Tall buildings provide space for living and working. Elevators enable people to use this space. Consequently, building and elevator planning should complement each other. Layered Zoning of buildings and multi-deck elevators enable efficient buildings and optimal elevator performance.

Innovation and avoidance of innovation 2021.

The author is responsible for the last major innovation of the elevator industry: The re-introduction of destination controls by Schindler, approximately 1985 ten years after his meeting with Mr. L.W. Port in 1975 (Chapter 4: Group “brain power”).

In 1975, Dr. Joris Schröder was in charge of Schindler R & D and destination group controls became a topic of discussion between him and the author. To cut a long story short Dr. Schröder adopted the Port concept for destination controls and Schindler R & D re-developed this control system with modern technology. The author appreciated this development and expected that further research would lead to intelligent destination group controls and the optimal planning and performance of groups. Although during the late 1980’s all leading elevator companies adopted destination controls, they all introduced proprietary destination group controls and ignored its potential for optimal performance.

After retirement, the author continued his research of the relativity of group characteristics with LOTUS 123 as a hobby. The basis of his research were door-to-door flight times (ddft’s), which define the “muscle” power of elevators (Chapter 3). The comparative performance tables (Chapter 13 “Transparent performance calculations”) of his early work revealed the inherent relativity of group characteristics. This discovery confirmed his concept that the optimal performance of groups is a solvable mathematical problem. This was the start of his book project: "The planning and performance of groups of elevators".
In a letter dated 14 November 2005, he informed Schindler that intelligent destination group controls enable optimal group performance. The minutes of a first meeting with Schindler R&D on 16.1.2006 states in its first sentence: “Mr. de Groot developed a controller concept to improvetraffic management.” A typical incorrect statement. Traffic is not manageable; group controls must manage car operations to satisfy all traffic conditions with best possible service qualities. His letter 14.11.2005 mentioned, “makes group performance predictable with data that can be contractually guaranteed”. Although he later submitted copies of all (18), chapters of his book project, without conditions, his efforts to promote further research were not successful.

In 2008, the author filed a US patent application based on the same book project. In 2012, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued Patent No.: US 8,151,943 B2 and in 2013 Patent No.: US 8,397,874 B2 (Intelligent Destination Elevator Control System).

In 2006, the author began to inform other leading elevator companies, the CTBUH and the IAEE of the optimal performance potential of groups with intelligent destination controls. All ignored the evidence of optimal group performance, except ThyssenKrupp Elevators (TKE). However, a change of its CEO (Mr. Gary Elliott) prevented a planned meeting on 18.9.2006. Mrs. C. Schmidt-Milkau, Head of TKE R & D, prevented a later meeting. At that time, TKE was possibly already engaged in its MULTI project. The story of the TKE MULTI drama is relevant as an example of a major elevator company, which seems to be aware of the inefficiency of existing groups and attempts to introduce an entirely new system. Unfortunately, TKE apparently forgot to make a feasibility study. For more information refer to paper “Evaluation of the ThyssenKrupp (TKE) MULTI system” in downloads Section 3 and the “CTBUH Research paper (TKE MULTI System)” in Section 4. 

In 2010, the author initiated website “elevatorgroupcontrols.com” to inform all parties interested in tall buildings of the results of his research. He wrote a few articles for ELEVATOR WORLD and became a member of the CTBUH. His correspondence with elevator companies, the CTBUH, the IAEE and the ELEVATOR WORLD magazine, over many years, confirm the elevator industry has a policy of avoiding innovation of group controls. 

By pretending the optimal planning and performance of groups is impossible, elevator companies oblige architects to seek the advice of independent and presumably neutral elevator consultants in respect of group planning. This practice implies that elevator companies are not responsible for the efficiency of groups of elevators.

Another condition, which prevents innovation, is the “jungle” of national laws and regulations for elevators and the many authorities responsible for regulations. The objective of regulations is the safety of building users; however, they often prevent improving the safety of building populations by enforcing rules or technology that are outdated or counterproductive or both. A concerted effort of the elevator industry to reorganize this jungle, for example with standards for passenger safety, is desirable.  

For more thoughts on innovation, refer to Chapter H paragraph: Elevator safety and technology.