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Ehsan Pourabedin
Student No: 070271


Location of Burj Al Arab

Description and its Dimensions
Building Uses
The Burj al Arab Island
concept architect
Designers and Architectural Style
Materials used in construction
amazing facts about Burj Al Arab
Island construction process
Construction Process


Structural Types
Structural Engineering and structure analyze
Gravity Loads
Lateral Loads
Construction Management
2 phase of construction
MEP Engineering
Technical Details
Economical justification of the project
A glance at Burj Al Arab

United Arab Emirates

Private Island (280 m

The Helipad

A Conference

Worlds Tallest Hotel (321


World Class

The most technologically

advanced meeting and
conference facilities

The World's Tallest

Usable Full Hotel
Building. If You Counted
Mixed Use Buildings The
Jin Mao Tower In China
Would Be The Tallest
Which Is Only Half Hotel.
In English "Burj Al Arab"
Means The Arabian Tower
Burj Al Arab Was One Of
The Most Expensive
Buildings Ever Built. It Is
One Of The World's Only
Two "7 Star" Hotels.
Burj Al Arab Is Shaped
Like A Sail.


Status: built
Construction Dates:
Finished: 1999

Floor Count:
Elevator Count: 18
Units / Rooms: 202


of atrium: 182m
of helipad from sea: 212M
of top of accommodation from
of top of mast from island :321m

Distance of shore to the outer point of island:

Size of island: 150m per side
Sea depth: 7.5m
Length of biggest truss: 85m
Weight of biggest truss: 165t
Cantilever of sky view restaurant: 27m & 1.7m
Size of sky view restaurant: 1000 sq m
Weight of helicopter that can land on : 7.5 tones

Maximum sway at top of accommodation: 300mm

Total volume of concrete on the island: 33,000 sq m
Total volume of concrete in the superstructure:
36,000 sq m
Total tonnage of steel: 9200 tones
Gross area of building: 120,000 sq m
28 double height floors (7m floor to floor height)
Height of atrium: 180.5m with volume of: 285,000m3
Length of mast: 60m
Fabric area: 8700 sq m x 2
Thickness: 1mm with 50cm air gap

Tom Wills-Wright
Tom Wright is the architect and
designer of the Burj al Arab
in Dubai, UAE
Tom Wright is British, born in
Croydon a suburb of London
on 18th September 1957.
Educated at the Royal
Russell School and then
Kingston Polytechnic school
of Architecture. Wright
became a member of the
Royal institute of British
Architects in 1983 and has
been in practice ever since

Tom Wills-Wright
Tom Wright lived in Dubai
during the design and
construction of the project
working as the project
Design Director for Atkins
one of the worlds leading
multi discipline design
Since 1999 Tom Wright has
continued to work for
Atkins as Head of
Architecture from the
Atkins H.Q. in Epsom,

W.S. Atkins & Partners

Atkins provided project and construction management,
concept and multidiscipline design services for the hotel.
Originally founded in 1938 by Sir William Atkins, Atkins is now
one of the top-ranking consultant firms in the world. It
employs 14,000 permanent staff. The firm operates through
three main categories: transport, design and engineering
solutions, and management and project services.

structural expressionism
Structural Expressionism basically means that the
structural components of the building are visible
on the inside as well as outside. Commonly this
includes features such as exposed truss work and
complex shapes that require high level and unique
engineering Other buildings that have the same
style include: The Bank of China Tower in Hong
Kong, Erie on the Park in Chicago, and Edificio Dr.
Alfredo L. Palacios in Buenos Aires among other
buildings around the world and in planning. The
style seems to be coming more popular and can
be expected to appear in more buildings in the

KCA International
Led by Ms Kuan

The client asked us to

design a building that
symbol for Dubai.
Sidney has it's Opera
House and New York
has the Statue of
Liberty so Dubai would
also have a building

We looked at the other buildings in the

world that are symbols to see what they
had in common. We found that they were
all totally unique in shape and they all
have a simple easily recognizable form.
We decided that the test to determine if a
building is symbolic is if you can draw it
in 5 seconds and every one recognizes it.

Dubai is becoming a
world resort location so
the building had to say
holiday, fun and
sophistication all things
associated with yachting.
This mixed with Dubai's
nautical heritage it
seemed an appropriate

It helps its uniqueness. It looks like a sail /

If it was on shore it would block the sun on
the beach in the middle of the day.

