Middle East to boast nearly 300 skyscrapers by 2015

November 25, 2013 1:40 pm

Majority of buildings will be in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Skyscraper construction is booming across the Middle East region and it is projected to have 300 skyscrapers, which are at least 150 metres tall, by 2015.

The prediction comes via a recent study, The Middle East: 20 Years of Building Skyscrapers, from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The boom is partly due to building information modelling (BIM) software, which is driving the increasingly complex design and construction of these skyscrapers, according to an industry expert.

The resurgence of skyscrapers in the Middle East region – from only two 150-metre skyscrapers in 1995 to 289 by 2015 – will be led by the UAE, which is projected to have 192 buildings (66 per cent) of the total in two years. The majority of the region’s skyscrapers will be in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, followed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain, according to the CTBUH.

Risto Räty, executive vice-president at Tekla Corporation, says: “The Middle East region is seeing incredible growth in the number of skyscrapers. So to stand out, architects are designing increasingly complex structures. Architects, engineers and contractors are turning to the BIM software to manage the entire construction workflow, thereby saving time and money, enhancing communication and reducing waste to deliver projects safely, on time and on budget.”

BIM software drives construction designs

In order to create, manage and distribute highly detailed and information-rich 3D models, designers are turning to BIM software. It interfaces with other solutions and manufacturing machinery, enhancing workflow and avoiding errors. It is also used to integrate different designs, provide analytics, generate documentation and help identify and solve issues in the design phase before construction. For example, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – the world’s tallest tower at 828 metres – has been the most complex skyscraper to use this software.

Tekla’s BIM software enabled Eversendai to model the Burj Khalifa’s structural behaviour during high wind and earthquakes, redistribute the gravity load to the building’s extremities, manage the floor framing system and develop the highly-durable concrete foundation to protect it from water and corrosive soil conditions.

Paul Wallett, area business director UAE at Tekla Middle East, says: “As architectural designs change rapidly in the Middle East region, model-based software, such as BIM, provides an intelligent way for changes to be visualised immediately. Our goal is for our customers to use BIM software to reach high levels of productivity and quality in order to remain competitive in their fields.”