Energy-Saving Features Distinguish Malaysia, Singapore Towers

A rendering of Equator Tower

Singapore’s Marina One Residential Contract Let

Schindler has been contracted to supply 34 elevators for the residential towers of Marina One, to rise at the heart of Singapore’s new Central Business District. The 3.67-million-sq.-ft. integrated development will include two 30-story office towers and two 34-story luxury residential towers, linked with a retail podium and green space called “The Heart,” featuring waterfalls and rooftop gardens. The project’s design has received several awards.

Thirty of the elevators will be Schindler 7000 high-rise units. All will adopt Schindler’s Power Factor One (PF1) regenerative-drive technology and integrated control system, Lobby Vision. The PF1 regenerative drive enables power generated by the elevator to be fed back into the building’s electricity grid, consuming up to 30% less energy than comparable elevators. Lobby Vision is a management tool that allows single-point supervision of multiple active systems.

Marina One Residences consist of 1,042 luxury apartment units and “tropical living” on the sprawling 101-ha Gardens by the Bay. The entire project is scheduled for completion by 2017.

Equator Tower in Kuala Lumpur

REX Architecture PC has unveiled designs for Equator Tower in Kuala Lumpur, an 80-story, 380-m-tall structure primarily housing office space. Its design is characterized by what designboom calls “an external sunshade, wrapping the entirety of structure, which can be retracted depending on environmental conditions.” The purpose of the polytetrafluoroethylene-coated glass windows and fiber-reinforced sunshade is to protect offices from glare, without compromising panoramic views. During the day, the sunshade would be stretched across the edifice on a tensile cable net, giving the tower its distinctive form. The design allows sections of the veil to be retracted when not exposed to the sun. Alternatively, the entire shade can be removed on overcast days or evenings.

London Continues to Reach Skyward

One St George Wharf Opens

Construction on London’s tallest residential building is now complete. The tower, One St George Wharf, rises more than 180 m above the nearby River Thames and is part of the wider Nine Elms development. Designed by Broadway Malyan and built by contractor Brookfield Multiplex, it was one of the first major redevelopment schemes in the Nine Elms project.

The tower is a residential development with 213 apartments. Pete Vaughan, Director at Broadway Malyan, added:

“It was an opportunity to create a landmark south of the river which would act as a visual and commercial counterpoint to the City of London on the north bank, bringing massive benefits to London as a whole. Similarly, our team had the idea for a landmark tower at Vauxhall and has now delivered [One St George Wharf at], visually, the right place in London’s landscape for a tower. . . . It promised to act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the surrounding neighborhoods.”

36-Story Tower Headlines Project

Shanghai-based developer Greenland Group has purchased a seven-acre plot of land in Wandsworth, London, on which it plans to build a “town centre,” the London Evening Standard reported. A 36-story tower with 166 apartments will accompany 661 homes, shops, bars and restaurants. Greenland Chairman Zhang Yuliang commented, “The prospect for our overseas property business is great. Rich and middle-class Chinese will be the main buyers of our projects.”


 Ehrnrooth becomes CEO as Alahuhta Steps Down; Soederstroem named CFO

After overseeing significant growth over the past nine years and the introduction of UltraRope™ (ELEVATOR WORLD, August 2013) at KONE, Matti Alahuhta has stepped down as president and CEO. Announced in January, the move became effective March 31. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Henrik Ehrnrooth was set to succeed Alahuhta as CEO on April 1, with Eriikka Soederstroem becoming CFO. At the time of the announcement, Alahuhta, 61, had not yet revealed his next career move, although he said it will not be in a CEO role. He previously led Finnish mobile-phone manufacturer Nokia.

Li to Oversee Lerch Bates’ China Projects

Lerch Bates China has named Matthew Li Elevator Consulting Group project manager. An industry veteran who previously served as senior manager of National Installation at SIGMA Elevator Co. and in various management roles at ThyssenKrupp Elevator, Li will provide a comprehensive range of vertical and horizontal consulting services to clients throughout the quickly growing Chinese market. Previous projects in which Li has been involved include the 492-m-tall Shanghai World Financial Center and the Beijing Subway.

China Market Spurs Spinoff Activity

Schindler in China

Schindler has announced three new partners that have contracted with the company to supply products and technology for building projects in the emerging Chinese cities of Chongqing, Changsha and Ordos City. First, the Chongqing Lifan Centre will feature prominently in the local skyline of the city’s swiftly developing Central Business District. With towers reaching 42 stories, the residential complex will include 22 Schindler elevators, of which 12 are Schindler 7000 high-rise elevators. Schindler is the sole supplier of products and technology and will manufacture all units in its Suzhou factory. The development is to open in the second half of this year.

