Architecture | Dubai | News

World's Tallest Building Burj Khalifa Creaks During Wind Storm: VIDEO


The uploader, an inhabitant of Dubai's massive Burj Khalifa tower, writes:

This almost spooky noise occurred for a few minutes during the strongest winds. As much as people like to think large skyscrapers rock back and forth a lot and make you sea sick - you actually couldn't feel a thing. Only this calm peaceful noise of the tower handling the winds.

Peaceful? Eh. Eerie? Definitely.

Watch and listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via gizmodo)

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  1. Time to move!

    Posted by: David | Apr 15, 2013 1:25:33 PM

  2. LOL....I would be SO outta there! Yes, skyscrapers can "give" to wind and earthquakes....they do NOT creak!

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Apr 15, 2013 1:31:19 PM

  3. All aboard the Nope Train to Noperville!! CHOOO CHOOOO! Seriously ever since 9/11 I am terrified of tall buildings. The first thought I always have is "How long would it take me to get out of here in an emergency?"

    Posted by: AJ | Apr 15, 2013 1:33:38 PM

  4. Skyscrapers creak constantly in high winds. When thousands of joints are "giving" to allow the building to sway with the wind there is going to be creaking. Offices toward the center and corners of the building can become especially noisy.

    Posted by: SammySeattle | Apr 15, 2013 1:38:03 PM

  5. I remember being in one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center and you could actually see the swaying of the buildings by looking at the other tower. Somehow "they're designed to do that" was not much comfort to me. Also the ride up the express elevator was unnerving as the car shook the entire time.

    Posted by: Voet | Apr 15, 2013 1:48:07 PM

  6. This for me would be like in the haunted house movies where some ghost screams GET OUT! I'd be packed and moved before the light of day.

    Posted by: Gigi | Apr 15, 2013 1:51:59 PM

  7. It's a bit like a ship at sea.

    Posted by: anon | Apr 15, 2013 2:00:43 PM

  8. I am sure the view is fantastic, but that doesn't sound nice.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Apr 15, 2013 2:00:48 PM

  9. Sounded like a wooden ship at sea.

    Posted by: scollingsworth | Apr 15, 2013 2:45:45 PM

  10. My family had Thanksgiving dinner at the top of the World Trade Center in 1997 and the buildings were swaying and my sister started to cry. So yes, they do sway.

    I hate super tall buildings, and Dubai is the last place on Earth where I would want to die.

    Posted by: Preludes | Apr 15, 2013 4:14:03 PM

  11. Metal fatigue anyone ??? ... shearing bolts & joints - domino effect after so many joints, bolts & components fail ??? How many years do you think before the big 'fail' ????? oooops.

    Posted by: George Deeming | Apr 15, 2013 4:40:44 PM

  12. I worked for many years at 555 California Street in San Francisco, a 52 story building. On windy days you could hear the building creak, particularly in the rest rooms, located in the central core of the building. It did sound like a wooden ship.

    A totally different experience was the 1989 earthquake. It felt like the floor was on rollers, moving back and forth.

    Posted by: Rich | Apr 15, 2013 4:41:56 PM

  13. "All aboard the Nope Train to Noperville!! CHOOO CHOOOO!"

    Best Towleroad comment ever :)

    Posted by: JFE | Apr 15, 2013 5:09:37 PM

  14. OK...if the videographer was trying to show anything, it was a complete failure. This is a common failure of amateur video folks: The constant moving of the camera. Stop, just stop. Stop moving. Stop trying to grab everything. Nobody can see anything when the camera is constantly moving. If the building was swaying, there was no way to tell. Pick a spot and focus on that so that we can the scene unfold on its own rather than you trying to force something.

    Other than the audio, which was so quiet that my wireless headphones which don't actually connect unless there is real sound to transmit didn't connect, what was the point of the video?

    Posted by: Rrhain | Apr 15, 2013 5:34:06 PM

  15. Even though skyscrapers are supposed to be "designed to do that," I think that I would still be a bit unnerved.

    Posted by: | Apr 15, 2013 9:17:10 PM

  16. Yes, it sounds like a boat creaking at sea.

    Posted by: Jim Brown | Apr 15, 2013 10:59:48 PM

  17. As someone who designs these things (I actually stayed in the hotel (The Address) seen through the window in the video), those buildings are designed with withstand these winds. Since the Burj Khalifa has a concrete structure, it's very stiff, but even concrete has some give. It's probably either the joints in the curtain wall on the exterior or the ductwork doing all that creaking. You want those joints or you'll have lots of shattered windows when the building shifts due to winds and thermal differentials throughout the day.

    As for earthquakes, there was a New York Times article that talked about how the Japanese are shying away from highrises after the earthquake and tsunami a few years ago. People were freaked out by the buildings swaying. The problem is that modern highrise have a better chance of withstanding earthquakes than the shorter buildings that people are moving into. People's fears often run against the facts.

    Posted by: Isaac | Apr 16, 2013 12:24:00 AM

  18. It really is not weird. If you've never been in a tall building during a good wind storm you'd know that it's not weird and happens quite frequently. The buildings are meant to bend.

    Posted by: Joseph Singer | Apr 16, 2013 4:18:44 PM

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