June 5, 2012

Building: Top 5 Highest Buildings in The World

Top 1 Burj Khalifa , known as Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is the tallest manmade structure in the world, at 829.84 m (2,723 ft). Construction began on 21 September 2004, with the exterior of the structure completed on 1 October 2009. The building officially opened on 4 January 2010, and is part of the new 2 km2 (490-acre) flagship development called Downtown Dubai at the 'First Interchange' along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai's main business district. The tower's architecture and engineering were performed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago, with Adrian Smith as chief architect, and Bill Baker as chief structural engineer. The primary contractor was Samsung C&T of South Korea.

The total cost for the project was about US$1.5 billion; and for the entire "Downtown Dubai" development, US$20 billion. In March 2009, Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman of the project's developer, Emaar Properties, said office space pricing at Burj Khalifa reached US$4,000 per sq ft (over US$43,000 per m²) and the Armani Residences, also in Burj Khalifa, sold for US$3,500 per sq ft (over US$37,500 per m²).

The project's completion coincided with the global financial crisis of 2007–2010, and with vast overbuilding in the country, led to high vacancies and foreclosures. With Dubai mired in debt from its huge ambitions, the government was forced to seek multibillion dollar bailouts from its oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi. Subsequently, in a surprise move at its opening ceremony, the tower was renamed Burj Khalifa, said to honour the UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his crucial support.

Due to the slumping demand in Dubai's property market, the rents in the Burj Khalifa plummeted 40% some ten months after its opening. Out of 900 apartments in the tower, around 825 were still empty at that time.

Top 2 The Abraj Al-Bait Towers, also known as the Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower, is a building complex in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The complex holds several world records, such as the tallest hotel in the world, the tallest clock tower in the world, the world's largest clock face, and the world's largest building floor area. The complex's hotel tower has become the second tallest building in the world in 2012, surpassed only by Dubai's Burj Khalifa. The building complex is meters away from the world's largest mosque and Islam's most sacred site, the Masjid al Haram. The developer and contractor of the complex is the Saudi Binladin Group, the Kingdom's largest construction company.

It was built at the same place as the former Ajyad Fortress, an old fort of the Ottoman epoch dating from the 18th century and which was destroyed in 2002 by the Saudi government in order to begin the building work, sparking global outcry. Contents

The tallest tower in the complex stands as the tallest building in Saudi Arabia, and the tallest and largest hotel in the world, with a height of 601 metres (1,972 feet). Currently it is the second tallest building in the world surpassing Tapei 101 and the fourth tallest structure in the world. The structure had surpassed Dubai International Airport having the largest floor area of any structure in the world with 1,500,000 m2 (16,150,000 sq ft) of floorspace. It also surpassed the Emirates Park Towers in Dubai as the world's tallest hotel.

The site of the complex is located across the street to the south from an entrance to the Masjid al Haram mosque, which houses the Kaaba. To accommodate worshipers visiting the Kaaba, the Abraj Al-Bait Towers has a large prayer room capable of holding more than 10,000 people. The tallest tower in the complex also contains a five-star hotel to help provide lodging for the millions of pilgrims that travel to Mecca annually to participate in Hajj.


In addition, the Abraj Al-Bait Towers has a five-story shopping mall (the Abraj Al Bait Mall) and a parking garage capable of holding over a thousand vehicles. Residential towers house permanent residents while two heliports and a conference center are to accommodate business travelers. In total, up to 100,000 people could be housed inside the towers. The project uses clock faces for each side of the hotel tower. The highest residential floor stands at 450 metres (1,480 feet), just below the clocks. The clock faces are 43 × 43 m (141 × 141 ft), the largest in the world. The roof of the clocks is 530 metres (1,740 feet) above the ground, making them the world's most elevated architectural clocks. A 71-metre-tall spire (233 ft) has been added on top of the clock giving it a total height of 601 metres (1,972 feet), which makes it the second tallest building in the world, surpassing Taipei 101 in Taiwan. The tower also includes an Islamic Museum and a Lunar Observation Center which will also be used to sight the moon during the Holy Months.

