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Company News, 2015-07-29, 02:00 PM

Topping-out ceremony in Rottweil: ThyssenKrupp test tower passes next milestone

On July 29, 2015, after less than ten months of construction ThyssenKrupp and Züblin are holding the topping-out ceremony for the unique elevator test tower in Rottweil. The concrete tube of the tower has reached its full height of 232 meters, the level of the viewing platform. Over the next two weeks the final structures will be added on top before interior work starts on the tallest building in Baden-Württemberg in mid-August. The structure is scheduled to be completed and go into operation at the end of 2016.

The progress of the construction work since the symbolic groundbreaking has been impressive: In just 245 days construction teams working in three shifts around the clock have dug the 32 meter deep excavation, cast the foundation slab and built the tower to its current height of 232 meters using an innovative slipforming technique – all on time and on budget. On peak days the tower grew by up to four meters – a truly outstanding achievement. “The commitment and smooth cooperation of all involved has been unique – not something that can be taken for granted with major projects like that,” says Alexander Keller, CEO for Central, Eastern and Northern Europe at ThyssenKrupp Elevator and responsible for the construction of the tower.

Over the next two weeks the tower will reach a height of 244 meters with the construction of the final, glass story and the top of the elevator shafts. The last two meters bringing the tower to its final height of 246 meters will then follow with completion of the facade. Before that happens, interior work will start in mid-August. “First the individual floors will be installed, because slipforming, in which the working platform rises continuously with the tower, has created a concrete tube complete with elevator shafts and walls”, says Ulrich Weinmann, member of the executive board at Ed. Züblin AG. Next, building services and elevator equipment will be installed starting in autumn. Work on the outer skin will then begin in March 2016.

“For ThyssenKrupp Elevator the test tower in Rottweil will play a key role in the implementation of the global innovation strategy that is of major importance for the success of the company,” says Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Elevator. Together with the elevator plant in Neuhausen auf den Fildern and as part of the research and development site in Pliezhausen, the test tower will form an innovation center for elevator technologies in Germany. In the future, new mobility solutions will be researched, developed and tested here. The numerous universities in the region – including in Stuttgart, Konstanz, St. Gallen, Zurich and Winterthur – with their roughly ten thousand engineering students are a further important location factor.

Among the technologies of the future that will be tested in Rottweil is the new MULTI system, which was unveiled at the end of 2014 and is currently in the prototype phase. The system will be powered by maglev technology from the Transrapid which provides several advantages: The rope-less design means multiple cabs can be operated in one elevator shaft. This increases shaft transportation capacity by up to 50 percent while reducing the elevator footprint in a building by half. In addition, the elevators will move both sideways and vertically without height limitation, opening up completely new applications. Three of the twelve shafts in the new test tower are earmarked for the new MULTI system.

From the outside of the tower, none of that can be seen. Nevertheless, the tower has quickly become a crowd puller. On fine days the viewing terrace with its information stand next to the construction site attracts many visitors, and more are expected once the tower is complete. To ensure that, internationally renowned architects Helmut Jahn and Werner Sobek have created a forward-looking design providing a coherent link with Rottweil’s historic landscape of towers and steeples.

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