was designed by SOM, designer of the tower itself, and SWA

31,400 TONNES OF REBAR WERE USED IN THE STRUCTURE OF BURJ KHALIFA

Group of California. WET, the designers of The Dubai Fountain, developed the park’s six water features.

FITOUT The interior design of Burj Khalifa’s public areas was done by the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP and was led by award-winning designer Nada Andric. It features glass, stainless steel and polished dark stones, together with silver travertine flooring, Venetian stucco walls, handmade rugs and stone flooring. Over 1000 pieces of art from prominent Middle Eastern and international artists will adorn Burj Khalifa and the surrounding Emaar Boulevard. Many of the pieces were specially commissioned by Emaar. The two main contractors for the interior fitout were DEPA and Fino International (see separate interviews in this issue). At one point, interior contracting specialist DEPA famously told Arabian Business magazine that the job of fitting out the tower was a ‘nightmare’. The company won a US $600 million contact to oversee the fit-out of nearly 1000 residential and serviced apartments as well as corridors and lift lobbies. Despite the challenges of moving men and materials up to as high

as the 100th floor, the company got the job done in reasonable time.

SPIRE The crowning glory of Burj Khalifa is its telescopic spire comprised of more than 4000 tons of structural steel. The spire was constructed from inside the building and jacked to its full height of over 200 metres (700 feet) using a hydraulic pump. In addition to securing theBurj 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. The top four floors of the Burj have been reserved for communications and broadcasting. These floors occupy the levels just below the spire.

WINDOW WASHING Access for the tower's exterior for both window washing and façade 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 metres with an overall length of approximately 45 metres. When fully retracted to parked position, the jib arm length will measure approximately 15 metres. Under normal conditions, with all building maintenance units in operation, it will take three to four months to clean the entire exterior facade. 

We are proud to supply fresh air to Burj Khalifa. Greenheck’s wide selection of ventilation equipment is now providing indoor air comfort to the occupants of Burj Khalifa. For your next building project, choose Greenheck, the worldwide leader in air movement and control products.

Dubai Office + 971-4-881-1230 Fax + 971-4-881-1231 • www.greenheck.com

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ON SOLID CW EXPLORES THE LATEST TRENDS IN FLOORING SOLUTIONS AVAILABLE ON THE MARKET By Sarah Blackman

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CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010

GROUND


W

hen it comes to flooring, innovation sells. The changing trends in materials and the introduction of new adhesives and coatings are contributing to better designs and more sustainable finished products. This year, the launch of new flooring solutions is set to gather pace. The construction industry can expect products that are more suitable to the GCC climate, abrasion resistant floor coatings and fire resistant materials, to name just a few new inventions heading for the market. But who are the key players in this industry providing the solutions that can make a dramatic difference to both interiors and landscaping? Alomi is a manufacturer and distributor of wooden flooring and claims to be the largest stockist, wholesaler and distributor in the Middle East, with over 300 containers of stock in Dubai. “Alomi is constantly evaluating changing trends, fashions and price points,” says CEO Albert Douglas. “The biggest demand, in terms of volume, is the Alomi British-style laminated flooring range. This is an 8.5mm-thick heavy-duty, fire resistant, water resistant product with a 20-year warranty.” Wood has not always been the preferred material when it comes to flooring in the Middle East, or any form of construction in the region, for that matter. However, contractors are now demanding this natural resource more and more. “Developers are increasingly ordering this product as an alternative to such products as ceramic tiles which were previously installed pretty much everywhere,” adds Douglas. And Mapei, supplier of adhesives and ancillary materials for flooring, agrees: “The Middle East remains traditionally a tiled flooring market, with ceramic and porcelain being the most popular followed by marble and stone,” says business development manager Laith Haboubi. “However, a number of new materials are now being used such as wooden flooring and also artificial stone.” Douglas is expecting orders in 2010 to increase: “The growth in external natural wood flooring was quite amazing in 2009. Alomi

