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Rick Barker
Principal, Barker Mohandas, Connecticut
“Improved Techniques for Vertical Transport for Super Tall Buildings”

This presentation will cover the innovative techniques and applied technologies for the vertical transportation system for the 1-kilometre, 200+ storey high Nakheel Tower Dubai, which started foundation work in 2008. The work will also cover other tall and super-tall designs, showing that the techniques apply with similar benefits to a single core tower. It will be shown how all types of passenger and back-of-house traffic can be handled efficiently within very buildable cores, including evacuation where the strategies provide a harmonization among most current international codes. The importance of orchestrating and integrating architectural, vertical transportation, structural, MEP, and fire protection designs will be obvious.


Rick Barker is involved in most of the vertical transportation consulting work of Barker Mohandas,
including many of CTBUH’s “Tallest 20 by 2020”, either as VT system designer, peer reviewer, or competing
for the project.  Prior to co-founding the firm in 2000, Rick was Director of Technical Services at Otis World Headquarters, where his responsibilities included pre-construction services for all major projects worldwide,
product strategy for the Otis Skyway™ product consisting of super-speed elevators to 15 m/s and high-capacity double deck elevators to 10 m/s, and all dispatching control products.  At Otis he also led a team to improve elevator energy efficiency in 1998, co-led the Otis Odyssey™ system that integrated elevators and horizontal people movers, and was the key liaison between Otis HQ and United Technologies Research Center on advanced elevator studies.  Earlier Rick led his discipline for Jaros Baum & Bolles Consulting Engineers in NYC (JB&B), including VT system design for Jean Nouvel’s 100 story “Tour Sans Fins” planned for Paris, and various studies for the existing elevators at Sears Tower Chicago. He began his elevator career with Westinghouse Elevator (now Schindler) for 13 years,
then Delta Elevatorin Boston (now Otis) as elevator modernization manager.

He has authored Otis papers on super-speed elevators, and on an integrated horizontal-vertical transportation system – presented at CTBUH conferences on high technology buildings in Brazil in 1995 and 1997,
and now almost 15 years later the key recommendation in his ASME paper on elevators and fire, that borrowed
from a pioneering British code, has become the “first responders” elevator in the NFPA model building code, and,
the lift system designs of his firm respond to the latest international code thinking for tall buildings. 
He is a member of the National Interest Review Group of the ASME-A17 Safety Code for Elevators and
Escalators, was a member of ASME and NYC code committees on fire and elevators, has chaired the Vertical and Short-Distance Horizontal Transportation Committee for CTBUH, guest lectured on integrated short-distance transportation systems at the MIT School of Architecture, and is named on 25 patents assigned to Otis Elevator

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