The Burj Khalifa is founded on pile supported raft foundation consisting of 194 bored-in-situ piles or drilled shafts as we commonly call them in the US with a 12 foot thick mat. The piles were 1.5 meters (5 feet) in diameter and extended 140 feet below the mat. The piles had an allowable axial load of 3,000 tonnes (6,614 kips) and load tests were performed on piles up to 6,000 tonnes. This article by the foundationconcretes.com discusses the foundation system of the world’s tallest skyscraper, and discusses some of the issues and design features of a pile supported raft foundation. [Source: Read more at Structural, Concrete and Foundation Engineering. Image: Foundation Concretes.com]
The Burj Dubai Tower has recently reached it’s final height of 818m (2,684-ft or almost exactly 1/2 a mile!). The foundation system for the Burj Dubai is comprised of 192 bored piles (drilled shafts in my practice) 1.5-m (approximately 5-ft) in diameter and approximately 50-m deep (164-ft). A 3.7-m (12-ft) thick raft foundation sits on top of the piles under the full footprint of the structure. (Image from BurjDubaiSkyscraper.com)
The geotechnical investigation for the Burj Dubai (now to be known as Burj Khalifa after the UAE President) is described in detail in a paper by the geotechnical engineer of record, Grahame Bunce of Hyder Consulting (UK) and the independent technical reviewer for the geotechnical design, Harry G. Poulos of Coffey Geotechnics. Click through for the link to the paper and more details. […]
The newly announced Kingdom Tower is slated to be the World’s tallest when it is completed in 2016 in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia. Part of the $20B Kingdom City development, the tower will stand 3,280 feet tall and cost $1.2B itself. The architect is Adrian Smith who was also the lead architect on the current tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE. You can see from the rendering (and others in the article) that the Kingdom Tower structure has a similar triangular footprint compared to the Burj Khalifa.
There is an excellent discussion of the geotechnical challenges, and really a synopsis of the entire foundation design process for the Kingdom Tower in the article from George Leventis, President of Langan International which is providing the geotechnical design… [Editor] Read on for more info on the foundations for the Kingdom Tower [/Editor]