Telus Sky now boasts fastest elevators in the west

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Calgary’s Telus Sky may only be the third largest building in the city, but it now has another, more practical claim to fame: the fastest elevators in the west.

The mixed-use 59-storey skyscraper has 17 elevators throughout the structure, but the three lifts recently installed to the residential section of the tower are officially the fastest in western Canada.

TK Elevator (formerly thyssenkrupp Elevator) said residents will be moving from the lobby to their apartments at 1,600 feet per minute, or 29 kilometres an hour.

Chris Barbeau, region VP for TK elevator, said it’s a nice feather in the cap of the mechanics who worked on the project.

“There’s a distinct pride among the mechanics who installed those elevators and there’s a definite pride factor in being able to say you installed elevators at that speed,” he said.

He explained that as building continue to be built taller, the demand for faster elevators is growing as well, and they’re seeing that in Calgary.

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“It’s about how fast you can make that transition so people are satisfied and happy with the commute from the main level to the upper floors,” said Barbeau.

Brian Twa, TK’s district manager for southern Alberta, said they aim to give people as smooth a trip as possible, but the speed is still noticeable once they get moving.

“(The cars) are adjusting so there’s a comfortable slow down and speed up as you leave and arrive at the floors, but in the distance you’re travelling (…) if it reaches top speeds, you can tell you’re travelling fairly quickly,” said Twa.

Aside from its elevators, Telus Sky has a few other things making it stand out from the pack that don’t involve sheer height.

Its unique twisting exterior has garnered praise from architecture fans around the world.

That unique facade hosts Calgary’s largest public art display. Northern Lights by Douglas Coupland uses 89,000 pixels of light to mimic the movement and colour of the Northern Lights.

The fastest elevators in the Western hemisphere are in One World Trade Centre in New York City. They move at 2,000 feet per minute (36 km/h). In the world, the record is held by elevators China’s Shanghai Tower, which move at just over 4,000 feet per minute (73 km/h).

On Twitter: @brodie_thomas

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