The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Friday, 03 April 2015 05:07cat

Kingdom Tower Elevators Provide a Challenge

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Kingdom Tower Elevators Provide a Challenge skyscrapercity

According to project handlers the 1km-high Kingdom Tower, “has challenged mankind to outdo himself”! It is also the view of Dr. Hisham Jonah, chief development officer of Jeddah Economic City, whether it is really possible to build even higher in the future. The skyscraper will have 252 floors overall, 167 of which will be occupied. It will also have the world’s highest observation deck. The actual tower will start at 20 meters above the ground floor with the largest floor being an 85,000-m2 parking lot that will house 2,200 cars. At 6,700-m2, the footprint of the structure will be divided into three different entrances for the hotel, residences and offices.

“You hear from Qatar, Azerbaijan and the Emirates that there are plans for towers that are 1.3, 1.5 and 1.6 km high. I wonder how they will reach that,” asked Jomah.

One of the largest problems, according to Jomah, was how to reach 167 floors in 1.6 minutes through the elevators.

“The fastest elevator is made by Toshiba at 17 meters per second and installed in Taipei 101. But we discovered that people’s bladders behaved funny, if we go faster than 10 meters per second going down. Our elevators are still the fastest double deckers in the world,” he said.

Another difficulty was the weight of the elevator cables, which weigh in at 40 tons per car. The Kingdom Tower will have 59 elevators, including four double-decker and two triple-decker elevators. “Imagine eight of these for each elevator. New technology by Finnish company Kone introduced a carbon fiber rope called Ultra rope which reduces 20 tons down to three.”

Supported by 270 friction piles, the tower is allowed to sway only 2.6 meters by the largest pendulum mass dampers ever built. Each pile has a diameter and spacing of 1.8 meters.

“It was as if building 30 floors underground. Piles did not touch ground, but they are stabilized by virtue of the concrete that seeped from each one. All the steel bars inside the piles are electrified, so they won’t rust for a guaranteed 100 years.”

The Kingdom Tower, part of the Kingdom City development, will cost $1.2 billion, 1/3 of which includes soft costs (design, research and development). The building was designed by Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill, Architects and it is planned to be completed in 2018.


Source Construction Week Online

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