The Shanghai Tower is already known around the world for currently being the tallest twisting tower in the world and the second tallest building in the world overall. Now, it also has the distinction of adding three newly awarded Guinness World Records to its resume. Shanghai Tower officially has the world’s fastest elevator, the tallest elevator in a building, and the fastest double-deck elevator.
Shanghai Tower’s elevators were designed by Mitsubishi Electric and just barely outpaced elevators designed by Hitachi in the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, which can reach speeds of 20 meters per second, or 44.7 mph.
The fastest elevator in Shanghai Tower can reach speeds of 20.5 meters per second, or 45.8 mph. However, in order to achieve these speeds, a Mitsubishi technician needs to be on hand to press the proverbial red button and send the elevator into hyperdrive. Without the technician, what most people experience in Shanghai Tower is an elevator ride that only reaches 40 mph.
While elevators may be able to continue to reach higher and higher speeds, at least one elevator engineer believes a speed of about 24 meters per second, or 53.6 mph, is the limit. According to CNN, this is because the people in an elevator traveling faster than 24 meters per second would not have time to adjust to the air pressure on the top floor. The entire building would need to be pressurized like an airplane to be able to achieve higher speeds.
For now, Shanghai Tower’s 45.8 mph represents the pinnacle of elevator speed, though, with the sheer volume of supertall buildings being constructed around the world, don’t be surprised if that record is soon broken.