Building was planned to be 485 meters tall in 2006. In 2009, it was published that the final height will be 601 meters. The complex was built by the Saudi Binladin Group, Saudi Arabia's largest construction company. The clock tower was designed by the German company Premiere Composite Technologies, and the clock by the Swiss engineering firm Straintec. According to the Saudi Ministry of Religious Endowments, the project cost $15 billion.

Top 3 Taipei 101, formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, is a landmark skyscraper located in Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan. The building ranked officially as the world's tallest from 2004 until the opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010. In July 2011, the building was awarded LEED Platinum certification, the highest award in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system and became the tallest and largest green building in the world. Taipei 101 was designed by C.Y. Lee & partners and constructed primarily by Samsung C&T and KTRT Joint Venture. The tower has served as an icon of modern Taiwan ever since its opening, and received the 2004 Emporis Skyscraper Award. Fireworks launched from Taipei 101 feature prominently in international New Year's Eve broadcasts and the structure appears frequently in travel literature and international media.

Taipei 101 comprises 101 floors above ground and 5 floors underground. The building was architecturally created as a symbol of the evolution of technology and Asian tradition (see Symbolism). Its postmodernist approach to style incorporates traditional design elements and gives them modern treatments. The tower is designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes. A multi-level shopping mall adjoining the tower houses hundreds of fashionable stores, restaurants and clubs.

Taipei 101 is owned by the Taipei Financial Center Corporation (TFCC) and managed by the International division of Urban Retail Properties Corporation based in Chicago. The name originally planned for the building, Taipei World Financial Center, until 2003, was derived from the name of the owner. The original name in Chinese was literally, Taipei International Financial Center (Chinese)

The Taipei 101 tower has 101 stories above ground and five underground. Upon its completion Taipei 101 claimed the official records for:
Ground to highest architectural structure (spire): 508 metres (1,667 ft). Previously held by the Petronas Towers 451.9 m (1,483 ft).
Ground to roof: 449.2 m (1,474 ft). Formerly held by the Willis Tower 442 m (1,450 ft).
Ground to highest occupied floor: 438 m (1,437 ft). Formerly held by the Willis Tower 412.4 m (1,353 ft).
Fastest ascending elevator speed: designed to be 1010 meters per minute, which is 16.83 m/s (55.22 ft/s) (60.6 km/h, 37.7 mi/h).
Largest countdown clock: Displayed on New Year's Eve.
Tallest sundial. (See 'Symbolism' below.)

Taipei 101 is the first building in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. The record it claimed for greatest height from ground to pinnacle now rests with the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (UAE): 828 m (2,717 ft). Taipei 101's records for roof height and highest occupied floor briefly passed to the Shanghai World Financial Center in 2009, which in turn yielded these records as well to the Burj.

Taipei 101 displaced the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as the tallest building in the world by 56.1 m (184 ft).[7] It also displaced the 85-story, 347.5 m (1,140 ft) Tuntex Sky Tower in Kaohsiung as the tallest building in Taiwan and the 51-story, 244.2 m (801 ft) Shin Kong Life Tower as the tallest building in Taipei.

Various sources, including the building's owners, give the height of Taipei 101 as 508.0 m (1,667 ft), roof height and top floor height as 448.0 m (1,470 ft) and 438.0 m (1,437 ft). This lower figure is derived by measuring from the top of a 1.2 m (4 ft) platform at the base. CTBUH standards, though, include the height of the platform in calculating the overall height, as it represents part of the man-made structure and is above the level of the surrounding pavement.

Top 4 The Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC) is a supertall skyscraper located in the Pudong district of Shanghai, China. It was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and developed by the Mori Building Company. It is a mixed-use skyscraper, consisting of offices, hotels, conference rooms, observation decks, and ground-floor shopping malls. Park Hyatt Shanghai is the hotel component, containing 174 rooms and suites. Occupying the 79th to the 93rd floors, it is the second-highest hotel in the world, surpassing the Grand Hyatt Shanghai on the 53rd to 87th floors of the neighboring Jin Mao Tower.