has no reason to doubt, from current orders and enquiries, that 2010 will dramatically out-perform 2009 in value and volume.” Alomi’s exotic tropical collection of unique species of hardwood floors is also in high demand with the projected sales value to exceed US $30 million (AED110 million) in 2010. “This is aimed at the high-end market for discerning clients who will only settle for the very best quality,” explains Douglas. In terms of combating local conditions, Alomi offers Black Walnut – a multi-layer engineered board. This is the company’s current best seller. “Interior designers are increasingly using this very dark hardwood flooring in conjunction with white walls and furniture.” Marble, however, is also highly valued in this region due to its strength and resistance to fire and erosion. Stone Gallery, a UAE-based supplier, believes marble is also a more aesthetically valuable material. “For many years we have been supplying marbles, granites, sandstones and slates, which are always being used for residential and commercial projects,” says Stone Gallery director Vishal Lakhani. “We always have new and fresh series of wall claddings, pebbles, mosaic tiles and stones from different origins. For instance, we have a new range of limestone products which come in different colours and finishes.” Marble is an ideal material for the Middle East climate, thanks to its ‘cool’ quality, but is it sustainable? According to Lakhani, natural stone has varying degrees of porosity depending on the type of stone. And, if left unsealed, spills and everyday messes can easily penetrate the surface. “The best way to prevent stains is to treat the surface with a protective sealer. This sealer fills in the pores and repels spills on the surface, allowing you time to wipe it away thus avoiding the dull marks on the stones,” he explains. When it comes to products that ensure a quality floor finish, Mapei provides ‘screeding’ services (levelling out the top layer of a poured material, such as concrete) and self-levellers. “Our range of Topcem screeds and Ultraplan self-levellers are in high demand as subsequent finishes can typically be laid from 24 hours after application,” states Haboubi.

ARE YOUR PRICES LIKELY TO INCREASE THIS YEAR? Mapei business development manager Laith Haboubi:

“THAT WILL OF COURSE DEPEND UPON THE PRICES OF RAW MATERIALS, BUT FOR THE MOMENT, THESE SEEM FAIRLY STABLE”

Alomi CEO Albert Douglas:

“ALMOI HAS SEEN A SLOW BUT STEADY INCREASE WHICH WILL MOST CERTAINLY CONTINUE THROUGHOUT THE FIRST HALF OF 2010”

Stone Gallery director Vishal Lakhani:

“I DON’T THINK THERE WILL BE ANY MAJOR PRICE FLUCTUATION IN OUR PRODUCTS UNLESS THERE ARE HUGE FLUCTUATIONS IN CURRENCY”

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Self-levelling underlays are an integral part of the floor and will need to be thicker in areas, which will experience heavy loads, such as hospitals and warehouses. Mapei also supplies adhesives for several types of material, including tiles, carpet, PVC and wooden flooring, offering waterproofing products that are compatible with adhesives and substrate preparation materials. “Mapelastic and Mapelastic Smart are two highly flexible, liquid applied waterproofing products which have received a huge amount of interest from the market, with many designers interested in sourcing as a ‘package’ which keeps liabilities contained,” Haboubi adds. For 2010, Haboubi believes the next big thing for the flooring sector will be sound insulation products. “These are typically provided as a sheet membrane of cork, rubber or a combination of both ranging from 2mm to 4mm thick.” In addition, Mapei aims to introduce Ultratop in the UAE flooring market this year. This is a decorative, cementitious, self-levelling product, which is applied in thicknesses of 5mm to 40mm and provides an abrasion resistant floor topping. New trends are exciting, but correct installation is critical and sites must be prepared before flooring is applied. According to some flooring manufactures and suppliers, companies can get this very wrong.

TILES REMAIN THE MOST POPULAR CHOICE OF FLOORING MATERIAL IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

“In recent years there had been such a rush to complete projects that many developers installed their flooring with cheap unprofessional installers,” observes Douglas. “The second most common mistake was to install a floor without the wood acclimatising and, very often, without the air conditioning being fully operational. This is a recipe for disaster.” Mapei provides technical advice when it comes to installation. “Unfortunately many developers and designers do not focus enough on the substrates required for the flooring they select. In many cases these are considered to be the contractor’s problem,” says Haboubi. “We have faced a number of issues onsite where, say, insufficient thicknesses of screed are being allowed for in order to correctly support the subsequent finishes. Standards such as EN 13813 are explicit in their rec-

NEW PRODUCTS FOR 2010 MAPEI Mapei will introduce Ultratop. This is a decorative, cementitious self levelling product which is applied in thicknesses of 5mm to 40mm and provides an abrasion resistant floor topping. It is available in a range of colours and can also be mixed with Mapei’s dynastone-coloured aggregates. The final finish can be natural, polished or sealed according to the effect required and the system is ideal for boutiques and art galleries.

