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Monday, 21 April 2014 11:30cat

Construction to Begin This Week on The Kingdom Tower

Written by  TheStructuralEngineer.info
The Kingdom Tower will become the world's tallest building once completed The Kingdom Tower will become the world's tallest building once completed the pinnacle list

Construction on the world’s tallest building, the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia, is scheduled to begin this week. The Kingdom Tower will measure 3,280 feet tall once completed and will feature a 98-foot terrace on the 157th floor. The building will measure 568 feet taller than the world’s current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The tower is expected to cost $1.23 billion and take five years to construct.

The Kingdom Tower is the first phase of the three phase Kingdom City development project. The total cost to build Kingdom City, located along the Red Sea on the north side of Jeddah, will be around $20 billion. Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture designed the Kingdom Tower and Thornton Tomasetti is providing structural engineering services for the project. The building will have 160 of its 200 floors inhabitable and will feature a five-star hotel, apartments and office space.

Kingdom Holding, the building’s owner, recently hired Advanced Construction Technology Services as an outside consultant to start testing the materials required 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 200 feet 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 determine which type will be the best fit for each part of the project. ACTS will use around 100 on-site expert staff members and create a fully equipped site laboratory to perform the day-to-day quality control testing.

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.

High wind loads acting on the upper floors of the building are another challenge the Kingdom Tower designers faced.  They chose to change the shape of the building every few floor to allow the wind loads to go around the building and reduce the wind load’s magnitudes

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: Saudi GazetteTelegraph

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