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A look at Europe as Interlift takes place mid month.

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Turning Torso tower in Malmö, Sweden

U.K. Firm Reflects on European Industry

Lift and Escalator Jobs (LEJ) of the U.K. reported in August that the vertical-transportation industry is “thriving,” pointing to the fact that this year’s Interlift exhibition is set to be the biggest yet. (2013 saw 18,900 visitors at the Augsburg Trade Fair Centre in Germany, with that number due to increase significantly this year.) Neil Brouder, director of LEJ, expounded:

“The Lift & Escalator Industry Association, based in London, estimates that there are currently 250,000 passenger and goods lifts in the U.K. This impressive figure indicates the size of the U.K. market, and with the post-election construction boom we are in the midst of, we can expect even more [units] will be required. As a consequence, there has been uplift in the demand for skilled technicians and engineers to maintain existing infrastructure and install new elevators and lifts. This growth is replicated in most major economies around the globe.”

The eight-year-old company reinforces its observations with a reported 20% increase in staffing levels. It has noticed a shift in needs, with more consultancies, suppliers and distributors in the market requiring assistance in amassing a skilled workforce alongside traditional lift companies. It works extensively with these companies in the U.K., Europe and the Middle East to offer recruitment, education, information, apprenticeship setup and efforts to ensure staff retention.

WITTUR CUBE: A New Experience at Interlift 2015

Wittur invites attendees at Interlift 2015 on October 13-16 in Augsburg, Germany, to visit the 1,500-m2 WITTUR CUBE, which will be connected to the main entrance and exhibit halls of the Augsburg Exhibition Centre. The CUBE’s corners will showcase Wittur’s EN 81-20/50-compliant products and solutions in four categories: #Green, #Modernization, #HighPerformance and #NewBuildings. A special area, #innovation, will house the star exhibit – an elevator developed by Wittur with a lightweight car and doors, mechatronic safety gear with an intelligent sensor and zero-gap sill. In addition, there will be an online shop, examples of EN 81-20/50 training from Wittur, a demonstration of the cooperation between Wittur and Hochschule Augsburg University of Applied Sciences and an auditorium hosting an array of bonus presentations.

Malmö’s Turning Torso Receives CTBUH’s 10-Year Award

Turning Torso tower in Malmö, Sweden, has been recognized by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) with the 10-Year Award for 2015. The award honors skyscrapers that have performed successfully, taking into account factors such as vertical transportation, engineering, environmental sustainability and iconography. CTBUH stated the Santiago Calatrava-designed mixed-use building boasts “an unprecedented architectural form, and an entirely unique combination of structural solutions.” The 190-m-tall, 60-story tower rotates a full 90° along its height in nine pentagonal sections and is the tallest building in Sweden. KONE provided the five-unit elevator system, and Alimak provided people and material hoists during construction.

Canny at Russia Expo 2015

Canny Elevator participated in Russian Elevator Week 2015 “International Exhibition of Elevators and Elevator Equipment” on June 9-11 at The Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy in Moscow (ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2015). Canny regularly participates in the event and deemed the recent one a success, as it sparked regional industry dialogue and provided Canny the chance to showcase its Chinese brand and international image. Canny designed a large three-sided display to appeal to visitors, which included professionals from not only Russia, but also from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania and Ukraine. Canny’s staff won praise from attendees for their knowledge and helpfulness. Canny remarked:

“Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States countries are the third-largest potential elevator market in the world. As the largest-scale, largest-radius and most professional elevator exhibition in Russian-language countries, the exposition is a feast for elevator-industry regional communication. It is an important platform for Russia and the surrounding market.”

Transitions

New firm, expansion and rebranding accompany personnel moves.

Consultancy Launched by Former KONE Executives

Johannes de Jong and Michiel De Moel, both former KONE executives, have launched Elevating Studio Pte. Ltd., www.elevatingstudio.com, a vertical transportation consultancy based in Singapore and focusing on new projects and asset management in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. De Jong has more than 39 years of industry experience, most recently leading Technology for KONE Major Projects division. Considered one of the top experts globally in his field, de Jong has been involved in the vertical-transportation design of many iconic and complex skyscrapers around the world. He retired from KONE at the beginning of this month to focus 100% on his new role as Executive Vice president of Elevating Studio.

