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Buenos Aires’ New Government Seat

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The building as seen from the rear

Shenyang Brilliant elevator system serves energy-efficient building with style.

Ascensores Telesí SRL supplied and installed 10 Shenyang Brilliant Elevator Co. Ltd. elevators in the new building for Buenos Aires’ city government. Initially built as headquarters for Banco Ciudad, the building achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver Certification. In February, Head of City Government Mauricio Macri presided over the weekly cabinet meeting in the brand-new seat for the first time.

Building Details          

The building’s modern construction features a mix of glass and rolling concrete amid the greenery of the aged trees of Parque Patricios in the southern area of Buenos Aires. There was a public contest to award the project. Judges considered not only the best offer in terms of price, but also submissions’ architectural quality and sustainability.

The project was envisioned by British architect Sir Norman Foster and his well-known studio, Foster + Partners. His outstanding designs include the German Bundestag (Parliament) building in Berlin, London City Hall, airports in Beijing and Hong Kong and 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin) in London. Construction was awarded to Argentine building company CRIBA S.A., the professionals of which brought the architect’s vision to life.

Concrete is the protagonist of the structure’s 10,000-m2 rolling roof, which contributes to the sustainability concept and energy efficiency of the solar design that features large glass panels and minimal interior divisions. In this way, the natural light and green reflections of the park penetrate the building.

The building has a total surface area of 40,000 m2 over three floors, a ground floor and three underground levels. Approximately 1,500 people work there, including the city’s head of government and his ministers. An additional 200 or so people visit the building each day.

The decision to move the central city government from Buenos Aires “city” — the financial district in the city center — to Parque Patricios goes hand-in-hand with the present administration’s intent to revitalize the neglected southern portion of the metropolis.

Vertical-Transportation Details

Ascensores Telesí SRL, representative of Shenyang Brilliant in Argentina, supplied and installed 10 elevators made in China for the new building. The order consists of elevators for:

  • The public and employees
  • Upper-level government personnel
  • Service personnel
  • Freight

Traffic analysis was performed, taking the building’s population and these uses into account. It considered the fact that each day several hundred people, on average, who use the system do not work in the building. Requirements included that the system transport 20% of the building’s occupants in 5 min. (traffic intervals of no more than 40 s.). In addition to municipal code, contractors had to comply with Argentine Standards Institute/IRAM-Mercosur requirements and EN 81 standards, all while keeping in mind the requirements to achieve LEED certification.

Main Characteristics of the Equipment

All the elevators share the same technical details. They are operated by precise geared machines with machine rooms located underground, because the building’s design does not allow them on the roof, and machine-room-less (MRL) elevators are not permitted in Buenos Aires. Consequently, the car and counterweight sheaves had to be placed on the hoistway ceiling. The principal elevators are in a quadriplex configuration, and the service elevators are in a duplex configuration.

The cars are constructed of steel and covered by safety glass laminated with polyvinyl butyral film on the side panels. This gives the cars a white minimalist effect that matches the simplicity of the building. The rear panel features a safety mirror. Handrails are made of stainless steel, and there are two Shenyang Brilliant CBG 101 car-operating panels in each unit. The 2.5-mm thick marble floor precisely matches the landing and building floors in each level.

Equipment Specifications

Representing a US$25-million investment, the vertical-transportation system consists of:

  • Four QS Z001 passenger lifts; speed: 1 mps; capacity: 1600 kg; stops: seven; travel: 22.26 m across six levels (three underground)
  • Five QS 1100J lifts, two of which are service One 2000-kg capacity freight elevator
  • One 2000-kg capacity freight elevator
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