In 1990, there were just 10 ‘megacities’ (cities of over 10 million). By 2015, that figure had jumped to 28, accounting for 12% of the world’s urban inhabitants. People are moving to urban centres attracted by the lifestyle and range of opportunities they offer; with more people on the pavements and soaring land prices, new buildings need to head skywards.
When completed next year, Twentytwo, a new development located minutes from the new London Liverpool Street Crossrail station, is expected to stand 278 metres tall and showcase a number of new construction solutions in a challenging historic and densely populated urban environment. It is anticipated that developers, planners and architects from around the world will look to Twentytwo as a model case in building smarter, faster and safer.
Driving tall building innovation
The ability to build higher has long been linked to advances in elevator technologies.
Today, elevators are integral to constructing megastructures and moving the millions of tenants who use these buildings. The lift being installed in the building is set to use AI, video analytics and other advanced techniques to move people smarter, faster and more intelligently. Using IoT and data analytics to improve maintenance effectiveness, maximise equipment uptime, identify proactive maintenance and repairs, and machine learning to fine tune dispatching 24/7 365 days a week.
Another smart benefit is eCall, which is said to put the elevator in the palm of your hand; allowing you to call the elevator from anywhere in the building so that it is waiting for you when you get to the lift lobby. Finally, facial recognition and gait analysis, credential ‘handshake’ all geared to seamless interaction where things happen ‘automagically’.
Twentytwo has over 1,100 men, women and engineers working on the site and, when fully occupied, will be home to a 12,000-strong workers and visitors so the elevator solution is critical. For this reason, the developers turned to Otis for its SkyBuild elevator system.
Otis SkyBuild & Twentytwo Bishopsgate
Installed at the beginning of construction, the SkyBuild elevator is said to facilitate movement of crews and tools quickly and safely – at around eight times faster than a standard goods lift – without the need of a crane or external lift or exposure to weather (which can also stall construction). According to the company the elevator’s unique hydraulic piston system enables the lift’s mechanical system to climb one floor at a time in step with the building’s construction. When complete, the SkyBuild elevators at Twentytwo are anticipated to quickly transition for service as SkyRise elevators, Otis’ premier elevator for the world’s tallest buildings, bringing the Twentytwo’s total elevator count to 57.
The City of London’s medieval street layout and estimated 400,000 daily commuter population pose additional challenges at Twentytwo. By moving people and materials around the site quickly, SkyBuild is said to enable developers to reduce the disruption to the local environment and community caused by goods delivery.