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LESA General Meeting

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(l-r) Umberto Miranda Vivanco, engineer, and Carlos A. Sapienza, Automac S.A. president

Australia

The Lift Engineering Society of Australia (LESA) will hold its General Meeting on August 17. The event will take place at North Sydney Rugby League Club, Abbot Street in Cammeray. Glenn Barnes of Jardine Schindler will speak on changes to EN 81.

Chile

De Bernardi Award for Entrepreneur

During the First Elevator Conference in Santiago on May 13, the Manuel de Bernardi Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit was presented to Umberto Miranda Vivanco of Chile. Vivanco is a professor and engineer at Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria. Engineer Carlos A. Sapienza, owner of Automac S.A., presented the newly chartered award within the conference setting. Sapienza was a good friend of recently deceased Revista del Ascensor editor Manuel B. Kamiñetzky (better known as Manuel de Bernardi, for whom the award is named [ELEVATOR WORLD, March 2011]). Revista del Ascensor publisher Editorial Buen Vivir is proud of this award and has expressed grat-itude to Chile for the honor.

Sapienza remembered the valuable advice and orientation he received years ago from de Bernardi and high-lighted the latter’s longtime editorial work, which helped spread knowledge of the vertical-transportation industry throughout Argentina, Latin America and other parts of the world. Enrique Aguilera Gutiérrez, director of the conference and author of the recognition, said of de Bernardi:

“[He] was a man [who] gradually was discovering and taking part of the development of the Argentine elevator industry. And he did it from Revista del Ascensor, [turning it] into an appreciated and consulted press box. We consider that both Manuel de Bernardi and young Vivanco share the same entrepreneurial spirit and professional concern.”

China

Thyssenkrupp Elevator Twin Installation

ThyssenKrupp Elevator made an announcement in May on its TWIN system in the country. As part of a modernization project, the Bayshore Hotel in the coastal city of Dalian is to be fitted with two TWIN installations with a total of four cabs, one new conventional elevator and a destination-selection control system. The replacement of three of the eight existing elevators became necessary when they reached their capacity due to a steadily growing volume of passengers causing long waiting times and full cabs – especially in the mornings and evenings.

In the TWIN system, two cabs travel independently of each other in a single shaft. They are expected to allow the transportation of significantly more passengers per hour without alterations to the building and without requiring more space. When the 403-room luxury hotel’s modernization is completed, a total of 10 elevator cabs will be available to transport guests swiftly from floor to floor.

The intelligent destination-selection control system will be used to achieve energy savings, further time savings and optimize the flow of traffic. Instead of selecting the direction of travel, passengers in the Bayshore Hotel will enter the floor they want to go to on a touch screen or 10-key keypad before boarding the elevator. A central computer collects and processes all information entered and selects the most suitable elevator in seconds. The control system will also aid in security: to select a floor via one of the terminals, passengers require a room keycard.

Otis Sets Shipment Record

According to Otis, the number of Gen2® elevator systems produced and shipped by the Tianjin TEDA Center increased to more than 1,600 units in March. One of the highest monthly records in China, the figure reflects the country’s demand for energy-efficient elevators. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® Gold-certified TEDA Center is one of the world’s first “green” elevator factories and uses at least 25% less energy compared to conventional design and manufacturing methods. Responsible for meeting local and international demand for the Gen2 system, the factory can produce up to 50,000 systems per year.

In addition, Otis’ Gen2 elevators were recently selected by Binjiang Real Estate for use in Xianghu Yihao, a villa and luxury community in Hangzhou, and are equipped in Anliang Dongyi Financial Plaza, one of the tallest office buildings in Hefei. More than 200,000 Gen2 elevators have been sold since the product’s launch in 2000.

