The Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai isn’t only the tallest building in the world; it’s also one of the most impressive.

The sheer numbers involved and its scale, a testament in itself to modern architectural capabilities, are truly overwhelming.

Here’s seven sets of facts about the famous structure standing at the centre of Dubai:

World Records

Standing at 828 meters tall and comprising of more than 160 stories, the Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building and its tallest free-standing structure.

It also boasts the highest number of stories, the highest occupied floor, and the highest outdoor observation deck in the world.

It has the tallest service elevators, travelling the longest distance in the world.

Height increases

The structure was originally planned as a 560-meter structure based on the design of the Grollo Tower in Melbourne.

A few years into its planning, it underwent a major redesign that saw its proposed height increased to 808 meters.

In the end, Adrian Smith, the structure’s architect, sought and received approval to increase the building’s height to its present level to better tie the uppermost structure with the rest of the building.

Design

fountain lake in Dubai's Burj Khalifa

The building’s design is based on Islamic architecture and is said to be inspired by the Spider Lily, a regional desert flower.

It features 27 setbacks arranged and aligned in a spiralling pattern, which create outdoor spaces as the structure rises to the sky.

By the numbers: Construction Materials

The structure is supported by 330,000 cubic meters of concrete, and made with 103,000 square meters of glass and 15,500 square meters of embossed stainless steel.

Its exterior surfaces comprise of 26,000 hand-cut, reflecting glass panels.

The glass was chosen to provide solar and thermal energy, as well as a means of anti-glare protection from the intense sun and the temperatures of the desert.

By the numbers: Project Facts

At any given time during construction of the Burj Khalifa, there were 12,000 workers involved. It took in total 22 million man hours to complete the project.

Three of the world’s largest cranes were used in its construction, each capable of lifting loads of 25 tonnes.

The project took six years to complete, from excavation to delivery, about a year more than originally planned.

By the numbers: Operation

observation deck of Dubai's Burj Khalifa

The building is designed to hold up to 10,000 people at a time.

The water system inside it supplies almost 1 million litres of water through 100 km of pipes every single day.

There are also 213 km of piping dedicated to the fire emergency system, and 34 km used to supply chilled water for the building’s air-conditioning system.

There are a total of 57 elevators and 8 escalators in the building, and a stairwell which has a total of 2,909 steps all the way to the top.

All the necessary equipment for the structure’s maintenance is housed in every 30 floors, while there are in total about 4,500 keys used by the building’s security staff.

Armani Hotel

The Burj Khalifa is home to the world’s first Armani Hotel, comprising of 304 individually designed rooms.

The hotel occupies a total of 15 floors in the structure’s lower section and it doesn’t feature a check-in desk, as Giorgio Armani wanted to project a feeling of walking into his home for hotel guests.

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Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.