One-Kilometer-Tall Building Planned

(l-r) Rushad D. Divecha, CEO of Eros; Peter Walker, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Elevator Asia Pacific; and Karl D. Divecha, also CEO of Eros


The president of the Avesta Group of Cos. has announced plans to build what some are calling the world’s next tallest building on the Khazar Islands, a development of artificial islands southwest of Baku. Named the Azerbaijan Tower, the high rise is expected to reach 1 km (1,050 m) when completed, making it 200 m taller than the Burj Khalifa. The first phase of the project will include residential and social facilities and is scheduled to be completed in 2016. The second phase of the project will include the construction of the tower and is expected to begin in 2016, with completion scheduled in 2018-2019.


Coles Named Schindler President

Schindler recently appointed Jeff Coles as president of its Canadian operations. During his 13 years with Schindler, Coles has held a number of senior management positions, including director, Service Sales and National Accounts in the U.S.; district manager in Toronto; and branch manager of Ottawa. Most recently, he served as National Sales and Marketing Director for Canada. Coles has a bachelor’s degree from McMaster University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Ottawa.

PEELLE Modernization in Montreal

In its Winter 2012 newsletter, Peelle announced it was in the process of supplying Ascenseurs Pionier Inc. with new bi-parting landing-door equipment to replace its horizontally sliding doors in six existing Otis freight elevators at Le Château Apartments in the Golden Square Mile neighborhood of downtown Montreal. Specified by Jean-Marc Caron & Associés Inc., the project includes Peelle’s supply of 77 bi-parting landing doors with entrance frames, six car doors/gates and six car enclosures.


Beijing Maglev Selects Kone

KONE has received a contract to supply elevators and escalators to what some are calling Beijing’s first magnetic-levitation (maglev) train line, expected to open in 2013. The order consists of 71 TransitMaster™ escalators and 40 MonoSpace® elevators for eight stations along the S1 line. According to a statement from KONE, the 20-km line will be located in the less-developed parts of Beijing.


Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP (SOM) has designed a 30-story sky atrium to go atop the 75-story mixed-use Greenland Group Suzhou Center in Wujiang. Also referred to as a “lung,” the atrium is a new approach to ventilation and energy conservation in high-rise buildings. According to SOM Design Director Ross Wimer, the technique of using open-air shafts and natural light should help the building save 60% on energy usage compared to that of conventional high rises.

The tower is designed to split into two on its higher levels then reunite near the top. The “slice” throughout the building will “help it breathe.” In addition, the space will be computer controlled to open in warm weather to allow for more daylight. As of January, Wimer said ground had been broken on the site, and the atrium’s design should be finished in less than a year, at which time construction can start.

Thyssenkrupp Elevator Supplies Beijing Tower

ThyssenKrupp Elevator (China) has secured a contract to supply and install two TWIN panoramic systems for the Sightseeing Tower in Beijing Olympic Park. The tower includes five independent towers attached by aerial terraces. The main tower, located in the center, stands 258 m high. The remaining towers surround it, resembling the five Olympic rings from a bird’s eye view. The Sightseeing Tower is scheduled to be completed in September, which will mark Thyssenkrupp Elevator’s second TWIN installation in China.

Kone to Supply Tianjin Binhai New Area

In January, KONE announced it won an order to supply 79 eco-efficient elevators to two high-rise office buildings in the Yu Jia Pu Financial District in Tianjin Binhai New Area. The buildings rise 131 and 177 m (28 and 39 stories), respectively, and will have a total of 14 eco-efficient MonoSpace® machine-room-less elevators and 59 MiniSpace™ elevators. The order includes Polaris™ hybrid destination-control systems, designed to optimize passenger traffic and ensure short wait times. An E-Link traffic monitoring system will also be installed.

Tianjin Binhai New Area is a major economic development zone in northern China, intended to transform an industrial port into a modern city with commercial zones, residential areas and parks. It is estimated the towers will be complete in 2013.


