The Construction of Burj Al-Arab

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Ehsan Pourabedin Student No: 070271


1. Location of Burj Al Arab 2. Experience

3. Description and its Dimensions 4. Building Uses

5. The Burj al Arab Island 6. concept architect

7. Designers and Architectural Style 8. Materials used in construction

9. amazing facts about Burj Al Arab 10. Island construction process

11. Construction Process


11. Structural Types

12. Structural Engineering and structure analyze 13. Gravity Loads 14. Lateral Loads 15. Construction Management 16. 2 phase of construction 17. MEP Engineering 18. Exterior 19. Technical Details

20. Economical justification of the project 21. A glance at Burj Al Arab


 United Arab Emirates – Dubai  Private Island (280 m Offshore)


 World’s Tallest Hotel (321 m)

 World Class Accommodations

 The most technologically

advanced meeting and

conference facilities available

The Helipad


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.


Hotel Restaurant


 Status: built  Construction Dates:  Began: 1994  Finished: 1999  Floor Count: 60  Elevator Count: 18  Units / Rooms: 202



 Height of atrium: 182m

 Height of helipad from sea: 212M

 Height of top of accommodation from island:



 Distance of shore to the outer point of island: 450m  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 deep  Size of sky view restaurant: 1000 sq m


 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


 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 Wright lived in Dubai during the design and construction of the project working as the project

Design Director for Atkins one of the world′s leading multi

discipline design consultancies. Since 1999 Tom Wright has

continued to work for Atkins as Head of Architecture from the Atkins H.Q. in Epsom, London.


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 future.


KCA International Led by Ms Kuan


 The client asked us to

design a building that

would become a symbol

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


 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 shape.


 It helps its uniqueness. It looks like a sail / boat.  If it was on shore it would block the sun on the


 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.


 carbon  fiber  concrete  fabric  glass  gold  steel


 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.


Island construction process

It took 3 years to complete the island from

total 5 years construction period


Number of piles: 230 Length of piles: 45m Diameter of piles 1.5m

Depth of lowest basement


 Temporary tube piles driven into sea bed

 Temporary sheet piles and tie rods driven into sea bed to


 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


Island interior excavated and temporary sheet pile coffer dam


2m thick concrete plug slab laid at base of island Reinforced concrete retaining wall built


high-rise  atrium  cantilever  landing pad  pole  truss  stilts

Construction Process


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


130 foot Deep Piles Outer Steel Frame V Inner Reinforced


 Core Connection

 Central Core Service


 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 V’s 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 world’s largest atrium to be enclosed between the two sides of hotel suites.


 3 Tube Steel Trusses

 Cross-bracing and

Curved Truss Arch

 Teflon Coated


 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 (Reina).

 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 between  Al Habtoor Engineering

 Murray and Roberts


 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:

1. labor supply 2. concrete work

3. structural steel supply 4. Erection

5. high rise management experience 6. Purchasing

7. cost control


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 Dubai.


 Construction in two phase  Phase 1 Value Engineering and Constructability Phase 2 Actual Construction


 The first phase would address the complexity of the

building construction and take advantage of a three-month 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 Habtoor).


 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 Cantilever’s 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 re-engineer 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

engineering, 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 Group

 All designs are very involved given the

nature the project

 Exterior Electrical Designs  Subcontracted out to


 As you might expect the mechanical, electrical and

plumbing designs for this building are quite involved given the building’s 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 building’s 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 exoskeleton

wrapped around an 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, touch-screen video and teleconferencing, fax machine, photocopier, data port and to top it all off, automated curtains (Burj Al Arab).


 The Burj Al Arab is lit by 150 color changing. highlighted by 90 Data Flash strobes • The tower changes from white to multicolor as the evening progresses The Changing Colors of the Building’s Exterior


In fabric atrium wall

The membrane is constructed from 2 skins of PTFE coated fiberglass separated by an air gap of approximately 500mm and pre-tensioned 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 cross-braced macaloy bars. Girders at these floors transfer the load to the core structure. These bars are then pre-tensioned 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


 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 city’s 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.


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


Just to go in and “see it” costs 60 € .

Can you imagine what it would cost to


Let me tell you: you can enjoy one night

in a luxury suite from $7,500 to


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


Crazy isn’t it? And who will worry if

you lost a ball?…. For the price of

one hour of court you can buy


This is an aerial view from the plane Look

at the Hotel Burj Al Arab


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3. 4.


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November 28, 2004 from

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2000, Iss. 8, pg. 116, 12 pgs.


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