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Nouvelle Samaritaine (photo by Cyrille Thomas for Sejima Nishizawa and Associates)

Global, regional changes put in place.

Changes at the Top at Schindler

Alfred N. Schindler, great-grandson of the cofounder of Schindler, Robert Schindler, announced that he plans to step down as chairman in 2017, prompting upper-management promotions. Current Chief Executive Silvio Napoli becomes a board member and chairman designate. Napoli will be replaced in April 2016 by Thomas Oetterli, head of Schindler’s operations in China since 2013. Alfred Schindler will remain a board member, a position he has held for 40 years. Schindler said it is confident in its succession plan, since the executives each have more than 20 years of experience.

Wretman to Lead Alimak’s Communications & IR

Alimak Group has chosen Sofia Wretman to lead its Communications & Investor Relations (IR) divisions, effective February 1. She has more than 10 years of experience, including serving as senior consultant at one of the largest communications agencies in Sweden, Hallvarsson & Halvarsson. She also worked as a team leader at Sweden’s SAS Institute, a global leader in analytics and business intelligence. She replaces John Womack, who held the position on an interim basis since March 2015. Alimak CEO Tormod Gunleiksrud described hiring Wretman as “a natural step in enhancing communication with all our stakeholders, especially following our initial public offering on Nasdaq Stockholm last year.”

Loy Is KONE’s New Malaysia Managing Director

KONE has appointed Edward Loy managing director of Malaysia. He takes the place of Lim Chong Hoe, who, prior to his retirement, supported Loy during the transition. Loy has a wealth of management experience internationally, coming from Saint-Gobain Construction Products, where he held various senior management positions over 10 years. He most recently was regional managing director for Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Loy holds a degree in Commerce (Economics and Accounting) from The Australia National University. KONE Executive Vice President of Asia Pacific and Middle East Neeraj Sharma said Loy’s experience in construction and finance promises to bring a new dimension to KONE’s growth strategy in the area.

Contracts Worldwide

Infrastructure, modernization projects among those being handled by OEMs.

thyssenkrupp Wins Major Order for Munich Metro

thyssenkrupp has been awarded a contract to supply and install 102 escalators throughout the Münchner Verkehrsgesellscharft public-transit system in Munich, Germany, signifying a record order in that country and a record month for thyssenkrupp in Germany. Installation is to take place over four years, part of a plan by public utility Stadtwerke Munchen GmbH (SWM) to replace 125 escalators through 2019. SWM spent more than one year choosing a company to perform the work, which also includes dismantling and disposing of the old units and supporting the TÜV inspection process. Approximately 400 million people use the Munich metro each year.

Otis Playing Key Role in Revitalization of French Site

Otis France has been selected to play a key role in the revitalization of the historic buildings on Paris’ Rue de Rivoli and Quai du Louvre that will make up the mixed-use development Nouvelle Samaritaine by providing 65 units: 25 escalators and 40 energy-efficient elevators powered by Gen2TM machines. Designed to reduce energy consumption by optimizing dimensions, materials and component weight, the Gen2s are manufactured at Otis’ Gien, France, plant. Combined with LED lighting and the ReGenTM regenerative-drive system, Gen2 provides a reduction in energy use of up to 75%, according to Otis.

The 70,000-m2 project is on 10 levels and includes the La Samaritaine department store, a hotel, offices, housing and a daycare center. Geoffroy Durandet, vice president and general manager of Otis France, stated:

“We are proud to contribute to the renovation of this storied site, which is replete with history for all Parisians. It took careful consideration and attention to detail to build leading-edge technologies into these historic buildings, while preserving the ‘soul’ of the buildings.”

KONE to Supply 26 Units to TIQ in East London

KONE has been selected to supply 26 elevators to buildings S5 and S6 in The International Quarter (TIQ), part of the redevelopment of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London into the TIQ business district. The developer is Lendlease and the architect is Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. The project is scheduled for completion by late 2017, with installation of passenger and goods elevators, including MonoSpace® and MiniSpaceTM units, to start in June 2016. Some of the elevators will have the PolarisTM destination-control system.