Rosetta Proposes 14-Story Complex

Rosetta General Business PLC has proposed the construction of a multipurpose structure in Ethiopia. To be a 14-story complex, the first five floors will house a shopping mall with 15-20 escalators. The sixth floor will be occupied by four cinemas, while the seventh to 13th floors will house a hotel with 113 rooms and suites. Rosetta is seeking to acquire 50% of the funding required for construction in the form of long-term loans. As of January, the International Finance Corp. had yet to make a decision to approve the loan, pending an evaluation of the project’s feasibility study.


Wittur Appoints New CEO

Wittur Holding GmbH has announced the appointment of Dr. Walter Rohregger to managing director effective January 1. Effective February 1, Rohregger was appointed CEO, succeeding Stephan Rojahn who retired as planned. Rohregger has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Turin Polytechnic University in Italy. Prior to joining Wittur, he worked with GKN, a global engineering group, where he served in various positions including managing director and CEO. His experience also includes positions in production, engineering and sales. Rojahn served as Wittur’s CEO since 2006, and during his time in the position, new facilities were opened in Slovakia, Austria and India, and capacities expanded in China, Latin America and parts of Europe.

Ber Project Update

The Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) in Schönefeld, Brandenburg, is on schedule to open on June 3 after more than 15 years since its initial planning. BER will secure and maintain the air traffic for the Berlin/Brandenburg region by replacing the existing airport system: the closure of Tempelholf Airport in 2008 was the first step. The closure of Tegel Airport is expected to follow when BER opens. With an expected initial annual passenger capacity of 27 million, various vertical-transportation units were necessary. Schindler supplied BER with 72 elevators, 26 of which have glass cabins and hoistways; 28 Schindler 9200AE escalators; 16 Schindler 9500-45 moving walks; and four lifting platforms.

In addition to aviation services, BER will have a marketplace featuring various food and service providers; Airport City, a complex comprised of hotels, restaurants and a range of other services; and Business Park Berlin, being built to the northeast of the airport. According to a Berlin Airports job survey, the overall project is expected to create 40,000 jobs by the end of the year, with total airport employment seeing a potential 73,000 jobs this year.

Tower 185 Completed

CA Immo, a property interest corporation, has completed construction of Tower 185, a Frankfurt office high rise at the entrance to the Europavieretel district. Designed in compliance with stringent sustainability criteria by Professor Christoph Mäckler Architekten, the 200-m-tall high rise is the fourth-tallest office building in Germany. With construction complete, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® Gold certification is now being sought. Completed on time and budget following a construction period of 33 months, the tower was handed over to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the principal tenant, in February.


Thyssenkrupp Elevator, Eros Joint Venture

In an effort to address India’s rapid growth and need for complete elevators and escalator solutions, ThyssenKrupp Elevator (India) Pvt., Ltd. and Eros Elevators & Escalators Pvt. Ltd. of Mumbai have formed a joint venture.  As part of the venture, ThyssenKrupp Elevator has acquired 25.1% of Eros’ shares. The companies will combine their elevator products in an effort to serve more customers across India.


Toshiba Environmental Exhibition

Toshiba Corp.’s 21st Environmental Exhibition for the general public was held at the company’s Tokyo headquarters on February 9-10. In seeking to realize harmony with the Earth and richer lifestyles, Toshiba Group aims to incorporate environmental awareness into all aspects of business management, promote environmental efficiency throughout product lifecycles and support individuals and society in achieving new, sustainable lifestyles. At the event, Toshiba also unveiled an index of achievement it would use to record progress made to this end.

Each of the exhibition’s four sections reflected an aspect of the measures Toshiba promotes toward realization of its “Environmental Vision 2050”: “Greening of Process,” which covers environmentally conscious manufacturing; “Greening of Products,” which focuses on environmentally conscious products, such as an elevator that reduces power consumption by up to 50% through energy regeneration; “Greening by Technology,” which covers energy and environmental technology, such as photovoltaic and wind power generation; and “Green Management,” the foundations of Toshiba’s approach to environmental management.

Toshiba aims to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society through integration of business management and environmental management as it accelerates its pace of business expansion. By greening its processes, the company intends to reduce environmental burdens through mitigation of climate change, management of chemicals and efficient use of resources. Examples of such activities include recycling greenhouse gas, and cloud-based visualization of power consumption and CO2 emissions.


