Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Hyundai Asan Tower Technical Tour Report

October 11, 2011
by Marshall Gerometta
See more CTBUH Tours and Visits

Hyundai Elevator Test Facility in Incheon

On the afternoon of Tuesday October 11th, a group of 12 CTBUH World Conference Seoul delegates gathered for a technical tour of the Hyundai Elevator Test Facility in Icheon. The group boarded a bus at COEX for the trip to Icheon, which is 50 kilometers southeast of Seoul. As the bus approached the facility, the elevator test tower came into view, which is the world's tallest such tower reaching a height of 205 meters above ground. Along with host, Vice President Young Key Park, the delegates were greeted by some of the staff. While entering the facility everyone commented on how clean and modern it was. A brief presentation was given in the conference room and then the group toured the ground level lobby.

Hyundai Elevator was incorporated in 1984 and now has approximately 1300 employees. Completed in April 2009, the test tower was built to undertake world-class research and development in elevator technology and is used to test and certify the reliability of high speed systems against vibration, noise, temperature, pressure, etc., in an environment simulating actual high-rise buildings. Along with high speed elevators, the facility also tests escalators, moving sidewalks, train platform sealed doors, automated warehouse cargo systems and auto parking elevators. There are a total of nine elevators located in the tower, including one Ultra-high Speed: 1080m/min.; Double Deck: 600m/min.; Observation: 420m/min.; Mid-low Speed: 120m/min.; Freight: 90m/min. and a Shuttle: 60m/min. The Ultra-high Speed elevator is the world's fastest, which eclipses the current title holder: the 1010 m/min. elevator in the former world's tallest building; Taipei 101.


Elevator motor system

Among the innovative products shown in the lobby, were a touch-less button and a hand write enabled Operating  Panel Board, where a passenger could draw the desired floor number instead of pushing a numbered button. The group was also shown the Load/Noise/Vibration Laboratory, which is a test room equipped with state-of-the-art systems to test the safety and reliability of their products through load testing of high-speed elevator motors and noise and vibration testing of other components.

Interactive elevator floor
Simulation screen on interior wall
The delegates were given rides in four of the test elevators. In the Double-deck elevator there was an 82 inch multi-display TV installed inside, which can simulate life-like scenery. On the ride up, the passengers were treated to 3D views of Seoul and Mount Titlis in Switzerland. The Ultra-high Speed elevator traveled at over 700 m/min. Because of the travel length this elevator could not reach its potential of 1080 m/min., which is reserved for supertall buildings of 150 floors and higher. This elevator also incorporates an air pressure system to alleviate any ear discomfort. The group then boarded the Observation elevator to a sky lobby at the 50th floor. The Observation elevator travels at 420m/min. and had glass windows where passengers could enjoy the view. To reach the Sky Lounge, a shuttle elevator was boarded to take final hop to the 52nd floor. The shuttle elevator's floor is equipped with a light sensor system that activates elevator lighting when shadows are detected. The floor lighting also illuminates each passenger's individual area, alleviating some of the anxiety from having personal space invaded in an elevator with limited standing room.
Sky Lounge
View toward City of Icheon
Upon arriving at the Sky Lounge on the 52nd floor, the delegates were treated to a 360 degree view of the surrounding area and served refreshments. The view was good with sunny weather and some haze, which limited visibility to around 15 kilometers or so. Above the Sky Lounge there were stairs leading to a mechanical level, where the elevator machine units were located. After spending a half hour in the Sky Lounge, a trip back down the elevators brought the group to the lobby. Many thanks go out to host Young Park Lee and the staff at the Hyundai Asan Tower for what was a very interesting and informative tour. 
Group photograph