The Kingdom Tower which is being built in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is on track to be completed in 2018. The tower is set to be the tallest building in the world when it’s finished, and it will be the first building in the world to be taller than 1 Kilometre; meaning it’s going to need to have more than just sets of stairs. The Kingdom Tower is going to be home to some record breaking double decker lifts.
These record breaking lifts will allow visitors to go 660 metres up in a single journey, at record speeds. The “Vertical Transportation” which is going to be installed into the tower is the responsibility of Finnish company Kone, and they have said that the lifts are going to be able to ascend and descend at speeds of over 10 metres (32 feet) a second. This means that it would take just a single minute heading from the top to the bottom without any stops. Although 10 metres a second is pretty quick, Kone has reported that users will not feel queasy on their journey. It’s hard to imagine your ears not popping though!
Although the lifts in The Kingdom Tower will be the fastest double decker lifts in the world, they won’t be the fastest elevator in the world. This record is held by the two single-decker lifts in the world’s third-tallest building, Taiwan’s Taipei 101. Its elevators can ascend at a staggering 1,010 meters per minute.
The Tower when it becomes the world’s tallest building in 2018, beating the Burj Khalifa by 173 meters, will be home to offices, hotels, apartments’ and Ariel observation spots of the city of Jeddah, which is known as Saudi Arabia’s most liberal city. The skyscraper is to be the centre piece of the Kingdom City Development Plan which will be located along the Red Sea on Jeddah’s north side, and is hoped to spur on a new age of Saudi development and tourism. In total the tower will have 65 lifts and escalators, including seven double-decker lifts built by Kone, which take visitors, workers and residents to the 200 floors of the building (160 of which are inhabitable).
The Kingdom Tower will be able to achieve new records, thanks to the use of high tech carbon fibres and ‘Ultra Rope’ technology. This combination is believed to be able to one day, allow lift users to travel up to 1,000 metres in a single trip. Many are reporting that the light cable is said to be able to transform the world’s skylines, allowing us to build upwards like never before.
Ultra Rope is designed to have the same strength as steel cables whilst being much lighter. The cable is made up of 4 separate bands of carbon fibre which is then wrapped with an epoxy coating which increases the amount of friction whilst reducing any slips. The new ultra rope is a god send to those who looking to create huge skyscrapers, it gives them a material which can support huge weights over incredibly long distances.
Ultra rope arrives at a time when conventional cable has reached its limits with regards to how high it can carry passengers, limiting architects on how high they can build. Ultra Rope is also more efficient, in a 500 metre lift shaft which uses conventional cable, up to three quarters of the energy used to lift an elevator is used on the weight of the cables themselves, Ultra Rope however has been said to be able to cut this weight by up to 90%.