Al Hamra Firdous Tower Opens

Standing a quarter-mile high, the Al Hamra Firdous Tower, a major commercial complex in Kuwait City, was completed in January. The high rise was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP and is distinguished by its asymmetrical exterior and sweeping, torqued wings. The uppermost corner of Al Hamra’s “wings” is suspended 150 ft. away from the building. The turning façade provides transparent views, while the main structure, an 80-story wall, insulates the building from the sun.


Eita Receives Market Listing Approval

EITA Resources Bhd, an elevator manufacturer, has been approved by the Securities Commission to list its products on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia, an exchange holding company approved under Section 15 of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, EITA-Schneider (MFG) Sdn Bhd, EITA provides elevator systems and services, including the design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and maintenance of elevators, all of which are marketed under the EITA-Schneider brand. The company has been in operation since 1998 and has installed elevators in Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong.

North America

Nationwide Lifts to Expand

Nationwide Lifts, a home elevator company specializing in pneumatic-, hydraulic- and machine-drive residential devices, is expanding its network of local offices in the U.S. and Canada. By the end of this year, the company expects to have four new locations in the U.S., with offices in Baltimore and Savannah, Georgia. As of January, Nationwide’s customers in Maryland and Georgia had to consult with the company’s East Coast headquarters in New York. The company is also planning to open an office in Vancouver, Canada.

Nationwide also offers Freedom and Vision line elevators for compact spaces, reducing energy usage and commercial buildings. In addition, it offers stair lifts, wheelchair lifts and dumbwaiters.

Elevator Controls Hires Rep, Specialist

Elevator Controls Corp. hired Orlando Turner as a sales representative and national hydraulic specialist in February. Turner will represent the company in the Midwestern U.S. and Canada. He has worked in the vertical-transportation industry since 1992, specializing in control systems. Fernando Ortiz, CEO of Elevator Controls, commented, “[Turner’s] solid combination of organizational and communication skills, attention to detail and professionalism will maintain our customers’ satisfaction with our service as a company. He is dedicated to completing every transaction smoothly and precisely.”


Slender Tower For Central Warsaw

The construction of a new high-rise building in central Warsaw is garnering attention because of its unusual dimensions, making the tower only 7 m wide on its ground floor. As it rises, the building is to become slightly wider and hang over the adjoining pavement and historical tenement house. The final height of the tower is yet to be determined, though 85- and 120-m variants are being considered.

The small plot for the tower is at the intersection of the capital’s Al. Jana Pawła II and ul. Sienna. Designed by architectural firm APA Kuryłowicz & Associates (APAKA), the concept of the tower is said to have been impacted by the death of APAKA chief architect Stefan Kuryłowicz in a plane crash last year. Having secured a planning decision from Warsaw City Hall that allows for a structure with up to 52 floors and 30,000 m2 of space, developer Włodarzewska can begin work once the necessary administrative permits are secured.

South Korea

LEED Solutions for Lotte World Tower

The planned 555-m-tall Lotte World Tower (ELEVATOR WORLD, December 2011) in Seoul is a mixed-use building consisting of office, hotel, residential and retail space. In January, Syska Hennessy Group announced it was providing mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire-protection engineering services, as well as high-performance solutions and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED) strategies for the project. The company is implementing several renewable energy strategies – wind turbines, solar photovoltaic panels and a geothermal heating and cooling system — to make up approximately 5% of the energy used onsite to meet local jurisdiction requirements that at least 5% of the tower’s annual energy be generated by onsite, renewable energy. It also enables the tower to possibly be certified LEED Gold.


Kone Equipment For Gothia Towers

KONE will deliver 23 eco-efficient elevators to the Gothia Towers hotel in Gothenburg, Sweden, for the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and Peab. A new 100-m-high tower will be added to the hotel complex, making it one of the tallest buildings in Gothenburg. In addition, the 18-story center tower, Crown Tower, will be extended by a further six stories, making it 82 m high. The three towers will contain a total of 1,208 rooms.

