Burj Khalifa

Samsung C&T, Engineering & Construction Americas

Project Description

The Burj Khalifa is currently the world’s tallest building, reaching 855 meters in height. The building has 162 floors, with a hotel on floors 1-39, luxury apartments on floors 40-108, and offices and observatory on floors 109-162. Total floor area within the building is 5 million square feet (465,000 square meters). Safety features designed and constructed into the building include the ability to withstand earthquakes higher than 7.0 on the Richter scale.


The experience Samsung gained from building high-rises such as the Petronas Twin Towers (Malaysia) and Taipei 101 (Taiwan) became an important asset in the successful completion of the latest global icon in the United Arab Emirates. Built with a combination of reinforced concrete and steel framework, Burj Khalifa made use of Samsung-developed 80MPa ultra high-strength concrete. The technology for the vertical high-pressure blowing system that the company used in building Taipei 101 was also employed in the Burj Khalifa construction. The system was able to pump the concrete mix up to the 156th floor, or 601 meters (1,972 ft.). Reinforced concrete is one of the most important requirements in high-rise buildings. For Burj Khalifa, we incorporated our proprietary 80MPa ultra high-strength concrete, which is more than three times stronger than the standard concrete mix used in domestic apartment buildings. It is difficult, however, to maintain the concrete strength throughout the whole building from the bottom to the top. To address this challenge, we relied on state-of-the-art concrete mixing technology and a high-speed concrete delivery system.


To keep the project on schedule, our team needed to build the framework for a floor every three days, a capability that is equated with Samsung. Typically it takes more than a week to build a floor based on conventional formwork technology, which greatly extends construction time and increases costs. Our team introduced the so-called automatic formwork elevation system, which enabled the company to shorten the construction time with no sacrifice in structural stability. The use of three satellites for GPS measurement was utilized to maintain the margin of error for verticality to within 5 millimeters was a world first and was instrumental in keeping the project moving forward at the rapid pace.


Many technologies that we employed in building the Burj Khalifa, including hoisting technology, handling all the building materials and equipment, and managing 12,000 workers, have become a global standard for the creation of ultra high-rise buildings.