Driven by sustainability, speed and comfort, saving space and the desire for even taller buildings, trends in lift technology are taking people to new heights.
In 1956 American architect Frank Lloyd Wright envisaged a building, The Illinois, which if built, would be an eye-watering 1.6 km high. This was more than 100 years after Elisha Otis came up with an elevator design that had a safety “brake”, in 1852. Although the Illinois was never built, today’s tallest buildings owe their height to the advancements in lift technology.
The lift or elevator is a superb piece of engineering that is often not given much thought unless it keeps you waiting. Vertical transportation is big business, with more than 12 million lifts transporting over one billion people around the world each day. According to Columbia University students, New York City office workers spent a cumulative 16.6 years waiting for lifts throughout their lives. Whether you like it or not, lifts are a part of our lives and can have an impact on our productivity.
The good news is that with the advances in new technology, our office experience gets better. Jim Hastings, Director, Maintenance & Modernisation at KONE Australia, says that “urbanisation is a key trend driving the industry, along with digital transformation in the building space and a renewed focus on the customer experience.”
Leading lift companies are investing heavily to deliver true ‘buildings of tomorrow’. Solutions ranging from virtual maintenance, ropeless lifts, double-decker lifts, machine roomless solutions, destination control (to reduce the number of stops) and regenerative drives are delivering on this promise. The list of innovations might be long, but for the people in the lift queue, these advances mean reduced wait and travel times.