KONE will deliver 10 MiniSpace® and one MonoSpace® elevators, operated by EcoDisc® hoisting machines. An additional seven MiniSpace elevators will be installed in Crown Tower. To meet the hotel’s requirements for design, accessibility, safety and environmental efficiency, KONE will modernize the hoisting system and electrification of five existing elevators in the West Tower using its ReGenerate solution. The order also includes a Polaris® destination-control system that will increase the handling capacity of the elevators and reduce waiting times for hotel guests. Other innovative technologies will be integrated with the elevators in all three towers, such as the E-Link monitoring system. KONE will also install its panoramic elevators outside each tower. Construction has been underway since February and is expected to be complete by the end of 2014.


Mitsubishi Expands Production, Reaches Milestone

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. announced in February that Mitsubishi Elevator Asia Co., Ltd., its elevator and escalator manufacturing operation in Thailand, recently surpassed a milestone with the production of its 100,000th elevator/escalator unit. Mitsubishi Electric also announced plans to expand production in Thailand to better meet the growing global demand for vertical-transportation equipment. The expansion will focus primarily on production of the Nexiez series, which launched in 2010 (ELEVATOR WORLD, January 2011) as the company’s global flagship elevator line.


Metropol Istanbul Planned

In January, Scotland-based architectural firm RMJM’s Dubai office unveiled plans to build a tower almost 300 m tall in Istanbul. The 500,000-m2 Metropol Istanbul project has received planning approval, and will include three towers, a 30,000-m2 shopping mall, offices and luxury apartments. The complex will be located on the Asian side of Istanbul as the cornerstone of a new government-backed financial zone. Metropol Istanbul is expected to cost TRY1.5 billion (US$850 million). Construction is to conclude by the end of 2015.

Renaissance Tower in Istanbul

A 606-ft.-high building with a chiseled look designed by Fxfowle of New York City is to delineate the eastern entrance to Istanbul when construction finishes in July 2014. Renaissance Tower is being developed by Ankara-based Renaissance Construction Co., which plans to lease most of the 914,900-sq.-ft. high rise. To rise on the Asian side of Istanbul in the developing commercial hub of Kozyatagi, the 44-story tower is Fxfowle’s first in Turkey, though the firm will collaborate with Turkish architect Fehmi Kobal. Desimone, also of New York City, is the structural engineer for the project.

The geometric shapes of Islamic architecture and the morphemic forms of Cappadocia inspired the building’s design, intended to reconcile a modern, class-A high rise with its historical setting. A scrim made of perforated panels colored in gold and copper will cover most of the glass building. While transparent, the metallic veil will help mitigate solar gain, aiding in the planned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® Silver certification. Other sustainable features include gray-water recycling, ample daylight and an under-floor air-distribution system that allows each occupant to control his or her working environment.

United Kingdom

Mitsubishi Electric Receives Contracts

Mitsubishi Electric has been awarded contracts for two residential buildings in London. The first contract includes the installation of three NexWay elevators and two Elenessa machine-room-less units at St. George Tower. The NexWay elevators will feature bespoke edge-lit glass behind filigree panels and bronze trim. In addition, a jump lift will be installed to aid in the transportation of building workers during construction.

The second contract includes the installation of three NexWay elevators; two Elenessa units; one 4500-kg-capacity hydraulic goods lift; five platform elevators; and one stair lift for Heron International in the City. The NexWay units will be capable of reaching speeds up to 3.5 mps and will feature a bespoke destination-control system at selected floors incorporating touch screens and enhanced security features.

Twiflex’s New Website

Twiflex Ltd., designer, manufacturer and supplier of advanced braking technology for industrial applications, has launched a new website ( The site contains information about the company’s line of industrial disc brakes, centrifugal clutch couplings, flexible couplings and shafts. Designed for easy navigation, provides braking calculations, product features and benefits, selection guides, white papers as downloadable PDFs, and global distributor and sales locators. Founded in 1946, Twiflex designs braking solutions for a wide range of applications, including elevators and escalators.