ALOMI Alomi will be launching several exclusive external natural wood decking products.

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Currently, the company is also testing and up grading new installation techniques that will ensure a better and stronger finish. In addition, Alomi is working on a new protective coating that will be resilient to water, heat and humidity. This is expected to be ready in a couple of months.

STONE GALLERY The company has a new range of limestones, which are been displayed in different colors and finishes. The company is constantly upgrading its range of wall claddings, pebbles, mosaic tiles and stones.

CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010

ommendations and should be adhered to in order to ensure the durability and sustainability of the floor.” Standards such as GSO:ISO 13007 provide a benchmark for classifying adhesives for the installation of tiles. This year, there will be a lot of changes in the flooring sector, but what does this mean for prices? The value of flooring products depends on the cost of raw materials, but for now, prices remain stable. “I don’t think there will be any major price fluctuation in our products unless there are huge fluctuations in currency,” says Lakhani. However, Douglas is expecting an increase in prices throughout the year: “Alomi is constantly price checking raw materials costs and has seen a steady increase, which will continue throughout the first half of 2010.” 


TDIC Construction Opportunities Pre-Qualification Invitation Deyar Al Mafraq Main Contract Works Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) hereby invites suitable contractors with commensurate experience to undertake the Main Contract Works for the new Deyar Al Mafraq Project. The Project comprises of 545 apartments and has an area of approximately 31,642 sqm with a building GFA area of approximately 99378 sqm. There are 8 residential buildings with varying heights of G plus 5 floors and G plus 7 floors, with one common basement. Contractors who meet the criteria can register their interest and obtain a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) (email: mafraqCD017@tdic.ae) and arrange for the collection of the PQQ before 4 pm on/before 31st January 2010 from: Tourism Development & Investment Company, Building 2 Behind Khalifa Park, Eastern Ring Road (Salam Street), Abu Dhabi. Conditions and Rules: Interested companies must demonstrate successful delivery of relevant construction projects that meet the following requirements: 1. Recent experience on projects similar in size, character and complexity. 2. Be a major registered construction company with representation in the UAE. 3. Have had a minimum annual company turnover for construction activities of AED 1 billion in each of the last 3 years. 4. Successfully completed 5 projects each in excess of AED 500 million in the last 3 years. 5. Be prepared to be one of ten short-listed companies willing to submit a construction works tender under a single stage competitive tender process. A non-returnable payment (in the form of a manager’s cheque, made in the name of Tourism Development & Investment Company) of AED 25,000 will be required at the time of collection of the PQQ. Responses to the PQQ must be submitted in a sealed envelope no later than 4pm on 7th February 2010 to: Prequalification for Deyar Al Mafraq, Tourism Development & Investment Company, Behind Khalifa Park, Eastern Ring Road (Salam Street), Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi develops with TDIC www.tdic.ae


www.ConstructionWEEKonline.com/directory

§§§§§ DIRECTORY

DIRECTORY SHOWCASE | TENDERS | PROJECTS | SUPPLIERS | CITY UPDATE SHOWCASE 44 Burj Khalifa opening 46 TENDERS 49 PROJECTS SPECIALIST SERVICES 50 Design software 51 Construction manufacturers/steel CITY UPDATE 54 Abu Dhabi, UAE

To advertise please call Shishir Desai +971 4 435 6375, or email shishir.desai@itp.com

JANUARY 16–22, 2010 CONSTRUCTION WEEK

43


¦SHOWCASE

For images within these pages please email editor@constructionweekonline.com

ISIDORA BOJOVIC/ITP IMAGES

ITP IMAGES FOR IMAGES WITHIN THESE PAGES PLEASE EMAIL EDITOR@CONSTRUCTIONWEEKONLINE.COM

ABOVE: The launch of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai a fortnight ago was one of the most watched events of the past year. MIDDLE: Pierre Marcout, CEO of Prisme International, the company behind the fabulous fireworks display at the Burj Khalifa opening, said the 10,000 fireworks, which took eight weeks to set up, were computer controlled. The fireworks were attached to the tower’s balconies, the spire and areas around the building.

