Dubai is no stranger to world records, in fact it appears that Dubai wants to be the destination for all of the world's structural records. The title of world's tallest is never an easy title to own. Competing building projects are always watching and attempting to go higher. Just like the Burj Khalifa the official height of that building was kept as secret as the Coca-Cola recipe until it was nearly complete. And, if you do become the world's tallest then it is only a matter of time before the next project comes along and out does you. For example, see what's happening now in the arena for tallest wood building. As Dubai has done in the past with the Burj Khalifa, they did not look to build a new high rise that was just a few feet taller than the last one, they looked to build the tallest possible building at the time. That put the Burj about 320 meters taller than any other skyscraper, and their newest attraction, The Dubai Eye, will be no different.
The High Roller Ferris Wheel in Las Vegas, which tops out at 550 feet tall, currently holds the record for the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. The High Roller was completed in March of 2014 and made it the tallest Ferris wheel in the world by just 9 feet. The builders of the Dubai Eye are not just looking to be the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, but to b low all other Ferris wheels out of the water. The Dubai Eye will be 165 feet (50 meters) taller than the High Roller. As if this wasn't enough, the Dubai Eye will also take their Ferris wheel one step further by adding a 165 foot LED screen to the center of the wheel that will broadcast movies, ads, and interactive information. This will be able to be seen from the highly popular Jumeirah Beach, which is where the top picture is taken from. The Eye will have 48 luxury capsules holding 1,400 visitors.
Below are some of the pictures we took of the building site of the Eye on our recent trip to Dubai (click the arrows to scroll through the slide show)
The Dubai Eye will sit amongst the $1.6 billion Bluewaters Island Development, which includes the creation of a new island, retail, hotels, residential housing, as well as hospitality and entertainment.
The Dubai Eye is not out of the woods yet, though. New York is looking to build a mega-tall ferris wheel as well. The New York Wheel plans to reach a height of 630 feet or roughly a 60 story attraction. The New York Wheel is expected to be completed in early 2017 and the Dubai Eye in 2016. So there is still time for New York to pull a rabbit out of their hat and trump Dubai. What's another 60 feet, right? I have a feeling that won't happen as Mammoet-Starneth, LLC is the designer and manufacturer for both the Dubai Eye and New York Wheel projects. It may be safe to say there are not very many engineering firms that specialize in mega-wheels.
Below is a video of the development of the Dubai Eye. Once complete, it will certainly provide a one-of-a-kind view and experience for visitors of Dubai.
Not all demolition videos can be implosions and that’s OK, because each type of demolition is its own art form. Sometimes contractors are bound by the constraints of the job, especially when located in an area with a large concentration of pedestrians and other public areas. That was the case for the construction site of the future One Vanderbilt Tower in New York City, which just completed the demolition of five different buildings covering an entire city block.
The number one goal on every construction site should be that all workers make it home safe at the end of the day. The sad reality is that hundreds of construction workers are killed on the job site every year. Last year, contractors were working on an indoor activity center for a high school in Argyle, Texas, when the 30 foot tall structure quickly collapsed, killing one man in the process.
Construction work can be a workout in and of itself many times. The hours are long, the tools and materials are heavy, but that’s not stopping a young worker in central China from adding some additional exercises to his daily routine.
The weight of dirt is serious business and the force it provides should not be underestimated. Depending on the moisture content, soil can weigh around 2,000 pounds per cubic yard. Many construction workers die each year from trench collapses due to improper shoring and benching techniques, but weight and force calculations are also extremely important in the design and construction of retaining walls.
It’s not often that a gigantic pack of construction vehicles are seen on the same site together, been when they do, it’s pretty memorizing. Some of our favorite construction videos of all time involve more machines than you would think could fit in one space, like this 10 hour demolition of a Canadian Overpass or this video of 116 excavators working side-by-side in China. Very few jobsites have the luxury of throwing a bunch of machines and labor on a project, but, if performed correctly, it can get a job done pretty quickly.
China builds infrastructure…and some of the world’s most impressive infrastructure, at that. While the United States’ latest grade for bridges, roads, and other transportation systems was a D+, China keeps plugging away on upgrades and new construction. Some scholars have started to question China’s spending on infrastructure, some going as far to say that it’s forcing itself into financial ruin, but, as of right now, there are no signs of slowing down.
Just because construction work happens every day, doesn’t make it any less thrilling of a job. Some people like to climb mountains, others like to climb building that are under construction and bridges that need maintained. Some people don’t like looking over balconies a few stories off the ground, yet many times construction and maintenance workers have to actually do work while dangling 500 feet up in the air.
There are people who spend their lives searching for Big Foot or the Lock Ness Monster, but sometimes humans only find legends when they’re not specifically looking for them. Reports have surfaced this week of a construction crew in Altamira, Para in Brazil which has apparently found the largest snake in history on their job site.
Last year, we shared a video of 6 Scottish high rise buildings that were imploded simultaneously, which was one of our favorite demolition videos of 2015. The problem, however, was that only 4 of them actually fell completely, causing delays as crews had to use high reach machinery to complete the job.
The final product of record breaking structures get a lot of publicity, but what the public doesn’t see is the years of hard work that went into breaking that record. Construction workers are the unsung heroes projects, rarely getting the recognition that they deserve. Last week, we showed you the amazing footage of the tallest and longest glass bridge, which is a 1410 foot long (430m) and 984 foot tall (300m) fear inducing tourist attraction in China’s Avatar Mountains.