Did You Know? The world’s tallest building was developed with Canadian know‑how
Toronto’s CN Tower held the title of the world’s tallest free‑standing structure for more than 30 years. While its height has been surpassed by other buildings and towers in recent years, Canadians can take pride in knowing that several of Canada’s innovative companies in a number of fields have made significant contributions to the development of the current record holder, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
The world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, is lit up with the Canadian flag in honour of Canada Day in 2019.
- Wind engineering: Wind tunnel testing and engineering is an essential step to ensure the structural integrity of any tower or skyscraper — especially one as tall and slender as the Burj Khalifa. A Canadian firm based in Guelph, Ontario, RWDI, was brought in to find solutions in the early stages of the project. The result: a Y‑shaped tower designed to “confuse the wind.”
- Architecture and construction: Canadian firm NORR played an integral role in the Burj Khalifa’s construction by supervising the architecture and leading the coordination of every design aspect during the building phase of the project.
- Site master plan: Edmonton‑based professional services firm Stantec developed the master plan for the setting that surrounds the Burj Khalifa skyscraper. In addition to the main tower, the site includes the world’s largest choreographed fountain system, a large shopping mall and other buildings and structures.
- Lighting: The Burj Khalifa’s LED lighting system was created by Canadian lighting manufacturer SACO Technologies Inc. The Montreal‑based firm’s record‑setting lighting design is integrated into the building’s architecture, running down the entire length of the tower’s east‑side façade. Another Canadian company, Lightemotion, provided lighting solutions for the “At the Top” observation decks on the Burj’s 124th and 148th floors.
- Visitor experience: A Montreal‑based design company, GSM Project, was hired to develop two “At the Top” visitor‑experience projects at the Burj Khalifa. It was first selected to design and install all exhibition elements in the building up to the observation deck on the 125th floor. It was later chosen to design and produce the renewed and expanded visitor experience for the observation decks on floors 124 and 148.
In 2021, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrated its 50th anniversary, and there are ambitious goals for the next 50 years. Recent reforms and economic development initiatives are opening up many opportunities in Dubai and the rest of the UAE for Canadian companies in the fields of infrastructure, urban planning, engineering and construction. In addition, many companies use the UAE as a hub for their operations throughout the Middle East and South Asia region, offering access to three billion potential clients with a combined GDP of C$8.7 trillion.
Are you an architecture, design or engineering firm interested in the opportunities that the UAE has to offer? Contact the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) team in Dubai to learn more.
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