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It’s a Tall World

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Nothing says tall like New York City (NYC). . . and Shanghai. . . and Dubai. . . and Taipei. . . and Mexico City. . . and Frankfurt. . . and Chicago. Actually, “Chicago” said it all; it is there that the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat held its Best Tall Building Symposium in late 2016, sponsored, in part, by Otis, KONE and Schindler. Dr. Lee Gray reported on this for us for the fifth or sixth time, and perceives it as a “unique event bringing together all the people who contribute to tall buildings in a celebration.” While Shanghai Tower was awarded the 2016 Best Tall Building Award, NYC got its due with Via 57 West winning for the Americas and the Hearst Tower winning the 10-Year Award. We are reminded that these buildings are not chosen just for their “tallness,” but for their proportion to their environment and how they work within their “tallness.”

With so many beautiful tall buildings to choose from in our features, we had a difficult time choosing a cover this month: The Pole House in Australia, the 3 WTC Update and the Best Tall Buildings chosen by CTBUH. It finally came down to Via 57 West, since we will have another chance at 3 WTC when it’s complete.

The Pole House is, in fact, a house, and is an Australian icon that can be rented by travelers. It sits high above the Tasman Sea, beside the original house, and sports a DomusLift® by IGV. Another feature this month, Promises Delivered by Kaija Wilkinson, takes us all the way back to Vancouver, Canada, where local firm Hayes Elevator, Stannah from the U.K. and Anlev, a manufacturer in Hong Kong, came together to make a local Walmart very happy. Our final feature saw our Hanno van der Bijl in NYC to give us a 3 WTC Update. This building is quite spectacular, and is being worked on by the same Schindler crew that installed the elevators at 4 WTC. We will run the full story when the building is completed in 2018.

Our Focus this month is on Hoistway Equipment and Systems. We lead off with From Berlin to Barbados, an article regarding a German company, Stingl Systems GmbH, that makes customized products for hoistways — scaffolding, inserts, work platforms, etc. They deliver these all over the world. Anchoring Guide Rails Under Seismic Conditions by Michael Merz was a recent Elevcon paper. In it, he outlines the U.S. and European performance models for anchorage in seismic areas and notes that virtually all countries in the world use one or the other model. Finally, we conclude the topic with a rare treatise from George Gibson on traction. In Fred Hymans and the Theory of Rope Traction, Part 1, he traces Hymans’ influence on the elevator industry to his mathematical theory of rope traction. This first part describes Hymans’ technical contributions. In 1920, while an Otis employee, he developed the undercut rope groove that revolutionized the industry.

Two other items are of particular note in this issue. We have written in the past about the Elevating Devices Mechanics program at Durham College in Canada. This month, Wilkinson takes us to some very special classes there, training women to be elevator mechanics. Called Opening Doors, this article explores a great educational effort that, for obvious reasons, I love. The other item I don’t love at all, but it comes from Canada, as well. Two people who contributed to the building of the industry in our neighbor up north, Giselle Battle and Pierre Labadie, have gone on to the great “penthouse in the sky” (In Memoriam, p. 36). They are both a great loss for our industry.  

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