What It Is

Saudi Arabia is planning on constructing the Jeddah Tower, a skyscraper that, at 1 kilometer (3,280-feet) tall, will steal the title of "World’s Tallest Building" from the current Guinness record holder. Indeed, the Jeddah Tower will dwarf the competition. To date, the Burj Khalifa, located in neighboring Dubai, is the tallest building on Earth. It stands 827 meters (2,716 feet).

The Jeddah Tower is scheduled for completion sometime in the year 2020. Currently, twenty six floors have already been constructed. It will be the centerpiece of the planned Jeddah City, which the Jeddah Economic Company and Saudi Arabia's Alinma Investment signed a financing deal for. All-in-all, the deal is set to cost some 8.4 billion Saudi riyals (or $2.2 billion).

Of this amount, a staggering $1.23 billion will go into the construction of the tower.

"With this deal, we will reach new, as yet unheard of highs in real estate development," said Mounib Hammoud, Chief Executive Officer of Jeddah Economic Company, in the press release. Hammoud added that the project will help the company complete its long-term mission, fulfilling their objective of "creating a world-class urban center that offers an advanced lifestyle, so that Jeddah may have a new iconic landmark that attracts people from all walks of society with comprehensive services and a multitude of uses"

Jeddah Tower. Credit: Jeddah Economic Company
How It Will Be Achieved

Formerly known as the Kingdom Tower, once completed, it will have 200 floors and will overlook the Red Sea. Ultimately, the tower require 529,547 square meters (5.7 million square feet) of concrete and 80,000 tons of steel for its construction.

Being so tall, its foundations will be laid 60 meters (200 feet) deep below ground. And being located near a coastline, different types of salt-tolerant concrete will be tested to ensure durability.

Wind load is another consideration; due to this, the tower will change shape as it ascends. "Because it changes shape every few floors, the wind loads go round the building and won't be as extreme as on a really solid block," explained Gordon Gill, a partner at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the design architects for the project.

Credit: Jeddah Economic Company

Delivering the concrete to the higher floors is another challenge. Most likely, the Jeddah Tower engineers will use a technique similar to what was used in the construction of the Burj Khalifa: Pumping the concrete upwards at night when low temperatures would ensure that it would set.

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