44

CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010


ISIDORA BOJOVIC/ITP IMAGES

THE BURJ KHALIFA Described as both a ‘Vertical City’ and ‘A Living Wonder,’ Burj Khalifa, developed by Dubaibased Emaar Properties, is officially the world’s tallest building. The tower, including the spire, is 319m taller than the world’s second tallest skyscraper – the Taipei 101 in Taiwan. The tower was inaugurated on January 4 to coincide with Accession Day, the fourth anniversary of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum becoming ruler of Dubai.

JANUARY 16–22, 2010 CONSTRUCTION WEEK

45

For images within these pages please email editor@constructionweekonline.com

LEFT: At 828m, the Burj Khalifa has 160 storeys, the most of any building in the world. BELOW: The UAE vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, decided to rename the Burj Dubai as the Burj Khalifa only a few hours before the tower’s official opening in honour of the UAE president HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.


TENDERS §

¦TENDERS FREE TENDERS AND SERVICES IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TO INCLUDE YOUR TENDERS IN THIS SECTION EMAIL TENDER DETAILS TO EDITOR@CONSTRUCTIONWEEKONLINE.COM

Tender focus

SUPREME COMMITTEE FOR TOWN PLANNING Established in 1985, Oman’s Supreme Committee for Town Planning is responsible for following up the implementation and development of approved planning programmes, devising criteria for valuing properties and removing any material or financial obstacles to the implementation of plans, which have been approved. Currently, the committee is overseeing the development of the Batinah Coastal Road, a four-lane dual carriageway running parallel to the Gulf of Oman coast.

To include your tenders in this section email tender details to editor@ConstructionWeekOnline.com

BAHRAIN Issuer: Electricity and Water Authority Tender No: 376/2009/5220 Description: Replacement of main service pipes in Hoora. Closes: January 20 Fees: BD15 Contact: Central Stores, Ground Floor, Electricity and Water Authority, PO Box 5325 Issuer: Ministry of Islamic Affairs Tender No: 10/2009 Description: Demolition and reconstruction of Al Howeliah Mosque. Closes: January 20 Fees: BD15 Contact: www.tenderboard.gov.bh Issuer: Ministry of Works Tender No: R/11/2009 Description: Construction of Jurdab Complex. Closes: January 20 Fees: BD25 Contact: Tender Board’s offices, 7th floor, Al Moayyed Tower, Seef Area Issuer: Electricity and Water Authority Tender No: 345/2009/5310 Description: Replacement of defective meters and faulty current transformers. Closes: January 20 Fees: BD15 Bond: BD500 Contact: www.tenderboard.gov.bh Issuer: Ministry of Municipalities and Agriculture Affairs Tender No: RD/20/2009 Description: Construction of Al Rawdha Garden in Madinat Hamad. Closes: January 27 Fees: BD50 Contact: www.tenderboard.gov.bh EGYPT Issuer: Egyptian Endowment Authority Description: Construction of two residential towers in Qena City (132 units).

46

THE COASTAL ROAD WILL BE A FOUR-LANE CARRIAGEWAY

Turkish firm, Makyol was awarded the main construction contract for phase one of the project in September 2009. The supreme committee, acting on behalf of the Ministry of National Economy, is also supervising the construction of major road network in Duqm at a cost of US $105 million (OR40.4 million). Development of the Duqm road network is planned in phases with Oman Gulf Company’s brief covering the construction of an initial set of dual carriageways running a length of 46km. 

Closes:January 24 Fees: EP8000 Bond: EP500,000 Contact: 109 Tahrir Street, Dokki, Giza Issuer: Egyptian Railways Integrated Services Company Description: Engineering, design, installation and commissioning of four stationary train washing systems in Cairo. Closes: January 24 Fees: EP5000 Bond: EP200,000 Contact: The Railways Workshops, Al Farz, El Sharabiya, Cairo KUWAIT Issuer: Central Tenders Committee Tender No: MPW\\RA\\191 Description: Construction of roads, a drainage network and a sewage network. Closes: January 19 Fees: KD1000 Contact: Central Tenders Committee, Ministry of Public Works Issuer: Central Tenders Committee Tender No: MEW/39/2008/2009 Description: Design and construction of Al Zour desalination plant, phase 2. Closes: March 9 Fees: KD3000 Contact: Central Tenders Committee, Ministry of Electricity and Water

