Alimak Hoists Speed Construction on Record-Breaking Madrid Towers - Verdict Designbuild
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Alimak Hoists Speed Construction on Record-Breaking Madrid Towers

Madrid’s skyline is being changed dramatically with the help of some of the tallest Alimak construction hoists ever used in Europe.

The Alimak Scando 650 25/32 FC hoists are providing quick and easy access during construction of Spain’s tallest skyscraper and the two neighbouring towers that will stand almost as high. By the time of their completion next year they will be among Europe’s tallest buildings, standing up to 250m. The leading structure and its Alimak Scando 650 system are now at more than 30 storeys high and the towers are already dominating the landscape even before their topping out.

Five Alimak Scando 650 hoists with a total of eight cars are being used in the construction of the Torre Repsol and its neighbours in Madrid’s new Cuatro Torres business district.

All three buildings are to very different designs but the Alimak Scando 650 system could be configured to suit the needs of each thanks to its modular composition. It can be adapted to different applications using relatively few modules and components. There is considerable flexibility, with a choice of single or twin cage arrangements and different cage sizes, door locations and capacities.

The ultra-fast 66m/min speed of the Alimak Scando 650 system minimises the time spent transporting people and materials to the current workfaces, while a generous 2.5t payload capacity and 3.2m car lengths ensure that the hoists can cope with even the largest loads required. The system’s highly-efficient gearbox decreases the power consumption by up to 40% compared to earlier models.

Despite their height, the buildings are well within the Alimak Scando 650’s range. The 250m-high Torre Repsol - tallest of the trio of buildings featuring Alimak hoists – will take the record for Spain’s tallest building on completion in 2007. The second highest Alimak system is being used on the neighbouring Torre de Cristal, which is just as impressive, standing a mere 890mm shorter than Torre Repsol. Even the shortest of the three, Torre Espacio, will be more than 40m taller than today’s national record holder and more than 60m higher than the tallest building in the city.

Today’s national record has been held since 2002 by the 182m-tall Gran Hotel Bali in Benidorm. Madrid’s tallest tower is currently the 157m-tall Torre Picasso, built in 1998 – also with the help of Alimak hoists.

For Torre Repsol, the vertical transport solution has proved to be two single Alimak Scando 650 25/32 FC hoist systems, positioned in shafts. The 249m-tall Torre Crystal is fitted with a pair of twin hoists while the 223m Torre Espacio has one twin Alimak system.

Although the 45-storey Torre Repsol is the tallest of the towers, there are more floors on Torre Espacio, which has 56. The Alimak Scando 650’s frequency control drive system gives smoother stopping and starting, making it ideal for use on buildings with so many levels.

The Cuatro Torres business area stands on land formerly owned by the world-famous Real Madrid football club. The towers are also close to the city’s Barajas Airport and emergency flight paths have been modified to avoid them.

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