De Moel began his career with KONE in 2000 as installation manager based in the Netherlands, going on to hold various leadership positions such as managing director for South East Asia and director of Major Projects, Asia Pacific and Middle East. Prior to KONE, he worked in the mechanical and electrical building-services industry. He is now CEO of Elevating Studio.

VTME Hires Consultant for Dubai              

VTME Vertical Transportation Systems Consultants announced in July that Vignesh Dhanapal joined its Dubai branch as Project Support engineer. Dhanapal holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Anna University in Chennai, India, and is skilled in preparing elevator and escalator layouts and 3D modeling of mechanical components. He is also experienced in elevator project management and installation management. Dhanapal will assist in vertical-transportation design and supervision projects from the VTME Dubai office and manage the building information modeling (BIM) for the firm’s projects. VTME cites Dhanapal’s hiring as a response to increased demand from U.A.E. architects for 3D BIM modeling.

EHC Global Hires EMEA Field Operations Manager

EHC Global has hired Olaf Müller as Field Operations manager, Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA). In this role, he is responsible for directing, planning and coordinating all escalator-installation activities, while ensuring key performance project benchmarks are met. Müller has more than a decade of experience with EHC Global, spending the last eight years setting up and managing a large manufacturing facility in Germany. He is a certified electrician who was trained at Aachen University, with a particular focus on health and safety.

Toshiba Sells Stake in KONE

Toshiba Elevator and Buildings Systems sold its 4.6% stake in KONE recently for EUR864.7 million (US$949.8 million) to institutional investors to boost the books of parent company Toshiba after accounting irregularities were discovered at Toshiba, International Business Times reported. After the sale, KONE announced that board member Kazunori Matsubara, formerly president of Toshiba’s elevator division, had resigned. KONE stated the sale and the resignation have “no other effect on the strategic alliance” with Toshiba, which has been in effect since 1998 and entails Toshiba manufacturing and marketing elevators using KONE’s machine-room-less technology in Japan.

Top Floor Elevator Store Becomes Wurtec, Expands

Top Floor Elevator Store, the Canadian distribution arm of Wurtec, has been renamed Wurtec and nearly doubled its space in a new, 15,000-sq.-ft. location at 880 Milner Avenue, Unit 3, Scarborough, Ontario M1B 5N7. Phone and fax numbers remain the same. In announcing the changes, Wurtec stated:

“We have decided to simplify the customer experience by renaming [the company]. We see great value and clarity in one globally recognized brand. Wurtec is excited to present a unified brand that offers our exclusive products, in addition to the various product lines already in stock at our Canadian location.”

NAESA Announcements

NAESA International awarded scholarships, announced workshop/event schedules and implemented a training-session fee increase over the summer. The scholarships, each for US$3,000, went to Katheryn Payne of Bryan, Texas, daughter of Jonathan Payne, and Elizabeth Egey of Hempstead, New York, daughter of George Egey.

The Eastern Region Fall Workshop, approved for 1.0 CEUs, will be in Tampa on October 9-10. Next will be a QEI training course and certification exam in Phoenix on October 12-16, with another in Clearwater, Florida, on October 19-23. The Wisconsin Elevator Symposium, approved for 1.275 CEUs, is in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, on October 22-23. Canadian Region fall workshops round out the year, with one in Toronto on November 2-4 and another in Vancouver on November 16-18.

NAESA has adjusted training schedules to allow inspectors to obtain the required 10 hr. (1.0) of CEUs at one daylong event or by attending two 5-hr. webinars. Registration fees have also increased slightly. Calendar, registration and fee details may be found at naesai.org/sessions.

Elevators Buoy ThyssenKrupp 3Q Earnings

ThyssenKrupp’s elevator-technology division was an important driver of a 37% earnings increase for the Essen, Germany-based steel and elevator company in the third quarter (3Q) to EUR539 million (US$600.4 million), Reuters reported. The division remains strong in China despite a slowdown of growth there. Earnings for elevator technology – out of six divisions, ThyssenKrupp’s most profitable – grew 22% to EUR211 million (US$235 million).