Fees: OR250 Contact: www.tenderboard.gov.om Issuer: Supreme Committee for Town Planning Tender No: 10/2009 Description: Consultancy services for the preparation of the master-plan of Duqm Town. Closes: March 8 Fees: OR300 Contact: www.tenderboard.gov.om QATAR Issuer: Qatar Petroleum Tender No: GT10100200 Description: Supply of labour, supervision, tools and maintenance and repair services for carrying our wire-line operations. Closes: January 31 Fees: QR500 Contact: Contracts Department, Corporate Division, Qatar Petroleum, PO Box 3212 SAUDI ARABIA Issuer: Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu Tender No: 627-C17 Description: Procurement and construction of an elementary school for girls, three kindergartens and expansion of an elementary school for boys in Jubail Industrial City. Closes: February 24 Fees: SR9000 Contact: Directorate General of the Royal Commission in Jubail

OMAN Issuer: Ministry of Transport and Communication Tender No: 396/2009 Description: Construction of Wadi Mistal Road, phase 1. Closes: January 25 Fees: OR1500 Contact: www.tenderboard.gov.om Issuer: Ministry of Health Tender No: 416/2009 Description: Construction, completion and maintenance of a proposed medical store at Rustaq Hospital. Closes: February 8

CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010

UAE Issuer: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority Tender No: CNE/0114/2008(R) Description: Construction of water intake channel (onshore and offshore sections), and an outfall system. Closes: January 25 Contact: The Chairman, Board of Directors, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

> For more tenders check online at www.ConstructionWEEKonline.com/tenders


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¦PROJECTS

> For the latest projects information visit www.ConstructionWEEKonline.com/projects

§ PROJECTS

A OMAN DATABASE - BUILDING PROJECTS FOCUS TO LIST YOUR PROJECTS IN THIS COLUMN EMAIL DETAILS TO EDITOR@CONSTRUCTIONWEEKONLINE.COM

Project focus

AMAL POWER PLANT A new integrated power plant is expected to be constructed in Muscat, Oman by July 2011. The power station will consist of gas treatment plants, control and automation, step-up transformers, medium- and low-voltage transformers, new 132KV overhead lines and associated high- and low-

PROJECT TITLE

THE PLANT IS CURRENTLY BEING BUILT.

voltage switchgears. Petroleum Development awarded Al Hassan Engineering the procurement, engineering, installation and commissioning contract in July 2009 and the US $50 million (OR19 million) development is currently under construction. 

CLIENT

CONSULTANT

MAIN CONTRACTOR

VALUE (US$MN)

