Chinese contractor to use top-down construction to build ‘world’s largest’ residential tower in Dubai

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A digital rendering of Habtoor Tower A digital rendering of Habtoor Tower (Image: Al Habtoor Group)

Contractor China Railway 18th Bureau Group has won a deal with developer the Al Habtoor Group to build a new residential tower in Dubai.

The Habtoor Tower project, worth around AED 3.7 billion (US$1 billion), will be the largest residential building in the world, according to its developer.

It will comprise 81 floors, a built-up area of 3,517,313 sq ft (326,769 sq m) and 1,701 keys.

The development will also incorporate an existing building, which Al Habtoor Group said it planned to save rather than demolishing it and rebuilding it, which would have meant more than 3,000 truckloads of wasted sand and concrete.

Instead, contractors will employ a top-down construction method using heavy equipment from piling contractor Bauer, ranging from 60-100t each, to manoeuvre on top of the current building and reuse the existing structure. International Construction has requested more details on how this method will work from Al Habtoor Group.

Earlier this month, Al Habtoor Group held a ground breaking ceremony for the project, on the banks of the Dubai Water Canal.

A digital rendering of Habtoor Tower A digital rendering of Habtoor Tower (Image: Al Habtoor Group)

Work has already started to drive an 80m-deep barrette (deep piling foundation system), coupled with a plunge steel column 15m high. Al Habtoor Group said this would allow the main contractor to start the superstructure construction immediately and save six months of construction time.

The developer has also reduced the number of steel reinforcement bars it needs for the construction, thereby reducing carbon emissions, by using high-strength 600 MPa steel for reinforcement.

Al Habtoor is aiming for the building to achieve LEED Platinum Certification.

Mr Zon Lin, general manager of China Railway 18th Bureau Group Ltd., wrote to Khalaf Al Habtoor, founding chairman of Al Habtoor Group, and promised that the contractor would “walk the talk” when it came to construction of the building.

Bauer the piling contractor, said: “We at Bauer are delighted to be engaged by Al Habtoor Group for this prestigious development. Bauer has developed a unique foundation solution with the client, project consulting engineers and architects to enable the construction of the superstructure above an existing three-level deep basement. The foundation solution utilizes deep barrette foundation elements capable of carrying the substantial building loads.”

“One of the unique challenges involves the construction and installation of the foundation system from the top of an existing basement structure. Innovative engineering and design solutions and construction methods have been developed to meet this unique project need. The works at site are well underway with our specialist machine ‘Bauer MC96 BC40 Cutter’ in action constructing barrette foundation elements to depths greater than 90m.”

The new tower will be located in Al Habtoor City, launched in 2016. It is home to three branded hotels: The Habtoor Palace, the V Hotel, and the Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City, as well as theatrical experience La Perle, and three deluxe residential towers – Noora, Amna and Meera.


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