Schwing Stetter Concreting For The Upcoming World’s Tallest Building

 

V.G. Sakthikumar

Managing Director

Schwing Stetter India Private Limited

 

At more than 1,000 m in height, the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, will be the tallest building in the World after its scheduled completion in 2020. The publicly accessible observation deck, which offers a breathtaking view over the kingdom at a height of 630 m, will break another World record. The skyscraper is part of a new urban development project in Kingdom City, in the North of Jeddah. The equipment and the know-how of Schwing-Stetter make records like these possible.

The architectural office Adrian Smith + Gordon Grill Architecture based in Chicago, designed the building for the client: Jeddah Economic Company. A hotel, offices, apartments and a shopping centre will be housed on more than 530,000 m² spread over 240 floors. The tower is divided into two parts: the “Residential Tower” comprising 167 floors up to a height of 674 m. This is followed by the “Spire” spiraling up to a height of 962 m and comprising floors 168 to 240. Up to this level, the building will be constructed in reinforced concrete, also constituting a world record. From then on, the “Steel Spire Pinnacle”, the final apex, constructed from steel elements, will be going up to the planned height of over 1,000 m.

Kingdom City is part of the larger development and will be the first structure in the world to reach the one-kilometre-high mark (the original design was to be one-mile-high (1.6 km), but the geology of the area was not suitable for that height).

 

TOP-Products For Extraordinary Challenges

For the concreting logistics of this demanding construction project, the executing construction company Saudi Binladin Group is banking again on the expertise and products of Schwing Stetter. The long established company has already completed numerous demanding construction projects in the region and has a reputation for reliability and construction expertise.

 

Fig. 1: Aiming high: After Its Completion, The Kingdom Tower Will Be More Than 1,000 M High Making It the Tallest Building in the World. © Jeddah Economic Company/Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

 

Two on-site Stetter HN 3.0 batching plants are producing the concrete necessary for the mega-project in order to avoid long drives with incalculable delays in the concrete supply. Four Schwing SP 8800 D stationary pumps with an engine power of around 450 kW each and a maximum feed pressure of up to 243 bar are available for high-rise pumping of the fresh concrete. A high-performance, self-compacting concrete (SCC) C85 will be used for the construction phase up to a height of approx. 400 m. An elaborate pump trial on site prior to the beginning of the construction project was needed to optimize the concrete mixture with respect to its pumpability and workability because the theoretical calculation models did not provide reliable results due to the exceptional framework conditions of the project. The next construction phase extends up to a height of approx. 675 m and is also carried out with a high-performance concrete, but with a somewhat lower compressive strength. At the top of the second construction phase, a concrete pump is installed during subsequent project stages, to take on further transport of concrete to the higher floors.

Placing Concrete Above The Clouds

For placing concrete, the Saudi Binladin Group is using a total of five separate Schwing concrete placing booms (SPB). Three SPB 35 and two SPB 30 booms raise along with the building to be used by the contractor‘s experienced team for placing concrete up to a height of over 950 m.

Part of the Schwing Stetter order also include over 1,000 m of pumping line for the first construction phase up to 200 m in height, including the important fixing accessories. At these heights, discharge pressures significantly above 200 bar and high output means reliable and durable fastening of the delivery pipes is necessary to ensure high occupational and operational safety. While planning the placement of the stationary pumps, lay-out of the pumping lines and determining the best locations for the separate placing booms, the Saudi Binladin Group was able to fall back on the expertise of the Schwing Stetter engineers.

 

Fig. 2: The Adventure Begins: The First Floors Rise Into The Sky. The Pumping Lines Of The Pump Trial Are Paramount.

The bored piles reaching more than 120 m deep into the ground ensure stable conditions. The bottom plate front built on these was concreted in several phases with Schwing truck-mounted concrete boom pumps. Schwing Stetter equipment in use at this project is as listed.

Schwing Stetter has been represented in many Middle Eastern countries for more than 34 years and has supported its customers during this period with machines, equipment and expertise in the construction of many demanding and well-known building projects.

 

 


Fig. 3: Good Accessibility: Schwing Truck-Mounted Concrete Boom Pump S 42 SX In Use.
Stationary Pumps And Placing Booms Will Be Used For The Other Floors.

 

For more information, visit: https://www.schwingstetterindia.com/

 

Fig. 4: Concrete Logistics: Delivery Tubes Carry The Concrete From The Stationary Pumps Into
The Building Up To The Separate Placing Booms

 


Fig. 5: View From Above: Schwing Separate Placing Boom SPB 35 On One Of The Side Wings Of The Kingdom Tower.

 

Why The Kingdom Tower Is Truly Awe-Inspiring, Is More Than Just A Big Building?

  1. The tower will be home to the World’s highest observatory. It will also have a separate, 98-foot-diameter outdoor balcony, which was originally intended to be a helipad.
  2. The building is so big that they are unable to show it realistically in one rendering. Only elevations and birds-eye views can contain the entire project. Imagine those construction drawings.
  3. The foundation piles are about as large as a small room at 10 feet in diameter, and can reach up to 360 feet in length.
  4. Its shape is functional. The narrowing silhouette has to fight wind as well as gravity, so the three-sided shard is designed to be aerodynamic. The taper also helps maximize usable/rentable area. It offsets the large core size on the lower floors by widening the base, while the shape also narrows the core overall, making it less space consuming at the top.
  5. Its form is interesting for a tower of its size. The “three petal” plan allows separate extrusions to nudge against one another, while the profile is inspired by folded fronds of young desert plant growth. Gill like indentations add another scale of visual intrigue.
  6. It’s on a plinth! But jokes aside, the building does meet the ground in a nuanced, thoughtful way. Transportation routes crisscross around it and the plinth melds it with its urban surroundings.
  7. It has 59 elevators and 12 escalators, and five of these elevators will be double decker. The lifts will not reach the speeds of normal elevators, as the change in air pressure at those altitudes would cause nausea. Three sky lobbies will prevent any one elevator from having to go all the way to the top, eliminating the need for excessively huge cables.
  8. It has high-tech features. A high-performance exterior wall system, including low-conductivity glass will minimize energy consumption by reducing thermal loads.
  9. There are super-cool patios all along its three sides. Each side features a series of shaded notches where outdoor terraces offer extreme views of Jeddah and the Red Sea.
  10. The massive structure will contain 80,000 tons of steel. Parts of the core will contain concrete that is several metres thick.