Array of construction projects around the world generates work for OEMs, distributors, suppliers and architects.

Herzog & de Meuron first presented the design for Tour Triangle in 2008

Schindler Wins Largest-Ever Contract in Myanmar

Schindler has been awarded a 103-unit contract to supply the vertical-transportation system for the mixed-use, multiple tower Times City, scheduled for completion in 2017 in Yangon, Myanmar. Willis Phua, general manager of Myanmar Jardine Schindler, noted it is the largest elevator/escalator contract ever awarded in Myanmar. It consists of 79 elevators and 24 escalators, including 41 3300AP and 38 5500 machine-room-less elevators. Schindler has been working with developer Crown Advance Construction Co. Ltd. since 2013 on the project, set to include office and residential towers, a hotel and shops. The order also includes Schindler’s Lobby Vision for elevators and escalators in the office and hotel towers.

KONE Wins Three-Tower Hangzhou Ping An Order

KONE has won an order to supply 64 elevators and escalators to Hangzhou Ping An Financial Center, an office and commercial building slated for the Qianjiang New District in Hangzhou, China. Designed by Chinese company Hanjia Design Group Co., Ltd., the complex is composed of three towers standing at a height of 180 m and stretching to a total construction area of 285,000 m2. The towers comprise prestigious office space, and the buildings’ street level will be dedicated to high-end retail.

KONE will deliver its own units: 44 MiniSpace™ elevators, 12 MonoSpace® elevators and 8 TravelMaster™ escalators. The complex is developed by Hangzhou Pingjian Investment Co., Ltd., Hangzhou Anfeng Properties Ltd. and Hangzhou Lvjingyuan Properties Ltd. It is expected to be completed in 2017.

Manila MRT Vertical-Transportation Upgrades Continue

International Elevator & Equipment Inc. (IEEI) has been awarded a six-month, US$180,685 government contract to maintain 34 escalators and 32 elevators, all Mitsubishi Electric equipment, in Metro Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) in Manila, the Philippines, GMA News reported. The news came on the heels of Jardine Schindler being awarded a contract to refurbish 12 escalators in MRT-3 and ahead of a longer-term contract that will include further improvements, including replacement of outdated elevators. IEEI is the exclusive distributor for Mitsubishi Electric in the Philippines.

Apex Completes Work at London Landmarks

Apex Lifts has completed work for the City of London on passenger lifts at a pair of city landmarks, Tower Bridge and Waterloo Block at Tower of London. At Tower Bridge, two lifts were outfitted with new ceilings, LED lighting that changes color, fresh landing-door paint, landing architrave protection and a Disability Discrimination Act-compliant car-operating panel with an LCD position indicator and City of London logo. New flooring installed by Apex includes instructional signage. Vinyl graphics with instructional signage were added to exit walls. At Waterloo Block, Apex engineers replaced control panels, door operator and signaling equipment. Apex notes work was performed with minimal disruption to stakeholders and the general public.

Hyatt Regency Vancouver Elevator System Upgraded

Originally manufactured by Westinghouse with O. Thompson controls, the five guest elevators in the Hyatt Regency Vancouver are undergoing an upgrade. The system’s machines are original to the building, which was built in 1973, and were updated by O. Thompson in the 1990s. Their speed is 700 fpm and capacity is 3500 lb. per unit.

ThyssenKrupp was contracted by Hyatt Regency Vancouver to perform the work, which consists of removing the original controllers and installing new ones complete with destination dispatch. Taking place during normal business hours, work began in February 2015 and is scheduled to be complete in October 2016. By June 2015, the destination dispatch system was already in place on a couple of the units, providing clear information, as well as fast transportation. Hyatt Regency Vancouver is confident in the new system. The hotel’s Director of Engineering Joe Weiss states:

“The user interface for putting calls in is very user friendly. All the options a guest needs within the hotel are displayed on one home screen. Once completed, we should see an increase in guest handling capacity with lower wait times.”

Displays from Avire Part of London Museum Elevator Upgrade

Forty LCD displays from Avire are part of a recent elevator upgrade at Wellcome Collection in London aimed at encouraging visitors to fully explore the museum, which features exhibits illustrating connections among medicine, life and art. Through distributor Dewhurst U.K., Avire supplied four, 19-in. E-Motive Panorama car-operating-panel displays and 36 R1-043 landing indicator screens. The displays and screens were previously static and now feature vivid LED images. Dewhurst worked with the client to determine content and layout of the displays, which museum officials said have been effective in promoting exhibitions and engaging visitors.