STATUS

BURAIMI UNIVERSITY COLLEGE BUILDING

Buraimi University College

Gulf Engineering Consultancy

Not Appointed

31 - 100

project under design

RENOVATION OF INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL IN MUSCAT

Omran Office

Pentago Spowers International

Not Appointed

16 - 30

project under design

DHOFAR UNIVERSITY IN SALALAH - PACK 1

Dhofar University

National Engineering Office

Al-Hashemi & Al-Rawas Company

21

project under construction

NEW TELEVISION STUDIO COMPLEX

Ministry of Information

Austro Consult

Bahwan Contracting Company

33

project under construction

HEADQUARTERS BUILDING FOR BANK OF MUSCAT

Bank of Muscat

Atkins

Galfar Engineering & Contracting

DEVELOPMENT OF JABAL AL AKHDAR RESORT HOTEL

Omran Office

AW2

Not Appointed

31 - 100

project under design

FAIRMONT HOTEL

Fairmont Hotel & Resorts/The Wave Muscat

Echo Designer Consultants

Not Appointed

101 - 250

project under design

CROWNE PLAZA DUQUM RESORT

Omran Office/Inter Continental Hotel Group

KEO International

Not Appointed

251 - 500

project under design

HOSPITAL IN SOUTH SALALAH

Ministry of Defence

Ibn Khaldun

International Contractors Company

PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL AT AL AMERAT

Ministry of Health

Khatib and Alami

Bahwan Contracting Company

RENOVATION OF SHERATON OMAN HOTEL

Al Hasher Group

Atkins

Zubair Furnishing

THE MALKAI AT BARKA

Al Maeen Real Estate Services Company

Triad Oman/AW2

Not Appointed

250

project under design

MUSANDAM AIRPORT

Ministry of Transport & Communication

Not Appointed

Not Appointed

101 - 250

award awaited for the consultancy contract

BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT UNIT BLOCK

Sultan Qaboos University Hospital

Gulf Engineering Consultancy

Not Appointed

16 - 30

project under design

DAR AL MAHA RESIDENTIAL BUILDING - PHASE 1

Sohar International Development & Investment

Engineering Innovation Design

Al Hajiri Trading

16 - 30

project under construction

INTERNATIONAL MARITIME COLLEGE OMAN

Ministry of Manpower

Gulf Engineering Consultancy

Al Khalili United Enterprises

35

project under construction

HOUSING COMPLEX AT SOHAR

Mr. Abdulla Moosa

Al Hatmy Engineering Consultancy

Iskan Contracting Company

17

project under construction

REDEVELOPMENT OF THE CROWNE PLAZA RESORT SALALAH

Ministry of Tourism

Consulting Engineering Services

Not Appointed

31 - 100

project under design

COURT COMPLEX AT AL-BURAIMI

Ministry of Justice

Sundaram Architects

Not Appointed

2.5 - 15

award awaited for the construction contract

OMAN

71

project under construction

project under construction

107

project under construction

25

project under construction

To list your projects in this section email details to editor@ConstructionWeekOnline.com

16 - 30


CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTS AND SERVICES MADE EASY IN CONSTRUCTION WEEK’S DIRECTORY TO ADVERTISE PLEASE CALL +971 4 435 6344, OR EMAIL JASON.BOWMAN@ITP.COM

Supplier focus

HANSGROHE

MANUFACTURER OF BATHROOM FITTINGS AND SUPPLIER TO BURJ KHALIFA When the highest building in the world opened on January 4 in Dubai, Hansgrohe AG from Schiltach in the Black Forest was also celebrating. The German bathroom fittings and shower manufacturer supplied more than 5000 fittings for the Burj Khalifa. The wash basin mixers from the Axor Starck luxury collection were made in the company’s manufacturing plant in Schiltach owned by the international company, which has been operating its own subsidiary in the United Arab Emirates for many years. The installation started in 2008 and was finished in June 2009. The project made a noticeable difference to the company’s sales and strengthened its position in Dubai. “Hansgrohe was given a great deal of credit AXOR STARCK for not pulling out of the market in the face of ELEKTRONIC. the economic crisis, unlike other companies,” said Siegfried Gänßlen, chairman of the management board of Hansgrohe AG. This success story, he believes, shows how developers, architects and interior designers value German innovation and engineering. “This is why we were able to acquire numerous projects in the United Arab Emirates even during the crisis year of

To advertise please call +971 4 435 6375 or email shishir.desai@itp.com

SPECIALIST SERVICES §

¦SPECIALIST SERVICES

50

CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010

2009,” said Gänßlen. “We see further great potential in this region, and consequently Hansgrohe will be opening a new subsidiary in Abu Dhabi later this month, as well as a new flagship store in Dubai – not far from the Burj Khalifa.” Hansgrohe attributes its success on the project to excellent teamwork between local partners in Dubai and the Hansgrohe team at the site. “With our designer brand Axor we met the requests of the involved parties to deliver highquality modern bathrooms. We regularly and intensively trained the sub-contractors of the construction company that carried out the installations. “Our team from technical services also gave advice onsite in case of complicated installations. It is important to have a professional team that is able to answer all questions regarding design and bathroom concepts. We had interior designers and engineers on site who support all the companies involved in the tendering and planning process.” Hansgrohe is nearing 109 years in business and during 2008, the company generated sales of about EUR 668 million with its Axor, Hansgrohe, Pharo and Pontos brands. The Hansgrohe Group currently has a global workforce of around 3200 employees, with about two-thirds of them working in Germany. 


