Jeddah skyscraper on target for planned 2018 completion
Kingdom Tower, the world’s tallest tower, located in northern Jeddah, has reached an important milestone in the project that will set another new world record — the world’s tallest construction crane.
The singularly soaring skyscraper that will ultimately earn the accolade of world’s tallest building, with a height of more than 1 km, demands equally unique construction equipment, methods and materials, including the custom-built cranes supplied by Germany’s Liebherr & WolffKran. The enormous yellow lifting devices, known as climbing cranes are designed to accompany the tower’s growth both externally and internally, in the latter case utilizing any of the building’s 65 interior elevator shafts to make the climb.
“Now that we have completed our subterranean work, we are airborne,” said Mounib Hammoud, CEO of Jeddah Economic Company. “The unprecedented size and height of Kingdom Tower means we can only utilize the very best in equipment, material and methods. Liebherr’s and WolffKran very impressive and innovative cranes fit this bill.”
The largest of the six cranes Liebherr type 357 HC-L can lift up to 18 tons at a speed of 44 meters/minute, with heights to parallel that of the tower. The cranes are attached to the body of the building but sits atop a phenomenally narrow tower support of only 2.4 meters X 2.45 meters.
But it is not just the size that makes these new cranes unique. They feature the latest in heavy-lifting technology that will allow them to withstand harsh weather conditions, in particular, the strong winds that can sweep across the spectacular heights at which the cranes will ultimately be deployed. To operate this type of cranes, special highly experienced and certified operators will be hired.
With the tower’s foundation now in place, vertical, above-ground construction commenced in September. Plans call for the first ten floors to be completed by the end of the year.
The Kingdom Tower features 170 stories, seven stories of which will be allocated for the five-star Four Seasons Hotel offering 200 rooms and 121 luxury serviced apartments, and seven stories for offices. The tower will also have 61 stories that include 318 housing units of various types amenities, gyms, spas, cafes and restaurants, two sky lobbies and world’s highest observation decks, located on the 644 meter-height, enabling visitors to view Jeddah and the Red Sea from high in the sky.