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Highest building ever

Joint Venture: Samsung Corporation (Süd Korea), Besix (VAE/Belgien), Arabtec (Dubai)
The MevaDec slab formwork system achieved a record-breaking 154 levels and 224,808m² without a single delay on the Burj Khalifa.

The Goal

To build the tallest building in the world
The owner wanted to surpass any previous height records with this 829.8m-tall skyscraper, which presented challenges due to the height.

The Project


Pouring 154 floors over the 829m height whilst remaining on schedule required formwork solutions that were durable and efficient.


The height of the tower meant that the construction materials needed to be handled as little as possible, as this would require costly, time-wasting logistics and take up valuable crane time. In addition, the contractor wanted to avoid an excessive, expensive inventory whilst still constructing at pace.

The Solution

  1. Durable Formwork Solutions
    Traditional plywood facing would have disintegrated after a number of uses, requiring re-facing. Therefore, the contractor chose the 100% wood-free MevaDec slab formwork system with its unique all-plastic alkus facing. The benefit is that the plastic copes with a high number of uses without the need for re-facing.

    This saved the contractor time and money, as well as reduced the logistical challenges of disposing of old formwork and shuttling new formwork to the current work area. In fact, all 154 floors of the tower were poured without a single panel being re-faced. 

  2. Optimised Slab Formwork Inventory
    The contractor wanted to avoid purchasing and storing a large number of slab formwork panels, so the formwork was rigorously planned to minimise the number of formwork panels needed.

    By calculating the slab pour cycles – which needed to take into account the high temperatures and consequent effect on pouring and curing times – an optimum area of 3000m² of slab formwork was determined. With this seemingly low number of panels, 227,808m² of slabs (532 slabs on 154 floors) were able to be cast without any delays to the schedule.

  3. Rapid Slab Pouring

    Another advantage of the MevaDec system was the ability to swiftly cast the slabs and then strip them early, so the panels could be re-used elsewhere. The slabs were poured at 6pm and then stripped at noon the following day.

    This rapid pace was achieved thanks to the unique MevaDec drop head, which has a quick-lowering system. This way, the panels could be removed while the props remain to support the slabs. With this approach, the slabs were ready to have the props removed in just 3 days.

    The low panel weight also helped, as the panels could be transferred to the next floor level with a lifting gear, rather than by being craned in. This saved time, as well as making sure any cranes could be used for other activities.

The Outcome

The world-famous, record-breaking tower was delivered on time and without any delays, in part thanks to the efficiency of the MevaDec slab formwork system. As a result of the spotless track record achieved during the Burj Khalifa construction, Turner Construction officially recommends the MevaDec slab formwork system as the forming solution of choice for high-rise construction.

Featured Products

  • Slab formwork MevaDec (FTE method)

Joint Venture: Samsung Corporation (South Korea), BESIX (Belgium), Arabtec (Dubai)

Burj Khalifa Tower

Dubai, UAE

Emaar Properties

Turner Construction International

Engineering & Support:
MEVA KHK, Dubai; MEVA Formwork-Systems, Haiterbach

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