Burj Khalifa: Breaking record after record

Project: Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Developer: Turner Construction International

Contractor (and Architects): Joint Venture: Samsung Corporation (South Korea), Besix (Belgium), Arabtec (Dubai)

MEVA Systems: MevaDec (FTE-method)

Formwork Engineering: MEVA Formwork-Systems, Haiterbach



The Burj Khalifa – the Tower of Dubai

MevaDec slab formwork system achieved a record-breaking

The Burj Khalifa will be the highest building ever erected by mankind. The exact height is a being kept secret in order not prevent any competitor surpassing it. The final height will exceed 800 m (2,625 ft). After completion in 2009, 35 million visitors from all over the world are expected every year. The Burj will beat a long list of records: It will bet he highest structure ever, the building with the highest habitable level and the highest viewing platform. In June 2007, the Burj Dubai surpassed the Tapei 101 and reached the status of being the highest building in the world.

The Desert Flower: Design of the Burj Khalifa
The tower is composed of three elements arranged around a central core. A Y-shaped floor plan maximizes views of the Persian Gulf. As the tower rises, it tapers to minimise wind impact which is awesome: the antenna at the top of the Burj is designed for a deflection of +/- 12 m! The tower will cover a floor space of 4.000.000 m². An Armani Hotel with 403 apartments will occupy the lower 37 floors. Floors 45 through 108 will have private apartments. Offices and suites occupy the rest, except for a 123rd floor lobby and 124th floor observation deck, the highest in the world.

Quick-lowering system enables 3 day-per-slab cycle with the MevaDec slab formwork system
The biggest share of the on-site concrete works is dedicated to the slabs totalling 224,808 m² (532 slabs on 154 floor levels) MEVA supplies a complete formwork solution with its slab formwork system MevaDec.
A total of only 3,000 m² of MevaDec slab formwork are required to supply the entire construction process. The slabs are poured at 6 pm formwork is stripped at noon the following day. Two factors help to keep up this pace:

  • The MevaDec drop head with quick-lowering system allows stripping the panels and beams while the props remain as reshoring.
  • The low weight allows the panels to be transferred to the next floor level by using a lifting gear.

100% wood-free, all-plastic facing  avoids re-facing
Plywood facing would have disintegrated after a number of uses, requiring re-facing. Building at great heights, this would have meant costly, time-wasting logistics and handling effort or excessive, expensive inventory. Only the MevaDec with its unique all-plastic, 100% wood-free facing copes with unlimited re-uses and never needs refacing. The MEVA claim was proved true up to level 154, when structural works were completed.

Turner Construction (U.S.A.) acts as project manager for contractor Emaar Properties
The tower, designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, who also designed the Sears Tower in Chicago and the Freedom Tower in New York City, is being built under the auspices of Turner Construction (USA). The consortium consists of Samsung (Korea), BeSix (Belgien) and Arabtec (United Arab Emirates) and is managed by Samsung. As a result of the spotless track record in the Burj Khalifa, Turner Corporation officially recommends the MevaDec slab formwork system as the forming solution in high-rise construction.

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