The building is built on sand, which is

unusual as most tall building are founded
on rock. The building is supported on 250
, 1.5M diameter columns that go 45
meters under the sea. As there is only
sand to hold the building up the columns
rely on friction.

The screen that encloses the third side of

the atrium is made of 1mm thick glass
fiber fabric with a Teflon coat to stop the
dirt sticking. The screen is the largest of
it's type and covers an area of one and a
half football pitch and
is hung from the top of the building
by over a kilometer of 52mm cable.

The diagonal trusses on the side of the

building are as long as a football pitch and
weigh as much as 20 double-decker busses.
They were built 15 KM from the site and
brought by road to Dubai on huge 80
wheel lorries which had to be specially
imported from South Africa. The highest
truss took a day to lift into place.
If one man was to build the building himself
it would take about 8,000 years to finish.


The architectural materials of the hotel consist of

only a few mediums. Outside the exterior facade
consists of 50,000m2 of glazed curtain wall of
35,000m2 aluminum cladding designed by Al Abbar
Group. Glass and steel make up the remaining
portions of the exterior. The Steel structure was
clad with 6mm composite aluminum panels. The
design is able to with stand a wind load of 9kPa
and was designed to drain water at each horizontal
joint. Inside the hotel the materials get even more
expensive than the outside. The interior features
marble and 24 carrot gold leaf (Burj Al Arab). Like
the exterior, the interior steel structure is also clad
with 6 mm composite aluminum.

It took 3 years to complete the island

from total 5 years construction

Number of piles: 230

Length of piles: 45m
Diameter of piles 1.5m
Depth of lowest basement
under sea is 7m below sea

Temporary tube piles driven into sea bed

Temporary sheet piles and tie rods driven into sea
bed to support boundary rocks (see figure 1)

Permanent boundary rock bunds deposited either

side of sheet piles
Hydraulic fill layers deposited between bunds to
displace sea water and form island (see figure 2
with fill layers partially complete)

Permanent concrete armor units placed

around island to protect it from the waves
2m diameter 43m deep piles driven
through island and sea bed below to
stabilize structure (see figure 3)

Island interior excavated and temporary sheet

pile coffer dam inserted
2m thick concrete plug slab laid at base of island
Reinforced concrete retaining wall built
Basement floors created (see figure 4)

landing pad

Construction of Burj Al Arab began in

1994, and was completed in 1999 It
was built n the shape of the Arab
dhow, a type of Arabian vessel. Two
wings spread in a V shape to form a
mast, with the space in between
them making the worlds largest
atrium. It needed to be a building
that would become synonymous with
the name of the country.

Principal Structural
Engineer of Building
Martin Halford
Eversendai Engineering

130 foot Deep Piles

Outer Steel Frame V
Inner Reinforced
Concrete V

Core Connection

Central Core Service

Transmits Gravity Loads

Since the Burj Al Arab is built on a man-made island into

the sea, certain geotechnical considerations had to be
considered. Mainly, the ground beneath the Burj Al Arab
is sand and silt. To take this into account, the foundation
was made with cement piles that reach a depth of 130
feet. The foundation of this superstructure does not reach
bedrock; therefore the stability comes from the shear
forces along each deep pile.

The Burj Al Arab withstands gravity loads through the

stability of the two intertwined Vs of steel and concrete.
The concrete walls and slabs come out from the point of
the V which is a special service core. At the end of each
floor level are wings. Gravity loads are transferred down
from the core and wings to the foundation. The use of a
core and wings was suitable for this structure to allow for
the worlds largest atrium to be enclosed between the two
sides of hotel suites.

3 Tube Steel Trusses

Cross-bracing and
Curved Truss Arch

Teflon Coated
Fiberglass Fabric

As a tall building, the lateral loads of the Burj Al Arab are of

most importance. Due to the geographic location in the Persian
Gulf, winds and seismic activity had to be considered. The
building was built to withstand a fifty year wind of 100 miles per
hour and a seismic ground acceleration of 0.2 times gravity

The structure transfers lateral loads in a number of ways. First,

the Burj Al Arab has three tubular steel trusses on the outside of
the two sides of the V. These trusses act as cross bracing to
wind and earthquake forces. The translucent fabric wall of the
atrium is not only a stunning architectural feature but also helps
transfer lateral load. The fabric covers a series of steel cross
bracing and is comprised of two layers of fiberglass material
which is Teflon-coated. The fabric goes over the trussed arches
mentioned before.
Due to the rigidity, lateral loads are
transferred to the fabric wall which acts similar to a diaphragm.
The shape of Burj Al Arab lowers wind forces more effectively
then a square building because of the streamlined V and curved
fabric atrium wall.

