Discussions about skyscrapers generally involve their height, their cost, and the fact that a staggering number of them are started but never finished. The Wall Street Journal has now introduced a new talking point into the mix: "elevator miles logged." Apparently a person that "commuted" to a top floor of Mumbai's World One Tower (expected to be the world's tallest residential tower by 2016) would log around 200 miles per year just by taking the elevator twice a day. If they had errands to do, that number might jump to 400 miles per year, equal to about eight hours in a car.
In contrast, the average resident of a low-rise building would have a vertical commute of less than ten miles per year. People living at the top of the 1,397-foot-tall luxury tower 432 Park Avenue in New York, meanwhile, are covering 356 elevator miles a year, "the equivalent of two trips out to the Hamptons and back," the WSJ helpfully points out.
Unsurprisingly, there is somewhat of an arms race to create the world's fastest elevator. The title is currently held by the lifts in Taipei's 101 Tower, which rise 55 feet per second, but a new elevator planned for the Guangzhou CTF Finance Center will have a top speed of 66 feet per second, or 4,000 feet per minute. However, all this technological wizardry is kinda wasted on towers for the global elite. As the WSJ notes, "much of the time no one will be home anyway."
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· World's Longest Commutes by Elevator [Wall Street Journal]
· Here Are the Tallest Towers That Will Never Be Completed [Curbed National]
· All Superlatives posts [Curbed National]