New elevator hoisting technology enables the next big leap in high-rise building design
At the beginning of this week, KONE announced the newest technology for high-rise elevator technology which is predicted to break current limitations within the industry. The new KONE UltraRope (TM) will enable elevators to travel to heights of 1 kilometer in the future - twice the distance currently possible.
KONE UltraRope (TM) is an entirely new take on hoisting technology, formed of a carbon fibre core covered in a unique high-friction coating. The KONE UltraRope is a very lightweight product which enables a significant reduction in elevator moving masses (the total weight of an elevator and its contents when it travels up and down). This product has opened up the possibilities for high-rise buildings which is key in modern urbanisation and the constant migration of people toward cities.
"Architecture is both a science and an art. It's always made the biggest leaps when advances in either propel the other forward,” commented Tom Dyckholl, architectural critic and broadcaster. “This leap in technology lays down the gauntlet to which the art of architecture must now respond. I can't wait!"
The use of carbon fibre and coating has created a material which is highly resistant to wear and abrasion; where steel ropes required lubrication in the past, the new KONE UltraRope (TM) requires little maintenance and as a result gives a further reduction in its environmental impact.
In addition, with an annual average energy consumption of a single lift measuring approximately 130,000 kWh per year, with KONE Ultra Rope the predicted energy consumption is reduced by 15%. With carbon fibre resonating at a different frequency to steel, the down time caused by a building sway is also reduced by up to 60%.
In addition, the strength properties of carbon fibre has enabled the distance for elevators to extend beyond the current 500m limitation. As high rise buildings grow increasingly taller, the demand for technologies such as the KONE UltraRope will only increase.
"This is finally a breakthrough on one of the 'holy grail' limiting factors of tall buildings,” comments Antony Wood, Architect and Executive Director, Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). “So it is not an exaggeration to say that this is revolutionary. However, it is not just the enablement of greater height that is beneficial - the greater energy and material efficiencies are of equal value."