BIG Wins Competition to Design Frankfurt Tower

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has won a competition to design a 185-m-tall, mixed-use tower in the downtown Frankfurt, Germany, financial district, Dezeen reported. The traditional, linear design is distinguished by architecturally shifting floorplates that create terraces at the building’s base and center to signify different uses. The 65,000-m2 tower will house public space on the lower level, residences at mid level and offices on the upper floors. In July, demolition of existing structures had begun, with the project scheduled for completion in 2018. Austrian engineering firm Bollinger + Grohmann is partnering with BIG on the project.

Alimak to Deliver Construction Elevators in Sydney

Alimak Group received an order from Lendlease in Australia this summer for four construction elevators to be delivered during the fourth quarter of the year. The order includes four mid- and high-speed twin elevators serving 90-140 m of vertical access. The solution will be specialized to meet customer requirements to facilitate transportation of larger construction materials in the Darling Square development in Sydney. Alimak noted its strong relationship with the international property and infrastructure group.


MIT, CTBUH bestow honors.

ThyssenKrupp Innovations put it on “50 Smartest” List

ThyssenKrupp innovations including the maglev, multicar elevator system MULTI (ELEVATOR WORLD, February 2015), accelerated moving walk ACCEL (EW, December 2014) and the fastest elevators in the Americas at One World Trade Center in New York City earned it the number-35 spot on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) “50 Smartest Companies in 2015” list. Editors of the MIT Technology Review praised the versatility and potential of the innovations, which promise to help transform mobility in the world’s fastest-growing cities. Patrick Bass, CEO of ThyssenKrupp North America, observed:

“Innovation is the engine driving ThyssenKrupp’s next chapter of growth. Our ongoing investments in next-generation technologies, such as MULTI in the vertical transportation sector and InCar®plus in the automotive industry, are strongly customer focused and are aligned in areas we have identified as key to our future business.”

CTBUH Honors Performance, Innovation

Winners and finalists of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2015 Performance and Innovation Awards have been announced. For performance, Chifley Tower in Sydney was honored for a renovation resulting in a marked decrease in electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, along with a national energy rating.

For innovation, the HOLEDECK® concrete-slab construction system won the top honor for its space-saving qualities. The innovation category also recognized finalists, including the under-construction Tao Chu Yin Yuan skyscraper in Taipei for its twisting, seismic-zone friendly design; the freeform, load-bearing Triagrid Structural System; and the façade-access system at the Burj Khalifa, in which an architectural element of the building serves as a track for the building maintenance units (BMUs). The system was conceived by architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP; Lerch Bates Inc.; and BMU manufacturer CoxGomyl.

Paternosters Back in Germany After Fans Take a Stand

A June 1 German law that required passenger training for paternosters and effectively halted them has been cast aside after a fierce backlash from the archaic conveyance’s fervent fans, numerous news agencies, such as The Wall Street Journal, reported. The law was amended to say anyone who takes “appropriate safety measures” may use them. Opponents – who appear to be scarce in Germany – contend the system is dangerous, while proponents point out there hasn’t been a fatal accident in 15 years. Invented by a British engineer in 1877, paternosters became very popular in Germany, which now has 231 of the systems. New installations were banned in the mid 1970s.

China Activity

Elevator Output, Exports Revealed in Report

Trends in Chinese elevator output, exports and revenue generation are covered in a new report from ReportstackTM. New elevator output is continuing to grow, but at a slower pace, with more than 700,000 units produced in 2014, an increase of approximately 12% from a year ago. In 2013, the annual growth rate was 18%. Chinese companies such as Shenyang Brilliant Elevator and Canny Elevator have increased the proportion of service revenue during 2010-2014, from 9.1% to 20.1% and 3.7% to 8.5%, respectively. Driven by effective economic development initiatives, the pace of exports continues to gain momentum, with China exporting 68,000 units of elevators and escalators in 2014, representing a year-over-year growth rate of 13.1% from 2007-2014. In the first quarter of 2015, China exported 16,793 units, an increase of 12.9% compared with a year ago.

EHC Global Taps Hornbein to Lead Asia Pacific Region

EHC Global has added Ted Hornbein to its staff as general manager, Asia Pacific, effective September 1. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Hornbein has more than 20 years of business management experience in Chinese manufacturing. His skills include managing cross cultures and bringing about new market penetration. EHC China Chairman Ron Ball said bringing Hornbein onboard promises to be instrumental to the company’s ongoing success as it pursues growth opportunities throughout Asia.

Pair of Towers Top Out in Beijing

Chaoyang Park Plaza, a pair of 120-m-tall, mixed-use towers in Beijing’s central business district, topped out over the summer, designboom reported. Designed by MAD Architects, the dark, glassy towers will have ridges and grooves that make them resemble mountains eroded by the elements. They will house 120,000 m2 of commercial, office and residential space, and are scheduled for completion in 2016.