Joint Venture

Al Habtoor

Murray and Roberts

Fletcher Construction

The companies all joined to gather because by utilizing the

separate talents of each partner; the bulk of the risk could be
redistributed to the firms that were best equipped to handle each
particular issue. The risks that needed to be considered were


labor supply
concrete work
structural steel supply
high rise management experience
cost control
management staffing

1- Al Habtoor Engineering had the responsibility

to provide the project with the labor required the
quality of the concrete and block work. The
procurement system put in place by the joint
venture was based on Al Habtoor Engineering's
proven system.
2- Murray and Roberts brought the expertise for
detailing, fabrication, shipment and erection of the
complex structural steel. This was subcontracted to
Genrec Steel Fabricators of Johannesburg, South
Africa, a company owned by Murray and Roberts.
This subcontract would reduce financial risk.
3- Fletcher had the high-rise management and
planning expertise. The project director and project
manager came from Fletcher and were based in

Construction in
two phase
Phase 1
Value Engineering

Phase 2

The first phase would address the complexity of the

building construction and take advantage of a threemonth lead. This allowed time for construction
scheduling, purchasing of forming systems, planning for
crane and hoisting, and initial programming. The
project used this time for value engineering and
development of innovative methods for accomplishing
the unique tasks. Some of the major challenges in this
phase were related to the exoskeleton embodiments,
which were redesigned in order to ease the installation
and speed up the cycle times to adhere to the tight
schedule. In addition to the exoskeleton, Genrec was
faced with redesigned some of the structure just to
facilitate constructability. The rear-braced frame was
completely redesigned from lattice girder construction
to box girders. This was not only a saving in money but
also made the building much easier to build (Al

For phase 2 the client had the option to

award it to another contractor should the
results of the first phase prove to be
unsatisfactory. The client decided to stick
with the same firms since there methods
were already proving to speed up and
cheapen construction. Phase 2 was all of
the actual construction of the structure. The
partners used many new technologies to
speed up construction and lower the
construction cost so the companies could
earn more profit by saving money in such
places as labor and equipment (Al Habtoor).

One new technology that was used was Cantilevers

Top Climbing Jump Form system for the main core
area. Cantilever Pty Ltd, Queensland, Australia
designed and furnished the 300 ton forming system.
A top climbing jump form system requires the form
to hang off a structural steel grid and to be jumped
utilizing a dozen synchronous electric - operated
screw jacks that lift the entire system by pushing off
the top of the walls previously poured. The form
system chosen for the wing walls and the stair cores
was Doka's SKE automatic-climbing form system.
The wing areas of the building house the two-storey
suites. Each of the six walls per wing are 13 meters
long and were poured in 3.57 meter lifts. Doka
designed the forms such that only two climbing
brackets per form were necessary. The fewer
suspension points meant fewer man hours were
required for each operation therefore saving time
and money.

Another place where technology was used was in the

form system for the main floors. This form system was
also designed, manufactured and furnished by
Cantilever Pty Ltd. This form was designed as a flying
cable and was supported by brackets attached to the
walls. The form itself weighed 18 tons. The frame for
each form was constructed with large castellated steel
beams and measured 18.3 meters long by 8.1 meters
wide. Once the slab was cast and reached sufficient
strength, the forms were jacked down off the wall
brackets and flown into the next position with tower
cranes. The table forms saved time by eliminating the
need for shoring labor to hold them up. In addition,
Meinhardt International helped the joint venture reengineer the slabs to a post-tensioned design, reducing
the labor on reinforcing steel and time required to get
sufficient strength to strip the form (Doka).

The forming a joint

venture the companies
undoubtedly contributed
the most to the success of
the project. The
companies use of value
constructability, and
preplanning and planning
that included all members
of the group helped to
keep cost down as well as
keep up with the schedule
that was set by the owner.

Majority of Mechanical, Electrical and

Plumbing Designs by DSE Engineering
All designs are very involved given the
nature the project
Exterior Electrical Designs
Subcontracted out to
Speirs and Major Associates

As you might expect the mechanical,

electrical and plumbing designs for this
building are quite involved given the
buildings size and architecture. Each facet of
the MEP has its own individual design
challenges. One can imagine the difficulty
associated with cooling a building in a city
with an average temperature of 80
Fahrenheit in the winter, especially when the
greater part of the buildings outside is
covered in glass.
The complexity is only
multiplied when you consider that the
building is a hotel and that each of the 202
suites are outfitted with their own electricity
and plumbing feeds.

