Geopolitics

How technology helps build Dubai’s mega-skyscrapers

With more than 1000 skyscrapers making up the skyline, Dubai is home to some of the world’s most ambitious architectural projects, such as the Future District with the Museum of the Future and impressive engineering such as the tallest building in the world, the 830-meter-tall Burj Khalifa.

The city’s high-rise ambitions began in 1978 with the construction of the 39-story Dubai World Trade Center, which continues to this day.

But now that building is dwarfed by hundreds of neighboring towers, 18 of which are twice as tall and reach heights of more than 300 meters.

To find out what is behind Dubai’s vertical growth, Euronews spoke to Kerem Cengiz, Managing Director for Architecture and Design at LWK + PARTNERS. According to Cengiz, new technologies in terms of design and data have been a major catalyst for this growth.

Where buildings were previously presented using drawings on paper, they are now conceived in virtual 3D reality. Developers can go through their projects virtually before brick touches the mortar. This has dramatically improved communication between developer, architect and engineer and has helped to reduce the time required for a project, waste of material and the associated costs.

Beyond the concept and construction phase, data is continuously collected and used in software for the management of buildings. According to Cengiz, this improves and maintains the surroundings of the buildings while reducing energy consumption. For example, he explains that algorithms help the software adjust the air temperature to counteract changes caused by people occupying a room. “It would have been very difficult to understand if it had only been on paper,” he adds.

However, regardless of new technology, Cengiz insists that the fundamental role of an architect remains the same. “New technologies are like pencil and paper,” he says. “What you do with the tool is the creative part.”

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