 The Changsha YunDa Central Plaza is already under construction in the capital city of Hunan Province in south-central China. To become a showpiece in the urban center, the 65-story multiuse complex will feature 33 Schindler 7000 high-rise elevators to provide mobility to a W Hotel and St. Regis Hotel, a grade-A office tower and a shopping mall. Schindler calls this job “the second-largest twin hotel tower project in Central China,” which is expected to open in February 2015.

The Orient Building in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia, is expected to help transform the surrounding rural landscape to a full-fledged city that could one day welcome up to a million inhabitants. The tower will include 13 Schindler 7000 high-rise elevators and become the first building in Inner Mongolia to incorporate Schindler’s PORT transit-management technology, intended to optimize access, guidance, transportation and security. Reaching heights of 160 m, its completion is planned for late 2014.

Beijing to Install Subway Monitoring System

By year’s end, Beijing plans to install more than 3,000 monitoring devices known as “black boxes” to elevators and escalators in its subway system, Mirror Evening News reported. The black boxes are outfitted with sensors connected to the Internet and maintenance workers’ mobile phones that issue alerts about machinery malfunctions and aging parts. The devices also analyze malfunctions. 

Test Elevator Insurance Program Compensates Passengers

A pilot insurance program that compensates people affected by elevator malfunctions went into effect January 28 in four Chinese cities: Nanjing, Nantong, Suzhou and Wuxi, China Radio International reported. For the first year, elevator manufacturers and installers pay the premiums, with equipment owners, users, maintenance companies and testing agencies sharing a portion of the cost beginning in year two. The annual premium for a household in a 10-story building housing two households per floor would be small, amounting to less than CNY1 (US0.16) per year, according to the article. Users would receive up to CNY200 (US$33) as mental-injury compensation for being stuck in an elevator, or up to CNY5 million (US$826,500) for more serious incidents.

Elevators Included in Law Banning Subway Eating

An early draft of the Beijing Subway Safety Law includes a provision banning eating and drinking in subways, including in its elevators, CRIEnglish.com reported. Violators could be fined CNY50-CNY500 (US$8-US$82). While observers acknowledge such a law would likely improve safety by decreasing waste that attracts rats, there is debate over whether a blanket ban is appropriate. There is also concern about potential costliness of the fine. 

KONE Receives Contracts, Awards

Large Ankara, Turkey, Order

KONE has announced its reception of an order to provide 146 elevators to a large-scale residential development in Ankara, Turkey. Already involved in its early stages, KONE will supply the Sinpas Altinoran project with 97 N MonoSpace®, 34 N MiniSpace™ and 14 S MiniSpace passenger elevators, and one TranSys™ freight elevator. All units come equipped with KONE’s energy-efficient EcoDisc® hoisting machine. Further energy savings are to be achieved with advanced standby solutions, which power down the elevator when it is not in use, as well as regenerative drives, which recycle energy for immediate reuse within the building to cut consumption by up to 20%.

The development’s first phase will have a total of 2,450 apartments in 70 buildings, with heights ranging from six to 40 stories. It is Turkey’s largest residential project and in Çankaya, central Ankara. Its 1.85-million-m2, 65-hectare area features a lake, woods, swimming pools, an ice-skating rink, skiing slopes with artificial snow and Turkey’s first skywalk platform.

Sinpas Altinoran is being developed and constructed by Istanbul-based Sinpas Yapi Endüstrisi ve Ticaret A.S. KONE expects to deliver the elevators during 2014 and/or 2015, and the project is to be completed by 2020.

Good Design Awards

KONE has been recognized with four 2013 Good Design awards for elevator cars and signalization systems. The Finnish OEM was recognized for its selection of car interiors, materials and accessories; its new, lightweight, horizontal-panel car construction; and the KSS 280 and KSS 800 signalization systems. KONE describes the signalization systems’ design as novel, minimalistic and user friendly. Interior options, meanwhile, boast “trendy colors, materials, finishing and unique patterns . . . [that] complement the building’s architecture, providing enhanced functionality and accessibility.” KONE notes this is the third time it has been recognized by Good Design, founded in 1950 and presented by the Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture Arts Design and Urban Studies.

