An extensive program to survey and monitor the structural behavior and dynamic responses of the world’s tallest structure—the 828-meter Burj Khalifa in Dubai—has done more than validate the structural engineer’s design concepts. It could help improve future supertowers, says the keeper of the program. The monitoring system, which includes myriad sensors, will become a model for assessing critical and essential facilities, predicts Ahmad Abdelrazaq, an executive vice president of Samsung C&T Corp., Seoul, the burj’s lead builder.
The program “has given us information that will improve design for tall buildings and hopefully improve future structural systems [that use] new and more advanced materials,” says Abdelrazaq, a former structural engineer in the Chicago office of the burj’s design architect-engineer, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. It will also give the owner information on the structural behavior under environmental conditions. That will allow better decisions about building operations, he adds.