North England Skyscraper Planned

A 67-story skyscraper designed by Maurice Shapero and backed by Peter Buglass of Custard Pie Properties has been proposed for the King Edward site near Liverpool’s waterfront at the junction of the Strand and Leeds Street. The building is anticipated to become the tallest in the north of England and will house 22,986 m2 of apartments, 1,966 m2 of shops, 7,744 m2 of offices and a 1,168-m2 restaurant. The mixed-use apartment and office tower is the latest in a long line of attempts to build a super high rise on the land. A planning application is expected to be submitted this spring.

Lift And Escalator Technology Symposium

The University of Northampton and the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers Lifts Group have announced that the second Symposium on Lift and Escalator Technologies will be held on September 27 at the Sunley Conference Centre in Northampton. The symposium will be held as part of the 2012-13 Inaugural Lift Engineering School, which will take place during the week of September 24. The event provides college graduates and final-year students of the Lift Engineering program the opportunity to present papers on the subject of their research projects. Abstracts for papers are due before April 13. For more information, visit website:

Kone Supplies Churchill Place

KONE has been selected to supply 25 eco-efficient elevators to 25 Churchill Place in London. The order includes 22 MiniSpace® elevators, 20 of which will be dedicated to transporting passengers and two for freight. The remaining three elevators are MonoSpace® Special, two of which can travel at the high speeds required for firefighting. These elevators, equipped with energy-efficient EcoDisc® hoisting-machine technology, are up to 70% more efficient than conventional traction two-speed or hydraulic elevators.

The Polaris® destination-control system is included to reduce waiting times. Infoscreen displays are also installed within each passenger car to inform and guide passengers for smoother flow in the 26-floor building. An E-link traffic-monitoring system will also be installed to keep the elevators’ service level high.

The planned high-rise office building for Canary Wharf has been designed by Kohn Pederson Fox and will stand at a height of 128 m once completed in late 2014. It is being developed by the Canary Wharf Group; the main contractor is Canary Wharf Construction Ltd.


Schindler Destination Interface Receives “Top Product”

Schindler’s Destination Interface elevator modernization technology, which can convert conventional elevator controls to destination dispatching, has been named a “Top Product” by building and facility professionals who participated in a national survey conducted by Building Operation Management magazine. Survey participants were encouraged to select their choices based on innovation and usefulness to facility managers. A total of 557 products appeared online ( between October 1, 2010, and September 30, 2011.

“World Elevators” Report Released

Market-research provider Global Information Inc. announced the publication of a new report, “World Elevators,” in January. Looking at both the world and specific country data and projections, the Freedonia Group, Inc.-published study forecasts a global increase in the demand for elevator equipment (including escalators) and services of 6.4% per year through 2015 to US$90 billion. Gains are to benefit from continuing strong growth in developing regions and recoveries in many developed countries from recessionary conditions. Even stronger advances are to be prevented by a deceleration in average elevator price growth.

Unit sales of passenger and freight elevators are projected to expand 7.5% annually to 920,000 in 2015. By China solidifying its position as the world’s largest national elevator market, its domestic demand stands to grow more than 12% per year. The country is expected to add over 90 million urban residents by 2015, and elevator demand tends to be heavily concentrated in urban centers. India will also see strong growth, with an expected urban population increase of 45 million people by 2015.

China will also maintain its position as the world’s largest escalator market, as the country is expected to continue to see major expansion in its public-transportation infrastructure, with government plans to build over 50 new airports by 2015 and significantly expand the country’s burgeoning high-speed railway network.

The report also sees growth in U.S. demand for elevator equipment and services to outpace most developed countries through 2015, but gains will be coming off a weak base due to the country’s 2009 recession and weak recovery in 2010. Demand growth in Japan and Western Europe should lag the world average through 2015, although the Japanese equipment market is to post significant recovery in comparison to the performance of the 2005-2010 period.

Globally, sales of elevator services is to generally exceed global elevator equipment demand due to the large base level of installed elevators in the developed world. Western Europe accounted for 46% of global elevator services demand in 2010, bolstered by a large installed base level of elevators in the region and stringent safety codes. Contrastingly, in the developing world, most elevator demand comes from the equipment sector in the form of new installations.

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