BUILDING MATERIALS

HARD LANDSCAPING SUPPLIER

CONSTRUCTION/MANUFACTURERS

ยง SPECIALIST SERVICES

> For directory information visit www.ConstructionWEEKonline.com/directory

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KhereijiShowroomsCo.Ltd.[KSC]SAUDIARABIA Nameforqualityelectricalproducts YousefAlKhereijigroupisoneofthemosttrustedandperformingbusinessentitiesofKingdomOfSaudiArabia.Khereiji ShowroomsCo.(KSC)wasestablishednearlythreedecadesagowithacommitmenttosupplyqualityelectricalproducts. Cable trays, Cable Ladder, Cable Trunking, Underfloor Trunking, Flushfloor Trunking, Cavity floor Trunking with all accessoriesaremanufacturedinfactoryinRIYADHincompliancewithInternationalstandards. The commitment towards quality and passion to strive for excellence coupled with commendable services, self reliance, discipline and successful completion of Kingdom Tower, King Faisal University etc in domestic market, has made us the leaderinmanufacturingandsupplyofcablemanagementsystemintheKingdomofSaudiArabia. Werealizedthemarketofcablemanagementsystemandincreasedourplantcapacityinearlypartofyear2000tocater MiddleEastmarketaswell.Now,wehavealistofsuccessfullycompletedMallofEmirates,SheikhZayedUniversity,Dubai MallandlotsmorerecognizableprojectsinUAE,HamadMedicalCityinQATAR,FormulaRacing1inBAHRAIN,BayTower inLEBANON,SarayahAqabaZoneK&IinJordan.Listofprojectsineachcountryistoolongtomentionherein. MR.ABDULJABBAR,FACTORYGENERALMANAGERsays,technicallycompetitionwasveryfierceandwewerecompeting with all European well established and renowned brands of cable management system but our quality, experience and commitment made possible to achieve project like BURJ KHALIFA a very distinguished project in the world. We are very proudtobeassociatedwithsucharemarkableproject.Todaythecompanycanboastofhavingprestigiousstandingsand consistencyofpurposeinthecablemanagementindustry.

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CITY UPDATE ABU DHABI, UAE

New year, new start THE UAE CAPITAL IS EXPECTED TO PUSH ON WITH ITS STEADY BUILDING PROGRAMME IN 2010 By Sarah Blackman

A

t a time whenother parts of the world are reining in their construction budgets and suffering slowdowns, Abu Dhabi appears to just keep on going – a fact not lost on contractors across the world. The F1 Grand Prix may have been the exciting climax to one of Abu Dhabi’s major

54

construction projects, but it also marks the beginning of the next phase, representing the steady construction flow in the UAE capital.

“DEPENDING ON WHAT ESTIMATES YOU FOLLOW ABU DHABI HAS A HOUSING GAP OF ANYWHERE BETWEEN 5000 TO 40,000 HOMES”

CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010

ABOVE: DESIGN AND SAFETY STANDARDS WILL BE RAISED TO THE HIGHEST LEVELS THIS YEAR.

“Local companies are investing in Qatar and Abu Dhabi. Developers and contractors feel comfortable starting new projects in the area because new developments are progressing at a steady pace and are not accelerating too quickly,” says Simon Mrad, managing director for pump firm Wilo. Along with the well-known mega-projects of Yas and Saadiyat Islands, Abu Dhabi’s growth is also creating opportunities in the form of housing. “Depending on which estimate you follow, Abu Dhabi has a housing gap of anywhere between 5000 to 40,000 homes,” says Baniyas Investment and Development Company CEO Wael Tawil. Companies are already picking up ancillary housing contracts. October 2009 saw Drake and Scull International (DSI) win


“ALL PROJECTS INCLUDING NEW CONSTRUCTION AND ADDITIONS TO EXISTING STRUCTURES WILL HAVE TO BE IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE NEW CODES” a $108.8 million (AED400 million) MEP contract for a neighbourhood project in Abu Dhabi. “Our management team and workforce have been working exceptionally hard to ensure the company’s success and profitability, and we hope to have more large project announcements in the near future,” says DSI vice chairman and CEO Khaldoun Tabari. Housing in Abu Dhabi should also not be considered as something entirely separate from the mega-projects. In November, developer Aldar, which is developing Yas Island, confirmed the possibility of a tie-up with Ferrari to create branded housing. “There is a massive possibility that Aldar will work with Ferrari on future ventures in Abu Dhabi, perhaps residential or commercial,” says Aldar chief commercial officer Mohammed Al Mubarak. “We’re still in initial talks, very early stages, and we’ll tell you more once there’s something more concrete to report. Housing is a big possibility. We’d like to look at Ferrari branded villas in Abu Dhabi.” However, any construction firm hoping to do well in Abu Dhabi will need to familiarise itself quickly with the new building codes which come into force in 2010. “We are working closely with all municipalities to launch the new codes. The building registration departments at all municipalities are coordinating with consulting offices, engineering firms, developers and

TOP PROJECTS

DMA UNDERSECRETARY HE AHMED SHAREEF.

contractors to ensure smooth adoption and implementation of the codes,” says Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipal Affairs undersecretary HE Ahmad Shareef. “All projects including new construction and additions to existing structures will have to be in compliance with the new codes.”