The structure is made of a steel

reinforced concrete tower. The space
between the wings is enclosed by a
Teflon-coated fiberglass sail, curving
across the front of the building and
creating an atrium inside. The sail is
made of a material called Dyneon,
spanning over 161,000 square feet,
consists of two layers, and is divided into
twelve panels and installed vertically.
The fabric is coated with DuPont Teflon
to protect it from harsh desert heat,
wind, and dirt. The fabricators estimate
that it will hold up for up to 50 years.

At 14,000 channels it is the largest architectural

lighting control system ever made (Futronix).
Each suite has one or more PFX-32 dimming
control systems, which operate the lighting in
every room. The largest suites have five
systems giving a total of 160 channels of
lighting. As if the interior lighting schemes were
not enough, each suite is also equipped with
digital surround sound, multimedia enhanced
42 plasma television, internet access, touchscreen video and teleconferencing, fax machine,
photocopier, data port and to top it all off,
automated curtains (Burj Al Arab).

Colors of
s Exterior

The Burj
Al Arab is
lit by 150
d by 90
Data Flash

The tower
from white
as the

In fabric atrium wall

The membrane is constructed from 2 skins of
PTFE coated fiberglass separated by an air
gap of approximately 500mm and pretensioned over a series of trussed arches. These
arches span up to 50 meters between the outer
bedroom wings of the hotel which frame the
atrium, and are aligned with the vertical
geometry of the building. The double-curved
membrane panels so formed are able to take
positive wind pressures by spanning from truss
to truss and negative wind pressures by
spanning sideways. Additional cables have been
provided running on the surface of the fabric to
reduce the deflection of the membrane

The trussed arches which can extend out

from the supports by up to 13 meters are
supported vertically at the 18th and 26th
floors by a series of 52mm diameter crossbraced macaloy bars. Girders at these
floors transfer the load to the core
structure. These bars are then pretensioned to ensure that the whole
structure remains in tension.

An expansion joint is provided for the full

height of the building on the right hand
side of the wall. This enables the building
to 'breath' under wind loads and avoids
the exertion of large horizontal loads on
the relatively weak bedroom structures.

The resulting form is entirely appropriate

for the building and its function with the
fabric reducing solar gain into the atrium
and providing an effective diffused light
quality. It is also appropriate for the
Middle-East region where its predicted
lifespan and self-cleansing qualities should
resist the aggressive environment.

A stay in this luxurious hotel will range in

price from two to seven or more thousand
U.S. dollars a night. Just getting inside the
doors for a tour of the Burj Al Arab costs
approximately one hundred and fifty U.S.
dollars. Despite these prices, it has been
said that the Burj Al Arab will actually never
be able to make a profit. However, the
building more than pays for itself by creating
a potent marketing symbol for surrounding
Dubai (
BUT As we know:
A great deal of the United Arab Emirates
current economy is dependent upon
international tourism. The Burj Al Arab
quickly became the citys definitive icon; it is
now to Dubai what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.
Tourism worldwide has seen a gradual
decrease over the last few years. However,
more recently it has been increasing in Dubai,
thanks in large part to Burj Al Arab. (Time Out


This is the Burj Al Arab, the only 7 stars hotel

... in the world, it was built in only 18 months
.....And opened its doors in 2003

This hotel is in Dubai, in the

Arab Emirates. Yes, a lot of
oil and a lot of money....

Just to go in and see it costs 60 .

Can you imagine what it would cost to
spend the night?..

In a little room like this one....

Or this one....

Let me tell you: you can enjoy one night

in a luxury suite from $7,500 to
$15,000 the most expensive...

This is the panoramic suite

for $ 8.250 the night...

You need to add what it will cost you

to dine in this restaurant

Once you are there you can swim in one

of the numerous pools....

Or perhaps take a bath in something

more simple and intimate...

You can have a drink in

one the numerous bars...

.... and be always in a meeting...

... or play a tennis match with Nadal...

Crazy isnt it? And who will worry

if you lost a ball?. For the price
of one hour of court you can buy
hundreds of balls...

This is an aerial view from the plane

Look at the Hotel Burj Al Arab



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