Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the tallest of us all?

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Stunning view of World's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Stunning view of World's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Photo-Daniel Cheong (used with permission)
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Stunning view of World's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Stunning view of World’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower in Jeddah is expected to overtake Burj Khalifa, with over 1000 meters height. Photo-Daniel Cheong (used with permission)

The coveted position for the world’s tallest building is always on. It all started with the Home Insurance Building, Chicago(42 meters) in 1884  to the Burj Khalifa (828 meters), Dubai  in 2010. The  architecture challenging races seem to never stop, as nations go on an overdrive to build the tallest structures. So how far can they go, in terms of physical practicality than egoistic idealism? According to experts, there is a limit, depending upon human endurance & material sustainability at such high altitudes, elevator technology and investment available, for deciding how much taller, buildings can be made from this point on.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Chicago, asked Industrial Experts on what they think is the single biggest limiting factor that would prevent humanity from creating a mile-high tower or higher:

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The latest entrant is Saudi Arabia, with it’s proposed Kingdom Tower skyscraper in Jeddah, which is expected to overtake The Burj Khalifa, Dubai, as the world’s tallest tower, in 2018.

The released details show that the USD 1.2 billion project will stand over 1000 meters tall. It will be managed by the builder of The Shard skyscraper in London. This will make it the world’s tallest tower, overshadowing Dubai’s 828 meters tall Burj Khalifa. The tower was envisaged by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal almost 18 months ago and was described as being central to the Kingdom City development in Jeddah, a major Red Sea port.

The project’s development will be managed through a joint venture between construction consultant EC Harris, part of Dutch group Arcadis, and Mace. According to Waleed Abduljaleel Batterjee, CEO of developer Jeddah Economic Company, “one of the reasons we hired them is they are going to use the same team that was on The Shard”. The renowned Saudi construction firm Bin Laden Group will construct the building.

Reports suggest that firms will “start mobilizing” in April, while construction work is expected to start by middle of the year. After its completion by the year 2018, the tower will feature a hotel, serviced apartments and luxury condominiums. It will also be more than three times taller than the 308 meter tall Shard.

In recent years, the oil-rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has undertaken several multi-billion dollar projects aimed at improving its infrastructure and housing market in a booming economy. The country is taking active measures to reduce its reliance on income earned through oil exports by promoting its service industries and diversifying government spending in other sectors of the economy. Since 2008, the country has spent an estimated USD 400 billion on various infrastructure and housing projects.

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