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Living in the Sky

Looking at an artist’s impression of the finished Burj Dubai it’s hard to believe that mere mortals could even imagine, let alone construct such a building.

Burij Dubai - Top of the world

The Burj (Burj means ‘Tower’ in Arabic) will be the tallest building in the world at around 705 meters. It’s the first time that the world’s tallest building has been in the Middle East since 1300 when Lincoln Cathedral snatched glory from the great pyramid of Giza. That’s perhaps why its exact height is being kept a secret: in case someone else tries to take its crown.

But that’s only part of the story. It’s not just a super high-rise block of luxury flats; living there will mean a whole new way of life for its residents. There will be exclusive restaurants, run by some of the world’s finest chefs, four luxurious pools, a fi tness center, a library, relaxation areas offering Tai Chi, Yoga and other wellness sports and, of course, the best views on the planet. There will be little reason for people to leave the Burj, almost everything they need will be there.

Splendor and Luxury in a Building of Superlatives

The Tower was designed by celebrity architect Adrian Smith from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; the company was also responsible for the Olympia Center in Chicago, Rowes Wharf in Boston and the United Gulf Bank Building in
Bahrain. One of the many challenges was controlling the building’s interior temperature. A huge air conditioning plant will cool outside air temperatures of up to 45°C and provide an ideal climate for the building’s residents and visitors.

Technology taken to another level

GEA Polacel b.v. will supply twelve cooling towers, each with a ground space of 100m2 for the district cooling plant to cool the vast quantities of water processed by the system. The cooling towers were chosen for their exceptional effi ciency and economical use of water: a precious commodity in Dubai’s arid climate.

The units recycle over 95 per cent of the water passing through them and their modular design means that the installation can be accommodated in a relatively small area. Space is another precious resource in this city of high-rise buildings and even higher land prices.

GEA’s involvement in the project reflects the high standards of equipment and cutting edge technology being used throughout the building. Special high-performance exterior cladding will be used to protect the cooling tower’s environment from noise in addition to the extreme low noise facilities on the cooling towers; while reflective glazing, aluminum and textured stainless steel panels and vertical tubular fins will extenuate its slenderness and height.

Discerning people looking down on the Burj from the air will notice that the shape of the tower seems strangely familiar. The geometric shape of the building is taken from the flower of the Hymenocallis, a plant widely cultivated in Dubai and elsewhere in the Middle East. Other subtle details reflect the influence of Islamic culture and architecture.

30.000 Homes in the Dessert

The sheer scale of the construction program is hard to comprehend. The tower is the centerpiece of a massive development, the like of which has never been seen before in the Middle East. More than 40 new skyscrapers are planned in the area around the Burj in the next few years which will make it, for many, the most prestigious square kilometer in the world.

Over 500 consultants from around the globe were employed during the design phase of the project. At the peak of construction more than 20,000 workers will be on site to complete the task of creating 45 million square feet of living space, enough for 30,000 homes in the Dubai desert.

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