Alimak Delivering Orders in Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey

During the first and second quarters of 2016, Alimak Group is delivering construction hoists and work platforms to clients with projects in Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Turkey totaling approximately US$1.18 million. The new orders are an indication of Alimak’s increased focus on emerging markets. With 22 sales offices and more than 60 distributors worldwide, Alimak opened new locations in Algeria, Kenya and Lebanon in 2015 and reports it is seeing increased demand in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and parts of South America.

KONE Building Unique Nuclear Disposal Facility Elevator

KONE has been hired by Posiva to build a unique passenger-elevator system for use in Posiva’s nuclear fuel disposal facility in Olkiluoto, Finland. The order also includes an elevator to be used during construction. Utilizing KONE’s UltraRopeTM technology, the permanent, double-deck elevator will travel to a depth of more than 400 m. Engineering and manufacturing of the elevator are the main parts of this project, and the system at KONE’s elevator testing mine in Lohja, Finland, served as a model. The construction elevator is scheduled for delivery in 2019 and the passenger elevator in 2020. The passenger elevator is expected to start operation in 2021. 

KONE Selected for Singapore Modernization Project

KONE has been selected to modernize the vertical-transportation system of the 28-story GSH Plaza in Singapore’s Central Business District, a mixed-use building that features more than 250 offices. Eleven elevators are being outfitted with efficient EcoDisc® hoisting machines, regenerative drives, new doors and signal systems. Post modernization, the units will travel at speeds of up to 6 mps. In addition, two S MonoSpace® elevators and two TravelMasterTM 110 escalators are being installed. The improvements promise to help position the property as class-A office space.

European Skyscrapers

Towers in the works in France, Poland and the U.K.

Exterior Elevators to Distinguish Paris’ Trinity Tower

Exterior elevators are among features that will distinguish the 140-m-tall, 32-story Trinity Tower in the La Défense business district of Paris, The Construction Index reported. Scheduled for completion in the latter part of 2018, the building was designed by Paris firm Crochon Brullmann + Associés and is being built for client Unibail-Rodamco by Vinci Construction France. Comprised of a pair of offset blades, it will have gardens and balconies on every level and will aim to achieve the highest environmental certifications. The main challenge of construction will be building in such a densely populated area overlooking multiple lanes of expressway traffic.

Warsaw Spire Approaching Finish Line

Construction of the 220-m-tall, 100,000-m2 Warsaw Spire office tower in the city’s Wola district was hastening its pace in late 2015, with an expected completion date in May 2016, The Warsaw Voice reported. It will be the largest office complex in terms of area in Poland and the country’s tallest building. It was designed by Belgian firm Jaspers Eyers Architects and is situated on nearly 1.5 ha of public space. Schindler provided the vertical-transportation system (ELEVATOR WORLD, May 2014).

Proposed “Chiswick Curve” Would Be West London’s Tallest

Studio Egret West has proposed a 32-story glassy building that would include 320 apartments and stand marginally taller than Goldfinger’s Trellick Tower, making it the tallest building in West London, Building Design reported. Several plans have failed at the site, which overlooks the Chiswick Roundabout and is easily accessible from Heathrow Airport. Developer Starbones Ltd. hopes its stepped tower, which has been dubbed Chiswick Curve, will become part of an area resurgence. Public areas such as landscaping and an atrium are planned, but the proposal has drawn criticism from some who dislike the design.

China Activity

Metros, skyscrapers and an airport terminal generate work.

KONE to Outfit Metro Stations, Towers in China

KONE continues to win significant work in China, including contracts to provide 129 units to the expansion of the metro in Zhengzhou, 111 elevators to Nanjing Kingfine Center in Nanjing and 38 elevators to the Diwang International Fortune Center Building Complex in Liuzhou. Involving 10 stations, the metro contract consists of 109 TransitMasterTM escalators and 20 Monospace® elevators that will help move millions of commuters throughout the eastern-central China city’s transit system each day.

