Ascending to new heights alongside Dubai Marina

Construction of Dubai’s Marina Heights is now well advanced. Located next to the already occupied Emaar-owned towers alongside the Marina, the tower commands views across the Marina and the Arabian Gulf beyond. Construction Week visited the site to find out how the job is progressing.

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By  Colin Foreman Published  April 23, 2005

Ascending to new heights alongside Dubai Marina|~|Crane Building body.jpg|~||~|Construction of Dubai’s Marina Heights is now well advanced. Located next to the already occupied Emaar-owned towers alongside the Marina, the tower commands views across the Marina and the Arabian Gulf beyond. Construction Week visited the site to find out how the job is progressing. Once complete, the Marina Heights tower will have four basement levels, one ground with another 54 storeys on top. The first four levels are part of the podium, which together with the basement levels provides parking areas. The ground floor will house some retail units that will serve the building and other nearby properties. On top of the podium there will be a pool deck that will be accompanied by a fitness centre and restaurant. Owned by the Abdulsalam Alrafi Group, the tower will be made up of 365 apartments, in a variety of 1,2,3 and 4 bedroom configurations, and the four uppermost floors will home to a number of penthouses. As far as external appearance is concerned, both the podium and the tower are clad in the contrasting tones of buff pre- cast panels and blue reflective glass. The upper floors of the tower will be clad just with blue reflective glass, and on the roof there will be a metal profile constructed with composite panel cladding. Dutco Balfour Beatty Group began work on the main contract in January 2004 after Middle East Foundations completed a separate contract for the piling, shoring and dewatering works. Other members of the project team include RMJM as the consultant and a variety of nominated subcontractors, including: IMES for the MEP works, Concrete Technology for the precast cladding panels, Alico for the glazing, and Al Futtaim Engineering for the elevators. The first challenge for the main contractor was the raft, which required a two-day 7500 m3 pour. Once this was completed work could start on the main structure. The structure itself is quite a complicated design making use of ribbed concrete slabs constructed with tables and void formers. A ribbed slab was used for the design to provide the required strength for a 54 storey tower, while at the same time minimising the weight of the overall structure and the load it places on itself. The slabs are now hitting a five-day floor cycle and are following three storeys behind the core, which is rising using two hydraulic slipform systems operating in tandem — although they could rise separately if necessary. When taking on the job some 18 months ago, the main contractor was faced with a number of major challenges. The first was to make sure that the plant and equipment was selected carefully to ensure that the structure was finished on time without any problems. This included choosing the tower cranes, the shuttering system, table forms, and the slip form system for the core. Two tower cranes are used on the site, one climbing from within the building and the other fixed to the side of the building. Peri supplied the tables and shutters and BRM Slipform supplied the slipform system. The follow on trades and finishing works also presented a number of challenges because ultimately they are the ones that come under most scrutiny when a building is completed. They are the most visible, and often the most complicated. With works like the partitions, false ceilings, tiling, and MEP accounting for such a large section of the project, it was critical that the sub contracts were let to companies capable of delivering the goods on time. “The appointment of good quality sub contractors who were able to meet their deadlines was also important because it is very difficult to get the right level of sub contractors and they in turn are also struggling to get the necessary labour and materials required to get the job done,” says David Powell, divisional manager, Dutco Balfour Beatty Group. “There is just so much work going on in Dubai that everyone is struggling,” he adds. As far as programme is concerned, 29 storeys of the structure are now complete and all the finishing trades are following closely behind. The finishing trades had been delayed earlier in the job because many common building materials were in short But as the project progressed, the sub contractors for the finishing works have been able to recover most of this lost time and the construction is now more or less on schedule. For the structures, the completion date is September 2005, and the finishes should be substantially completed by January 2006. ||**||

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