Burj Khalifa Shut Down By Elevator Failure

A few days ago the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, was closed "indefinitely" due to " electrical problems." May thought that it was more than just that, and the speculation was rampant that the Dubai meltdown had affected even this iconic building. The owners didn't help the situation; as the Guardian puts it:

"Despite repeated requests, a spokeswoman for Emaar was unable to provide further details or rule out the possibility of foul play. Greg Sang, Emaar's director of projects and the man charged with coordinating the tower's construction, could not be reached."

Now it is revealed that the problem was an elevator failure; instead of just stopping, there was what sounded like an explosion and one observer said they saw smoke. The developer claims in Top News that he kept quiet for "security reasons", but that everything is now fixed and the tower will reopen on February 14th.

The Design problem with such buildings is that a big proportion of the plan is devoted to elevators. There are 57 of them in the slender building, sometimes stacked on top of another in the same shaft and reached by sky lobbies, the system used in New York's World Trade Center towers. They don't have cables, but are pulled by a flat belt gearless system. They can go up to 40 MPH. The original contract was for $36 Million.


Click to enlarge; Armani Hotel

It doesn't look so bad on this lower floor with the Armani Hotel, but that core with all those elevators stays the same size all the way up. This will probably be the last of its kind, building so lavishly, inefficiently and expensively just to be able to boast having the world's highest Rm w/a Vu.

Image at top: Rhino via Archinect

Tags: Architecture

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