Kingfine Center consists of a 168-m-tall office building, four residential towers and a retail podium, for which KONE is supplying 28 Minispace® and 23 Monospace elevators, along with 60 TravelMasterTM escalators. That project is scheduled for completion in early 2017. For the Liuzhou development, scheduled for completion at the end of 2016 and consisting of a trio of residential towers, KONE is supplying two MonoSpace and 36 MiniSpace elevators.

Otis China Outfitting Hotel in Guangdong

Otis Elevator China Co., Ltd. is outfitting the under-construction Dongguan Huijing Hilton Hotel in Guangdong, China, with 26 elevators and escalators. Products include high-speed SkyriseTM and energy-efficient Gen2® elevators. Located in Houjie in the Pearl River Delta, the hotel is expected to cater to a growing number of business travelers. Upon completion in 2017, the 270,000-m2 structure will be the largest hotel in Asia in terms of number of guest rooms, and include apartments, offices and stores.

Avire Displays in Major Chinese Airport

Avire has supplied 177 C2 color LCD multimedia displays to Terminal 2 at Tianjin Binhai International Airport in China. The displays, from E-Motive, were designed in accordance with specifications from airport elevator contractor KONE. Forty one 12.1-in. displays are in-car, with the remaining 136 combined with hall lanterns and gongs in landing areas. The airport is among the fastest growing in China and a major cargo center. It handled approximately 12 million passengers in 2014.

Shanghai Tower, World’s Second Tallest, Now Complete

The 632-m-tall Shanghai Tower (ELEVATOR WORLD, July 2013) in the Lujiazui financial district of Shanghai is now complete, surpassing the Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Mecca as the world’s second-tallest building, various news agencies, including dezeen, reported. Designed by Gensler with a twisting form aimed to withstand strong winds, the tower contains shops, offices, hotel rooms and cultural facilities in its 121 stories. The tower stands 31 m higher than the Makkah Clock Tower and is second in height only to the 828-m-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Its completion pushed Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Willis Tower in Chicago out of the top-10 list for the first time.

Australia and New Zealand

A new branch office and a major commercial development

LML Opens South Australia Office, Taps Industry Veteran

LML Lift Consultants Pty. Ltd. has opened a branch office in Adelaide, South Australia, and tapped industry veteran Christopher Chatburn to lead it. Chatburn has more than 35 years of experience, working for both Otis and Schindler and filling roles such as senior field adjuster, construction supervisor, sales manager and branch manager. Most recently, he was New Equipment and Modernization manager for Schindler in South Australia. LML believes Chatburn brings a wealth of knowledge about the local market to the company.

New “Commercial Bay” for Auckland

A 39-story office tower is the centerpiece of an Auckland, New Zealand, waterfront development, which will be named Commercial Bay for the original trading hub located there, Radio New Zealand reported. Developer Precinct Properties reports the office portion, PWC Tower, is more than 50% preleased, and the development is set to include approximately 100 shops. PWC Tower is scheduled for completion in mid 2019, and the stores are expected to open by October 2018. The tower will be the tallest in the central business district, and the project is the most expensive retail development the city has ever seen.

Egyptian Government Takes Reins on “New Cairo”

After a plan to partner with a real-estate mogul from the U.A.E. fell apart, the Egyptian government has taken the reins on building the first phase of a new capital city to ease crowding in Cairo, Reuters reported. The development is set to contain multiple skyscrapers and, ultimately, an airport as big as London’s Heathrow and a building as tall as the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The government is courting a mix of public and private investors, who would invest first and reap profits from the sale of the properties later. In late 2015, government officials reported infrastructure was already taking shape on approximately 10,000 of what is hoped to be 190,000 acres.

Chinese Manufacturers Vow Safer Products

Ten major elevator manufacturers in China vowed to produce safer products as part of a campaign the country’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine launched in December 2015, China Radio International reported. The campaign was prompted by a rash of elevator accidents in 2015 that included 46 fatalities. According to the administration, problems stem from overcrowding, using units past their prime, failure to maintain equipment and cutthroat competition in what is still the world’s largest market.

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