American elevator company Otis is showcasing its SkyBuild elevator system at the City of London’s TwentyTwo building project – the 278m-high tower at 22 Bishopsgate that has superseded the "Pinnacle" project at the same site.
Otis says that SkyBuild, a "hydraulic piston" system, is eight times faster than a standard goods lift in moving personnel, equipment and materials around a vertical building site, and avoids the need for a tower crane or external lift, which allows construction to proceed regardless of weather conditions.Â
The company says its piston elevator can be extended one floor at a time, in step with the building’s construction. When the building is complete, the elevators can be converted into its main transport system – the 57 elevators of the company’s "SkyRise" will cover the towers’ 62 storeys.
The £1bn project replaces the 288m Pinnacle. Construction on that Saudi-funded Kohn Pedersen Fox design started in 2008 but was suspended in 2012 with only the concrete core of the first seven storeys complete. The structure was later taken over by develop Lipton Rogers, redesigned and renamed TwentyTwo after its postal address.
Image: A rendering of London’s future skyline, showing TwentyTwo next to the Gherkin (Otis)