BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 3 January 2008, 12:42 GMT
Japan opens 'tallest lift tower'
Solae tower (Mitsubishi Electric Corporation)
The tower will be used to test new lift technologies
Japan's Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has opened what it says is the world's tallest elevator testing tower.

The 173m-high (567ft) structure is called Solae and dominates the skyline of Inazawa City.

The company says it will use the tower to conduct research into high-speed elevators to serve the next generation of super-tall buildings.

The 5bn-yen ($50m;25m) project will allow Mitsubishi to test new drives, gears, cables and other lift systems.

Super-tall buildings have become vogue again in recent years. The world's current tallest building, the Taipei 101 (508m; 1,666ft), will soon be dwarfed by towers in cities such as Dubai, Shanghai, Moscow and Chicago.

Even the traditionally low-rise London is going upwards. At London Bridge station, developers are pressing ahead with the "Shard", which at 310m (1,017ft) will be Europe's tallest skyscraper.

The Taipei 101 lifts - built by Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems - have a top speed of 17m/s (61km/h; 38mph) and are recognised as the fastest in the world. They incorporate a pressure control system that stops riders' ears from "popping", and streamlined cars that reduce the whistling noise that blights some fast lifts as they are pulled through narrow shafts.

Dubai skyscraper world's tallest
22 Jul 07 |  Middle East
Taipei 101: A view from the top
31 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Fast lifts rise into record books
16 Dec 04 |  Technology

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific