The Guangzhou CTF Financial Center, which is under construction in China, will have the world’s fastest elevators when it is completed in 2016.
The two elevators will travel from the first to the 95th floor in 43 seconds and move at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. Most elevators travel at speeds of 5 to 22 miles per hour.
The elevators in the Guangzhou CTF Financial Center will descend at speeds of 22 miles per hour, which is fast enough to make riders’ ears “pop” the way they sometimes do on an airplane. Technology that adjusts the air pressure in the elevators will reduce that effect.
If the governor in one of the elevators detects that it is moving too fast, it will apply a heat-resistant braking system. The elevators are designed to stop gradually, even in the event of an emergency. Microcomputers will control the system as passengers get on and off the elevators at normal stops.
Guide rails in the elevator shafts will prevent lateral vibrations. To prevent the rails from warping, computers will send information about speeds to the guide rails to control the amount of pressure placed on them. Riders may not feel the elevators moving. Modern elevators have almost no horizontal vibration.
The Guangzhou CTF Financial Center was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. When completed, it will be 1,738 feet tall and will have 111 floors above ground and five below. The building will include a combination of residential housing, office space, and a hotel. It will also have 93 other low-, medium-, and high-speed elevators, in addition to the two record-setting ones.