Lifts & Escalators

The Doubledeck MiniSpace elevator system.

The Doubledeck MiniSpace elevator system.

Kingdom Tower gets world’s fastest lifts

As the world’s tallest tower, the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia is expected to clock up a number of records including the fastest and highest double-decker elevators, which will be supplied by Kone.

July 2014

KONE, a global leader in elevators and escalators, has been selected as the vertical transportation provider to deliver the world’s fastest and highest double-decker elevators to the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which is expected to be the world’s tallest tower when it is completed in 2018.

Kingdom Tower is part of Kingdom City and is owned and being developed by Jeddah Economic Company. It is being built by Saudi Binladin Group and is expected to rise to the height of more than 1 km.

Featuring Kone’s People Flow solutions, the building will have the world’s fastest double-deck elevators with a travel speed of over 10 m per second as well as the world’s highest elevator rise at 660 m.

The tower will be equipped with a total of 65 Kone elevators and escalators including 21 Kone MonoSpace elevators, 29 Kone MiniSpace elevators, seven Kone DoubleDeck MiniSpace elevators and eight Kone TravelMaster 110 escalators.

“We have been highly impressed with Kone’s innovative solutions to high-rise buildings. This is another cornerstone for a development of this magnitude and we look forward to creating this landmark building in all standards,” says Mounib Hammoud, CEO of Jeddah Economic Company.

“Close cooperation between all project partners, and with the Kone Areeco team locally, our technical professionalism and People Flow planning expertise was a winning combination in helping us land the order,” comments Noud Veeger, executive vice-president for Kone in Asia Pacific and Middle East.

The Kone DoubleDeck MiniSpace elevators that will be installed at the Kingdom Tower will utilise what is described as “revolutionary” Kone UltraRope hoisting technology. “This new high-rise elevator technology is set to break industry limits and enable future elevator travel heights of 1 km – twice the distance currently feasible. Kone UltraRope technology eliminates the disadvantages of conventional steel rope and opens up a world of possibilities in high-rise building design,” says a spokesman for Kone.

Kone offers fixed or flexible DoubleDeck elevators. The fixed DoubleDeck is a space-saving, cost-efficient solution for buildings with fixed floor distances. Its flexible system offers architects additional freedom for design. Different floor heights are typically used for entrance and special-purpose floors, sky lobbies or upper office floors to enhance the architectural image of the building. The use of a unique ball screw system allows smooth adjustment and offers better levelling accuracy, says the spokesman. The counter-rotating screw mechanism is highly energy efficient. The cars and loads counterbalance each other.

Kone's MonoSpace elevator shaft.

Kone's MonoSpace elevator shaft.

“Doubling up two elevator cars in one shaft considerably reduces the number of elevator shafts, freeing up rentable space. The compact Kone EcoDisc hoisting machine allows flexibility in machine room arrangements and provides maximum space efficiency.

“With two access floors that allow simultaneous loading or unloading, Kone DoubleDeck elevators can move large groups of people more efficiently than any other elevator system. These elevators, especially when equipped with the Kone Polaris Destination Control System, can handle the most intense traffic situations.

“Especially in high peak traffic such as morning or midday rush hours, performance is significantly better than with any other system, including systems with two independent cars in the same shaft,” he explains.

Kone MonoSpace is a completely renewed flexible elevator solution for residential and commercial buildings with a broad range of interior options, industry-leading ride comfort and A-class eco-efficiency. It works on a machine-room-less platform and has a travel speed of over 1.75 m per second. It can take a load of 1,150 kg or up to 15 people. It comes with the renewed Kone EcoDisc hoisting machine, brakes, hoisting system and elevator car structure, providing even better ride comfort and even lower energy consumption, the spokesman says. “Kone offers five signallisation series to choose from, 52 complete car interiors grouped into six different design themes featuring innovative new materials and lighting solutions, and the industry’s widest selection of materials and accessories – over 100 options and over a million combinations for a unique look and feel,” he adds.

Kone MiniSpace is a high-performance elevator solution with a small machine room for mid- and high-rise buildings. It works on a small machine room platform and has a travel speed of over 4 m per second. It can take a load of 1,600 kg or up to 21 people. Kone offers four signallisation series for this elevator with other features similar to the MonoSpace series.

Kone TravelMaster 110 (TM 110), which will also be installed at Kingdom Tower, is an eco-efficient escalator that has been optimised for retail environments providing a smooth, safe ride. It can be employed indoor, semi-outdoor or entirely outdoor and has a travel speed of 0.5 m per second, an inclination of 30 or 35 degrees, and step width of 600 to 1,000 mm. It also has a vertical rise of 13 m. Other features include the optional Kone Direct Drive which makes the TravelMaster up to 20 per cent more efficient than conventional worm-gear solutions, according to the spokesman.

The TM 110 escalator with lit-up handrail ... earmarked for the Kingdom Tower.

The TM 110 escalator with lit-up handrail ... earmarked for the Kingdom Tower.

The optional direct handrail drive cuts energy and maintenance costs, and extends handrail lifetime in addition to the inverter and smart operational modes which optimise energy consumption. Its fibre-optic skirt monitoring immediately stops the escalator when an obstruction is detected.

To complement the building’s exclusive look, Kone will provide the client with tailor-designed car interiors and landing doors as well as the latest People Flow Intelligence solutions including Kone Destination Control Systems (DCS) and premium Kone Infoscreen displays. The People Flow Intelligence portfolio addresses key demands made by property developers and owners, namely, access control, destination guidance, information communication, and equipment monitoring. The solutions are modular, flexible, and third-party compatible, meaning building owners can either take the whole integrated package or pick and choose the solutions they want and need to complement the existing systems in their buildings.

“Traditional elevator call buttons can be replaced by touchscreens in Kone’s new destination solutions. A unique destination feature is the new Kone RemoteCall mobile application, which allows users to call an elevator from anywhere in the building using their smartphone,” the spokesman points out.

Other special solutions include Kone E-Link remote monitoring systems, as well as an occupant evacuation operation system for emergency situations. The order includes a 10-year equipment maintenance contract.

The Kingdom Tower is the centrepiece and first construction phase of the Kingdom City development, located along the Red Sea on the north side of Jeddah. Encompassing a construction area of 530,000 sq m, Kingdom Tower is designed by architect Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture. Dar Al Handasah is the project’s construction supervisor, while the EC Harris-Mace JV is managing the project. The tower will house offices, a Four Seasons hotel and serviced apartments, residential apartments as well as the world’s tallest observation deck.

Kone Areeco is Kone’s Saudi joint venture company with Kone holding 50 per cent of the shares. It has several flagship projects in Saudi Arabia, such as the successfully completed Makkah Royal Hotel Clock Tower in Makkah, as well as ongoing projects such as the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, and the King Abdulaziz International Airport and the Headquarters Business Park in Jeddah.

Kone provides industry-leading elevators, escalators, automatic building doors and integrated solutions to enhance the flow of people in and between buildings. Its services cover the entire lifetime of a building, from the design phase to maintenance, repairs and modernisation solutions.

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