Dubai Creek Harbour Tower
Contributing to a visionary iconic structure in Dubai
The Dubai Creek Tower, designed by world-renowned architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, is set to be a truly remarkable mega tall skyscraper in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a land of exceptional iconic buildings.
Conceived as the focal point of a significant new development, it will transform the Dubai Creek Harbour area into one of the most desirable residential and leisure destinations in the world.
Calatrava is leading the design and engineering work of The Tower, as it is commonly known. He chose Zutari as the engineer/architect-of-record to collaborate on a range of design and technical features for this ambitious project.
Suggesting the shape of a minaret and the form of a lily, the design combines modern, sustainable design with the rich heritage and culture of the region. A slender reinforced concrete ‘stem’ reaches into the sky supported by a distinctive net of steel cable stays, reflecting the delicate ribbing on lily leaves. At the top, an oval-shaped bud houses ten observation decks, including The Pinnacle Room, which offers 360-degree views of the city and beyond.
At the base of the tower is the podium, which is a large, multi-purpose space that features a plaza and gardens above ground, with extensive retail, tower access atrium and other services spaces below ground. Zutari undertook the structural, geotechnical and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) detailed design for this 70 000 m2 component of the development.
The structural design consists of a series of radial concrete beams that forms the roof to the atrium and supports the plaza. The adjacent retail structure has planned dimensions of approximately 150 m by 260 m, and comprises four underground levels on piled foundations, with large concrete walls on the plot boundaries. The structural design was done using analysis software to a set of international codes that was agreed with the Dubai Municipality. Throughout delivery, the structural team collaborated closely with Calatrava counterparts in Zurich.
The building services designs included the mechanical, hydraulics, gas, fire protection, electrical and electronic solutions for the podium. Besides the full scope of services for the podium, Zutari also provided service connections for the tower and the main plant. The scale of the project, combined with structural constraints, made the services design and associated coordination complex. To overcome this challenge and prevent clashes, the team implemented various digital tools and visual programming techniques to manage the interdisciplinary coordination of services.
Suggesting the shape of a minaret and the form of a lily, the design combines modern, sustainable design with the rich heritage and culture of the region.
Risk advisory services and waste studies
The result was more efficient ground mobilisation, a more practical foundation system, shorter construction times, and more optimised construction sequencing.
The risk advisory services included identifying critical success factors (CSFs) for the Dubai Creek Tower design packages relating to obtaining the final design approvals from Dubai’s regulatory authorities. Zutari’s assessments included a semi-quantitative estimate of each CSF’s criticality, which allowed for a priority ranking across the design process. The next step was to identify and analyse the risks impeding these CSFs. The risks were evaluated and design contingency estimates determined using @Risk, which is software that runs Monte Carlo analysis. A risk management plan was also developed, reviewed and periodically updated as part of the overarching project management plan.
Deep foundations and geotechnical engineering
Zutari also undertook the geotechnical engineering for the deep foundation task team for the tower and podium. The innovation in the design of the Dubai Creek Tower foundations resided in the combined processes of total engineering geological approach, efficient parameter selection and testing, a good understanding of driving mechanisms, sophisticated geotechnical investigation, testing and modelling and close partnership between the architect, and structural and geotechnical designers. The result was more efficient ground mobilisation, a more practical foundation system, shorter construction times, and more optimised construction sequencing. The process involved deliberate application of technical expertise, information, imagination, and initiative in deriving greater, or different, value for the owner of the Dubai Creek Tower from the available resources.
Overall, the design is a perfect fit for Emaar’s requirements and integrates not only design excellence, but strong environmental and smart-tech considerations. The tower will deliver a compelling destination that will add long-term economic value to Dubai and the UAE.
*The Aurecon Africa business has been officially renamed Zutari as at 21 July 2020. Zutari acquired Aurecon Middle East on 20 November 2020.