Foundations and Geotechnical Engineering for the Burj Dubai – World’s Tallest Building
- Poulos, Harry G. and Bunce, Grahame (2008). Foundation Design for the Burj Dubai – The World’s Tallest Building. Proceedings of the 6th International conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical engineering, Arlington, VA, August 11-16, 2008.
The soil/rock conditions were generally loose to medium dense sands overlying weak to very week sandstone and siltstone with interbeds of gypsiferous and carbonate cemented layers (still relatively weak). Geotechnical investigations consisted of approximately 33 boreholes drilled with several techniques. In addition to SPT sampling, double-tube rock coring and approximately 60 pressuremeter tests were performed as well as cross-hole seismic surveys (both P and S-wave). Static load testing was performed on 7 test piles prior to construction and 8 production piles (approximately 1% of the piles) were tested as well. One lateral load test was performed. (Photo from BurjDubaiSkyscraper.com)
Various finite element software packages were used in the analysis of the foundation system for the structure. The figure above from Poulos & Bunce (2008) shows the interesting layout of the piles as well as contours of the maximum axial load. It indicates that the maximum axial load was in the neighborhood of 37 MN (units?). The static load test program was conducted to a maximum load of 64 MN.
The estimated settlement from the design phase was approximately 75-mm (almost 3-in) but monitoring performed during construction showed only approximately 30-mm (roughly 1.2-in) by March 18, 2007 when approximately 75% of the dead load had been applied.
- On a side note, the New Civil Engineer has an interesting article on the Burj Dubai Skyscraper from November 2007 describing some of the construction techniques and some of the challenges faced in building such a massive structure.
- Check out this cool video from the Burj Dubai inauguration showing an elevator ride up to the 124th floor and some spectacular views of Dubai. I like the modern version of the telescope viewer (the ones you have to put a quarter in). It has a digital camera and a LCD screen with some kind of augmented reality showing the Dubai landmarks. Pretty cool! The touch screen globe thing is pretty cool too.
- Some additional info on the construction aspects of the Burj Dubai at the RitchieWiki.com website