Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
CTBUH Rope-Less, Non-Vertical Elevators
Research Team Holds Second Meeting

June 23, 2017

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ROTTWEIL – The second meeting of the team involved in “A Study on the Design Possibilities Enabled by Rope-Less, Non-Vertical Elevators” was held at the thyssenkrupp Test Tower in Rottweil, Germany, on June 23, 2017, a day after the MULTI Unveiling and the CTBUH Germany Symposium.

The meeting started with a general overview of the early results achieved since the official launch of the project. A more detailed report of the undertakings by the CTBUH research team was presented by
Martina Belmonte, PhD student at the IUAV University of Venice and the CTBUH research assistant directly involved in this project.

Belmonte briefly presented some of the milestones in the historical evolution of elevator design, focusing on the correlation between vertical transportation technologies and the high-rise. The intrinsic connection between these two elements is the crux of the whole research project, since the aim is to investigate the new possibilities enabled by the modification – or revolution – of vertical transportation. The second part of the presentation was dedicated to the explanation of two surveys the have been undertaken in the past few months: one regarding the spread of sky lobbies in contemporary buildings and the other regarding the evolution of building shapes.

The Rope-less and Non-Vertical Elevator research team convenes for its second meeting. Some models, prepared by the students of the IUAV University of Venice, are on display, envisioning how the rope-less and non-vertical transportation system can be applied.

After Belmonte’s presentation, Stefanie Weidner, PhD Student and research assistant of Professor Werner Sobek at ILEK, University of Stuttgart, presented her PhD thesis, in which she chronicled her efforts to anticipate the amount of resources that could be saved by introducing new, more sustainable vertical transportation systems in tall buildings. Weidner underlined how the possible reduction of the service core footprint – enabled by the application of a rope-less elevator system – would be an effective solution for increasing the amount of useful floor area.

Next, Tony Sharp and Robin Cheeseright, D2E International VT Consultants Ltd., presented some simulations of how different types of existing buildings would change if they utilized rope-less elevator systems, exploring in particular the effect that these systems could have on the efficiency of internal people movements or on the size of the core. The case studies will be further used by structural engineers in the next step of the research, determining the effects these new systems could have on a building’s structure.

CTBUH Board of Trustee Dennis Poon, Vice Chairman, Thornton Tomasetti, presents his considerations on the topic.

Richard Peters of Peters Research Ltd. presented Elevate, the software that he designed to simulate, and therefore, assist the vertical transportation design process. He is now developing all the needed formulas to simulate a rope-less, non-vertical circulation system in a building.

Rob Chmielowski, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, underlined the main issues that will be faced when a rope-less and non-vertical elevator is eventually applied to a real building. Additionally, CTBUH Board of Trustee, Dennis Poon, Thornton Tomasetti, explained his personal considerations on the topic, based on his extensive experience.

Paolo Zilli, Zaha Hadid Architects, then presented the impact that a rope-less elevator would cause from an architectural point of view. He showed some projects and concepts, developed by his firm, which would perfectly welcome – and benefit from –non-vertical internal transportation services, he said.

Participants include (from the left): Martina Belmonte, CTBUH; Stefan Gerstenmeyer, thyssenkrupp Elevator (TKE); Dennis Poon, Thornton Tomasetti; Joerg Müller, TKE; Richard Peters, Peters Research Ltd.; Markus Jetter, TKE; Karl-Otto Schöllkopf, TKE; Robin Cheeseright, D2E International VT Consultants Ltd.; Jürgen Frantzheld, TKE; Stefanie Weidner, ILEK; Rob Chmielowski, Magnusson Klemencic Associates; Benjamin Brandes, TKE; Paolo Zilli, Zaha Hadid Architects; Tony Sharp, D2E International VT Consultants Ltd.; Matthias Glück, TKE; Dario Trabucco, CTBUH; and Eduard Steinhauer, TKE

Given all the topics addressed in this meeting, the group undertook a lively and proactive discussion on the next steps of the research, which includes the incorporation of other experts as part of the steering committee panel.

Dario Trabucco, CTBUH Research Manager and IUAV Professor, presented a new initiative that will be launched at the end of the summer: a “Master’s Student Challenge” in which students – together with a tutor – will be asked to design a building with a rope-less and non-vertical elevator system. The development of these projects will be supported by the expertise and the advice of an international, interdisciplinary group of experts, who will act as tutors and critics.

Martina Belmonte CTBUH
Dario Trabucco CTBUH
Antony Wood CTBUH
Robin Cheeseright D2E International VT Consultants
Stefanie Weidner ILEK, Stuttgart (PhD)
Tony Sharp D2E International VT Consultants
Rob Chmielowski Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Richard Peters Peters Richard Ltd.
Dennis Poon Thornton Tomasetti
Benjamin Brandes thyssenkrupp Elevator – Team MULTI
Jürgen Frantzheld thyssenkrupp Elevator – Team MULTI
Stefan Gerstenmeyer thyssenkrupp Elevator – Team MULTI
Matthias Glück thyssenkrupp Elevator – Team MULTI
Markus Jetter thyssenkrupp Elevator – Team MULTI
Thomas Kuczera thyssenkrupp Elevator – Team MULTI
Joerg Müller thyssenkrupp Elevator – Team MULTI
Karl-Otto Schöllkopf thyssenkrupp Elevator – Team MULTI
Eduard Steinhauer thyssenkrupp Elevator – Team MULTI
Paolo Zilli Zaha Hadid Architects