We love stairs because they are good exercise and don’t use any energy, but they do take up a lot of space. The Rombout Frieling Lab to the rescue with Vertical Walking, noting that as buildings get taller, we need to get high.
Yet, our populations are ageing and staircases become major bottlenecks, while being unattractive at greater heights for all . Lifts are rarely a good alternative as they rely on significant external power, they deprive us from daily exercise and are expensive and intrusive to install.
So they developed Vertical Walking, which apparently takes only 10 percent of the effort required for climbing stairs, doesn’t require any outside energy, and has been tested “by a wide range of users, including MS suffering Angelica, Nigerian amputee Abiodun as well as young office tower workers who found it ‘incredibly cool’.”
It is an interesting idea, although I wonder how counterweights get adjusted for people of different weights. Also, one of the most important functions of stairs is to get people out of a building in a hurry, and this is not going to work for that. Perhaps it should be twinned with a fireman’s brass pole, which also doesn’t take up much space. More at ArchDaily.