Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
The Design Possibilities Enabled by Rope-Less,
Non-Vertical Elevators Presented at the 2017 CTBUH Conference

October 30, 2017

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SYDNEY – The ongoing research project, “A Study on the Design Possibilities Enabled by Rope-Less, Non-Vertical Elevators Project”, was officially presented at the CTBUH 2017 Conference on October 30 in Sydney, Australia.

The principal investigator of the research, Dario Trabucco, presented in Session 3 on Day 1 of the conference. The presentation took place in the room hosted by thyssenkrupp, who is also funding this research project, in this session dedicated to the “Public Realm: Interior systems

Michael Olitsky, Dario Trabucco and Markus Jetter reply to points raised by Winnie Cheung, Business Development Director of AET Flexiblespace and chair of the conference session.

Trabucco’s presentation, entitled “Century-old urban visions come true: rope-less elevators for the city of tomorrow”, explained, through historical and architectural references, the reason why a revolution in the building transportation system will completely change the way in which tall buildings will be designed, conceived, organized and – most of all – lived in.

This historical review has set the basis for the 2-year long research, underlining the evolutionary bottle-neck of the high-rise building, mainly due to the limitations set by the 160-year old vertical transportation system.The breakthrough, deriving from the removal of ropes and the counterweight, which will free cabins from exclusively vertical routes, will open completely new possibilities for architects and designers, giving them the tools to conceive more complex, layered and inter-connected towers, more in line with the dynamic contemporary society.

Given that, the utopian scenarios imagined by the futurists of the past could become relevant case studies and design references for the newest building and city designs

Markus Jetter, thyssenkrupp, responds to audience questions at the conclusion of the session.

The session moved on to discuss the advancements made in the design of the multi-directional elevator technology. Those results were presented and summarized by Markus Jetter, the head of product development for thyssenkrupp.

His presentation, entitled “A next-generation of vertical transportation systems under testing”, the world’s first rope-less passenger elevator system for high-rise applications was described. The motion of the cabins is now dictated by magnetic linear-induction systems that has made the need of ropes and counterweights unnecessary, and is completely upsetting the definition of vertical transportation itself.
In fact, thanks to such removal, the cabins can follow multi-directional paths, both vertical and horizontal, leading to a completely new way of circulation within buildings. The presentation focused on the technical aspects that allowed such revolutionary possibility and gave a preview of the effects that such innovation can make in a tall building design.

Jetter presented the steps that led to the achievement of such a result, describing a 1:3 scale mock-up that will be tested, until a full-size, fully functional MULTI system can be used in a new test tower in Rottweil, Germany

Dario Trabucco, CTBUH Research Manager, explains the design possiblilies enabled by a new elevator system.

The session was ended with a presentation from Michael Olitsky, Vice President of Gdalia Olitsky Engineering Ltd., which was titled “Elevated Sustainable Urban Systems and Habitable Bridges” and described his investigation into multi-level cities and habitable sky bridges.

The models of the future cities in this presentation, where habitable bridges, walkable connections and layered cities are the driving elements, were a perfect conclusion of a session that focused on the future possible scenarios made possible by a renovation of the backbone elements of the high-rise sector: the transportation system