ATLANTA -- A world-class elevator tower will soon be open for testing.
TK Elevators' tower measuring 420 feet (128 meters) is expected to be fully operational by the beginning of next year, according to company executives.
Kevin Lavelle (CEO of North American operations), stated that "This is going transform our industry."
According to Brasfield & Gorrie (the general contractor), it is the largest elevator test tower in Western Hemisphere.
With its many elevator testing shafts, the tower offers breathtaking views of the Atlanta skyline and looks down on the nearby Atlanta Braves stadium. It is located in Cobb County, just north of Atlanta.
Lavelle stated that twin elevators are one of the concepts currently being tested in high-rises. They use the same elevator shaft, but operate separately with one car higher than the other. He said that twin elevators are more efficient and save space, making it possible to transport passengers more efficiently.
Steve Allen, vice-president of engineering, stated that an environmental chamber will allow for the testing of elevators in extreme environments such as the Canadian arctic and the searing heat in other parts of the globe.
TK Elevators was once part of ThyssenKrupp's German company. It was sold last year to a separate entity. Lavelle stated that the reason it chose Atlanta to be its North American headquarters was partly due to the area's engineering talent and the presence of engineering schools like the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The company spent more than $200million on its headquarters complex which will house more than 900 employees.
Lavelle stated that the company is aiming to make the tower more accessible to the public in February as it plans to hold a grand opening. He explained that this is done to spark interest among students in engineering and the elevator industry, which could lead to them becoming engineers.
Lavelle stated, "I believe we have a real chance with the students."