Report Explores Brazil Market

Consumer Market Research Reports has announced a report exploring Brazil’s vertical-transportation market, including that it is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.15% in terms of newly installed units from 2014-2019. The report includes market size, revenue generation, key customer segments, key vendors (such as Atlas Schindler, Otis, Melco Elevadores do Brasil and ThyssenKrupp Elevadores), market drivers such as the 2016 Summer Olympics and trends such as the desire for more energy-efficient equipment. For further information, visit www.whatech.com/market-research/consumer/82771.

Safety Concerns

Measures taken in Malaysia and India as Japanese saboteur is found out.

2,700 Units in Two Malaysian Cities Fail Safety Standards

The Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) found that 2,700 elevators and escalators in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, Malaysia, failed to meet safety standards in 2014, The Malaysian Insider reported. A DOSH official said there have been 111 accidents related to faulty vertical-transportation equipment since 2010, including 11 fatalities and two incidents in which young children were seriously injured on escalators. He attributed a prevalence of such accidents among children to their lack of balance and failure of parents to monitor the children. In the wake of the findings, seven property owners and maintenance firms received warnings, and seven were charged. It is unclear what percentage of units the 2,700 figure represents.

Rescue Devices Mandated in Indian City

The Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) in Greater Noida, India, mandated installation of automatic rescue devices (ARD) on all elevators in the city by October 29, The Times of India reported. GNIDA notified property owners on July 31 they have 90 days to comply or face penalties. Backup power or batteries power ARDs, which send units to the nearest floor and open their doors in the event of a power failure or other problem. The move came in the wake of an accident in Ghaziabad, India, in which a 41-year-old woman was badly injured.

OEM Employee Fired for Stopping Elevators in Tokyo

A 36-year-old man who was employed by the Japanese subsidiary of a major OEM has been fired after admitting to stopping elevators in five residential buildings in Tokyo on seven occasions over the summer, The Japan Times reported. No one was injured, but a total of seven passengers were trapped. Suspicions arose after the man became trapped inside an elevator, reported the incident, then released himself from the elevator. He had recently been demoted at work, which authorities suspect was his motive.

33-Story Office Building for Vancouver

Developer Oxford Properties has requested Vancouver to rezone 1133 Melville St. in the city’s downtown to make room for what would be its tallest office tower. If approved, the 160-m-tall, 33-story tower could open as soon as 2018, The Vancouver Sun reported. It would have 658,657 sq. ft. of floor area and 287 underground parking spaces. There are eight other office towers either approved or under construction amassing more than 2.2 million sq. ft. in the low-vacancy central business district of Vancouver.

Southeast Asia

Lifts for Malaysia and South Korea; 81-story building plans for Ho Chi Minh City

KONE to Supply 60 Units in “Silicon Valley of Malaysia”

KONE has won an order to supply 60 elevators to Sky Park in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, known as the “Silicon Valley of Malaysia.” Sky Park is a six-building, mixed-use development on 11-plus acres, scheduled for delivery by the end of 2017. The order consists of 23 MonoSpace® and 37 MiniSpace® elevators, 44 of which will be panoramic. The elevators will have a speed of 4 mps and be connected to KONE’s E-LinkTM monitoring system.

Alimak to Deliver Construction Elevators in South Korea

Alimak Group has given notice of receipt of an order from Garam Industrial Co. Ltd. in South Korea valued at SEK10 million (US$1.15 million). It involves delivery of 16 construction elevators in the third and fourth quarters of 2015. All of Alimak´s construction hoists are based on modular designs, which provide them with flexibility in size and capacity for use in a variety of applications, including construction and refurbishment of high-rise buildings, bridges, chimneys and façades. The company says this design decreases assembly time and maintenance costs.

New Ho Chi Minh City Tower to Be Vietnam’s Tallest

British architect Atkins started work on a 460-m-tall skyscraper, which dezeen reported will become the tallest building in Vietnam on completion, in Ho Chi Minh City in August. The 81-story, mixed-use tower is to be located on the banks of the Saigon River and developed by Vingroup, which has dubbed it “The Vincom Landmark 81.” It is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Atkins, collaborating with British engineering firm Arup, is responsible for both the architecture and landscape design of the 241,000-m2 development. Its plans include a hotel, serviced residential apartments and retail space. “Our challenge was to create a unique and dynamic landmark tower design to support Vingroup’s vision for a high-end mixed-use development,” Bertil de Kleynen, director of architecture and landscape for Atkins in the Asia Pacific region, commented. “The tower is integrated into the public realm that addresses sustainable design challenges at various interfaces of the project.”

