Interview: thyssenkrupp Elevator CEO Andreas Schierenbeck on the future of urban mobility

By Tom Wadlow
Currently around 50% of the world’s population reside in urban areas, a figure set to rise to 70% by the end of this century. City skylines are adju...

Currently around 50% of the world’s population reside in urban areas, a figure set to rise to 70% by the end of this century.

City skylines are adjusting as a result – the pressing need to maximise space has led to the proliferation of high-rise buildings.

“This is creating business for the construction industry and the upward mobility market,” says Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator, a $9bn division of the German industrial conglomerate, in an interview for Construction Global magazine.

“The data we’ve seen shows the number of high-rise buildings has tripled during the past 15 years or so, and building planners are looking at greater construction heights. This is good news for the elevator industry as more buildings are going up and taller buildings mean more people to transport inside.”  

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Schierenbeck explains how important elevator shaft solutions are to architects and their designs of buildings.

“At the moment, around 40% of usable floor space is used for elevators and transporting people, and I think that’s a waste of material and money.”

The solution? Schierenbeck points to a flaw in current lift designs, namely the fact it can only operate one cabin due to the rope system that moves it. Thyssenkrupp’s MULTI uses linear motor technology, meaning cabins can move horizontally as well as vertically, opening up the option for multiple cabins to operate at once.

The linear motor technology also presents opportunities to transform mobility in other urban environments, asides high-rise buildings.

“There’s a problem that metro systems are not constructed in an organised manner,” Schierenbeck says. “Two nearby metro stations at different depths can be connected by a MULTI system that can move up, down, left and right.”

Does thyssenkrupp Elevator hold the key to future urban mobility solutions? To read more from Schierenbeck don’t miss the June edition of Construction Global magazine.

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