Tue, Jan 5th 2010, 10:54
The worldâ€™s tallest building, The Burj Khalifa, has been unveiled. Standing at 828 metres (2,716 feet) it easily takes the prize from the previous tallest building, the Taipei 101 which stands at 508 metres.
The world's tallest building is the jewel in the crown of Dubai which has embarked on an unprecedented building spending spree over the past decade. During construction the building was known as the Burj Dubai but the opening saw a surprise rename to Burj Khalifa, named after the emir of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan.
There is widespread speculation that the Burj Khalifa namechange was a result of the US$10 billion bailout that Abu Dhabi gave Dubai to meet its debts in mid-December.
The Burj Khalifa breaks a number of records. It boasts the tallest service lift, the highest occupied floor in the world, the world's highest mosque and the world's highest swimming pool. The world's highest observation deck lies on the 124th floor. From tomorrow it is open to the public.
The world's tallest building is a fitting monument to engineer Fazlur Khan who died in 1982. Khan revolutionised the design of supertall buildings by his revolutionary approach. Previous skyscrapers were based on a steel frame to give the building its strength. Khan's approach was to give strength to the buildings external envelope using enough trussing, framing and bracing. This means that buildings could be lighter and need not conform to the box shaped steel frame structure. The result: the whimsical sculpture that is now the world's tallest building.