Tianjin Station Upgrades

Tianjin West Railway Station is currently undergoing renovation and expansion. In May, Schindler sup-plied the station with 66 escalators, including 32 ground-level and 34 underground escalators; 11 elevators; and four sightseeing elevators. Escalators were installed at 23° instead of the typical 27°, decreasing the slope, with the intention of improving passenger comfort. Tianjin West Railway Station will replace the Tianjin Railway Station and serve the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, which was scheduled to launch on June 20. Renovations at the station are expected to be complete in 2012.

Kone R&D Facility

KONE has laid the foundation for its new R&D center in Kunshan City in Jiangsu Province. To be called Industry Park, the facility is located in a high-technology zone and expected to be KONE’s largest R&D base. In addition to significantly increasing elevator output, the facility will include a testing tower. Since 2005, Kunshan has been the elevator and escalator manufacturing center of KONE.

Wei Nuoguo, vice president of KONE (China), commented:

“China is the developing base of KONE; the developing plan in China is closely attached to the global developing strategy. The construction of Kunshan Industry Park will lead a great technology leap to support KONE (China), even being the base of [the] KONE group.”

India

Otis To Supply Kohinoor Square

Otis has been awarded a contract to supply vertical-transportation equipment for Kohinoor Square in Mumbai. The complex will include one of the country’s tallest office buildings and is pursuing Leadership in Energy and  Environmental Design® (LEED) Platinum certification from the Indian Green Building Council. Otis is to provide 16 escalators and 47 elevators, including six Gen2® elevators. In addition, Otis will supply Kohinoor Square with its Compass™ destination-management and EMS Panorama™ systems.

The Compass system offers tenants and visitors personalized elevator service, while improving the flow of building traffic. Passengers can enter their destination floors using keypads or interactive touch screens and are directed to the most efficient elevator routes. The EMS Panorama web-based application enables building staff to monitor, control, and report on and manage elevator operations from any computer with an Internet connection.

Otis also supplied energy-efficient elevators to Kohinoor Hospital, which is one of the world’s only hospitals to be awarded LEED Platinum certification.

North America

Elevator Exchange Has 7,500 Parts

Elevator Exchange (www.ElevatorExchange.com) has seen growth since its inception in late 2010. In June, co-founder Rob Isabelle announced the website now has over 7,500 parts listed. The site is designed to serve the elevator and escalator parts market by making the posting, browsing and selling of such products available at no cost. Isabelle likens it to a posting website such as Craigslist that links sellers and buyers, but with an exclusive focus on the elevator and escalator market in the U.S. and Canada. It also carries the advantage of free bulk uploading, where any number of parts can be posted by using a formatted Microsoft® Excel spreadsheet.

Oman

Work Law May Be Ignored Again

The Times of Oman reported in May that construction workers may be especially prone to health risks in the country this summer due to expectation that a work law will be widely violated. The country’s Ministry of Manpower issued a directive in 2010 that construction companies cease work at all sites between 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. between June and September. This midday break aims to provide relief to workers from high summer temperatures.

In particular, workers on high-rise buildings are more prone to accidents during the summer, since more are present than on smaller jobsites, said Raj Parekh, a construction consultant. He continued, “The high-rise building I am supervising has more than 70 workers, com-pared to only six workers at an average villa. We normally have five to seven workers fainting every month during the summer.”

Construction supervisors and human-rights activists cite a lack of inspections and vague penalties that make it difficult for workers. One supervisor reported that only a one-hour break (1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.) was in practice at most sites. Though the Ministry of Labour has decreed that “necessary legal and punitive action will be taken against those who fail to abide by the provisions of the summer lunch break,” punishments are not specified, and surprise inspections are not carried out.

Philippines

CEBU City Construction Update

Two local property developers have plans to construct towers in Cebu City in an effort to serve what Taft Property Venture Development Corp. sees as a 170,000 affordable and mid-income condominium-unit shortfall in the city. This developer is to build a twin-tower condominium, the buildings of which are to rise 55 and 46 stories, respectively.

