Experienced industry men hired at European firms.

China Zun

Sematic Appoints Executives

Italy-based Sematic Group announced appointments to its top management positions in April, naming Stefano Socci as CEO and Francesco Spotorno as chief financial officer. Before joining Sematic, Socci was CEO of Nicotra Gebhart, market leader of fan systems for residential and commercial uses. Previously, he was managing director of Faber, and, before that, gained extensive operational experience as vice president Global Supply Line at KONE.

Spotorno has worked for Philips and Whirlpool. At the latter, he served for more than 25 years, beginning as assistant controller for its Italian Commercial Division and leaving the company last year as vice president of Finance and Cost Competitiveness. He has also been an external consultant for European Customer Service Activities at Petronas Lubricants Italy S.p.A. since September 2014. He is fluent in both English and Italian and graduated with a degree in Economics (Accounting and Finance) from the Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.

Roberto Zappa remains chairman of Sematic. He commented:

“We are very pleased that [Socci] and [Spotorno] have joined the management of Sematic, which will be able to leverage on their extensive experience in major international groups to support the next phase of growth and expansion.”

Dewar Partnership Adds Burrowes, Doyle to Team

Dewar Partnership Ltd., the London-based subsidiary of Lerch Bates Inc., has hired vertical-transportation consultants Colin Burrowes and David Doyle. Burrowes has more than 30 years of industry experience. He has been an independent consultant and managed sales for KONE Great Britain and Otis subsidiaries The Express Lift Co. and Evans Lifts Ltd. He is a graduate of The University of Northampton and its College of Further Education. Doyle recently served as portfolio sales manager for Schindler, where he grew the client base. He has also worked for ThyssenKrupp Elevator as a New Business Development manager. He is accredited by The Institute of Sales & Marketing Management.

Turkey Leads Europe in Elevator Deaths by a Wide Margin

Approximately 75%, or 32, of the 43 fatal elevator accidents in Europe over the past three years occurred in Turkey, Bugün quoted a national official as saying. Director of the Elevator Control Center of the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects Berkay Eriş, who revealed the statistic, said Turkey has less than 1/10th of Europe’s elevators — 400,000 out of 5.5 million. He said progress has been made since an elevator-inspection program began in 2012, when the number of “red-flagged” elevators was between 75-80%. Today, that has dropped to 50-60%.

KONE in China

Big orders placed in Beijing, Hangzhou, Lanzhou and Shenzhen

142 Units for Beijing’s Future Tallest

KONE has won a contract to provide 101 elevators and 41 escalators to the China Zun office tower, which, at 528 m, will be the tallest building in Beijing upon completion in 2018. The order includes 21 energy-efficient, 10-mps double-deck elevators. Developed by a subsidiary of CITIC Group, one of the largest state-owned companies in China, the project was jointly designed by a team consisting of Kohn Pedersen Fox, the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design, CITIC Architectural Design, Arup and Parsons Brinckerhoff.

94-Unit Order for Hangzhou G.T. Land Plaza

KONE has been hired to supply a 94-unit vertical-transportation system to Hangzhou G.T. Land Plaza, a Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)-designed mixed-use development in an “emerging central business district” in Hangzhou. The order consists of 32 MiniSpaceTM and 20 MonoSpace® elevators and 42 TravelMasterTM escalators with destination control and E-LinkTM monitoring. Containing a hotel, offices, shopping mall and apartments, the development will feature a trio of 42-floor towers.

62 Elevators for Lanzhou Towers

KONE booked an order in the fourth quarter of 2014 to equip Lanzhou International Commercial Trade Center in rapidly growing Lanzhou, with 62 elevators. The company will supply the complex with 28 KONE MiniSpace™ elevators and 34 MonoSpace® elevators, along with its E-Link™ remote-monitoring system. KONE will also provide real-time information on the status of the equipment and statistical reports on vertical-transportation performance in the 32-floor hotel building and 40-floor commercial tower.

