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At 2,296 feet (700 meters) the Burj Dubai has surpassed not only the tallest skyscraper in the World, but also the tallest Antenna, and the tallest manmade structure - the Warsaw radio mast in Poland. And they are not done yet - The final height remains a secret, known only to a handful of designers.
The Tower, estimated to cost $1billion USD when completed, is the jewel of a 500-acre development called 'Downtown Dubai' (estimated cost $20b USD), which will feature the world's largest fountains, the world's largest mall and entertainment center and over 30,000 homes. Designed by the same architects as the world famous Sears Tower in Chicago, the Burj Dubai is scheduled for completion in September, 2009
It will house a hotel, residences, a free public observatory deck and businesses, all serviced by some of the fastest elevators in the world, climbing at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour.
While the Burj Dubai is amazing to look at, what is even more amazing is the engineering skills behind it.
For one, there is no scaffolding outside the structure - the building is being built entirely from the inside up.
The concrete is re-enforced by 39,000 tons of steel rods, which if placed side-by side would stretch more than a quarter way around the world. The Tower, whose external surface is as large as 25 soccer fields, has also been built to withstand severe earthquakes. In addition, there are safety refuge rooms with independent air supplies and additional staircases - in case of an emergency.
While completing the building is a challenge by itself, an even greater challenge awaits once it is ready to be occupied by the 35,000 people that it can house.
The developers estimate that the residents will need over 250,000 gallons of water daily and the equivalent of 360,000, 100-watt bulbs in energy, at peak hours. And what happens when the windows need cleaning? They are planning to have gondolas that will flip out on levered arms - Yikes! Imagine dangling in a gondola 160 storeys high. And here's another doozy - Who will change that light bulb that sits on the tippy-top of the tower, to warn airplanes of its height? Hopefully they have found a bulb that will last for at least 100 years!
For more fun facts on this amazing engineering marvel check out the developer's website at www.burjdubai.com.
Source: DailyMail.co.Uk, www.BurjDubai.com