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Cladding complete on world's tallest tower

Exterior cladding for Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building being developed by Emaar Properties PJSC, is now complete. The tower has accomplished a world record for the highest installation of an aluminium and glass façade. The total weight of aluminium used on Burj Dubai is equivalent to that of five A380 aircraft and the total length of stainless steel bull nose fins is 293 times the height of Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The last cladding panel numbered 24,348, weighing 750 kg and 1160mm x 6400mm in height was placed at a height of over 662 metres (2172 ft), thus accomplishing the mammoth task of cladding the world’s tallest building. Arabian Aluminium Company in association with Hong Kong based Far East Aluminium began exterior cladding of Burj Dubai in May 2007, and the vast project has involved more than 380 skilled engineers and on-site technicians.

Anticipation has been rising for the official completion date since reports in February that the tower had topped off, despite Emaar refusing to advise the final height which they say will be revealed at the opening later this year. Currently standing at over 800 metres, Burj Dubai is at the centre of Downtown Burj Dubai, a 500-acre mega project described as the new heart of the city of Dubai. A mixed-use tower featuring residences, corporate suites, and the world’s first Armani Hotel and Armani Residences, Burj Dubai is currently awaiting completion of interiors before its official opening.

With a total of 24,348 cladding panels over a total curtain wall area of 132,190 sq m, Burj Dubai’s shimmering exterior minimises heat transmission and saves energy. The total 103,000 sq m of glass used in the cladding panels can cover 14 standard football pitches and the 15,500 sq m of embossed stainless steel used can cover 34 National Basketball Association specified basketball courts. The total length of gaskets – 2,050,000 linear metres – if laid end to end is about the distance from Dubai to Damascus in Syria (2,052 km).

The cladding materials were specially made using advanced engineering techniques and include high-performance reflective glazing, aluminium mullions and textured steel spandrels with vertical stainless steel tubular fins. The cladding accentuates Burj Dubai’s height while lending it a shimmering slenderness. Panels of more than 18 different strength specifications and over 200 sizes have been used for Burj Dubai, all of them double-glazed and factory-sealed.

Mr. Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties, said that the completion of cladding work at Burj Dubai was a milestone both for Burj Dubai and the science of high-rise engineering.

“Burj Dubai’s construction and engineering techniques are unprecedented, and they are our contribution to the science of high-rise development. The cladding work has involved considerable innovation – vast amounts of research and simulation have pioneered advanced materials and installation techniques.”

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