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Tall Order for Pumping Equipment


Jonathan Omer,

Putzmeister, Sturtevant, WI

Putzmeister AG was recently awarded a contract with Universal Concrete Products, Ltd. Co. (UNIMIX) L.L.C. to assist in the construction of the tallest tower in the world – the Burj Dubai. Commencing this spring, Putzmeister pumping equipment will be instrumental in the high-rise placement of concrete for this prestigious project.

Originally, UNIMIX was sub-contracted to produce, supply, pump and place all of the estimated 327,000 cubic yards (250,000m3) of concrete for the tower. With the signing of the recent contract, UNIMIX will now undertake this over 1970-ft (600m) tall project in partnership with Putzmeister.

The two companies already have a long-standing history of successful projects completed together in Dubai. Large-scale projects completed through their joint efforts include the construction of the seven-star hotel Burj El Arab, the Emirate Towers, the Shangri-La Hotel and The Tower.

With its impressive height, the Burj Dubai is viewed as the focal point of downtown Dubai’s Development Design. The lofty vertical city tower will offer upscale commercial space, elegant cuisine and trendy entertainment establishments on the lower levels and extremely plush and luxurious residential accommodations on the upper floors.

At its anticipated height upon completion, the Burj Dubai will be about 300-ft taller than any existing structure or building under construction today. It will dwarf other structures in terms of technical accomplishment and design excellence.

During construction of the building’s infrastructure, the Putzmeister concrete pumps are expected to reach astounding delivery heights. Experts are therefore expecting that the world record in concrete highrise pumping will be broken at this spectacular building site. Construction of the building’s infrastructure will take approximately 36 months, and total construction costs for the project are estimated at over $8 billion.

The general contractor for construction of the high-rise complex is a joint venture comprising Samsung Corporation (South Korea), BESIX (Belgium) and Arabtec, a local construction company. Architectural design and planning will be provided by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Turner Construction International will manage the tower’s construction. The property developer financing the Burj Dubai Tower is Emaar Properties (Dubai).

The field of concrete building construction is rapidly changing, and its limits are constantly being tested and stretched. Obviously, to place concrete at such extreme heights, pumping must play a major role. Manufacturers are continually advancing technology to perform these high-reach concrete placement projects with greater efficiency. Technical aspects about the concrete delivery and equipment performance will be reported in more detail when the project commences.

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