What’s the largest elevator you’ve been inside? When it comes to elevators, typically for an office building, one that holds 10 people is considered average. As we saw a few weeks ago, however, some new developments for elevators in newer and taller skyscrapers in East Asia have begun, and Mitsubishi, one developer and manufacturer of elevators for that part of the world, recently put out a press release describing their newest products. As part of the new Umeda Hankyu building in Osaka, Japan, these elevators, which can hold 80 people each, are currently the largest in the world. All five of these elevators continuously transport workers inside this new building, which consists of a department store taking up the first 12 floors and office space from floors 13 to 41.
Dubbed “people movers,”, each elevator can support six tons and offers 11 feet by nine feet of space, with a height of 8.5 feet, inside. Additionally, the design offers windows so that the passengers can see outdoors.
The skyscraper opened May 6, 2010, and workers in the offices on top have been utilizing these elevators continuously. At the 15th floor, however, an additional system of elevators is in place to access the remaining floors above. According to the press release, Mitsubishi created a three- track system that takes workers to different sections within the upper 24 floors. Divided into groups “A,” “B,” and “C,” each track contains six elevators to take workers to different portion/segments of the floors. All of these elevators hold a smaller amount of people, however. In total, the entire skyscraper contains 25 separate elevators.
The press release describes the space and capacity of these elevators, but nothing about their speed. While this elevator design for skyscrapers seemingly sounds efficient, (and perhaps many American office buildings with long wait times will consider similar elevators at some point), only time will tell if Mitsubishi’s system in the Umeda Hanku building truly will offer a sound prototype for future, commercial elevator emulation.