Rising to a height of 246 meters the TK Elevator Test Tower (ThyssenKrupp test tower- TKT) in Rottweil, Germany, is one of the tallest structures in Germany. The tower structure is used to test and certify high-speed elevators. It thus contributes considerably towards reducing the development time of future skyscrapers throughout the world, including those presently in the design phase. However, the test tower is more than just a functional building reserved for research and development. A visitors’ viewing platform offers 360° views of the region around Rottweil from a height of 232 meters. As a consequence, the test tower boasts the highest visitors’ platform anywhere in Germany.
TK Elevator Test Tower is one of Germany’s tallest structures at around 246 meters
The structure of the test tower consists of a thin reinforced concrete hollow tube with a diameter of 20.80 m. The thickness of the tower wall tapers from 40 cm at the bottom to 30 cm at the top in keeping with the sequence of load distribution. The walls of the elevator shaft themselves are only marginally responsible for transferring the horizontal loads, which, as a consequence, means they offer an extremely economic wall thickness of just 25 cm. Due to the highly effective supporting structure the maximum horizontal deformations resulting from wind loads at the top of the tower are a mere 331 mm, which corresponds to a ratio of L/725. These values compare extremely favorably with the usual values in high-rise construction. The deformation values for the earthquake load case are considerably lower than those for the load case wind. The arrangement of the radial shear walls distributes the bending moments generated as a result of horizontal loads to an approx. 3 m wide ring footing via a vertical couple.