With society moving towards taller and taller buildings due to population increase in cities, architects and designers have to consider how to provide adequate transportation. Some of the world’s tallest lifts have already been successfully constructed but they often pose questions and engineering challenges regarding how to ensure that passengers can safely travel to such tall heights.
The need to ensure that the buildings are safe means that sky-high buildings need integrity in design and structure – and lift technology is advancing to answer this need. Innovative technologies and sophisticated systems could provide taller and taller buildings.
So, what are the other challenges that engineers face when building lifts to take passengers to new heights?
ZONING THE LIFTS
With building design, knowing the size of each floor is crucial to know how to zone elevators. The shape of the building itself will have an impact on every floor, which can either all be of equal proportions or become smaller as the building itself becomes taller.
Ensuring that floor space is maximised will allow for small areas to also provide lifts for passengers without compromising space. Sky-high buildings move when wind forces are applied to them, a factor that must be considered in the design. Lift walls, the pit, and every other component must reflect on any adapted component made by architects to ensure building structural integrity.
THE MECHANICAL SYSTEM
In sky-high buildings, engineers may face the challenge of where to place both mechanical and operational systems. Multiple and independent systems can work together, however, installing these systems poses the question of how to ensure that taller buildings benefit from the same advantages.
The cumulative weight of the needed steel ropes provides one of the biggest challenges in lift engineering for sky-high buildings. Utilising them for single lift runs may not be practical, which could mean that engineers require to include multiple floor transfers. Developing highly strong ropes is, then, a priority so that passengers have not only an uneventful ride but the lift can also provide smooth acceleration and safety.
The maximum height of a lift is somewhat limited due to the steel ropes being under such strain from their weight and the lift’s weight. The swaying of the building itself on windy days is a factor to consider. In the future, however, it is expected that these factors will be addressed due to the advancements in lift technology.
OTHER BUILDING CHALLENGES
Lift construction must work alongside building design to guarantee the well-functioning of all components. With technology constantly evolving, ‘smart’ lifts can become a mainstream design. These lifts will require connectivity through Wi-Fi to ensure their proper movement – a fact which could be difficult for sky-high buildings.
Guaranteeing that these buildings have functional Wi-Fi signal is vital for smart lifts and businesses. As the world becomes increasingly more connected through the Internet of Things, all technological components begin to interconnect to offer a seamless lifestyle. Lifts could be connected to mobiles or tablets in the future, where passengers could call them to their floors in advance or potentially check lift patterns before arriving at their floor.
Careful and considered planning is important for sky-high buildings, as they must be environmentally friendly and provide functionality that can be transported to other future buildings. These tall buildings can provide both infrastructure and land efficiency, as they are built upwards to accommodate a bigger population.