The multiuse building will bring 85,000 m2 of office and commercial space and a Hilton hotel to the city’s central commercial district. It is being constructed by Lanzhou Oriental Friendship Commercial Trade Center, a joint venture of Lanzhou’s government and Fujian Dongbai Group Co., Ltd. Work is expected to be completed in 2016.

Shenzhen HQ to Get 28 Elevators

KONE is to deliver 28 ecologically efficient elevators to Shenzhen International Energy Mansion, the new headquarters (HQ) of the Shenzhen Energy Group in Shenzhen. KONE stated it was “chosen as key equipment supplier for its ability to meet the requirements of the design specifications and its high-level focus on eco efficiency.” The complex will feature 28 KONE MiniSpace™ elevators and E-Link™ remote-monitoring system, which connects the elevators to the building’s facility-management system.

The site is located in the central political, cultural and business district of the city. Designed by BIG and ARUP, the complex will include 218- and 116-m-tall towers on a total construction area of 143,000 m2. To withstand the tropical climate of the city, the buildings will feature a “folding façade” system that shades their interiors from the sun. Construction is due for completion in 2017.

Interlift 2015 Updates

Interlift 2015 organizer AFAG Messen und Ausstellungen GmbH expects newly enforced technical elevator standards EN 81-20 and -50 will make this year’s edition of the exhibition the most important one yet, considering that approximately 30 years have passed since the last comparable changes in the field of global standards. A newly built Hall 4 offers 4,500 m² of modern, column-free exhibition space in the Augsburg Trade Fair Centre in Augsburg, Germany, where the show will take place on October 13-16. The additional temporary exhibition hall providing 1,500 m² of column-free exhibition space between Halls 1 and 7 is also new.

The VFA Forum focusing “on ensuring the training of youngsters and qualified staff, complementary to the motto of the VFA-Interlift stand ‘Elevators raise you up, training brings you further’” will also be held during Interlift. During the forum’s October 13 opening session, representatives of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Swabia, Augsburg Job Centre, and Technical and Dual Colleges will join the owners of elevator companies with training facilities in presenting the different paths of industry training.


Handbook published, construction in Brisbane and Melbourne

AEA Releases Updated Handbook for Australia

The Australian Elevator Association (AEA) has published a new edition of its “Owner’s Handbook” or “Blue Book,” officially called Lifts and Escalators 2015. Noel Smith of the AEA Technical Committee (which put the book together) said the new edition was prompted by “changes in the products provided by our industry and a change in jurisdictional management of those products.” Intended readers are owners, installers and service providers who want to understand their responsibilities in relation to risk management for vertical-transportation equipment.

The book references many applicable code documents and includes four appendices. Subjects covered throughout include:

  • Risk management plan and lifecycle
  • Installation, alteration and modernization
  • Repair and maintenance utilizing EN 13015
  • Licensing and plant registration
  • Hazards and risks
  • Energy and electrical equipment
  • The use of lifts in emergencies
  • Safe access to lift pits

The publication was originally available in 2006 and was revised in 2009. It is available for Lift Engineering Society of Australia Inc. (LESA) members at the LESA website (www.lesa.org.au).

Tower Complex Breaks Ground in Brisbane

Work commenced in April on what is to be Brisbane’s tallest apartment building and the third-tallest building in Australia. Designed by Bates Smart and expected to cost AUD1 billion (US$770 million), the 300-m-tall, 92-story Skytower will be situated at 222 Margaret Street Brisbane alongside a 36-story building, also designed by Bates Smart.

Together, the towers are called “111+222” and will cover 157,900 m2 of prime real estate. Architecture and Design reports that upon completion, Skytower will house more than 1,100 apartments. Both buildings benefit from renewable technologies: the north-facing rooftop of 111 Mary Street is angled to incorporate a photovoltaic array, while the taller building’s design incorporates wind turbines. A gas-fired trigeneration plant is to provide on-site power generation. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2019.

