Since the invention of the conventional elevator more than 160 years ago, German industrial group Thyssenkrupp have unveiled the world’s first rope-less and sideways-moving elevator system.
Instead of one cabin per shaft moving up and down, the system, called 'MULTI', offers multiple cabins operating in loop, like a metro system inside a building.
Without the use of cables, MULTI runs on a safe multi-level brake system and redundant wireless data and energy management on the cars.
The concept was officially launched with the first fully functional unit at a purpose-built innovation test tower in Rottweil, Germany.
“We believe MULTI is a genuine game-changer that will truly transform the way people move, work and live in our built environment," Thyssenkrupp CEO Andreas Schierenbeck said.
"It will reduce waiting times for passengers and take up significantly less space within the building. MULTI is a key offering that truly represents a landmark revolution in the elevator industry.”
Thyssenkrupp believe that planners and architects face significant challenges around moving people comfortably and quickly to their destinations as cities and buildings get larger to accommodate more people.
MULTI boasts a 50% higher transport capacity and the ability to reduce peak power demand by as much as 60% when compared to conventional elevator systems.
Because of its additional sideways movement, it enables unprecedented possibilities in the architecture and design of buildings.
MULTI requires fewer and smaller shafts than conventional elevators and can increase the building’s usable area by up to 25%, representing extra revenues from the additional rentable/leasable space. This is particularly important considering current elevator-escalator footprints can occupy up to 40% of a high rise building’s floor space, depending on the building height.
The very first MULTI will be installed in OVG Real Estate’s new building in Berlin.
Antony Wood, Executive Director of CTBUH said the project was perhaps the biggest development in the elevator industry since the invention of the safety elevator.
"The ‘holy grail’ for elevators has been to move beyond being pulled vertically by a rope under tension – towards a system that allows movement in inclined or horizontal directions.
"MULTI, more than any other product delivered to date, really shows the way forward for that potential.
"This has the capacity to transform the industry at large, changing the way tall buildings are designed, and allowing for much more efficient core designs, as well as better connectivity in buildings.”
MULTI’s inaugural ride took place at the 246-metre test tower in Rottweil, home to Thyssenkrupp’s Research & Development Centre in Germany. The tower was specifically designed with the future in mind.
Thyssenkrupp’s Research & Development Centre, Rottweil