Although the United States isn’t experiencing a population influx into its cities, other areas of the world are, particularly in countries like China and South Korea. According to a recent article, China is projected to build 50,000 skyscrapers over the next few years, as citizens migrate from rural areas into the more than 30 cities in the eastern part of the nation. As a result of this building and construction forecast, architects are envisioning creating taller buildings, much like Burj Kalifa in Dubai. Elevator companies in these countries, in Japan, and even in the United States are planning for faster elevators to accompany these new buildings.
This article further states that the elevator market in China will inevitably grow; in addition, elevator manufacturers are looking to break speed records. For example, Hitachi, the manufacturer behind a myriad of products ranging from power tools to elevators, recently completed a 50-story testing tower for the sole purpose of building and developing the fastest possible elevator. The project cost $66 million, and the goal is to break the current record now held by Toshiba.
The elevator that Hitachi, as well as other manufacturers, is striving to create must climb at the pace of 40 miles per hour or more. To date, the most efficient design is the model for Burj Kalifa, a double-deck lift that moves at 22 miles per hour. There’s no word if this design will serve as the template for future models in the East Asian market or if manufacturers will develop their products with other forms in mind.
When it comes to designing elevators for this East Asian market, everyone appears to want to get involved. Otis, the world’s largest elevator company, also wants a portion of the Chinese market, as the above-mentioned article states. No matter which company ends up dominating the elevator market in that part of the world, the cities in eastern China serve as a type of Petri dish that manufacturers all over the world will be able to observe for growth and innovation.