Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Engineering


Department of Construction Management

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Kirsten Davis


The Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building and freestanding structure in the world. It stands at over 2,716 feet tall. This height is taller than two Eiffel towers stacked on top of each other. The Burj Khalifa also holds the world record for the elevator with the longest travel distance.

Construction of the Burj Khalifa began in January of 2004 with the excavation of the job site. Roughly three years after the excavation process began, the concrete and steel foundation and structural system was complete. In May of 2007, the exterior cladding began to be added at a rate of about 20 to 30 panels per day and eventually improved to as many as 175 panels per day. Construction finally concluded in September of 2009.

The intricate design was created by the Chicago firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrell. The inspiration for the design is derived from minarets and desert flowers, as well as Frank Lloyd Wright’s plans from 1956 for the Illinois Sky-City in Chicago. Even though the goal of the Burj Khalifa is to conjoin Islam and modernity, economically, Dubai is struggling. Thus this structure might be seen as unsustainable and irresponsible given Dubai’s political climate.

Works Referenced

Bedell, Geraldine. “Dubai's Burj Khalifa | Architecture Review.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 10 Jan. 2010,