Construction will continue to grow in Europe. Also in the elevator’s world?
03/12/2018

Stair-lift cores in tall wooden buildings

Immagine articolo 1

In the future, construction companies need to orientate towards the building of wooden skyscrapers for reasons of consistent use of land and environmental sustainability, an area in which wood, a natural material, can offer considerable advantages. It suffices to say that it is renewable and does not impoverish the planet’s resources, reduces the CO2 content in the atmosphere by incorporating carbon and the construction procedures that use it are “dry” (“drywall’) which do not involve water contamination. However, these new sustainable buildings require constructive solutions regarding suitable and consistent stair-lift cores to ensure stability and safety. In the past, wooden buildings in Italy have not been prevalent compared to the rest of the world where this material had been widely used to build houses and public buildings. At the end of the nineteenth century, the height of buildings was always limited to two or three floors apart from some rare exceptions, such as the “Greek Orthodox Orphanage” (6 storeys) in Istanbul. The “tall” wooden buildings of which today there is still visible evidence or those documented before their loss to war or fire, are generally symbolic or representative buildings, for example, bell towers, towers, pagodas, and so on. We may recall the Yingxian Pagoda (China) 67.12m tall and built in 1056, the tower of the Bârsana Monastery (Romania) 1720 56m tall, or the Haryn-Ji Pagoda (Japan) 32m tall built in 1603. The Gliwice Radio Tower in Poland, with an impressive larch wood structure and brass connections, reaches 118 meters in height, though it is much lower than the former Muelacker Rundfunk Turm in Germany, at 190m tall, destroyed at the end of the Second World War. The preference for low buildings compared to tall ones was above all due to the uncertainties that the effective resistance capacity could have had on the structural wood. Today, even in Italy, wooden buildings are experiencing a new era for the resistance capacities possessed by the new wood components no longer in a natural solid wood state, but “engineered”, obtained by gluing multiple solid layered elements with default overridable and certified performance stress. For example, in the Forte Building in Melbourne (Australia), ten storeys for 32.17 meters in height, the stairway and the lift cores have two different locations. The lift core is in the centre, while the stair core has a concealed position at the side of the building. This position represents a typological and constructive solution that marries the functionality of the lift in a barycentric position and the staircase on the façade to improve safety in the event of a fire allowing greater access from the outside in times of emergency. On the contrary, in the Stadhaus at 24 Murray Groove in London  the 9 storeys of the building (29.75 meters high), made of CLT, are served by barycentric stair-lift cores consisting of two staircases and two lifts on the third floor and only one lift and a staircase from the 4th to the 8th floor. In both cases, the stairs and the lift are within their core structure and made of reinforced concrete, which also serves as a wind bracing function. The fire resistance of the block.