Alimak Hek to provide 40 mast climbers for EPO construction project

European Patent Office, Rijswijk, the Netherlands

The construction of the new European Patent Office in Rijswijk, Netherlands has started and will be one of the largest construction projects for the coming years in the region.

The European Patent Office (EPO) is the largest international organization in the Netherlands and the second largest in Europe, after the European Commission. The EPO has about 2,700 staff members and makes a significant contribution to the Dutch economy.

The building project is special because of its size, but that is not all. This building is designed with a unique concept: in the design a “second skin” is provided. This second skin is multifunctional and aims to provide thermal insulation, sound insulation and cooling / heating of the building, among it’s other features. Due to the nature of the façade construction and the short distance between the facade and the second skin, there were implementation challenges that needed to be taken care of, in the preparatory phase to ensure a safe and practical execution of the work.

It’s not only the number of mast climbing work platforms (about 40, mostly Alimak Hek MSHF) but also the fact that there are about 4 kilometers of masts required (which is about 25 full truck loads) that have posed challenges to Alimak Hek.

After reviewing various options, our client (AKS) concluded that the use of mast climbers offered the only correct solution. Creative solutions were also requested because of the limited available space on the construction site.

Alimak Hek has developed several smart solutions together with our client AKS, like the layout of the mast climbers on steel structures to minimize the space used on the site. Furthermore, Alimak Hek has refined the platforms of the mast climbers so that they fit perfectly between the facade and the second skin.
Due to the size and height of the construction project, it was a challenge to meet all customer specifications and provide mast climbers around the entire building at the same time.

As the world's leading provider of rack and pinion vertical access equipment we were able to meet the demand for the delivery of this large amount of equipment with the help of our colleagues from Germany and France.


European Patent Office, Rijswijk, the Netherlands
New build construction
Platform type:
Alimak Hek MSHF
No. of platforms:
Capacity per platform:
1,400 kg
Platform size:
8.3 m
7 m/min.
Lifting height:
95 m