Taft Property has already launched its first high-rise project in Cebu City with Horizons 101 at General Maxilom Avenue. This complex also consists of two towers. According to Jack Gaisano, president and founder of Taft Property, the city’s “progressive economy is ready to embrace the condominium-living lifestyle.” Gaisano also stated that the company has earmarked PHP1.7 billion (US$39.19 million) for the development of Tower 1, and the project as a whole is expected to cost nearly twice that amount. The delivery of Tower 1’s units is to come in the first quarter of 2015.

Fuente Triangle Delevopment Corp. is also planning to build a high rise this year in Cebu City. City Loft Mango, an 18-story condo/hotel structure, will be located beside Sacred Heart Boys High School and include 300 units. This company recently completed the development of the 32-story, 400-unit condo/hotel Ramos Residences in the city.

Spain

MP Receives Innovative Company Award

Lift and component manufacturer MP Macpuarsa received the Innovative Company Award at the 5th Spanish Industrial Engineering Awards granted by the General Council of Official Associations of Industrial Engineers in Spain. The award was presented by the country’s own Prince Felipe on May 30. The recognition highlights the company’s R&D commitment and recent Ecological Lift project, which provides energy savings of up to 70% com-pared to traditional lift systems.

Switzerland

Schindler Award 2012

The Schindler Award 2012 will be held in Bern on a site containing preserved medieval architecture and located just minutes from the Central Train Station and the Aare River. Launched in 2004, the Schindler Award is a biannual competition that aims to influence the way young architects approach their work in order to improve access and overall mobility, irrespective of individuals’ physical capabilities. The award competition is an opportunity for graduating architects to have their designs judged by a professional jury. It is open to students in their last year of undergraduate studies or those enrolled in a master’s course at a European university or school of architecture. Registration will open in September, and students will be able to apply online (www.schindleraward.com).

The 2010 event focused on the initiative of “Access for All” and was held in Berlin on January 14 (ELEVATOR WORLD, April 2011). Awards were given to schools and individual architecture students for their work and design on the project.

United Arab Emirates

Elite Residence Nears Completion

Tameer Holding Investment LLC announced the completion of the superstructure of its 91-story Elite Residence project in Dubai in May. The superstructure rises 355 m, nearly reaching the final height of 381 m. The AED1.7-billion (US$462.8-million) project is to be completed later this year, with construction having already reached the final floor. The tower’s structure includes 85,000 m3 of concrete and 21,000 tons of steel. Construction during its peak progressed at a speed of up to six floors per month on typical floors.

Elite Residence is set to claim landmark status in Dubai Marina when finished. Its design combines classic architecture with a modern layout. It includes 697 apartments to house 1,500 residents and four basements, and features panoramic views over The Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina.

United Kingdom

Amalgamated Lifts Receives Caa Contract

Amalgamated Lifts was awarded the contract for maintenance of four scenic passenger lifts and a commercial goods lift at the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) Aviation House in the Gatwick Airport South in Crawley. The contract was allocated by technical-services provider Inviron in May. The equipment serves a building occupied by 500 members of the Safety Regulation Group of CAA.

Vietnam

Vietnam Real-Estate Market Falters

Many real-estate investors have been forced to seek financial assistance after commercial banks have restricted loans for developments. Lacking capital, many projects have been sold or transferred by developers to avoid having their assets frozen. Those that do not find funding run the risk of discontinuing their developments. Vietnam’s real-estate project transfer market has been in operation since 2009 but has become more active since the second half of 2010. The Chuong Duong Co. is currently negotiating with foreign partners to transfer the Golden Land project in Thu Duc district in Ho Chi Minh City, which includes a shopping mall and high-rise apartment tower. Doan Nguyen Duc, chair of Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group, described this as a “difficult period” in the real-estate market but as a “golden opportunity” for those looking to buy projects. 

