The Sky Tower located in Auckland, New Zealand an observation and telecommunications tower, is the tallest man-made structure in the Southern Hemisphere. This tower stands 1,076 feet tall from ground level to the top of the pole. The elevators in the Sky Tower in need just 40 seconds to reach the top.
The elevator shaft measures 39 feet in diameter and has three elevators and an emergency stair well. The glass-fronted elevators can transport about 225 people every 15 minutes. The glass floor provides passengers with a spectacular view of the ground moving away as the elevator rises and a view the ground racing closer as it descends.
The Sky Tower is designed to withstand winds over 120 mph and can sway up to 39 inches in heavy winds. The elevators can detect wind movement and will automatically slow down. However, if the building sways too much, they will automatically return to ground level and resume operation only after the winds and swaying subside.
Elevator companies are constantly striving to break records for accessibility in ultra-tall buildings. Bloomberg Business week reported last year on the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, which is expected to have elevators that travel at a speed of more than 12.5 meters per second, or 750 meters per minute.
The current record for speed, according to this report, is held by the two single-decker lifts in Taiwan’s Taipei 101, the world’s third-tallest building. These systems can rise at 1,010 meters per minute. However, this record is expected to be broken in about two years by the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre in China, which plans to have two elevators that can rise at 1,200 meters per minute. These elevators are expected to be able to travel from the first to the 95th floor in about 43 seconds.