Things are looking up for elevatorsTree Hugger, October 17, 2014
Jane Jacobs wrote that new ideas need old buildings; perhaps that’s why the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems is housed in a top-to-bottom renovation of a 101 year old warehouse building in Boston’s Fort Point Channel district, a really interesting collection of old warehouse buildings being rehabbed into an innovation center. I recently visited the building as a guest of ThyssenKrupp, which donated the elevator. And a very interesting elevator it is.
Conventional elevators use up between 5% and 8% of a building’s energy. Installing them is slow and tedious, especially in a old building. Normally the rails are fastened to the existing walls, which require extensive engineering checks and possible expensive reinforcement. Surprisingly, an elevator can use more power just sitting there than it actually does while moving, thanks to all the fans and lights and electronics that run even when the elevator doesn’t.