Saudi Arabia constructing world’s tallest building

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Kingdom Tower
The Kingdom Tower is definitely going to be the top dog.

The current tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, stands at a mighty 2,717 feet. Since 2010, it has held onto the crown, but Saudi Arabia is planning on snatching that title with the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah.

The mega skyscraper will reach 3,280 feet into the clouds, 1 kilometer up, and will cost $1.23 billion to make.

Advanced Construction Technology Services (ACTS) are helping with the project, which will require some serious architectural science and technology to pull off.

A 200 foot foundation will be built with enough strength to resist the saltwater from the ocean close by, and so ACTS is testing different concretes to see if they’re up to the task.

Even if the Kingdom Tower can handle the ocean, it needs to resist the winds as well. That’s why the high-tech tower will change shape! The structure will shift every few floors, sending wind around the building smoothly rather than taking its full force head on.

So, how will the engineers get the massive concrete to those tip-top floors? They may use a pump to send the liquid form of the material way up there, like the Burj Khalifa’s builders did. There will be quite a bit of the hardening gray matter required, as the finished building will have an estimated 5.7 million square feet of concrete. As for its tough skeleton, the Kingdom Tower will use 80,000 tons of steel.

Featured image courtesy of Jeddah Economic Company, Adrian Smith, and Gordon Gill Architecture. Image of building chart courtesy of Gizmodo.