Burj Khalifa, the pinnacle of modern architectural technology and the crown jewel of Dubai skyline is one of the most well-known buildings of our times. Let’s start with the general facts about the building

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1. Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world with an architectural height of 2716.5 feet or 828.0 meters. Its occupied height (height of the floor occupied by people) is 1918 feet or 584.5 meters. Its total height measured from its tip is 2723 feet or 829.8 meters. The observatory deck of the building is located at a height of 1483 feet or 452.1 meters.

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2. Burj Khalifa boast 2957 parking spaces, 304 hotels and 900 apartments. There are 163 floors located above the ground and it has only one floor located below the ground.

3. The Gross Floor Area of the tower is 3,331,140 ftor 309,473 m2. The Gross Floor Area is the area within the footprint of the tower and does not include connected buildings and adjoining podiums.

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4. Aside from holding the world record for being the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa holds six other world records. The Burj Khalifa is also the tallest freestanding structure in the world, has the highest number of stories in the world, has the highest occupied floor in the world, has the highest outdoor observation deck in the world, has the elevator with longest travel distance in the world, Largest illuminated façade, Tallest LED-illuminated facade and has the tallest service elevator in the world.

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Since, most of us are familiar with the usual facts about this goliath tower, here are some facts which might be unheard of.

5. The design of the tower is inspired by the shape of Hymenocallis flower or commonly known as the ‘Spider Lily’. The central core emerges at the top and culminates in a sculpted spire. The flower is known for its long petals extending out from its centre.

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6. Burj Khalifa is the most popular tourist attraction in Dubai! Most of the entire Downtown Dubai district came to life alongside the Burj. The building has the longest single running elevator, which is 140 floors. The Burj Khalifa elevator speed is 10 meters per second, making the elevators among the fastest in the world. The Burj Khalifa elevator time to reach the observation deck on the 124th floor is only one minute.

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7. A Burj Khalifa fun fact that you can truly applaud is its sustainability and reuse of resources. Every year 15 million gallons of water are collected sustainably. The water is used for irrigation to water the landscaping and plants, for the cooling system and to supply the Dubai Fountain. Sustainabilitywas extremely important during construction – the exterior cladding is silver coated to improve insulation, and solar panels were installed to heat up to 140,000 litres of water per day.  The gardens are watered using condensation from the air conditioning system.

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8. As the epitome of luxury, in the building you’ll find the second Armani Hotel in the world, after the one in Milan. The hotel has no reception, as Giorgio wanted to feel guests as if they were entering his home. Burj Khalifa also houses the world’s highest restaurant – mosphere on level 122, where you can dine looking at the city skyline from a height of 441 meters. What’s novelty without art, Art lovers will be pleased to know that the building is full of specially-commissioned art pieces. Two examples are the sculpture by Egyptian born artist Karim Rashid, made of shifting oval shapes and found in the corporate entrance, and the ‘World Voices’ installation in the resident’s lobby. The latter was the work of Catalan artist Jaume Plensa, and features suspended cymbals that sound when hit by droplets of water.   There are more than 1000 pieces from some of the world’s best-known artists (with a focus on Middle Eastern artists) hanging within the property—many of them specifically commissioned for the building.

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9. Though the Burj Khalifa’s spire is one of its most defining features (and has a practical use: housing the building’s communications equipment), in architectural circles, it’s somewhat controversial—as are spires in general. In 2013, the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat issued a report on what they deemed “vanity spires,” claiming that these uninhabited spaces are simply used to make a building stand that much taller. According to the report, 60 percent of the world’s tallest buildings wouldn’t be so tall at all without their spires. The Burj Khalifa in particular would lose 700 feet of its height.  It’s made from more than 4000-tons of steel and on a clear day the spire can be seen from up to 95kms away.

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10. Prior to 2010, the Burj Khalifa heighthad been kept a secret in order to prevent it from being surpassed by potential competitors. You can watch the sunset twice from the Burj Khalifa, once from a lower floor and then again from the observation deck! At the highest point on the Burj Khalifa, the temperature is nearly 15°C lower than on ‘ground level’.

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Sitanshu Pani
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