Water problem cured for Emirates Towers

Water discolouration was caused by galvanic action between pump and pipes

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By  Eudore Chand Published  November 13, 2004

Problems with discolouration of the water supply in the third tallest hotel in the world and the tallest building in the Middle East and Europe, the Emirates Towers in Dubai, have been cleared with the installation of a new cold water and drinking water pumping system. M&E consultants DSSR/Mitchell partnership, was brought in to solve the problem. It discovered galvanic action between the pump sets and the system pipe-work. The problem affected both towers; the 305 m 400-room hotel and the adjacent 350 m office block. Working with the consultants associated with the project, the specialist UK pump set designer and manufacturer Allan Aqua-Systems Limited provided a solution calling for completely new bespoke pumping systems with all wetted components in 316 stainless steel, including separate, dedicated pump sets to serve the high level draw-off points. Allan Aqua-Systems selected Lowara vertical multi-stage units. “Lowara were the only manufacturer to provide DPS units with large enough capacity in 316 stainless steel to satisfy the overall flow rate requirement of the biggest set,” says Ian Burke of Allan Aqua-Systems. “Important criteria for us in choosing the vertical multistage pumps were quietness and efficiency. Our criteria in choosing a supplier were; ability to supply all the pumps on the sets, i.e. no mixing and matching of pumps from different suppliers, reputation, reliability, and representation in the geographical area.” Six pump sets power the cold water and drinking water service: four three-pump and two four-pump sets. Four booster sets are assigned to the hotel and two for the office block. All of them are installed in low-level plant rooms. DPS units serve the very high-pressure systems and SVS units serve the lower pressure systems. One pump in each of the booster sets operates on a continuously running lead pump basis to meet the normal off-peak demand. The support pumps are sequenced in and out according to system demand under pressure switch and timer control. The sets serving high-level outlets operate at 28 bar of head. As a precaution all equipment was tested at up to 50 bar. With 56 floors and 400 rooms the hotel is the third tallest in the world. It includes a 10 floor lower atrium and 31 floor upper atrium, five panoramic lifts, eight other lifts, a swimming pool, health club, and an 880-seat function room and restaurant. In total it has 400 m3 of water storage. Contractor for the hotel block is the Emirates Trading Agency of the UAE. Also with 54 floors, the office building is the tallest in the Middle East and Europe, and the ninth tallest in the world. The tower has 47 floors of rented space based on a triangular layout. An average floor has a net usable area of 810 m2 with a floor to ceiling height of 2.85 m. Contractor for the office block is Aster Ltd. of the UAE. Linking the two towers is the Emirates Towers Shopping Boulevard. This retail plaza features spacious walkways linked by sky-lit courtyards, exclusive shops, theme restaurants and coffee shops.

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