Cladding delays hit Burj Dubai

25 April 2008

Cladding work on the 800 m-plus Burj Dubai has yet to start and the delay could mean the iconic tower misses its planned 2008 completion. Difficulties in sourcing the cladding following Switzerland-based Schmidlin’s collapse in February were originally being blamed for the lack of progress.

Schmidlin LLC UAE, which is a locally owned company, is continuing to supply the project in a joint venture with Arabian Aluminium. It was awarded the contract 12 months ago.

“Following the collapse of Schmidlin in Switzerland several UAE companies stepped in to offer financial help to Schmidlin LLC UAE,” said a company insider.

Refuting claims it is to blame for the late supply of cladding he told iC, “We’re assembling the cladding now and have completed the test rig. We expect to start testing [soon] and, if the tests go as expected, could be on site immediately. There are other concerns that have stopped us proceeding as planned, including design changes to the height.”

Emaar’s project manager at the Burj, Greg Sang, told iC, “The timetable has been effected by the collapse of Schmidlin. We’re a little bit behind but we expect to put in place measures that ensure we’re on track to meet our original completion date.

Another source close to the project told iC, “Construction of high rise towers in the UAE usually sees the cladding contractor following on the concrete core as soon as possible. When a tower reaches 70 storeys, for example, the cladding should have reached the mid 40s.” “You can drive past the building and you’ll see there’s no cladding, so you can draw your own conclusions as to when completion will be reached,” he added.

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