The Burj Khalifa: The world's tallest building

The Burj Khalifa tower is much more than just the world’s tallest building. For many people, it symbolizes the limitless power of the human mind.
Interesting Engineering

What’s the first picture that comes into your mind when you hear the word “Dubai”? I don’t know about you but for most people, it’s the image of Burj Khalifa — the iconic skyscraper that completely changed the way people perceive the Middle East, and especially the UAE.

The Burj Khalifa tower is much more than just the world’s tallest building. For many people, it symbolizes the limitless power of the human mind. Back in the stone age, who’d have even thought that one-day humans would create a building that will rise above the clouds? With a staggering height of 2,717 ft. (828 m), 164 ft. (51.2 m) deep foundation, and the world’s highest outdoor observation deck, Burj Khalifa is no less than an architectural miracle. 

The building hosts an average of 35,000 residents on any given day, and it demands about 36 mW of electric power and 250,000 gallons of water daily. Even at the time of its construction, about 12,000 builders and contractors used to visit the site every day, and it took 22 million person-hours to complete the whole structure. 

The amount of concrete that was poured into Burj Khalifa’s foundation alone can fill 18 Olympic-size swimming pools. Plus, If you extract all the aluminum from Burj Khalifa, you would need five Airbus A 380 airlines to store the same, and by the way, A 380 is the world’s largest passenger airplane.  You can actually build a steel path extending to one-fourth of the Earth’s map from the 31,500 metric tons of steel used in making this 206-story skyscraper

Forget aluminum and steel, how does a person even travel inside such a massive building?

Well, the answer is “lift”. There are 57 elevators and eight escalators in the building, and on top of that, the main service elevator works like a superhero. It travels at a speed of 29 ft. per second (10 m/s) and covers a distance long enough to make it the number one elevator in the world — in terms of both height and length to which an elevator travels. However, despite being loaded with all such uncanny features. Similar to any remarkable human creation, the Khalifa tower also takes its inspiration from mother nature. 

The wind-resistance design of Burj Khalifa has been taken from the spider lily, a flower that blooms at the peak of hurricane season. The Y-shaped design allows this uncanny skyscraper to face the most fierce winds gracefully and because of the spider-lily-like design, winds pass through the building without creating any vortex that could sway the structure.

It does sway at the top by 6.5 ft (2 m), though, but as is the case with everything — nothing is perfect. Words will never be enough to express the grandeur of this architectural royalty.  Some places are known by the people and some places are known for their culture, but for Dubai, it’s Burj Khalifa —- a glorious structure that embodies the height of human imagination and engineering.