Foundations for the Burj Dubai - The raft slab on top of 192 pile foundations
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Foundations and Geotechnical Engineering for the Burj Dubai – World’s Tallest Building

Foundations for the Burj Dubai - The raft slab on top of 192 pile foundations 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

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. […]

Available Resources

Series of Articles on Seismic Analysis

I had an earthquake engineering course in my geological engineering undergraduate program, and an excellent teacher, but man, the math gave me fits! Well, apparently my time has finally come to make the effort to understand it again. A retired Canadian geophysicist/engineer is writing a series of articles on seismic analysis. Read more… (Photo by trochee)


Press Releases

Seeing Beneath the Surface: Use of Ground Penetrating Radar in Earth Science Research

Boulder, CO, USA –Studying the arrangements of sediments and sedimentary rocks in Earth’s near-surface layers received a recent boost from a new volume published by the Geological Society of America. Stratigraphic Analyses Using GPR, GSA Special Paper 432, offers a state-of-the-art overview of ground penetrating radar applications in the field of shallow subsurface stratigraphic analysis. [more…]