Jeddah Tower Progress of Construction and Current Status
The Jeddah Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is expected to be the tallest tower in the world when construction is finished. The tower will be 3,307 feet or 1,008 meters tall. The height would surpass the 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the planned 3,284-foot Burj Mubarak al-Kabir in Kuwait City.
However, there are significant concerns over whether or not the Jeddah Tower will be completed on time. The plan was to have the building finished in 2021 or 2022.
A Quick Background
The Jeddah Tower was first proposed in 2008. There were hopes to build a tower that was a mile in height, but soil testing found that the earth in the area could only handle a building around a kilometer in height.
The tower will be a part of the $20 billion Jeddah Economic City development. The region will be near the Red Sea.
The Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture firm designed the neo-futurist look of the Jeddah Tower. The Saudi Binladin Group is the main contractor.
Construction of the Jeddah Tower is about a third of the way complete. The project began in 2013. But in 2018, work on the tower was brought to a halt. There were labor issues for the building following the arrest of the owner of Kingdom Holding Company, a part-owner of the tower. The arrest occurs during a purge of in Saudi Arabia surrounding corrupt activities among business and governmental officials.
Concerns Over the Core
There are also worries about how well the core of the building can be supported. The Jeddah Tower will need a massive core to support the immense size of the structure and the vast number of elevators necessary. A triangular footprint is being produced to support the overall stability of the building. Whether or not the footprint will be effective enough in supporting the structure is unclear, although it is similar to what the Burj Khalifa uses.
The ability to produce enough elevators around the building will also be a point to note. There are going to be 59 elevators with a few of them being double-deck models produced by the Kone company out of Finland.
The elevators would have to be placed in appropriate areas to promote a stable design. It may also be difficult to figure out how elevator transfers are to be laid out. Also, the elevators can only travel at about 22 mph or 35 km/h in either direction. The speed limit is to prevent nausea from occurring among passengers due to the dramatic changes in air pressure when going up and down.
Don’t Forget Concrete
More concrete will be needed for the production of the tower, although it may be a challenge to find enough. It is estimated that 500,000 cubic meters of concrete will be required alongside 80,000 tons of steel. Although concrete pumping technology is more effective today, that doesn’t mean that the concrete will be available right away. Extra work will be necessary to get the concrete and other materials ready.