Shanghai skyscraper to be world's highest elevator test tower

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New Shanghai skyscraper set to become world's highest elevator test tower

One of the world's biggest elevator manufacturers has unveiled plans to build a 270-metre-high skyscraper in Shanghai that will be dedicated to testing lifts.

Billed to become the tallest above-ground test tower ever built, the skyscraper will provide research and development facilities for Otis, the company behind the elevators in the world's highest building, the 828-metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The brand – which is also providing lifts for the new 599-metre Ping An Finance Centre in Shenzhen and 555-metre Lotte World Tower in Seoul – plans to use the build to test new technologies.

It claims the building will allow it to deliver "higher efficiency and smaller footprints, as well as industry-leading safety, comfort and convenience for passengers".

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Otis also designed elevators for the world's highest building, the 828-metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai

Otis was founded in the 19th century by the inventor of the safety elevator, Elisha Graves Otis, and today maintains over 2 million elevators and escalators worldwide.

"As the industry leader that introduced safe elevator technology, this is a strong example of how we are investing to accelerate innovation and technology development for our next generation elevators and service," said company president Philippe Delpech.

Elevator towers are typically around 100 metres tall, but the increasing construction of skyscrapers around the world has created a need for much taller test facilities.

Among the tallest examples already built are the 213-metre Hitachi G1 Tower and 173-metre-high Solae tower, both in Japan, and the 205-metre Hyundai Asan Tower in South Korea.

These facilities are likely to continue to grow, as experts are hailing 2016 as the beginning of the megatall skyscraper era.