Saudi Arabia is en route to build Jeddah Tower, the world's tallest tower, after billionaire prince Alwaleed bin Talal and his holding company Kingdom Holding Co., secured $2.2 billion for its completion, a Saudi government press release from Sunday revealed.
The tower's development is part of a larger deal between Jeddah Economic Company and Saudi Arabia's Alinma Investment to build Jeddah Economic City, which officials hope will become a tourist destination.
The first 26 floors have already been built, and by its estimated date of completion, 2020, the building will stand at about 3,280 feet, possess 200 floors and 59 elevators overlooking the Red Sea, according to the tower's official webpage, Kingdom Tower Skyscraper.
Now that collecting the money is out of the way, construction crews and engineers are tasked with building the behemoth. Since the structure stands by the coast where its exposed to the saltwater which could damage it, the foundations - which will be 200 feet deep - need to be able to withstand the saltwater of the nearby ocean. As a result, various concretes will need to be tested by the Advanced Construction Technology Services to ascertain what type of concrete would best suit their needs.
Wind load is another issue for buildings of this size, however the building is designed to change its shape regularly thus eliminating the problem.
"Because it changes shape every few floors, the wind loads go round the building and won't be as extreme as on a really solid block," co-design architect for project Gordon Gill explained to Construction Weekly.
While ambitious, many experts believe the tower can indeed be built. If they the experts beliefs are proven true, then the Jeddah Tower would become the world's largest building, stripping Dubai's Burj Khalifa of its title.