In addition to HSE practice, the codes will enforce Abu Dhabi’s commitment to environmentally sustainable projects. All buildings designed in Abu Dhabi will have to comply with minimum environmental standards. The building codes will require developers to conserve the use of energy and water. “Higher energy and water efficient requirements can also be achieved through the Abu Dhabi building codes to meet higher sustainability ratings for buildings,” said Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs consultant for policies and regulation Ali Bukair. Design and construction safety standards in the emirate will be raised to a level “that has never been seen before,” as a result of the codes adoption and the creation of a suitable regulatory system, according to Bukair. “Construction permit departments in Abu Dhabi City Municipality, Al Ain City Municipality and the Western Region Municipality will act as a quality control point ensuring that codes are enforced properly,” he adds. Code and construction violations will face penalties that are yet to be determined. 

US$

Al Raha Beach Development 18bn Al Falah Development in Abu Dhabi 2bn Hydra Village Abu Dhabi 1.5bn Saraya District of Abu Dhabi 1bn Abu Dhabi metro undisclosed ABU DHABI’S MASTER PLAN FOR THE NEW MARINA THAT IT IS PLANNING TO DEVELOP.

JANUARY 16–22, 2010 CONSTRUCTION WEEK

55


DIALOGUE MARTIN HÖRLESBERGER

On top form Doka project manager Martin Hörlesberger discusses his company’s contribution to the Burj Khalifa

By Sarah Blackman

What was the scope of the work Doka you carried out during your involvement with the Burj Khalifa?

Doka designed and delivered a self climbing system for all centre core walls and wing walls of this structure. We provided supervision during all stages of assembly and set-up of the system, as well as certification of the product, and training of the operators. The top priority was to make the system work for all logistical requirements, such as direct access from hoists onto the work platforms of the wall formwork, and separation of work-zones for continuous flow of all activities within the fixed three-day per floor cycle. How many climbing and support systems and platform levels were used?

There were a large number of changes to the climbing system in the design layout, which had to be made very quickly, without effecting the cycle-time of ongoing floors. Due to height of structural concrete, the climbing system needed to be able to cope with 200km/h winds and all necessary ‘infrastructure’ had to be incorporated into the climbing platforms e.g. site offices, rest areas, toilets, fresh water, etc. This allowed the work force to stay up on the top of the tower for one full shift without having to come down. What lessons did you and your team learn from the working on the project?

Safety systems provided e.g. all platform enclosures and screen systems for slabworks allow maximum speed of construction, even at extreme heights. Also, all systems have to be flexible to changes in layout and must consider MEP work access and crane climbing sequences. Future designers will prefer more complex structures versus straight-forward boxes and, finally, we learned that direct on-site assistance and communication with the contractor, throughout the entire construction period, is critical.

We provided over 5000m² of self-climbing wall formwork and four climbing and support systems for concrete placing booms (incorporated into the hydraulic climbing of the wall formwork). We also supplied around six platform levels within the climbing system to enable optimal access of all trades e.g. installation of pre-assembled two-storey high rebar cages, MEP installation, pouring of concrete, operation of Höerlesberger has worked for Doka for hydraulic climbing system, concrete the last 23 years. During this time, he took finishing works, etc. In addition, we on the role of engineering manager for designed and provided an exterior branches in Austria, Singapore, Malaysia, enclosure screen for slab works. What made working on the Burj Khalifa different to any other development?

At the Burj Khalifa, the amount of wall formwork to be handled per floor was around twice the amount of slab formwork; at any other typical highrise building, this ratio would be the other way around.

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CONSTRUCTION WEEK JANUARY 16–22, 2010

Kuwait and the US and, 17 years ago, he began to specialise in high-rise projects using automatic climbing systems. He is now the project manager for high-rise projects and has managed developments such as The Heritage Tower and 55 East Erie Tower in Chicago, Illinois and Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Arizona, before working on the Burj Khalifa.

What challenges did you face during the development of the project?

Wall formwork, measuring 1.25km, had to be implemented on a threeday per floor cycle. This included hydraulic lifting of the climbing system, rebar installation, plumbing, pouring and curing. We had to manage our logistics so the workforce had safe access to the climbing system at the top of the tower and the system had to cope with shifting during the construction stages.


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Construction Week - Issue 304