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ThyssenKrupp tops out 232m-tall test tower for lifts

31 Jul 15 ThyssenKrupp Elevator and contractor Züblin have held a topping-out ceremony to mark completion of the 232m-tall concrete tube for a tower that will be used to test lifts.

It has taken less than 10 months for the concrete tube in Rottweil, Germany, to reach its full height of 232m, the level of the viewing platform. Over the next two weeks the final structures will be added on top to a total height of 244m, before interior work starts in mid-August followed by installation of the final 2m section. The structure is scheduled to be completed and go into operation at the end of 2016.

Three of the twelve shafts in the new test tower are earmarked for testing the new Multi system - a rope-less, maglev design that will enable multiple cabs to be operated in one shaft. In addition, Multo elevators can move both sideways and vertically without height limitations, opening up new applications.

In just 245 days construction teams working in three shifts around the clock have dug the 32m-deep excavation, cast the foundation slab and built the tower using slipforming. On peak days the tower grew by up to 4m. “The commitment and smooth cooperation of all involved has been unique – not something that can be taken for granted with major projects like that,” says Alexander Keller, CEO for Central, Eastern and Northern Europe at ThyssenKrupp Elevator and responsible for the construction of the tower.

Over the next two weeks the tower will reach 244m with the construction of the final, glass storey and the top of the elevator shafts. The last 2m bringing the tower to its final height of 246m will then follow with completion of the facade. Before that happens, interior work will start in mid-August. “First the individual floors will be installed, because slipforming, in which the working platform rises continuously with the tower, has created a concrete tube complete with elevator shafts and walls,” says Ulrich Weinmann, member of the executive board at Ed Züblin. Next, building services and elevator equipment will be installed starting in autumn. Work on the outer skin will then begin in March 2016.

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“For ThyssenKrupp Elevator the test tower in Rottweil will play a key role in the implementation of the global innovation strategy that is of major importance for the success of the company,” says Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Elevator. The test tower will operate alongside the elevator plant in Neuhausen auf den Fildern and as part of the research and development site in Pliezhausen as an innovation centre for elevator technologies in Germany.

New solutions will be researched, developed and tested there. The numerous universities in the region – including in Stuttgart, Konstanz, St. Gallen, Zurich and Winterthur – with their roughly 10,000 engineering students were an important factor in deciding the solution.

Among the technologies of the future that will be tested in Rottweil is the new Multi system, which was unveiled at the end of 2014 and is currently in the prototype phase. The maglev-powered system’s rope-less design increases capacity by up to 50% by allowing multiple cabs to be operated in one elevator shaft. The system reduces the footprint in a building by half. In addition, the elevators will move both sideways and vertically without height limitations, opening up new applications.

The tower has been designed by architects Helmut Jahn and Werner Sobek.

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