Headline Sep 20, 2015/ ''' MAJESTIC ***BURJ KHALIFA*** DUBAI '''



*AT 830 M *.........  from base to tip,  Dubai's Burg Khalifa is the world's tallest building............FOR NOW!  

FIVE YEARS -after it  debuted with Dubai style gaudiness, including a giant fire-works display:

Burg Khalifa has become a magnet for the roughly  1.5 million people a year who shell out  $54 for tickets to the observation deck, perhaps to contemplate how this gravity-defying building stays upright.

From its base to the tip of its spire, the Burg is almost double the height of the Empire State Building. And yet, the Burg will likely hold on to its title for only a few more years at most.

The scramble to build higher has accelerated so fast in recent years that skyscrapers that awed us last century barely warrant a mention today. Just 15 years ago, buildings higher than  200 m were extraordinary, and there were only 263 of them in the world.

By 2012 there were nearly triple that number. Currently, there are about 10 buildings under way that will be higher than  500 m, which is higher than the world's tallest building in 2003, Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Twin Towers.

More than the expression of intricate engineering, the supertall towers have become an outsized shortcut to global importance. 

''If you want to be a serious city, you have to show that you are serious,'' says Alejandro Stochetti, a director at the architect company,  Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. ''For that you need an iconic building.''

So, the drive to build upward continues, in part because supertall buildings can transform an entire city. The Burg stands in what was a decade ago a quiet area on the wrong side of town.

Now, it anchors in what is known as Downtown, Dubai, with a massive shopping mall, five star hotels and office towers. Tom Cruise even scampered up its side in the film Mission Impossible  -  Ghost Protocol.

But such supertall buildings rarely pay off financially; the Burg itself has trouble filling up.

''There are a number of reasons people try to build very tall. First is ego,'' says the  conceptual architect. ''Someone says,  'I just want to build it, and I am rich enough.' It is for bragging rights.''

The major technical challenge for supertall buildings is wind, which tends to push into structures and accelerate upward  -what engineers call the stack effect. That can cause  full-on-motion sickness for dwellers on triple-digit floors.

The other problem is less obvious: elevators.

Beyond a certain length, elevator cables have been too thick to spool, requiring people to switch elevators once or twice to reach the top of the tallest buildings, which turns a trip to the lobby into a commute.

Yet even that problem could soon be solved.

The Finnish company Kone recently unveiled a lightweight, carbon- fiber rope that will be capable of lifting people all the way up to the top floor in a single elevator ride.

But the more worrying question is whether the earth can sustain this mania for height.

For one overpowering reality is that supertall towers are  energy-sucking machines. Keeping the   Burg  lit and cool takes the equivalent of as much as 360,000  100-watt light bulbs-

And about  10,000  tons of melting ice. And although  supertall towers land, they actually waste space inside.

''They are about 70 to 75%  efficient,'' says the conceptual architect. ''The rest of the building is devoted to corridors and circulation that you do not need in a low-rise building.''

These towers, however, were never meant for efficiency, but rather awe, majesty, and even shock.

With respectful dedication to all the Students, Professors and Teachers of U.A.E. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Sky Scraper '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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