KONE Shifts Focus in China to Service

KONE is shifting its focus in China, its largest market that accounts for 40% of new orders and 30% of global sales, from  new orders to service in light of a weakening construction boom, Forbes reported. In 2015, KONE saw 5% first-quarter growth in China, versus 15% and 23% growth in 2014 and 2013, respectively. Operating as Giant KONE in a joint venture, the company saw two-thirds of its 154,000 units produced go to China in 2014. That reflects the vertical-transportation market as a whole: China purchased nearly 70% of the 815,000 units produced worldwide in 2014. Managing Director of KONE China William B. Johnson points out that China is 10 times the size of the world’s second-largest elevator market, India. Still, he is optimistic about KONE’s new service-oriented approach and hopes to significantly boost its current service-account market share from 10%. Analysts foresee China’s elevator/escalator maintenance business growing by approximately 25% each year, and KONE already has a significant installed base there. To lay the groundwork, KONE plans to add 1,000 employees this year to its Chinese workforce of 12,000, as well as add sales, service and training locations.

Mechanic Certificate Sparks Dispute in Canada

The granting of a class-A certificate to a mechanic in Nova Scotia, Canada, who did not complete the four-year Canadian Elevator Industry Educational Program (CEIEP), required by Nova Scotia law, sparked dispute over the summer between province labor department officials and CEIEP, based in Ontario, The Chronical Herald reported. Labor department officials said an alternative, satisfactory method was used to test the mechanic’s ability and, that if elevator maintenance was recognized as a trade, training requirements would not be debatable. CEIEP is calling for a judicial review.

Towers around the World

Diverse locations see skyscraper construction.

Paris’ First Skyscraper in 40 Years: Tour Triangle

Paris lawmakers have approved Herzog & de Meuron’s plan to build the 180-m-tall mixed-use Tour Triangle in the Porte de Versailles neighborhood, Dezeen reported. By a narrow margin, the project was granted permission to proceed, reversing a previous decision by the same group of lawmakers. Paris has become increasingly more amenable to building tall in the past several years. Should it be built, Tour Triangle would be the city’s first skyscraper in more than 40 years. Housing a hotel and offices, it would be the third-tallest tower in the city after the 324-m-tall Eiffel Tower and 209-m-tall Montparnasse Tower.

Skyscraper with Observation Deck Going Up in Tokyo

The 46-story, 230-m-tall east tower of the Shibuya Station Building taking shape in Tokyo will have an observation deck atop it from which visitors may view notable landmarks such as Tokyo Skytree and, on a clear day, Mount Fuji, The Japan Times reported. Construction started in 2014, and developer Tokyo Corp. aims to complete the building in 2019 in anticipation of the 2020 Summer Olympics. The Shibuya Station Building is part of the redevelopment of Shibuya shopping district.

Six, 40-Story Residential Towers Planned in Melbourne

Six, 40-story residential towers are planned along Normanby Road in the Fisherman’s Bend part of Melbourne, Australia, Urban Melbourne reported. Involving six separate landowners and designed by Hayball, the towers are set to contain in excess of 1,570 residences, along with stores and offices on the lower levels. The buildings’ designs are eclectic and different from one another. No timeframe was given for the project, but observers say it promises to transform and revitalize the area. The six towers are among more than 40 on the drawing board in the Fisherman’s Bend area.

New Ownership Gives Unfinished Warsaw Tower New Life

Złota 44, a 52-story residential tower in Warsaw on which construction stopped in 2014, has gotten new life thanks to being purchased by Warsaw company BBI Development and U.S. partner Amstar, The Globe and Mail reported. The sail-shaped, glittery building designed by Polish-born American architect Daniel Libeskind initially began construction in 2008 and has been topped out, and now the new owners plan to outfit it with apartments and amenities. Due to Poland’s positive economic outlook, they are optimistic about sales and plan to have the building completed in 2017.

Supertall Would Surpass Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur

Wealthy businessman Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary plans to build Tradewinds Square, which would include a 110-story, 608-m-tall office building taller than Petronas Towers, in Kuala Lumpur’s business district, Property Talk & Lifestyle Malaysia reported. The development would also include a 61-story, 288-m-tall tower housing a hotel and residences. They would be linked to a redeveloped, 35-story office building. Approval was pending over the summer, but the project appeared to be moving forward with Woods Bagot named lead architect in association with Singapore’s DP Architects Pvt. Ltd. and its local subsidiary. Construction on the supertall was to start in 2016 and be complete in 2020.

Rules and Regulations

Safety situations highlight need for change in Japan, India.

