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Burj Khalifa / Burj Dubai

Kersten Europe, specialist in bending technology, has been a leader in profile, plate and aluminium bending for many years and has developed into an all-round service provider in this field. Recently the company based in Wanssum, Limburg, won the most prestigious order in its history – working on the Burj Dubai / Burj Khalifa, the tallest building on the planet.


A monument, a jewel, an icon – that it what it is called. This skyscraper rises more than 828 metres into the sky – the Burj Dubai / Burj Khalifa, built on the instruction of the Emir of Dubai himself. Costs: 1.1 billion Dollars. Like a minaret in a science fiction film it towers above the landscape of the gulf region. The cross-section is symbolic in the Burj Dubai / Burj Khalifa, which was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merril. The floor plan was inspired by the leaves of the Hymenocallis, a local desert rose. This gives the tower a completely organic shape.


Ravaged by an aggressive marine climate with high humidity levels and desert storms, the facade will have to be well maintained. Skyscrapers are still cleaned by hand. That is quite a job - the Burj Dubai / Burj Khalifa will have a window area of 83,600 m² and a total exterior surface area of 111,500 m², which is equivalent to 18 football fields. One complete round of window washing requires an estimated 3 to 4 months. There are fifteen Building Maintenance Units distributed around the tower: mobile installations that are used for building maintenance. Kersten Europe will construct the track system for the BMUs. A package of nine bent pipes (Ø 273 mm) made of milled stainless steel (316L) will be attached to the wall of the tower at five different levels. Seven of these are decorative (wall thickness 3 mm), and the other two (respectively 12.5 mm and 8 mm) are rails for the BMU crane that will lower the window washers’ platform. This will allow every square metre of the surface of the tower to be reached.


Principal Arabian Aluminium will supply almost 1200 decorative milled pipes with a total length of 11,000 metres via a German supplier. Kersten Europe will then bend the pipes and cut them into 3870 segments of between 180 cm and 300 cm. The Dutch company will then manufacture the special supports with which the pipe segments are fastened to the tower. Kersten Europe will fit the slots in the pipe for the fastening supports with the aid of robot technology. This is a requirement in order to be able to guarantee the positioning accuracy of the support in relation to the fastening point on the tower. The requirements stipulated for the stainless steel surface are extremely stringent. The surface of the pipe segments must be finished and milled professionally. The assembled segment will then be shipped to Dubai in 50 containers in order to be built in on site by the principal. The production for this project, which is extremely sizeable for Kersten Europe, started in March 2008 and has a duration of more than 1.5 years.


The film below gives an impression of the production of BMU segments for the Burj Dubai / Burj Khalifa at Kersten Europe bv.
Kersten Europe is no stranger to Dubai. The company had already bent the steel front wall of the Burj Al Arab, the well known ‘sailing ship’ off the coast of Dubai. Besides branches in the Netherlands, Germany and Poland, it now also has a sales office in the United Arab Emirates.


At 828 metres, the evocative Burj Dubai / Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. The concrete construction passed the magic height of 509 metres on 24 July 2007, thereby surpassing Taipei 101. Delivery is planned for December 2009, after which the 216 floors will offer space for offices, apartments and a Giorgio Armani hotel. Anyone who still wants to acquire space in the tower is out of luck – none of the 517,240 m² of floor space is still available.

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