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#1
Old 10-25-2009, 03:26 PM
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What are "Mechanical" Floors On Skyscrapers Exactly

I was looking at the Burj Dubai, which is the world's tallest building and the article tells what is on the different floors. Now I noticed the top 46 floors are used for "mechanical." What exactly does that mean?

I know buildings need floors dedicated to electricity and plumbing and a/c and heating and such, but why are so many at the top? Is it just a function to build the building to the world's highest? Or is it that the building is so high no one would want to rent the floors so high up so they put the mechanics up there? Or perhaps in case of another terrorist attack there'd be less people up top?

Here's a breakdown of floor usage from the Wikipedia

Quote:
160-206 Mechanical
156-159 Transmission
155 Mechanical
139-154 Office
136-138 Mechanical
125-135 Office
124 Observatory
111-123 Office
109-110 Mechanical
76-108 Residential
73-75 Mechanical
43-72 Residential
40-42 Mechanical
19-39 Hotel
17-18 Mechanical
5-16 Hotel
4 Hotel, Mechanical
3 Hotel, restaurant
2 Hotel, lobby
1 Hotel, lobby, restaurant
Concourse Restaurant, lobby
B1-B2 Parking, Mechanical
#2
Old 10-25-2009, 03:32 PM
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The machinery that is used to make the building livable is concentrated there. The top is a good place for much of it because of the vents are at the top. The water is at the top and gravity helps with the distribution. This includes fire suppression. There are some building with stabilization machinery in the top to counter wind and other forces.

Last edited by Harmonious Discord; 10-25-2009 at 03:35 PM.
#3
Old 10-25-2009, 03:38 PM
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Let's not forget the elevator equipment goes on top. Never forget the elevators.
#4
Old 10-25-2009, 03:44 PM
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Elevator machinery, electrical transformers, giant water tanks, boilers/furnaces, plumbing and heating distribution manifolds, phone line termination equipment, network routers/patch panels, building maintenance and security offices, and the big box of Christmas decorations.
#5
Old 10-25-2009, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
Let's not forget the elevator equipment goes on top. Never forget the elevators.
Also, that floor plan mentions mechanical floors lower in the building, such as on the 17th and 18 floors. As the Wikipedia article mentions that the building has double-deck elevators, my guess is that these floors are for elevator lobbies. (So that you can take a double-deck express elevator to an upper level lobby and then a local elevator to the correct floor.)
#6
Old 10-25-2009, 04:22 PM
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Um...like half the floors of the building are marked down as "Mechanical" according to your data. That sounds like something different.
#7
Old 10-25-2009, 04:27 PM
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Is there any reason why the top floors are mechanical though? I was just wondering about that more than anything.

I know the latest trend in building tall buildings is to get them high and through the use of spires and such they can achieve this height without having to add any functionality. So I was thinking perhaps the reason there were so many "mechanical floors" was simply to increase the height of the building.

That way instead of putting all the mechanical equipment on the lower floor that is bigger they could divide it up and put less on each floor and make the building taller.
#8
Old 10-25-2009, 05:32 PM
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Water tanks and elevator mechanics have to go on the top, so you might as well put other stuff there too.
#9
Old 10-25-2009, 05:36 PM
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The reasons I gave are reasons for them to be near at the top. Water can't be properly supplied from the lower floors only. I know there are films describing how come they are built how they are. Maybe a search for these is in order.
#10
Old 10-25-2009, 05:43 PM
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I give up on the search. There is to much garbage in the results.
#11
Old 10-25-2009, 06:19 PM
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Seriously, 40+ floors of mechanical? That sounds like either they're using very broad terms, or there's not a whole lot there. Or it's COBRA's secret command center.
#12
Old 10-25-2009, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord View Post
There are some building with stabilization machinery in the top to counter wind and other forces.
and those things are HUGE.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuned_mass_damper

The OP's hotel has 11 of them

Last edited by drachillix; 10-25-2009 at 06:39 PM.
#13
Old 10-25-2009, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by runcible spoon View Post
Seriously, 40+ floors of mechanical? That sounds like either they're using very broad terms, or there's not a whole lot there. Or it's COBRA's secret command center.
Those top floors are pretty small. They might not be much use as office or residential space, but I bet they'd be fun.
#14
Old 10-25-2009, 07:23 PM
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Is there an observation deck or restaurant at the top?
#15
Old 10-25-2009, 07:39 PM
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I see in the wiki article that the 123rd (1444 feet and 440 meters) floor will be an indoor outdoor observation deck with 700 feet of spire still going up.

Last edited by The Second Stone; 10-25-2009 at 07:40 PM.
#16
Old 10-25-2009, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
Those top floors are pretty small. They might not be much use as office or residential space, but I bet they'd be fun.
Yes but those top 40 floors are not the only "mechanical" floors. Like I said in my post, the data that is provided in the OP seems to something like half of all floors in the building as being "mechanical".
#17
Old 10-26-2009, 12:12 AM
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Accirding to the gang at SkyscraperCity, a lot of those upper floors in the Burj Dubai are pretty small, being up in the spire. So azside from things like water tanks and the tuned mass damper, they're probably antenna floors: transmitting equipment, weather sensors, etc.

Last edited by Sunspace; 10-26-2009 at 12:15 AM.
#18
Old 10-26-2009, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runcible spoon View Post
Seriously, 40+ floors of mechanical? That sounds like either they're using very broad terms, or there's not a whole lot there. Or it's COBRA's secret command center.
Just a WAG. I'm not sure if it would be the same type of thing but anyone who's had to do work in a hospital has probably been in one of those little crawlspace type floors in between the main floors. They're not even big enough to stand up in, they are hot and cramped and full of pipes and conduit and various things but they provide better access to various lines and runs than would otherwise be available. Maybe in this building they assigned numbers to those types of floors where in other buildings they aren't given separate numbers like that except on a service elevator maybe.
#19
Old 10-26-2009, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Second Stone View Post
I see in the wiki article that the 123rd (1444 feet and 440 meters) floor will be an indoor outdoor observation deck with 700 feet of spire still going up.
The Amazing Race put a cluebox on what looked like the under-construction 123rd floor observation deck two episodes ago. After reading about the construction standards in the UAE, I'm not sure if I want to ever get within blow-over range of this building...
#20
Old 10-26-2009, 10:51 PM
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Usually, the 13th floor is reserved for mechanical stuff in very tall buildings. I was surprised by your layout that the 13th floor is being used for a hotel.
#21
Old 10-27-2009, 04:30 AM
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I suspect it is a size issue. If you've been to the 102nd floor of the empire state building, there is not much room, so the 87th to 101 is too cramped to be rentable.
#22
Old 10-27-2009, 06:43 AM
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With regard to the Burj Dubai specifically, the top few dozen "floors" (I forget the exact number) are just landings on the steel access stairway up the spire to the aircraft warning lights on top.

This cross section should make it a bit clearer.

The top of the concrete structure is level 155. Then there is a steel spire on top of that. The highest habitable floor is in the lower, wider part of the spire. Above that it's just a narrow structure with a staircase going up it.

Last edited by Colophon; 10-27-2009 at 06:45 AM.
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