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. <;.


3D Printed Houses

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs states that PHYSIOLOGICAL needs such as food. water, shelter, and warmth is the most important then comes safety, belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization. In order to reach the higher levels, the lower level of needs must be fulfilled first. Shelter is very important yet many people around the world don’t have this basic need. They are unable to have shelter because:

Housing Construction is…

– Labour-intensive

– Slow

– Dangerous

– Over budget

When you look at construction, it may be one of the only jobs left that aren’t done by robots or machines automatically. For example, cars and computers are both made mostly from robots/series of machines. 3D printing may be the solution to all these problems; 3D printing can build entire neighborhoods faster, cheaper, more safely, and with more precision.

Here is a video with an example of 3D printing.

Please fast forward to 04:30 to see the animation in action.

Architects are starting to build and experiment with 3D printing for houses/buildings but do printers that are able to build on such a large scale. “Building a bigger printer is not the answer. A skyscraper would require a machine that is bigger than it. And as printers get bigger, there is a trade-off between resolution and speed, says Steven Keating, a graduate student who works on large-scale 3D printing with Neri Oxman, an architect, designer and academic in the Mediated Matter group of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab.” As a result, architects and engineers are still coming up with a solution for large scale 3D printing.

If you want more information, click here.

Basics to Designing Kitchens

When one is planning to design a kitchen, they should consider 3 things that make all kitchens great.

1. The space should be visually appealing.  Every kitchen needs a focal point; a cool feature that grabs your attention and entertains the eye.  Depending on what you like, this may be a fancy looking island, open display shelving or even a colour scheme of kitchen appliances. A kitchen is used all the time so one should be comfortable and happy about their own kitchen.

2. A kitchen must be functional.  The space planning and layout of the work triangle are crucial to make kitchen tasks more efficient. A “work triangle” is a triangle of the most important components of a kitchen; the oven, sink, and refrigerator. A professional kitchen designer can help clients to customize the space to their needs while applying the principles of design and the 31 kitchen guidelines published by the National Kitchen and Bath Association.  These guidelines make the kitchen more functional and safer, a few of these guidelines include walkway sizes needed and minimum counter space and storage requirements.

3. A kitchen should be accommodating to friends and family. For example, when you go to a party or gathering, the kitchen is where the action is.  Large center islands that provide seating for guests are popular as they allow guests to interact with their hosts while they prepare and serve food and drinks. Larger kitchens are also nice because nowadays several people may work in the kitchen at the same time.  A small preparation sink located outside the primary work triangle gives guests or family members a place to wash their hands or help prepare snacks without getting in the cooks way. If social gatherings are very common at your house, you can even consider installing a wet bar to serve drinks faster.

10 Tips to Create a Well-Thought-Out Kitchen

1. For floor-level or lower storage space, having drawers rather than cupboards is a better optioin. This
way, you won’t need to bend over to look for whatever is stuck at the back of a cupboard.

2. Store frequently used accessories in the top drawers just beneath the
counter or on the bottom shelf of the cupboards just above the counter. The
remaining accessories can then be stored based on how often they’re used, with those used
least often on the highest or lowest levels.

3. Make sure that your kitchen plan includes a working counter near
the stove for dishes waiting to be cooked or those fresh out of the oven.

4. Install your range in such a way that you have ample space on both
sides. A range placed at an angle, for example, will not give you the required space, and
chances are you won’t be at ease when cooking.

5. Provide for counter space close to the sink so there is space to work with.

6 Working counters should be a minimum height of 90 centimetres. If you’re shorter or
taller than average, don’t hesitate to adapt the counter height accordingly.

7. Provide sufficient lighting for each work area.

8. Make sure the range hood is at least 60 centimetres high so that you won’t bump your

9. If you’re left-handed, set up the appliances accordingly: Place the
dishwasher to the left instead of to the right of the sink.

10. Keep a stool handy so that you can carry out certain tasks from a seated position.


Skyscrapers – Taipei 101

Taipei 101 may just only look like any typical skyscraper, however the amount of thought and advanced architectural that went into building this is amazing.

taipei 101
To start, Taiwan (where the building is located) is an earthquake zone and also has various typhoons commonly. As a result, Taipei 101 is designed to withstand the typhoon winds and earthquake tremors common in its area of the Asia-Pacific. Planners aimed for a structure that could withstand gale winds of 60 m/s (197 ft/s, 216 km/h or 134 mph) and the strongest earthquakes likely to occur in a 2,500 year cycle.
To counter these natural disasters, the architects decided to incorporate a tuned mass damper which is a HUGE mass which moves in the opposite direction of which the building is swaying. The 800-metric ton (1,764,000 lbs.), spherical steel mass is located on level 88 and is visible from the restaurant and observation decks.
File:Taipei 101 Tuned Mass Damper.png
As a result, this design prevents discomfort, damages, and  structural failure.


  • Architect – C.Y.Lee & Partners
  • Structural Engineer – Shaw Shieh
  • Structural Consult. – Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers, New York City
  • Year Started – June 1998 (Mall already open)
  • Total Height – 508m
  • No. of Floors – 101
  • Plan Area – 50m X 50m
  • Cost – $ 700 million
  • Building Use – Office Complex + Mall
  • Parking – 83,000 m2, 1800 cars
  • Retail – Taipei 101 Mall (77,033 m2)
  • Offices – Taiwan Stock Exchange (198,347 m2)

For more detailed information click here.

Digital Technology Concepts

16 Fundamental Digital Technology Concepts

Autonomy: Self-regulation by a product, process or service. e.g. Digital Clock – self corrects itself.

Aesthetics: The aspects of a product, process or service that make it pleasing to the human senses. e.g. Paint – allows colour options.


Control: The means by which a device or process is activated or regulated. e.g. Light switch.

Environmental Sustainability: The creation of products or services and use of resources in a way that allows present needs to be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. An important related concept is that of environmental stewardship – the acceptance of responsibility for the sustainable use and treatment of land and other natural resources. e.g. Insulation – sustain desired temperature better.

Ergonomics: The design of a product, process or service in a way that takes the users well-being with respect to
its use or delivery into account – that is, in a way that minimizes discomfort, risk of injury, and expenditure of energy. e.g. Door handle height – made to fit people of various heights.

Fabrication/Building Creation: The act or process of assembling components and/or materials and resources to create a product or service. e.g. Constructing a house.

Function: The use for which a product, process or service is developed. e.g. A restaurant provides food and drinks.


Innovation: Original and creative thinking resulting in the effective design of a product or service. e.g. safety glass – shatters on impact to prevent injury.

Intelligence: The embedded information and/or learning potential in a product, process or service. e.g. Roomba Vacuum – It can learn about it’s surroundings as it cleans.

Material: Any substance or item used in the creation of a product or delivery of a service. e.g. graphene – strong and light material.

Mechanism: A system of connected parts that allows a product to work or function. e.g. a lock has a latch, dead lock, cylinder, and key.

Power/Energy: The resource that enables a mechanism to perform work. e.g. electricity powers many mechanisms.

Safety: The care and consideration required to ensure that the product, process or service will not cause harm. e.g. a smoke detector alarms people of a fire.

Source: Open-source and/or crowd-source development and interactivity. e.g. Kickstarter is a crowd source development website.

Structure: The essential physical or conceptual parts of a product, process or service, including the way in which the parts are constructed or organized. e.g. the wooden frame of a house.

Systems: The combination of interrelated parts that make up a whole and that may be connected with other systems. e.g. crane – uses weights, wires, hydraulics, etc.