On 14 September 2007, the skyscraper was topped out at 492.0 meters (1,614.2 ft), making it, at the time, the second-tallest building in the world and the tallest structure in Mainland China. It also had the highest occupied floor and the highest height to roof, two categories used to determine the title of "world’s tallest building". The SWFC opened on 28 August 2008, with its observation deck opening two days later. This observation deck, the world's tallest at the time of its completion, offers views from 474 m (1,555 ft) above ground level.

The SWFC has been lauded for its design, and in 2008 it was named by architects as the year's best completed skyscraper. The SWFC will be exceeded in height by the adjacent Shanghai Tower, which is due for completion in 2014.

The tower's foundation stone was laid on 27 August 1997. In the late 1990s, the Pierre de Smet Building Corporation suffered a funding shortage caused by the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, which halted the project after the foundations were completed. On 13 February 2003, the Mori Group increased the building's height to 492 m (1,614 ft) and 101 stories, from the initial plans for a 460-metre (1,509 ft), 94-story building. The new building used the foundations of the original design, and construction work was resumed on 16 November 2003.

A fire broke out in the incomplete SWFC on 14 August 2007. The fire was first noticed on the 40th floor, around 16:30 (GMT +8), and soon the smoke was clearly seen outside the building. By 17:45, the fire had been extinguished. The damage was reported to be slight and nobody was injured in the accident. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but according to some sources the preliminary investigation suggested workers' electric weldings caused the fire.

The building reached its total height of 492 m (1,614 ft) on 14 September 2007 after the installation of the final steel girder. The final cladding panels were installed in mid-June 2008, and elevator installation was finished in mid-July. The Shanghai World Financial Center was completed on 17 July 2008, and was officially opened on 28 August. On 30 August 2008, the tower's observation floors were opened to the public.

Top 5 The International Commerce Centre ( ICC Tower) is a 118 floor, 484 m (1,588 ft) skyscraper completed in 2010 in West Kowloon, Hong Kong. It is a part of the Union Square project built on top of Kowloon Station. The development is owned and jointly developed by MTR Corporation Limited and Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hong Kong's metro operator and largest property developer respectively. It is currently the world's fourth tallest building by height, world's second tallest building by floors, as well as the tallest building in Hong Kong.

Its formal development name is Union Square Phase 7 and the name International Commerce Centre was officially announced in 2005. International Commerce Centre was completed in phases from 2007 to 2010. The tower opened in 2011, with the Ritz-Carlton opening in late March and the observatory in early April.

Sun Hung Kai Properties also developed, along with another major Hong Kong developer, Henderson Land, the second-tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong, the 2 International Finance Centre, which is located directly across Victoria Harbour in Central, Hong Kong Island.

The height had been scaled back from earlier plans due to regulations that didn't allow buildings to be taller than the surrounding mountains. The original proposal for this building was called Kowloon Station Phase 7 and it was designed to be 574 m (1,883 ft) tall with 102 floors. It would have risen 162 m (531 ft) over the then current tallest in Hong Kong, 2 International Finance Centre.

The tower was designed by the American architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) in association with Wong & Ouyang (HK) Ltd..

Source: Wikipedia

June 4, 2012

Water resource: Top 5 largest largest lake in the world

Top 1 The Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water in the world and accounts for 40 to 44% of the total lacustrine waters of the world. The coastlines of the Caspian are shared by Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan. The Caspian is divided into three distinct physical regions: the Northern, Middle, and Southern Caspian. The North-Middle boundary is the Mangyshlak Threshold, which runs through Chechen Island and Cape Tiub-Karagan. The Middle-South boundary is the Apsheron Threshold, a sill of tectonic origin between the Eurasian continent and an oceanic remnant, that runs through Zhiloi Island and Cape Kuuli. The Garabogazköl bay is the saline eastern inlet of the Caspian, which is part of Turkmenistan and at times has been a lake in its own right due to the isthmus which cuts it off from the Caspian.

