The developers of the tallest skyscraper in the world have decided to spare no effort in equipping it with the world's fastest double-decker elevators.

Saudi Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal, the man behind the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, has announced that Finnish engineering company Kone will be  the “vertical transportation provider” for what is expected to be the world’s tallest skyscraper upon completion.

Kone will install the world’s fastest double-decker elevators in the kilometre-high skyscraper, capable of travelling at speeds as high as 750 metres per minute, or 12.5 metres per second.

This compares reasonably well with the world’s fastest single-decker lifts, which continue to hold the record for overall elevator speed. The elevators installed in Taiwan’s Taipei 101 by Toshiba Elevator & Buildings System are still the current record-holders, capable of ascending through the core of the world’s third tallest building at speeds of up to 1,200 metres per minute.

The key to the speed and efficiency of Kone’s elevators lies in its its UltraRope technology – an innovative form of hoisting material consisting of a carbon fibre core equipped with a unique high-friction coating.

The extreme lightness of the UltraRope dramatically reduces the collective moving weight of an elevator system, enabling both a reduction in energy consumption as well as radical increase in the potential total height that lifts can traverse. According to its developers, the UltraRope should enable future elevator systems to travel as the length of a full kilometre.

The UltraRope is also extremely durable and resistant to wear, with its special coating dispensing with the need for lubricants. Its developers claim that, as a result of such innovations, the rope’s operational lifespan is at least twice that of conventional steel rope.

The carbon fibre also resonates at a frequency disparate from that of the steel and most other conventional construction materials, thus reducing elevator downtime which arises as a result of building sway.

Kone will be entrusted with the installation of a total of seven Kone DoubleDeck MiniSpace elevators equipped with the UltraRope technology in Kingdom Tower, as well as 58 other elevators and escalators throughout the high rise building.

The UltraRope has already been installed at the Marina Bay Sands integrated luxury resort in Singapore, where they have been used to hoist a passenger elevator a distance of 195 metres from the ground floor to floors 34 to 57 of the hotel’s Tower 3.

elevator shaft

Kingdom Tower, which is being built by Saudi Bin Laden Group, is set to be the world’s tallest building following its completion in 2018, rising to a height in excess of one kilometre.

The skyscraper will be the centrepiece of the Kingdom City development situated on the north side of Jeddah by the Red Sea, and will serve as host to offices, serviced apartments, residential apartments as well as a Four Seasons Hotel.