KONE to Outfit Tel Aviv Skyscrapers with 32 Elevators

KONE has been awarded a contract to supply 32 elevators to the B.S.R. Center TLV, a pair of 165-m-tall, 40-story office towers under construction in Tel Aviv, Israel. The order consists of 22 MiniSpace™ units, 10 with a top travel speed of 7 mps; nine MonoSpace® 700 units; and one TranSys™ unit. All elevators will be equipped with KONE’s EcoDisc® hoisting technology. Developed by BSR Group and designed by BLK Architects, the towers will contain more than 100,000 m2 of Class A office space and include five levels of parking underground. Construction is expected to be complete in 2016.

Acquisition of Athens-Based Service Company

KONE has acquired Athens-based service company ThyssenKrupp Elevators Hellas S.A., strengthening its position in the Greek market and demonstrating confidence in the nation’s future. Stelios Anastasiades, KONE managing director for Greece and Cyprus, said the move shows the company’s dedication to addressing “people’s right to a smooth, safe, comfortable flow in and between buildings every day.” In the Greek market since 2004, KONE has more than 50 Athens-area employees, including those formerly of ThyssenKrupp Elevators Hellas. KONE points out that more than 60% of the Greek population lives in urban centers, which are expected to grow at a steady annual rate of 0.6% in the next 10 years. 

KONE to Supply 14 Units to Sydney Towers

KONE has been hired to supply 14 elevators to a pair of towers – a 47-story apartment building and a 32-story building housing upscale, long-term-stay units – under construction in Sydney, FINNBAY.com reported in January, noting KONE has been focusing business on the Asia-Pacific region due to a sluggish economy in Europe and the U.S. In addition to system design, the order includes 11 MiniSpace™ units, five of which are able to travel 136 m from an underground parking facility to penthouse apartments. All units will be powered by the energy-saving EcoDisc® hoisting motor. The towers, forming Centrium Apartments, are scheduled for completion in late 2015.

Hyundai Elevator Lays Groundwork for Global Expansion

Seoul-based Hyundai Elevator Co. is laying the groundwork for overseas growth, with a particular focus on China and the Middle East, Yonhap News Agency reported. Hyundai Elevator has increased its stake in Shanghai affiliate Shanghai Hyundai Elevator Co. from 84% to 100%, and, in 2014, plans to establish new corporate offices in Tunisia, Turkey and Myanmar, bringing the number of foreign branches from seven to 10. The company has also expanded its South American presence, with a new manufacturing facility in Brazil. Hyundai Elevator aims to increase its overseas orders by 25% in 2014, to more than US$190 million.

GT in Montreal Metro Stations

Global Tardif (GT) has signed an agreement with the Société de Transport de Montréal (STM) in Montreal to supply and install 10 heavy-duty, panoramic machine-room-less (MRL) elevators. Also, as an exclusive distributor of Fujitec Canada Escalators, GT will be supplying and installing 24 escalators in 11 of the 13 metro stations. This project is part of the STM’s 2012-2015 Universal Access Development Plan; in all, more than CAD87 million (US$78.68 million) will be invested in making the network more universally accessible.

EFESME to Monitor Effects of New Directive on SMEs

The European Federation for Elevator Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

(EFESME) plans to monitor possible effects an amended Lifts Directive 95/16/EC, approved overwhelmingly by the European Parliament (EP) in February, will have on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). EFESME describes the revised directive thus:

“The new recast is intended to clarify the interpretation and application of the legislation by the member states to avoid unequal market conditions and unsafe products placed on the market. The directive will provide manufacturers, installers and authorities with clearer definitions, obligations of economic operators, presumption of conformity provided by harmonized standards, policy in submitting the Declaration of Conformity, [Conformité Européenne] marking, Notified Bodies and assessment procedure.”

While applauding the EP’s ability to reach a consensus, EFESME said it is disappointed the directive does not better protect SMEs.

Reforma Towers for Mexico City

Richard Meier & Partners has unveiled a 40-story, mixed-use development for Mexico City’s historic Paseo de la Reforma called “Reforma Towers.” Comprised of one 180-m-tall office and one 110-m-tall hotel and clad in white concrete, the new development is to bring high-end office, hotel and retail space, as well as restaurants and a fitness center upon its completion in 2015. The design is intended to introduce an unconventional yet more-efficient redistribution of space through a central void intended as an “Urban Courtyard.” The reconfigured space is intended to maximize transparency, natural light and wide city views.

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Elevator World | April 2014 Cover