Australia and New Zealand

Work in Surfers Paradise and Melbourne; UltraRope goes into Sky Tower.

88-Story Mixed-Use Tower Envisioned on Australian Beach

Hong Kong developer Forise Investments envisions an 88-story tower containing nearly 700 apartments, as well as retail in a three-story podium, on a 3,494-m2 site in Surfers Paradise, Australia, TheUrbanDeveloper.com reported. The site was formerly home of the Iluka Beachfront Resort, built in the 1970s and demolished in 2013. Forise filed a development application with the Gold Coast Council in August, touting an iconic structure that will enhance the local skyline and be known around the world. No timeframe was given for the project, but Forise wants to start construction as soon as it is able. 

LML, KONE Executing Modernizations in Melbourne

The modernization of 18 elevators in two properties in Melbourne, Australia, is being handled by LML Lift Consultants and KONE for Mirvac. Expected to be completed by the end of 2016, the project encompasses eight lifts in the mixed-use Como Centre in the city’s inner suburbs and 10 lifts in The Royal Domain Centre, a commercial office building located on St. Kilda Road. 

UltraRope Going into New Zealand Landmark

KONE’s carbon-fiber hoisting technology UltraRope® is going into the elevator system in the 328-m-tall Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand, the country’s number-one tourist attraction and tallest manmade structure. KONE has a modernization contract with Sky Tower operator SKYCITY, and UltraRope was added to it earlier this year due to its ability to reduce energy consumption and mitigate building sway. The modernization was scheduled to be complete in September. KONE’s first UltraRope customer was Marina Bay Sands in Singapore (ELEVATOR WORLD, December 2013). UltraRope is also scheduled for installation in the future world’s tallest building, Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia (EW, July 2015). Johannes de Jong, KONE’s head of technology for Major Projects, estimates there are approximately 3,000 buildings globally that could benefit from UltraRope.

Middle East

Capitals of Bahrain and Kuwait to see further high-rise construction.

Three-Tower Manama Project Restarted

Gulf Holding Co. (GHC), developer of the long-delayed Villamar project near the Bahrain Financial Harbour complex in Manama, reported in August that work has restarted at the site after financial restructuring. The US$650-million project comprises three twisting towers of 54, 52 and 43 stories, which are to contain a hotel and apartments. Hisham Alrayes, GHC chairman, told The National the project would now be completed in phases, with all structural work completing as part of phase one, and the interiors of a retail and leisure mall on podium floors and the apartments on the 43-story Tower B being completed first. An agreement was taking place with an unannounced hotel operator over the summer to take on the 52-story Tower C.

The development was initially slated to be finished in 2010, but GHC subsidiary GFH Group has since financed its completion and funding shortfalls up to US$50 million. Cranes moved back to the site this summer in advance of a projected 2017 completion.

KIA Headquarters Weds Tradition, Aspiration

The new office building of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) in Kuwait City blends traditional Islamic principles and history with aspirations of future achievement, designMENA reported. With construction underway, the building is in two parts – a 40-story tower symbolizing future success and a horizontal section boasting a shape inspired by the dhow fishing boats that originally brought wealth to the country. Its Italian marble exterior will feature traditional Islamic geometric shapes, while the interior will have five large atriums. KEO is the architect. The concrete portion of the 220-m-tall structure was expected to be topped out over the summer.

Elevators, Escalators for Busy Indian Railway Stations

Busy railway stations in southern and northern India are set for major elevator/escalators upgrades, The Hindu and The Times of India reported. Delhi’s six busiest stations in northern India, which earlier this summer had only eight escalators, are getting an additional 18 escalators and 21 elevators by the end of 2015. In Southern India, meanwhile, 20 escalators and 16 lifts are planned at 11 stations in Kerala and Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, in addition to approximately 30 that were recently installed or procured.

Asansör Istanbul 2017 Announced

The next Asansör Istanbul has been announced for March 23-26, 2017. Again organized by the Istanbul Fair Organization, hopes are that its growth will continue. A record number of trade professionals attended the 2015 event (ELEVATOR WORLD, July 2015). The organization announced that 68% of exhibitors at that show have already reserved their stands for the next iteration, which anticipates the attendance of 30,000 visitors and 450 companies from 30 different countries.

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