Integration of construction process is a big challenge

Tall towers have to be built according to the seismic codes. (PIA TORELLI)

The biggest challenge in building a tall tower is integrating the different facets of the construction process such as design, planning and construction, according to an engineering expert.

"Finding the right designer and even a contractor is not so much of a problem. But taking the design to completion requires considerable planning," Tim Judge, Infrastructure Director, UAE, of construction management group Parsons Brinckerhoff told Emirates Business.

"All tall buildings are designed to be built according to seismic codes. One of the key challenges in building a tall tower is the transportation system. Vertical transportation and how you programme the fit-out of each of the floors at the top level is something we work on."

Last week, Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said that Burj Dubai, billed to be the world's tallest tower, is facing up to a nine month delay and will be finished in September next year. The mega-project was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

Simon Gray, head of Asteco Property Management's Investment Agency, said: "In a tall tower, with every five floors we can expect a one to two per cent premium on property prices.

"Rentals as well command higher values since people are always ready to pay more for a good view."

And Bishoy Azmy, CEO of Al Shafar Contracting, said: "There will be a growing trend towards having a complete building team, which will include the contractors and consultants, come in at the design stage. It is one good way of avoiding mistakes and having to redo a lot of the design process.

"Trimming excesses can be done right at the start of a project and packaging the construction process well early saves a lot of cost for the developer," he said.