The wind engineering of the Burj Dubai tower Conference

cited authors

  • Irwin, PA; Baker, WF

fiu authors


  • The Burj Dubai tower will be the world's tallest building by a wide margin when completed. Wind is the dominant lateral load and thus governed many aspects of the architectural and structural design. In order to optimize the design for wind an iterative sequence of wind tunnel tests and design progressions took place in which results from the wind tunnel tests were fed into each step of the design and vice versa. The wind tunnel tests were done in RWDI's 2.4 m × 1.9 m and 4.9 m × 2.4 m boundary layer wind tunnels. The primary tool in the wind tunnel tests in this iterative process was the high-frequency-force-balance model at 1:500 scale. Final tests for structural response were undertaken with a 1:500 scale aeroelastic model and for local peak pressures using a pressure tapped model. In the aeroelastic model tests some signs of Reynolds number dependency were detected. As a result high Reynolds number tests on a 1:50 scale model were initiated in the 9 m × 9 m wind tunnel at the National Research Council of Canada. The results indicated that the 1:500 results were free from significant Reynolds number effects at the higher end of the test speed range. Detailed meteorological studies were also undertaken using ground based data, balloon data and mesoscale modeling techniques in order to establish a good statistical model of the wind climate. The pedestrian wind environment at ground level and on the numerous terraces was also examined on 1:500 and 1:250 scale models and solutions to high wind conditions developed in critical areas.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005