A new skyscraper in the southern Chinese metropolis of Guangzhou will soon become host to the world’s swiftest elevators.
The speedy lifts will be installed in the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, which will become one of the centrepiece skyscrapers in the Guangzhou CBD.
The two elevators, which are being built by Japanese engineering giant Hitachi, will be capable of whisking visitors to the skyscraper from the first floor to the 95th floor in just 43 seconds.
The maximum speed of the elevators will be in excess of 72 kilometres an hour – over twice the speed of the average elevator, which generally climb or descend their shafts at speeds of between eight and 35 kilometres an hour.
Hitachi has taken pains to ensure that the remarkable speed of the elevators will not compromise the smoothness of the ride or the safety and comfort of passengers.
Advanced microprocessors are used to operate the elevators, ensuring precision control over car velocities and arrival heights, which can be compromised when elevators cover distances greater than 400 metres due to the contraction of primary cables.
In order to prevent occupants of the elevator from experiencing that disconcerting “pop” in their inner ears which which results from abrupt changes in altitude and so frequently afflicts air flight passengers, the cars of the elevator will be equipped with technology that is capable of fine-tuning its internal air pressure.
Hitachi has adopted measures to ensure the internal environment of the elevators remains tranquil for passengers despite the tremendous heights they traverse at such rapid speeds.
A purpose-designed aerodynamic wind capsule will insulate occupants from external wind noise, which can be extremely loud in high speed elevators due to their breakneck velocities. The elevator cars themselves also consist of bi-layered structures, serving to insulate occupants from any extraneous background noise.
In order to prevent riders from experiencing any disconcerting motion, the elevator system comes equipped with enhanced guide rails which receive data about the acceleration speeds of the cars, enabling them to respond with greater sensitivity to the pressure placed upon them by the motion of the car, and thus expunge any lateral vibrations.
To ensure the safety of passengers as they hurtle vertically through the skyscraper at urban highway speeds, the elevators will also be installed with heat-resistant braking equipment which will be capable of halting their movement should a glitch occur during their passage.
Following its completion in 2016, the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre will stand 530 metres in height, while its 390,000 square metres of floor space will play host to a mixture of office, residential and retail facilities.