Although there are proven health benefits of walking up the stairs, rather than taking the lift, as explained on this blog recently, you could forgive the residents of the world’s tallest building for not wanting to tackle its 163 storeys on foot.
However, people living in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa may not have a choice soon as the developer is threatening to turn off the buildings elevators in a row over unpaid fees. Emaar Properties says some residents have not paid their service charges, which can be as high as £15,000 a year, since 2012. The developer’s action has already led to residents being unable to access certain communal areas like gyms and garages and has said the lifts could be turned off completely if the fees aren’t paid, forcing those inside to climb the building’s 2,900 steps to reach the top.
The Burj Khalifa was built between 2004 and 2009, with the building officially opening in January 2010. Standing at 829.8m tall (2,722 ft), it is the tallest habitable building in the world, beating the previous record holder the Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan, by over 300m. It is also the tallest man-made structure on the planet, surpassing the KVLY-TV transmission mast in North Dakota.
The Burj Khalifa plays host to a mix of residential and business tenants, with the 304-room Armani Hotel taking up many of the lower floors. The upper floors are mainly used for mechanical purposes, which include electricity sub-stations, water tanks and pumps – all essential elements that keep the building functioning around the clock. And that includes the lifts.
So if residents and workers are denied access to the lifts, that means a long old slog up the stairs, and that’s assuming the developers haven’t shut off the air conditioning as well – something they have threatened to do. It’s unclear how long it takes to climb the stairs from ground level to the very top (making sure you hold on to the handrail for safety!) as the building’s owners have so far been reluctant to allow organised climbs, like those seen in Taipei and New York’s Empire State Building. What is certain is it will be significantly longer than the 90 seconds it would take using the lift.
Written by David Chapman of UK Stair Parts