Worldwide

ISEC Changes, Updates

The date of The International Space Elevator Consortium’s (ISEC) European Space Elevator Challenge has been pushed back. Originally planned for June 10, the competition will be held on August 19-21. As several groups signed up to take part in the competition, including teams from England, Germany, Japan, Macedonia and Iran, the date change is to allow for as many teams as possible to compete. In addition to the competition, the weekend will include several presentations from various international groups. The Cambridge Carbon Nanotube Society will present a 30-m-long carbon nanotube rope, and Anulekh Chauhan, from PESIT University in India, will give a presentation about an alternative idea to a space elevator.

According to the Space Elevator Feasibility Condition, a study produced by Ben Shelef of the Spaceward Foundation, 30 MegaYuri appears to be the new baseline target for developing a tether material strong enough to build a space elevator. It still appears that only carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are theoretically strong enough to create a tether with this strength. While the properties and potential uses of CNTs grow, the Space Elevator community is focused on encouraging the R&D of their strength properties.

ISEC is currently supporting projects targeting this re-search:

  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Strong Tether Competition: As part of the NASA Centennial Challenge, NASA will award US$2 million to the competitor(s) who produce materials that meet criteria. This year’s competition will be held at the Space Elevator Conference on August 12-14 in Redmond, Washington. For more information, visit website: www.spaceward.org/elevator2010-ts.
  • The Artsutanov and Pearson Prizes: This year, both competitions are focused on developments in materials strength, with prizes awarded for the best papers that advance the understanding of how to create a tether with a specific strength of 30 MegaYuris. The Pearson Prize is open to any student attending an ac-credited two- or four-year undergraduate program. The Artsutanov Prize is open to anyone.
  • The next issue of the ISEC Journal will focus on strong tethers.
  •  ISEC was a cosponsor of the CNT workshop held in October 2010 at the University of Cincinnati and plans to cosponsor this year’s workshop to be held October 3 in the Tangeman University Center Great Hall.

For more information, visit website: www.isec.org.

Wooden Skyscrapers A Possibility

Architecture, engineering and forestry sectors are buzzing about planned high-rise towers constructed of wood. The towers, clad in wood with timber structural elements, are under consideration in Austria, Norway, Australia and Canada. With support from British Columbia’s government and forestry division, architect Michael Green of Vancouver-based McFarlane Green Biggar Architecture + Design is moving forward with proposals for 20- to 30-story timber-constructed towers that are earthquake- and fire-resistant and environmentally friendly.

From an environmental perspective, wooden skyscrapers, made using renewable material, would be “green,” which means the main concerns come down to safety. A soon-to-be-released study is expected to make a case for the feasibility and safety of wood-constructed towers, while promoting their economic benefits. It has been suggested that wood structures can withstand earthquakes better than those made of steel or concrete. However, there is great concern around the issue of fire. Steel is formed in temperatures around 3,000°C, which means if a building comprised of steel were to reach that temperature, the steel beams would likely bend. To completely burn a wooden beam or column, a higher temperature than that required to bend steel would be needed. In addition, skyscraper steel is coated with foam to prevent fires. If the same strategy were applied to wooden structures, they would be protected as well.

Once safety issues have been addressed, the next  hurdle lies with finding a municipality that will permit the construction of a wooden high rise. Tokyo architect Kazuhiro Ishii, who first began researching a 30-story timber tower for Tokyo’s Akasaka district nearly a decade ago, and Mori Building Co. Ltd. are moving forward with a 32-story residential tower constructed of wood. British Columbia is also leading the way, having recently changed its building code to allow six-story wood-frame construction.

Thyssenkrupp Elevator Price Increase

ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas has announced a price increase for new escalators, components, modernization kits and elevators. The increase of 4% has been effective since May 18 and is due to increased costs of labor, steel, energy and raw materials affecting the North American construction industry. The change affects North, Central and South American operations. The company stated that it continues to improve manufacturing processes and productivity in order to minimize price in-creases.

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