Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Clouds Don’t Reach the Top, but the Concrete Had to

It was a dream that defied not just gravity but the frontiers of audacity in the sheer scale and ambition of architecture. It was an attempt  that challenged mankind to put its collective engineering knowledge and imagination prowess on the table even before it took shape.

But take shape it did. And construction history was rewritten with the building of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, of which Putzmeister was a concrete part. Pun intended.

The  government's agenda for the Burj Khalifa was as just as grand as the Y-shaped spiral structure that resembles a thunderbolt piercing the heart of the sky:  to diversify UAE from an oil-based economy into a hub for international tourism.

But however grand an idea, it's the execution that gives it life.


The Challenge

To  pump concrete up the three winged tower in central Dubai for make for its record breaking height.

The Putzmeister BSA 14000 SHP-D set the world record for vertical concrete pumping (606 m) while helping build the world’s tallest building.


The Solution

To go where no pump has gone before both Putzmeister Aichtal Works and GGE started preparations in early 2005.

Putzmeister's specially designed BSA 14000 SHP-D reached a world record vertical concrete pumping height of 606m topping out Burj Khalifa, making it the world's  tallest building at 828 m high.

“This extreme pump height was possible due to the cooperation between the Samsung-led team, the concrete supplier and pumping service for the project Unimix, the local Putzmeister agent German Gulf Enterprises (GGE), as well as Putzmeister Concrete Pumps GmbH,”  explains Christian Stirm, application engineer at Putzmeister’s global headquarters in Aichtal, Germany.

Unimix first broke its own record with its BSA 14000 SHP-D trailer pump while working on Burj Khalifa in 2007 by reaching a pumping height of 452 m. By 2008 they reached the current world record for vertical concrete pumping at a height of 606m.
Unimix deployed a carefully designed concrete placing system including two Putzmeister BSA 14000 SHP-D trailer-mounted concrete pumps and one BSA 14000 HP-D trailer mounted concrete pump; a carefully engineered delivery line system; four non-ballasted stationary placing booms and various truck mounted boom pumps.

The new super high pressure trailer pump, the BSA 14000 SHP-D was created specifically for the Burj. Its frame and hopper had to be reinforced to withstand the force of the concrete. The pump also had adjusted S-Valves and S-Valve bearings for the expected pressures.
BSA trailer pumps were combined to create one pump station for this project. The pumping station pumped approximately 165,000m3 of high strength concrete for over 32 months.

Throughout the duration, only high compressive strength concrete mixtures were used - but the pours could only done be at night because of excessively hot temperatures during the day. Concrete was chilled in the concrete plant with shards of ice, allowing the concrete to be transferred smoothly.

The  structure's 7000 m2 foundation was placed by numerous Putzmeister Truck-Mounted Boom Pumps.
The foundation is supported by 1.5 m diameter concrete piles for the core tower and 650 concrete piles for the tower's wing sections.

Over the years, the building has been the recipient of numerous awards. And Team Putzmeister considers itself fortunate to have been able to back this height of human engineering.



Project Partners

Emaar Properties (UAE), has commissioned a consortium managed by Samsung (Korea) together with BeSix (Belgium) and Arabtec (UAE) with carrying out the construction works on the prestigious high-rise project. Turner Construction (USA) is responsible for the project management.


Putzmeister Equipment

BSA 14000 HP D
BSA 14000 SHP D
MXR 28-4
MXR 32-4