We cracked it!

Building the world’s tallest residential tower throws up a number of serious challenges – particularity when the building’s façade needs to be functional, elegant and able to withstand extreme winds.

SRGT tower

By Andrew Somerville, October 2017

The SRG tower in Dubai takes residential highrises to the next level – the 94th floor to be precise. 

Ramboll has been closely involved in the design of the unique façade of the tower, using extensive engineering analysis and wind and structural studies, and drawing on both structural engineering and façade design. 

According to Abdulmajid Karanouh, Director and Head of Innovation Design, Facades & Sustainability at Ramboll, the main challenge in designing the façade was to accommodate the exceptionally small site of the building. 

“The building has a very tight square footprint of 32 by 32 metres,” he says. “Yet it is 440 metres tall – which makes it very challenging to design an efficient structure and façade that can cope with very high wind speeds and building movements without ending up with oversized elements that eat up large chunks of the built-up floor area.” 

To cope with this, the superstructure of the building is an elongated diagonal grid that is angled in such a way as to translate building loads to the ground while countering wind forces and potential seismic movements. “The geometry of the building,” says Abdulmajid, “had to be sculptured in a way to allow it to breathe where air can infiltrate it at certain intervals – therefore open sky-gardens the height of two floors were introduced every ninety metres exactly above where every mechanical floor is located.” 

No detail has been spared in the quest for efficient and functional design, even at the very top of the tower. “Two wind turbines within the building’s crown generate renewable energy, which is in return fed back into the building grid,” says Abdulmajid. “The crown was also designed to enable air infiltration to ease the wind pressure and to create a wind corridor to spin the wind turbines effectively.” 

Another key sustainable feature is a system of photovoltaics (PV or solar cells) incorporated into the façade. 

The SRG tower is expected to be completed by 2022.

Ramboll Group A/S

Ramboll Group A/S
Hannemanns Allé 53
DK-2300 Copenhagen S
Tel: +45 5161 1000
Fax +45 5161 1001

Mail: info@ramboll.com

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