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The world’s first rope-less, sideways-moving lift

15 August 2017

thyssenkrupp unveils MULTI; instead of one cabin per shaft moving up and down, MULTI offers multiple cabins operating in loop, like a tube system inside a building.

MULTI concept (Credit: thyssenkrupp/YouTube)

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 much anticipated concept became a reality, as thyssenkrupp launched the first fully functional unit at its purpose-built innovation test tower in Rottweil, Germany.

The world premiere also announced the European real estate business OVG Real Estate as MULTI’s very first customer. In partnership with thyssenkrupp, various MULTI systems will be installed in the new East Side Tower building in Berlin. The building is set to become a pole of attraction and known around the world as one of the references of the German capital.

Almost 200 representatives of the building industry convened at the event, including high profile developers, architects and engineers from around the globe. Key participants include Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator; Coen van Oostrom, CEO of OVG Real Estate, and Antony Wood, Executive Director of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

As our cities continue to grow and buildings get larger and taller to accommodate more people, planners and architects face significant challenges around moving people comfortably and quickly to their destinations. MULTI can achieve up to 50 percent higher transport capacity and reduce peak power demand by as much as 60 percent when compared to conventional lift systems, these two factors mean a dramatic improvement for high-rise buildings. Additionally, since MULTI can move sideways as well as vertically, and without any height limitations, it enables unprecedented possibilities in the architecture and design of buildings.

Commenting on the launch, Andreas Schierenbeck says: “We believe MULTI is a genuine game-changer that will truly transform the way people move, work and live in our built environment. 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.”

MULTI requires fewer and smaller shafts than conventional lifts and can increase the building’s usable area by up to 25 percent, representing extra revenues from the additional rentable/leasable space. This is particularly important considering current lift-escalator footprints can occupy up to 40 percent of a high rise building’s floor space, depending on the building height.

The MULTI requires dramatically lower peak power permitting a better management of the building’s energy needs, consequently reducing the investment costs in the power supply infrastructure.

The very first MULTI will be installed in OVG Real Estate’s new building in Berlin. OVG is known by its cutting-edge project The Edge that is renowned worldwide for earning the title of ‘world’s most sustainable office building’. Coen van Oostrom, CEO OVG Real Estate says: “We are absolutely delighted to partner with thyssenkrupp and to have the very first MULTI installed in our latest project, The East Side Tower in Berlin. The building – adjacent to the Mercedes-Benz Arena and neighbour to Warschauer Strasse – is set to become a new landmark on the Berlin skyline. What drives OVG is continuous innovation in smart technology, sustainability and well-being, which keeps our company one step ahead of the rest. The forward-thinking new technology that MULTI brings to our flagship project, is a perfect fit for us.”

According to Antony Wood, Executive Director of CTBUH: “This is perhaps the biggest development in the lift industry since the invention of the safety lift some 165 years ago. The ‘holy grail’ for lifts 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 is taking place at the 246m test tower in Rottweil, home to thyssenkrupp’s Research & Development Centre in Germany. The tower is specifically designed with the future in mind. Here thyssenkrupp tests and certifies innovations in lift technology. With 12 test shafts and travel speeds of up to 18 metres per second, the tower offers unprecedented possibilities to meet the challenges ahead for the buildings and cities of the future. Three shafts are dedicated to testing the cable-less MULTI elevator system.

To find out more about MULTI please visit:

Video courtesy of thyssenkrupp

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