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www.wmfd.com - The Burj Khalifa in Dubai isn't just the world's tallest building, it's also one of the most state-of-the-art. The just-over 2,700-foot high tower boasts high-tech designs that keep it cool in the desert climate, and even allows the base to shift in the event of an earthquake. Here's a detailed look behind the scenes of the highly-impressive structure.

   
 
 
A Look Behind The Scenes Of The World's Tallest Building

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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The Burj Khalifa in Dubai isn't just the world's tallest building, it's also one of the most state-of-the-art. The just-over 2,700-foot high tower boasts high-tech designs that keep it cool in the desert climate, and even allows the base to shift in the event of an earthquake. Here's a detailed look behind the scenes of the highly-impressive structure. At 2,716 feet, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest structure ever built on Earth. Towering over the city of Dubai, it has the highest observation deck and the highest restaurant in a skyscraper and its owners say it has the highest swimming pool in the world. "Is there room for tall buildings like this that are, that function, that aren't just a landmark or something beautiful to look at, that actually function and are efficient and profitable?" asks CNN's Erin Burnett. "I think there are, nowadays, people are being smarter," says Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emarr Properties, Smarter and more efficient, Mohamed Alabbar built the Burj at an estimated cost of $1.5-billion and opened its doors in 2010. "Today is was, I don't know, 110 degrees, and when you add in humidity and sun, how do you keep this cool?" asks Burnett. "Well, of course, it is a combination of good design to start with, with a good advanced mechanical, electrical system, a very good, most advanced skin, on the building, so the curtain wall, the makeup of the curtain wall, the glass we are using, the way it reflects heat, all of that is a combination of advanced technology and monitoring the building every single hour," Alabbar says. Using an innovative thermal ice storage system, the tower is currently kept cool with the equivalent of 13,000 tons of ice. The building is monitored 24 hours a day in a main control room, where engineers measure everything from power and water usage, to wind speed and seismic activity. On a windy day, the top of the tower can move up to six feet in either direction and the base is designed to shift in the event of an earthquake. "Do you get a little nervous when there's an earthquake in the area?" asks Burnett. "Well, I used to, now I trust it so much," Alabbar says. "Because recently, last week, we had quite a good movement in town." "If you told me that, I wouldn't be up here right now," Burnett says. Getting to the observation deck takes about 60 seconds in one of the towers 57 elevators. It's specially designed lifts can move up to 12,000 people a day and even contribute as a power source. "I mean, are they actually creating power?" asks Burnett. "Of course they create power, and the power goes back to the system, the grid that we have," Alabbar says. "And it feeds into lighting part of the building as well." Alabbar explains how the Burj Khalifa efficiently captures water from outside the building itself in Dubai's sweltering humid air. "We take uh, great pride in the condensation that happens on the skin of the building, we collect it and use it for our irrigation system in the whole development," he says. "What we collect is 20 Olympic pool sizes of condensation on the skin of this building, and is very valuable when you live in the desert, of course." And while it's only been open for four years, he's already thinking of building bigger and better. "Height is something very special for human beings," Alabbar says, "I think technology has improved, we can do much better the next time."

   
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