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OEM expands Northeast footprint, and unique system takes shape

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Mitsubishi Electric’s new Boston-area location; photo courtesy of Cummings Properties

Mitsubishi Electric Opens Boston-Area Location

Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc., headquartered in Cypress, California, has expanded its presence in the Northeast with a location at 6 Gill Street in Woburn, Massachusetts, various news outlets, including BOLLYINSIDE, reported. Cummings Properties brokered the deal for the 4,500-ft2 space, which houses offices and storage. Mitsubishi Electric recently moved into the area to support its two spiral escalators at Wynn Encore Boston Harbor casino (ELEVATOR WORLD, April 2018) and has since secured several other large local projects, according to Mike Eden, eastern region director of the company’s elevator/escalator division. The location’s proximity to downtown Boston, Eden said, “is ideal for our employees, and we also have many vendors and suppliers in the area.”


Inclined Rails Installed in Provincetown
A rendering posted by the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum shows the inclined elevator approaching the Bradford Landing site at the foot of High Point Hill.

Inclined Rails Installed in Provincetown

Work is progressing for an inclined elevator under construction in Provincetown, WickedLocal.com reported in January. The galvanized steel tracks, which were fabricated by a company in Switzerland, arrived in the city on January 4 and were since installed, along with an emergency staircase. The US$5-million project, overseen by general contractor Robert B. Our Co., will feature an enclosed cab. Formally known as the Bradford Access Project, the elevator will take tourists on a 2-min ride from Bradford Street up an 80-ft height of the High Point Hill to the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. Work on the project began in May 2020 and is expected to be complete this May.


Jersey City Officials Approve 26-Story Mixed-Use Tower
The planned mixed-use project in Jersey City, New Jersey; rendering by Marchetto Higgins Stieve.

Jersey City Officials Approve 26-Story Mixed-Use Tower

The Jersey City, New Jersey, Planning Board has approved a proposed 26-story mixed-use tower in Journal Square, New York YIMBY reported in January. The building, set for a site at 425 Summit Avenue, is being developed by Spitzer Enterprises, a real estate development firm founded and partially owned by former New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer. The design is by architects Marchetto Higgins Stieve. The project will include 386 residential apartments, including one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Premium spaces will have private balconies and large outdoor terraces. Residential amenities will include 200 bicycle spaces, multiple rooftop and podium-top outdoor spaces and a fitness center. Original applications also call for 3,550 ft2 of retail space and 34,000 ft2 set aside for offices. A construction timeline has not been announced.


Residential Tower With Otis VT Nearly Complete in Philadelphia
Arthaus, far right, joins the Center City towers; photo by Thomas Koloski for Philadelphia YIMBY.

Residential Tower With Otis VT Nearly Complete in Philadelphia

Arthaus, a 45-story, 542-ft-tall residential tower at 311 South Broad Street in Philadelphia’s Center City (ELEVATOR WORLD, October 2019), is headed toward completion in spring 2022, with the structure close to topping out early this year, Philadelphia YIMBY reported. Architect Kohn Pedersen Fox tells EW the 108-unit tower will be served by an Otis vertical-transportation (VT) system that consists of three passenger and two car elevators. The sixth-tallest tower under construction in Philadelphia, Arthaus is being developed by Dranoff Properties, which originally planned a hotel until SLS International Hotels withdrew its plans. In December 2020, construction on Arthaus had reached the 39th floor, with the glass-and-white metal façade rising to the 19th floor.


Otis Airflow Study: With Mitigation, COVID-19 Risk Is Low

Otis released results (bit.ly/3012JgS) of a three-month academic study on how elevator airflow affects potential exposure to COVID-19 (ELEVATOR WORLD, November 2020), in January. Led by Dr. Qingyan Chen, the James G. Dwyer professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, the study presented a science-based approach to mitigating exposure in elevators. Findings show the significant amount of air exchange in most elevators, combined with simple mitigation strategies (including all riders wearing surgical-style masks and installation of an air-purification system) puts an elevator ride on the lower end of the exposure spectrum. The study concluded that, when simple mitigation measures are in place, a short elevator ride of 1-2 min represents a very low risk of exposure compared with several everyday activities: less than outdoor dining and comparable to a trip to the supermarket.

Intensity of exposure is impacted by the level of air exchange or ventilation. By design, elevators have significant air exchange and are required by code to have openings for ventilation. Many elevators also have fans to increase ventilation. Chen said:

“Air exchange is important. Our findings concluded that the higher ventilation in an elevator, relative to the compared activities, results in lower exposure opportunity. If all passengers properly wear masks, the relative exposure risk drops 50%. Air purification systems that use NPBI® [Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization from Schaumburg, Illinois-based BSE] can reduce this risk by an additional 20-30%. We compared the relative exposure risk of elevators to other common activities in a typical workday, including an hour-long bus ride and 8 h in an office environment. Riding an elevator was a lower-exposure risk activity, given its short duration.”

Otis Airflow Study: With Mitigation, COVID-19 Risk Is Low
Qualitative comparisons place riding in an elevator with mitigation in a lower-exposure category; chart courtesy of Otis.
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