An aerial view of the southern Caspian coast as viewed from a top the Alborz mountains in Mazandaran, Iran Divisions between the three regions are dramatic. The Northern Caspian only includes the Caspian shelf, and is very shallow; it accounts for less than 1% of the total water volume with an average depth of only 5–6 metres (16–20 ft). The sea noticeably drops off



towards the Middle Caspian, where the average depth is 190 metres (620 ft). The Southern Caspian is the deepest, with oceanic depths of over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft). The Middle and Southern Caspian account for 33% and 66% of the total water volume, respectively. The northern portion of the Caspian Sea typically freezes in the winter, and in the coldest winters, ice will form in the south.

Over 130 rivers provide inflow to the Caspian, with the Volga River being the largest. A second affluent, the Ural River, flows in from the north, and the Kura River flows into the sea from the west. In the past, the Amu Darya (Oxus) of Central Asia in the east often changed course to empty into the Caspian through a now-desiccated riverbed called the Uzboy River, as did the Syr Darya farther north. The Caspian also has several small islands; they are primarily located in the North and have a collective land area of roughly 2,000 km2 (770 sq miles). Adjacent to the North Caspian is the Caspian Depression, a low-lying region 27 metres (89 ft) below sea level. The Central Asian steppes stretch across the northeast coast, while the Caucasus mountains hug the Western shore. The biomes to both the north and east are characterized by cold, continental deserts. Conversely, the climate to the southwest and south are generally warm with uneven elevation due to a mix of highlands and mountain ranges; the drastic changes in climate alongside the Caspian have led to a great deal of biodiversity in the region.

Top 2 Lake Michigan–Huron is, geologically, the largest lake in the world and the largest of the North American Great Lakes. Traditionally considered to be two separate lakes, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, it is a single body of water connected at the Straits of Mackinac.

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society states, "Contrary to popular belief, the largest lake in the world is not Lake Superior but mighty Lake Michigan-Huron, which is a single hydrological unit linked at the Straits of Mackinac." The straits are 5 miles (8 km) wide and 120 feet (37 m) deep, small in comparison to the body of water as a whole. Lakes Huron and Michigan lie at the same elevation, 577 feet (176 m), rise and fall together, and the flow of water between them at times reverses from eastward to westward.

At 45,410 square miles (117,600 km2), Lake Michigan–Huron is 48% of the total surface area of the Great Lakes. Lake Superior holds more water, 3,000 cubic miles (12,500 km3) compared to Michigan–Huron's 2,000 cubic miles (8,300 km3), which makes Michigan–Huron the fourth largest lake by volume in the world after lakes Baikal, Tanganyika, and Superior.

During the last ice age, what is now Huron–Michigan was indeed two lakes, with what is now Lake Huron (known to geologists as Lake Stanley) separate from what is now Lake Michigan (Lake Chippewa). Before that Lake Chicago occupied the southern tip of the Lake Michigan basin, at the southern extent of the glaciers.

Top 3 Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, if Lake Huron and Lake Michigan are considered to be two lakes. It is the world's third-largest freshwater lake by volume.

Lake Superior has a surface area of 31,700 square miles (82,103 km2), which is approximately the size of South Carolina. It has a maximum length of 350 statute miles (560 km; 300 nmi) and maximum breadth of 160 statute miles (257 km; 139 nmi).[2] Its average depth is 80.5 fathoms (483 ft; 147 m) with a maximum depth of 222 fathoms (1,332 ft; 406 m). Lake Superior contains 2,900 cubic miles (12,100 km³) of water. There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover the entire land mass of North and South America with roughly 1 foot (30 cm) of water (roughly a depth of .93 feet) The shoreline of the lake stretches 2,726 miles (4,387 km) (including islands).

The lake is fed by over 200 rivers. The largest include the Nipigon River, the St. Louis River, the Pigeon River, the Pic River, the White River, the Michipicoten River, the Bois Brule River and the Kaministiquia River. Lake Superior drains into Lake Huron by the St. Marys River. The rapids on the river necessitate the Sault Locks (pronounced "soo"), a part of the Great Lakes Waterway, to move boats over the 25 feet (8 m) height difference from Lake Huron.

