If you’re claustrophobic you probably want to spend as little time as possible in an elevator. Therefore, sufferers will no doubt rejoice at the news that Hitachi is undertaking to create the largest high-speed, high-capacity people-movers by completing the world’s tallest elevator research tower (213m). Named the "G1Tower", it will reside at the company’s elevator R&D and manufacturing base in Hitachinaka City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, and is due for completion in April this year. Prior to this, the company used a 90m tower built in 1967 for its research. Hitachi says it will use the new tower to conduct verification tests on the world's fastest elevator, which has an ear-popping rated speed of 1,080m/min (40.26mph).
The company is also anticipating its high-capacity elevator will be capable of carrying a five-ton load with a rated speed of 600m/min (22.36mph). Using the tower, Hitachi will be hoping to create a more pleasant riding experience for occupants by developing vibration suppression control devices and internal air pressure adjustment devices.
Hitachi is also working on reducing the space required for elevator shafts, and removing weight from the elevator cars, which could save skyscraper developers significant amounts of money.
The total amount being invested in this research tower, including related facilities, is approximately six billion yen (US$66 million).
Hitachi says there is a growing demand for environmentally-friendly, high-speed, high-capacity elevators that carry passengers in comfort and safety, especially as the high-rise market develops in China.
To this end, the company also plans to complete a 172m research tower this summer at a production base in Shanghai, which will be the tallest such tower in China. This new tower will be used to conduct development aimed at expanding Hitachi's lineup of high-speed elevators for the Chinese market.