Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Eiffel Tower you won't see

Even public buildings have private lives which we rarely think about. After reading the following statistics, I'm sure you will agree that the private life -- even of a builidng -- is far more interesting than its public face. Here's a look at the Eiffel Tower's life from both sides.

The public life...

  • The tower is open 365 days a year and hosts six million visitors per year.
  • Each visitor buys a ticket, which adds up to two tons of paper per year in tickets alone.
  • These visitors probably don't count them, but they see 10,000 light bulbs representing over 100 different models.
  • There have been over two hundred million visitors since the Tower opened in 1889.

The private life...

  • The Tower weighs 10,000 tons, which, in building construction terms, is considered a light weight.
  • It sways 6-7 cm in a strong wind.
  • There are 530 smoke/fire detectors, 200 fire extinguishers and a sprinkler system.
  • It uses 65,000 sq. meters of drinking water annually.
  • There are 80 km of electrical cables.
  • The Tower uses 7.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity every year (580,000 of those kilowatt hours are for illumination and 750,000 for heating and cooling).
  • The six visitor elevators travel more than 103 km per year (equivalent to two and a half times around the world). There are two additional elevators: one for utility purposes and one luxury lift for people dining at the Jules Verne Restaurant.
  • The Tower is painted every 5 years, requiring 50 tons of paint.
  • Cleaning teams use 4 tons of paper or rag wipes, 10,000 doses of detergent, 400 liters of metal cleaner and 25,000 garbage bags per year.

Reference: The official site of the Eiffel Tower


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