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Friday, 28 February 2014 11:44cat

Engineers Begin Material Testing on the Kingdom Tower

Written by  TheStructuralEngineer.info
The Kingdom Tower will be the tallest building in the world The Kingdom Tower will be the tallest building in the world Jeddah Economic Company

Material testing is about to get underway on the world’s next tallest building in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom Tower will have an architectural height of 1,000 meters once finished, over 130 meters taller the current tallest building the Burj Khalifa. Thornton Tomasetti was hired as the structural engineering firm for skyscraper and the project is expected to cost $1.23 billion. The tower is the first phase of a the three phase Kingdom City development project. The total cost to build Kingdom City will be around $20 billion.

Kingdom Holding, the building’s owner, recently hired Advanced Construction Technology Services as an outside consultant to start testing the materials needed to construct the tower. The skyscraper will need half a million cubic meters of concrete and 80,000 tons of steel during its construction. ACTS will first determine the best type of concrete to use for the tower’s 70-meter deep foundation. The Kingdom Tower is located along the Red Sea so the foundation must be able to withstand the saltwater corrosion from the nearby ocean.  ACTS is planning on testing many different forms of high strength concretes to see which type will be the best fit for each part of the project.

The biggest challenge of the project is developing a system to pump the concrete from the ground to the top of the Tower. The Burj Khalifa was able to pump six million cubic feet of concrete through a single six-inch tube. The Samsung-led engineering team used high-tech pumps developed by German company Putzmeister to pump the concrete to each new floor during the tower’s construction. However, due to the extreme heat during the day, workers were only able to pour new floors at night. After ACTS determines which type of concrete will be used to construct the building, engineers must design their own system for the Kingdom Tower that will be able to pump the concrete to the tower’s top floor. Other challenges the Kingdom Tower presents include designing elevators that are able to reach the top of the skyscraper in a reasonable amount of time and balancing excessive sway on the top floors of the building while still providing enough floor space to be inhabitable.

While it has not been officially confirmed that the tower will be built, some believe that proving a one or two kilometer skyscraper can be built is the most important part of the project. According to Dr Sang Dae Kim, the director of the Council on Tall Buildings, “With Kingdom Tower we now have a design that reaches around one kilometer in height. Later on, someone will push for one mile, and then two kilometers. At this point in time we can build a tower that is one kilometer, maybe two kilometers. Any higher than that and we will have to do a lot of homework.  In terms of practicalities, we don't need to build at two kilometers, but someone with a lot of money might still want to do it.”

Sources: GizmodoDailymail

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