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KONE's Lightweight Hoists To Be Installed in Planned 1-Kilometer-Tall Tower

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Courtesy of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
If all goes as planned, the Kingdom Tower, which will be the future world's tallest building, will contain the world's most lightweight elevator system.
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KONE Corp. has won the contract for the vertical transportation in Kingdom Tower, a multi-use building that is planned for a record height of 1 kilometer. For the tower, under way near Jeddah, KONE plans to install its lightweight hoisting system, called UltraRope, which it introduced last year.

If completed as planned, the estimated $1.2-billion megatower—designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, with structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti—would replace the 828-meter-tall Burj Khalifa as the world's tallest building. Kingdom Tower—the pet project of a Saudi prince named Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz—is under construction by general contractor and part owner Saudi Binladin Group. The developer is Kingdom Holding Co.'s Jeddah Economic Co.

Thanks to its carbon-fiber rope, the UltraRope system nearly doubles the vertical-run potential of elevators. According to KONE, the megatower's double-deck observation-tower elevators will travel a vertical distance of 637 m and have a carbon-fiber-rope weight that is 86% less than conventional steel-rope elevators. The system will reduce energy consumption between 16% and 21%.

KONE is supposed to hand over the completed system, which includes 65 elevators and escalators, in 2018—the year the tower is set to open.

KONE does not reveal contract values but says that, to date, this is the largest contract announced for the UltraRope system. KONE's largest-ever contract is for the Washington, D.C., metro modernization, says Johannes de Jong, KONE's head of technology for large projects.


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