CIBSE Lifts Group 2013 Evening Seminar and AGM
Many lift professionals attended the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Lifts Group 2013 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and evening meeting on February 5. The CIBSE Conference Centre in Balham, London, hosted the event, opened by John Bentley, who presented on the real cost of lift maintenance. This theme had been updated since he first addressed it in 2010, and he reported it was unfortunate to see that the state of lift maintenance had not really improved over the period. The current situation of “so-called maintenance” was fully illustrated with photographic examples showing lift pits full of waste paper, oil and other substances, and lift equipment that had strangely been adapted with string, chain and wood scraps. The examples were of current installations and demonstrated that many service engineers had no real understanding about what was safe or correct.
During the presentation, Bentley mused as to how the situation and culture of poor service and maintenance had arisen and how, in his view, the situation could be addressed. Some suggested reasons for the situation could be summed up by the following key points:
- A poor industry attitude toward maintenance
- Blinkered pursuit by management for bottom-line, short term profit
- Poorly trained and non-industry sales staff
- A lack of knowledge regarding the lift and escalator industry and its products
To help address the situation, a shift of culture and work practice must be implemented. The following actions were suggested to improve respect and appreciation by clients and customers for lift service engineers:
- A cultural shift toward honesty and transparency regarding what has to be done to keep an installation working and safe
- Improved training that ensures a real understanding of products and technology
- Better use of codes and standards
- A working practice that includes tasks with traceable results
- Compulsory licensing of lift and escalator engineers
A great deal of discussion and agreement followed Bentley’s presentation. Many in the room stated other cases and examples supporting Bentley’s musings. The second talk was given by outgoing CIBSE Lifts Group President Michael Bottomley on the Strepy Thieu boat lift in Belgium. This enormous project has taken many years to complete, its number and size of machines was impressive, and it was intriguing that the lift cars/tanks were only guided in the top and bottom sections of the installation. To give an idea of the project’s size, Bottomley provided its specifications:
- Rated load: 9350 mT
- Travel: 73.15 m
- Rated speed: 0.2 mps
- Carrier width: 12 m
- Carrier length: 112 m
Following his presentation, Bottomley invited the members to take a short break and, then reassemble for the CIBSE Lifts Group AGM.
CIBSE Lifts Group AGM
With the AGM in session, the votes and motions were passed, and the minutes approved and signed. The officers for 2013 were then elected into their post, with Bottomley welcoming John Bashford as the new chairman of the group. After the votes for officers were taken, Bashford assumed his new position. It was also announced that Agnes Rothery would be retiring as the treasurer, with Bottomley taking that position for the forthcoming year. Thanks were given to Rothery for all the hard work she has committed to the group over many years of active involvement.
Richard Peters emphasized the support for the joint Symposium on Lift and Escalator Technologies at Northampton University in Northampton, U.K. The two-day event, set for September 26-27, is one of several upcoming industry affairs to anticipate.
Review of 2012 and Looking Forward
by Dr. Richard Peters
The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Lifts Group hosted a full schedule of events in 2012. The February meeting addressed new health and safety framework. A March seminar reviewed new European Norms and British Standards, with members of the revision panel in attendance. Videos of the presentations were made available at the group’s website. Another March 2012 meeting included presentations on the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, and a five-year review of the application of supplementary tests on in-service lifts and guidelines on escalators and moving walks.
The second Symposium on Lift and Escalator Technologies (ELEVATOR WORLD, December 2012) was held jointly with the University of Northampton in September 2012. The October meeting addressed “The Engineer in Court” and “The Health and Safety Executive and Lifts.” The following month saw the presentations “Lift Performance Time,” “Lift Design,” “Residential Buildings,” and “Safe Working on Lifts.”
The group also sponsored PhD student Ana Lorente in 2012. The award aided Lorente’s travel expenses to the U.S. to attend an ISO TC 178/WG 10 meeting. She supports this working group by providing scientific evidence to formulate the methodology applied in the standard. Lorente also presented a paper at the aforementioned symposium.
The CIBSE Lifts Group 2013 program provides another full schedule of events, including BS 7255 training, a site visit to view the paternoster at the Sheffield University Arts Tower and evening meetings, in addition to the annual seminar. For more information, visit website: www.cibseliftsgroup.org.