Up the wooden shaft! Elevators in high-rise construction made of wood

Elevators in High Rise Construction made of Wood

Wood as a building material is becoming increasingly important in the construction industry due to its sustainable properties. It binds CO2 and, among other things, enables fast processes on a construction site due to its modular construction. More and more project developers are therefore relying on this building material. It already has a market share of around 20 percent in new residential buildings in Germany. The Timber Pioneer, the first timber hybrid office building in Frankfurt, is currently under construction in the Europaviertel.


The construction site of the Timber Pioneer in August 2022


Visualization of the finished Timber Pioneer

A project of superlatives is planned in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Based on a design by the Rotterdam-based architecture firm Studio Marco Vermeulen, the Dutch Mountains are to be realized there in the coming years. These are two towers that will house hotels, offices, a business center and facilities for wellness and catering. The atrium will be made entirely of wood. The ceilings of the upper floors are also made of wood. For structural and acoustic reasons, only the cores of the towers and some other components will be made of concrete. With heights of 130 and 100 meters, the developers of the property want to set a new benchmark in high-rise timber construction.


The double towers Dutch Mountains according to the design of Studio Marco Vermeulen

Schindler's Unique Solution for Wooden Elevator Shafts to Date

The trend towards wooden high-rise buildings poses new challenges for elevator manufacturers, as elevators normally require a concrete, masonry or steel shaft. Individual projects that integrate wood as a building material thus require special solutions that were previously created individually. Since no standard solution existed until then, such special solutions were painstakingly designed over and over again. The Swiss elevator company Schindler has therefore developed a standardized solution for the wooden elevator shaft.

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An interdisciplinary team developed a mounting system for elevators based on a standard fastening system used in timber construction, which was certified in 2021. The system is suitable for almost all types of wood used in construction with different strengths.

The innovative elevator shaft was used for the first time in an elementary school in Berlin-Lichtenberg in 2021. Further projects are in the planning stage, including a high-rise residential building in timber hybrid construction.


Further new Developments with the raw Material Wood

In addition to the standard solution of the wooden elevator shaft, Schindler also relies on wood as a raw material in the development of new elevators. This year, the company has introduced the Woodline cabin interior. The elevator is lined with original oak wood, using only Swiss wood to guarantee local origin and processing. Short transport distances, high energy efficiency, local added value and sustainable forestry are the advantages here.

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