When it comes to installing a new lift in your property, a lot of questions need to be asked. Capacity, compatibility, accessibility, and size. However, one question always comes up.

“Ah…just how fast is it?”

While any reliable model will offer speed without compromising safety, some line specialise or require lifts that operate at speed and still provide a world class service. And of all those models, the fastest in the world may surprise you.

So, where exactly is the fastest lift in the world and why exactly was it needed to be installed.

Where is the fastest lift?

The fastest lift in the world is installed in the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre in China. Clocking in at a staggering 530 meters tall, the building was finished out in 2016 and is made up from a central skyscraper that is connected to a 30m high glass podium and atrium. Given the building’s height and position of an area of high tectonic activity, the building had to have many special considerations in its construction – chief among which is the use of a pad-and-mat foundation report and multiple failsafes to protect individuals inside.

Given the building’s size, the builders were required to provide a system that would allow business professionals, visitors and residents (with the top sixteen floors containing a hotel and the below ground floors housing a mall) to travel safely and in style.

What kind of elevators are there?

With such a high degree of footfall, the building’s infrastructure needed to be top notch. Hitachi were brought in to assist with the building’s elevator design, aiding the installation of 95 elevators throughout the build. Of these, two elevators are specifically designed to allow individuals to scale the building at speed – travelling 1200 meters per minute or close to 45mph.

Achieving this goal without risk to the inhabitants or extreme discomfort was a genuine feat of engineering, with each car needing to be individually pressurised to prevent atmospheric pressure change causing ear pain. While some riders can still find this sore, the mechanism prevents the worst impacts of the height change and can bring a rider from the base of the building to the top within a staggering 42 seconds.

How does it function?

In order to accomplish this feat, the elevators use magnetic synchronous rollers to provide steady, strong acceleration that can propel users to their destination. This is coupled with secondary rollers that help steady the car upon ascent. This is also includes emergency brakes that can tolerate friction of up to 300°C.

This marks an exceptional example of design that couples world-class performance with above-and-beyond safety and fault tolerances. While your building may not need a version of the fastest lift in the world, taking the time to consider your unique requirements can help secure a unit that is also fit for purpose…and a fraction of the price.