The lake's average surface elevation is 600 feet (183 m) above sea level. Until approximately 1887 the natural hydraulic conveyance through the St. Marys River rapids determined outflow from Lake Superior. By 1921 development in support of transportation and hydropower resulted in gates, locks, power canals and other control structures completely spanning St. Marys rapids. The regulating structure is known as the Compensating Works and is operated according to a regulation plan known as Plan 1977-A. The current water levels, including diversions of water from the Hudson Bay watershed, are governed by the International Lake Superior Board of Control which was established in 1914 by the International Joint Commission.

Superior's water levels temporarily reached a new low in September 2007, slightly less than the previous record low in 1926. However, the water levels returned within a few days.

Top 4 Lake Victoria is one of the African Great Lakes. The lake was named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, by John Hanning Speke, the first European to discover this lake.

With a surface area of 68,800 square kilometres (26,600 sq miles), Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, and it is the largest tropical lake in the world. Lake Victoria is the world's third largest freshwater lake by surface area (only Lake Michigan–Huron and Lake Superior in North America are larger). In terms of its volume, Lake Victoria is the world's eighth largest continental lake, and it contains about 2,750 cubic kilometers (2.2 billion acre-feet) of water.

Lake Victoria receives most of its water from direct precipitation or from thousands of small streams. The largest stream flowing into this lake is the Kagera River, the mouth of which lies on the lake's western shore. There are two rivers that leave the lake, the White Nile (known as the "Victoria Nile" as it leaves the lake), flows out at Jinja, Uganda on the lake's north shore and the Katonga River flows out at Lukaya on the western shore connecting the lake to Lake George.

Lake Victoria occupies a shallow depression in Africa and has a maximum depth of 84 metres (276 ft) and an average depth of 40 metres (130 ft). Its catchment area covers 184,000 square kilometers (71,040 sq miles). The lake has a shoreline of 4,828 kilometres (3,000 miles), with islands constituting 3.7% of this length, and is divided among three countries: Kenya (6% or 4,100 km2/1,600 sq miles), Uganda (45% or 31,000 km2/12,000 sq miles) and Tanzania (49% or 33,700 km2/13,000 sq miles). The lake supports Africa's largest inland fishery.

Top 5 Lake Tanganyika is an African Great Lake. It is estimated to be the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the second deepest, after Lake Baikal in Siberia; it is also the world's longest freshwater lake. The lake is divided among four countries – Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Tanzania and Zambia, with the DRC (45%) and Tanzania (41%) possessing the majority of the lake. The water flows into the Congo River system and ultimately into the Atlantic Ocean.,br>
The lake is situated within the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the geographic feature known as the East African Rift, and is confined by the mountainous walls of the valley. It is the largest rift lake in Africa and the second largest lake by volume in the world. It is the deepest lake in Africa and holds the greatest volume of fresh water. It extends for 676 km (420 miles) in a general north-south direction and averages 50 km (31 miles) in width. The lake covers 32,900 km2 (12,700 sq miles), with a shoreline of 1,828 km (1,136 miles) and a mean depth of 570 m (1,870 ft) and a maximum depth of 1,470 m (4,820 ft) (in the northern basin) it holds an estimated 18,900 cubic kilometres (4,500 cu mi). It has an average surface temperature of 25 °C and a pH averaging 8.4.

The enormous depth and tropical location of the lake can prevent 'turnover' of water masses, which means that much of the lower depths of the lake is so-called 'fossil water' and is anoxic (lacking oxygen). The catchment area of the lake covers 231,000 km², with two main rivers flowing into the lake, numerous smaller rivers and streams (due to the steep mountains that keep drainage areas small), and one major outflow, the Lukuga River, which empties into the Congo River drainage. ' The major river that flows into this lake, beginning 10.6 ka, is the Ruzizi River, entering the north of the lake from Lake Kivu. The Malagarasi River, which is Tanzania's second largest river, enters the east side of Lake Tanganyika. The Malagarasi is older than Lake Tanganyika and was formerly continuous with the Congo river.

Source: Wikipedia