Pair of Mixed-Use Towers for Melbourne Neighborhood

The Whitehorse Towers project at 850 Whitehorse Road in the Box Hill part of Melbourne is being planned by Asian Pacific Group, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. An existing low-rise commercial building would make way for a 115-m-tall, 36-story and 84-m-tall, 26-story tower. The towers would house apartments, a hotel, stores, offices and a rooftop gym and pool. No timeframe was given, but a permit has been granted, and the Deague family, which runs Asian Pacific Group, has experience redeveloping older commercial properties.

Melbourne Tower to Feature a Light Show

The 40-story Lend Lease apartment tower in Melbourne’s Victoria Harbor will feature an exterior light show that takes its cues from the weather, the Herald Sun reported. The brainchild of Bruce Ramus, a lighting designer who has created onstage light shows for David Bowie and U2, among others, the system will be linked to Bureau of Meteorology data and project 50-m-tall beams of LED light onto the building’s exterior every 30 min. The building, at 888 Collins Street, is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Metro Vancouver Malls Have Big High-Rise Plans

Many malls in the Vancouver area with easy transit access are considering building nearby residential and office towers over the next several decades in response to demand, the Vancouver Sun reports. At least three malls have preliminary plans to build 13 towers each, ranging from 17 to 45 stories. They would start with construction of residential, followed by office. Besides proximity to transit, the plans tie in with expected population and job growth.


Promising construction report, progress made on longstanding project

236 High Rises Look to Dominate Skyline

There are 236 high rises of at least 20 stories proposed, approved or being built in downtown London, according to the Daily Mail, which cited a new study by think tank New London Architecture. The tall-building boom, which threatens to overshadow London landmarks previously considered tall, such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, which stands 365 ft., is being driven by demand for housing coupled with extremely pricey land. Of the structures, 33 are 40-49 floors, and 22 have 50 stories or more. Approximately four-fifths are residential.

22 Bishopsgate, Formerly Pinnacle, Gets Elevator Team

Developers of 22 Bishopsgate, the London skyscraper formerly known as Pinnacle, have hired Vertical Transportation Studio as vertical-transportation consultant. On hold since construction stalled in 2011, the 60-story building will now cover more than 93,000 m2 and have 60 stories in a three-tiered structure by London’s PLP Architecture. The project is now being led by French investor Axa Real Estate and is scheduled for completion in 2018. Vertical Transportation Studio pointed out the “vertical-transportation strategy will be key to determining the final height and core arrangement of the building.” Company founder John Stopes continued:

“I see this as the culmination of all the experience gained over the last almost 40 years, through working with many of Canary Wharf ’s towers and, more recently, large-scale projects in the city of London such as 100 Bishopsgate, Principal Place and London Wall Place. We are very much looking forward to continuing our strong relationship with [project partner] Lipton Rogers and PLP and to working with AXA and the rest of the team over the coming years to deliver a world-class building using a world-class vertical- transportation system.”

Gen2 Infinity Launched in India

Otis has launched its Gen2 Infinity elevator model in India. Aimed at the mid-rise residential sector of the Indian market, this passenger elevator operates at a speed of 1.75 mps, has a compact machine room and targets residential buildings up to 30 floors. Built on the company’s flagship Gen2 technology platform, it is intended to expand the market range of the Gen2, taking it beyond its current applications in the commercial sector. It will be exclusively manufactured at Otis’ Bengaluru facility. Otis’ Bengaluru factory, which has seen an investment in excess of INR10 million (US$160,477) over the last four years, also includes a recently constructed elevator test tower. The tower stands at a height of 51.2 m and is equipped to test up to six elevators at a time. It also has mechanical and electrical test labs equipped with high-end equipment and staffed by a technical team to ensure the products meet Otis’ safety, quality and reliability standards. This addition to the facility will give the company the capacity to produce a wider range of smart, energy-efficient products localized for the Indian residential and commercial segments.  

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