Tokyo Regulations Could Have Wider Reach in Wake of Quake

The infrastructure ministry of Japan has been asked to come up with ways to ensure elevators are restored faster following an earthquake after “it emerged that tens of thousands of people were trapped in upper floors of skyscrapers and high-rise apartments” on the night of May 30, the Japan Times reported. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said service resumption “took too long” after an 8.1-magnitude temblor struck near Japan’s remote southern islands and reverberated across most of the country. Approximately 13,000 elevators, mainly in the Kanto region, stopped.

Some experts believe the government needs to ease regulations on licensed engineers so that more can be qualified to help inspect elevators and restore service quickly. One possibility is nationally implementing Tokyo regulations allowing engineers to initially reboot one elevator per building so people can evacuate.

According to The Guardian, a meeting between officials from the infrastructure ministry and elevator industry are looking into providing toilets and a supply of drinking water for entrapped passengers. Some toilets considered are collapsible cardboard structures with a waterproof bag or absorbent material inside. Where small seating areas already exist (a recent addition for Japan’s growing elderly population), facilities may be installed under the seats.

Around 20% of Japan’s approximately 620,000 elevators in public or commercial buildings are in Tokyo. The country sits at the junction of four tectonic plates and is regularly hit by powerful earthquakes.

Chennai Accident Highlights Escalator Safety Needs

A June accident in which a child lost three fingers as a result of his hand becoming stuck in a shopping mall escalator in Chennai, India, highlights the need for better regulation of and safety precautions for escalators and moving walks, The Hindu reported. Vertical-transportation experts noted the Tamil Nadu Lifts Rules Act of 1997 does not include rules for escalators and moving walks. For that reason, questions regarding liability and compensation resulting from such accidents remain unanswered. Suggestions include requiring property owners who install escalators to have their equipment inspected and licensed regularly, and restricting elderly citizens and children from riding.


Safeworks, KONE make moves.

Germany’s DualLift Acquired by Safeworks

SafeWorks®, a division of Evergreen Pacific Partners, has acquired DualLift GmbH, a German manufacturer of electric traction hoists. The deal makes SafeWorks the largest manufacturer of traction hoists in the world. SafeWorks, headquartered in Seattle, was founded 70 years ago and counts among its customers those needing access for construction, repair and maintenance projects. DualLift was founded in 2008 and has a full line of personnel and material hoists. In July, executives at both companies described the deal as an excellent fit in terms of capabilities, products and services. SafeWorks CEO Scott Farrell observed: “By joining forces with DualLift, both companies become stronger, better able to serve our customers with innovative new products and grow our global market share.”

KONE Purchases Germany’s Klostermann Aufzüge

KONE has acquired Klostermann Aufzüge, an elevator maintenance and modernization provider based in Herne, Germany, founded in 1977. The company has approximately 40 employees and 1,300 elevators in service. Axel Berkling, managing director of KONE Germany, remarked: “The coming together of KONE and Klostermann Aufzüge is a natural fit, allowing us to consolidate our position in the market and be closer to our customers.”

Induction Loop Certified by Liftinstituut

Your Sense, designer of the YSEL elevator induction loop for the hard of hearing (ELEVATOR WORLD, December 2010), was awarded a certificate from Liftinstituut on May 4, which those at Your Sense called “a very special day.” Liftinstituut approved the YSEL on technical and safety compliance with induction-loop norms, the Disability Discrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Your Sense states the YSEL is the only elevator induction loop with this certificate and that many similar products are audio amplifiers, not induction loops. It adds that audio amplifiers cause a negative effect on hearing aids.

With stricter accessibility requirements in EN 81-20 and -70 for the hard of hearing, the product becomes much more important for the industry. EN 81-70 will require that every elevator be equipped with an induction loop. This means that every new elevator, as well as elevators currently in use, should have an induction loop installed if operating under European Norms (EN). Since the Your Sense Elevator Loop is a plug-and-play system in a small box (108 x 138 mm), it can easily be installed behind the control panel and cover the entire car. This means a hearing aid wearer can pick up the signal and communicate anywhere in the cabin.

CTBUH Launches U.K. Chapter in London

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) launched its new U.K. chapter during a gala event at the historic BT Tower in London in June. Citing the burst of skyscraper activity in the U.K., the chapter intends to encourage debate, produce research and advocate best practices on tall buildings. The chapter’s executive committee consists of Steve Watts of Alinea Consulting, Temoor Ahmad of Grimshaw Architects, Vince Ugarow of Hilson Moran, Peter Rees of University College London, Cecily David of Field Fisher and Ian Skelton of AECOM. More than 90 guests attended the gala in the revolving restaurant atop the tower.   

BT Tower; photo by David Castor

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Elevator World | September 2015 Cover