As the world watched the inauguration of the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai as the world's tallest building this weekend, Dow Corning silicones were helping to protect the super skyscraper from the harsh desert climate and promote its energy efficiency.
The Burj Khalifa, formerly called Burj Dubai, soars to 828 metres (more than a half mile) above ground level and is visible from a distance of 95 km in all directions. Amongst the features planned in this 160 level building, are the world's highest mosque on the 158th floor and highest swimming pool on the 78th floor.
The Burj Khalifa set the record for the tallest installation of an aluminium, silicone and glass façade, and required record-breaking quantities of steel bars and concrete for its construction. With a total of more than 24,000 cladding panels over a total curtain-wall area of 132,000 square metres, the Burj Khalifa's shimmering façade minimizes heat transmission and saves energy. The cladding materials were specially made using advanced engineering techniques and include high-performances reflective glazing, silicone sealants and structural adhesives, aluminium mullions and textured steel spandrels with vertical stainless steel tubular fins.
"We've been involved in many of the landmark buildings around the world for more than 60 years, through curtain wall structural glazing, assembly and weather proofing, insulating glass assembly and interior sealing. That experience and the proven performance of our silicone technologies played a critical role in this project," said Ron Fillmore, Global Executive Director for Dow Corning's Construction Industry.
The project was unique in all its dimensions: size, complexity, and the global industry cooperation. The harsh environment offered yet another unique challenge since the construction materials have to withstand the test of time in an often scorching desert.
"We love these sorts of challenges at Dow Corning. They're perfectly aligned with the properties of our silicones, which are incredibly durable and ideal for such a demanding environment," said Jean-Paul Hautekeer, Global Marketing Manager for Building Projects. The solutions for the Burj Khalifa Tower included Dow Corning's proven global project support services, which are now marketed as a fully client-focused and integrated program called Quality Bond.
"Dow Corning Quality Bond lifts silicone bonding and sealing to a new level through the introduction of a collection of services and commitments, which are relevant to all members in the construction project specification chain. They offer guaranteed performance and peace of mind," said Tim Efthimiady, Construction Industry Commercial Director for Europe & Middle East." "The Burj Khalifa was the ideal opportunity to offer our Quality Bond program to the various companies involved in the project from the curtain wall and glass contractor to the main contractor, architect and consultant.
Dow Corning's work is based on four decades of leadership in innovation, from the first four-sided structural glazing systems to the latest research in construction technologies. It continues its commitment to investments in silicone based solutions that can create innovative, durable and sustainable curtain wall systems.