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NIST Study Focuses on Disabled in Emergencies

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The Riverfront would include 46- and 42-story apartment towers, the tallest buildings in Fort Lauderdale; image courtesy of FSMY Architects & Planners/City of Fort Lauderdale.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published a study with findings based on the concerns, insights and opinions of people with mobility impairments. The institute believes that the comments, voiced during interviews, can provide guidance for helping these people get safely out of multistory buildings during emergencies, including via special evacuation elevators. It states participants in the study agreed that evacuation strategies and methods should address the challenges faced by people with mobility impairments by providing them with a feeling of safety, independence and control, the opportunity to remain with their wheelchair or other mobility aid, a means to evacuate quickly, and a way to communicate with security and/or rescue personnel.

Interview responses detailed a wide variety of experiences, both positive and negative, and identified a number of potential issues surrounding the evacuation of building occupants with mobility impairments. For example, some respondents stated they had received proper training, had clear instructions to follow and were confident they would be assisted to safety. In contrast, others said they had received little or no training, were provided with conflicting or insufficient information to make decisions, and felt the need to make their own plans for getting out of the building.
The report was prepared primarily to serve as guidance for building designers, facility managers, safety officers, emergency personnel and others tasked with developing and implementing procedures for people with mobility impairments to use elevators when evacuating multistory structures. Titled “Perspectives of Occupants with Mobility Impairments on Fire Evacuation and Elevators,” it can be downloaded at bit.ly/NISTelevator.

400-Ft.-Tall Tower Planned in Honolulu

A pair of Los Angeles developers and a Japanese investor hope to build the 400-ft.-tall Manaolana Place hotel/residential building in Honolulu across from the Hawaii Convention Center, Pacific Business News reported. The structure is set to include more than 100 condominium units and 125 hotel rooms, along with four levels of parking for 276 vehicles. Partners on the project are Jim Ratkovich and Bill Witte of Los Angeles and Kaijima Kagaku USA Inc. of Japan. The partners said they will combine properties they own totaling approximately 51,000 sq. ft. at Kapiolani Boulevard and Atkinson Drive.

Towers Would Be Tallest in Fort Lauderdale

Property Markets Group hopes to start construction in the second quarter of 2017 on redevelopment of the ailing Las Olas Riverfront retail and entertainment complex in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida, into The Riverfront, which would include 46- and 42-story apartment towers, the Sun Sentinel reported. Rising higher than the 455-ft.-tall Icon Las Olas and the proposed 493-ft.-tall 100 Las Olas, the structures would be the tallest in Fort Lauderdale at 499 and 469 ft. Containing approximately 1,200 apartments, as well as retail, The Riverfront would be developed in phases over up to eight years. City leaders expressed confidence in the plan being able to inject new life into Las Olas Riverfront, which was built in 1998 but has struggled with high vacancy in recent years.

Elevator Association of Minnesota Annual Meeting

The Elevator Association of Minnesota held its Annual Business Meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 9. Among general business, the organization elected new board members for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, presented its annual scholarship, and heard the status of the local code and labor landscape from local inspector Bill Reinke and an educational seminar on oil filtration from Michael Johnson of Gorman Co., Inc.

  • Newly elected board members are:
  • Todd Tisher of All City Elevator, president
  • Brad Ries of EMS, vice president
  • Kevin Ferrie of All City Elevator, treasurer
  • Jim O’Laughlin of CEDES, secretary
  • Kathy Markwell of Elevator Advisory Group
  • Kevin Bardwell of KONE

The association of Minnesota meets periodically throughout the year and exists to encourage, increase and advance cooperation and mutual interest among contractors, consultants, manufacturers, inspectors, public employees and field personnel engaged in the elevator industry.

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