Dr. Antony Wood, executive director of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), recently got a firsthand look at the soon-to-be world’s tallest building, a tour that encompassed a bottom-to-top viewing of work going on at Jeddah Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Wood and his hosts, officials with tower developer Jeddah Economic Co. and contractor Saudi Binladin Group, made their way to the top of the structure, which at the time was level 56, some 252 meters above the ground. When complete, Jeddah Tower will stand at least 1,000 m tall and house hotel, residential and office space, among other uses, in its 167 stories, and will be the centerpiece of a huge development called Jeddah Economic City. Bringing the tour to a close in hair-raising fashion, Wood and his hosts rode down in a materials hoist lowered by one of the construction cranes, a trip that offered the group spectacular views not only of the work going on, but also of the Red Sea, Jeddah and the massive site of the development.
Scientists estimate that by 2030, the number of people living in cities will rise 30% to five billion. We can’t spread out (unless we go off planet), so we must go up.
– Ricia Sturgeon-Hendrick, ELEVATOR WORLD July 2015
You can expect the number of tall, super-tall and mega-tall buildings to increase in the near and far future. This is fine with me. These structures are amazing, beautiful and are incredible feats of engineering.
One of the many challenges of building a high-rise is that it needs to be rigid enough to withstand strong winds, yet flexible enough to survive an earthquake. One fact that many people often forget is that these structures actually sway in winds. That thought is pretty frightening, but it is a necessary function for these buildings.
Let’s take a look at one example that helped redefine what was once thought impossible.