New Elevator Technology May Double the Height of Skyscrapers


The elevator manufacturer KONE has announced a new hoisting technology that will enable elevators to travel heights of one kilometer – twice the distance than currently possible. Currently, the longest elevator in Burj Khalifa  travels a distance of 504 meters. With elevators which can travel twice this amount, Burj Khalifa probably won’t be the tallest building for very long. At 828 meters tall, the Burj Khalifa would still be nearly 300 meters short of the new 1 kilometer elevators.

Currently, the fastest elevator in the world, made by Toshiba, takes passengers from ground to roof in thirty seconds, rising 54 kph through the Taipei 101. This surpasses the speed of the Burj Khalifa’s Otis Elevator, which travels at a mere 35 kph. With some simple math, it will take Toshiba’s elevator a bit more than 1 minute to get to the top of a 1 kilometer building.

UltraRope, is the new hoisting technology developed by KONE, will replace the conventional steel rope used for lifting with one that is developed with a carbon fiber core and a high-friction coating. UltraRope is much lighter than the conventional steel rope, as a result this will reduce energy consumption and weight of its moving components such as the hoisting ropes, compensating ropes, counterweight, elevator car, and passenger load.

The carbon fiber rope has a number of other advantages.  KONE says that since “carbon fiber resonates at a completely different frequency to steel and most other building materials,” elevator downtime caused by building sway will be reduced.  In addition, the rope will have twice the lifetime as steel rope, requiring less maintenance and thereby reduces material waste and environmental impact.

For additional information visit KONE

Works Cited:

Vinnitskaya , Irina. “New Technology May Double the Height of Skyscrapers” 11 Jun 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 13 Jun 2013. <;

“New KONE UltraRope(TM) Elevator Hoisting Technology Enables the next Big Leap in High-rise Building Design .” KONE Dedicated to People Flow. N.p., 10 June 2013. Web. 12 June 2013. <;.


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