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China to Get the World's Fastest Elevators: 95 Floors in 43 Seconds


A rendering of the Guangzhou CTF Finance CentreCourtesy HitachiA rendering of the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre

It’s a country of superlatives: home to the world’s longest wall, largest population, and fastest-growing major economy. Soon, China will have the fastest elevators.

Earlier this week, Hitachi (6501:JP) announced plans to deliver two of the world’s quickest-ascending elevators to a skyscraper now under construction in the southern city of Guangzhou, Guangdong. The 530-meter-high Guangzhou CTF Finance Center will be home to a hotel, offices, and residential space when it opens in 2016.

The ultra-high-speed elevators will travel at a pace of 1,200 meters per minute (44.7 miles per hour) up a 440-meter shaft, reaching the 95th floor in about 43 seconds. “Technologies to prevent lateral vibration and to reduce the sensation of ear blockage caused by air pressure differences,” and “brake equipment using braking materials with outstanding heat resistance to safely stop the elevator car ” will be used in the system, Hitachi said in an April 21 press release.

The building will use a total of 95 Hitachi elevators, including the two that are world’s fastest, 28 double-deck elevators (two cars attached together), 13 high-speed elevators, and 52 of medium and low speed.

Elevator sales to China, which is in the midst of a multiyear building boom, account for about 60 percent of the global market. The Guangzhou elevators will break the current speed record set by a pair of Toshiba (6502:JP) elevators in Taiwan’s Taipei 101 skyscraper, which travel at 37.7 mph.

Dexter_roberts
Roberts is Bloomberg Businessweek's Asia News Editor and China bureau chief. Follow him on Twitter @dtiffroberts.

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