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Ottawa Store Offers Lift “Test Drives”

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The Fletcher Hotel was designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects (photo © Jannes Linders)

Canada

Home healthcare store Motion Specialties has opened a showroom, “Access Centre,” for elevators, stairlifts and other accessibility products. Often serving baby boomers reaching their senior years looking to grow older at home, the store has been open since February at 3020 Hawthorne Road in Ottawa. The store lets clients test elevators and stairlifts and see them integrated into mock home designs.

Luc Grenier, general manager of Motion Specialties at Ottawa, explained: “We recognize that there is a definite need for a service like this today. It is a way for people to try the equipment before they commit to it.” Motion Specialties Elevating Technician Eric Mingelinckx continued:

“An elevator, for example, can cost around the same price as a new car. You wouldn’t buy a car from a brochure, so why would you want to purchase an elevator without seeing it first? This is a way for clients to test drive the equipment before they purchase it.”

Motion Specialties has multiple locations across Canada and plans to incorporate Access Centres into them to cater to the growing popularity of residential elevators and home-accessibility products. The company expects to employ a focused team of industry experts to educate and put clients in the right equipment to suit their needs.

Kone Opens Manufacturing, R&D Site

China

In April, KONE announced the official opening of its new KONE Park manufacturing, engineering and R&D center in the Kunshan New and Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone. The 240,000-m2 center is KONE’s largest, and includes three elevator factories and one escalator factory. KONE Park was planned according to the company’s global supply-network needs and the Lean manufacturing principle, aimed to maximize energy efficiency and eliminate waste. It was also constructed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification.

The elevator factories produce elevator cars, motors and electrification products. The escalator factory produces both commercial and heavy-duty escalators, as well as horizontal and inclined moving walks. KONE Park also features eight global R&D centers and a new high-rise test tower, under construction. The test tower is expected to open in 2014. The new site replaces an older facility, which was also located in Kunshan and included both elevator and escalator production and R&D.

Sicher Customer-Services Center

According to the Shanghai Elevator Trade Association (SETA), Sicher Elevator Co., Ltd. (formerly Rhine Lift (China) Co., Ltd.) has updated its customer-services center in southeast China. This has reportedly resulted in greater service-calling efficiency, customer-service quality and customer satisfaction. SETA notes it is the first elevator customer-services center in the region. It is expected to improve elevator supervision and play an important role in online supervision.

The Sicher Elevator Chairman Li Dongliu explained that the main work of the customer-services center is the area management of the market in Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou, Yunnan and Tibet in the services and logistics stages. Particularly, the facility is to cater to after service, while deepening the ability to explore after-service channels and enlarge the influence of Sicher in Sichuan and the surrounding area.

Recovery In Housing Construction

Europe

The 2012 housing market saw a “modest” increase of 1.5%, said Erich Gluch of the German Institute for Economic Research (IFO). While housing-construction volume is to shrink slightly this year, overall construction spending is expected to increase over 2013 and 2014 by 1% and 2.5%, respectively. Gluch calls this a “slow recovery” of the housing market, with 2014 to see an increase of some 30,000 new homes. Despite the small projected increases, they are put in perspective by the heavy decline of more than a fifth in the sector from 2008-2010.

Otis Announces Harvey As European Head

In April, Otis announced Lindsay Harvey as its new president of U.K., Central and Eastern Europe (UCEA). According to The Engineer, Harvey joined the company as an apprentice and completed a Mechanical Engineering degree as part of the apprenticeship. During his time at Otis, Harvey has worked in sales, sales management, product development and product management, and led new equipment and sales management. Prior to his UCEA role, Harvey was the director of the company’s operations in Australasia and China, based in Shanghai.

Interlift Preparing For Busy Show

Germany

Organizers of Interlift 2013, to be held in Augsburg on October 15-18, have reported large international communal stands are on the increase. More exhibition space will be dedicated to this type of booth than ever before. China plans to send two cooperatives, and both ANICA (Italian elevator components association) and the Federal State Saxony have requested larger exhibition areas.

 ANICA and ANACAM (Italian elevator association) are planning to include a graphic presentation of elevator exhibits from 1900-2000. VFA-Interlift e.V. is hosting a speakers’ forum for attendees to present on standards, research and technology, design and international markets (ELEVATOR WORLD, November 2012). The organization is also technical sponsor of the show and will provide trade-fair training sessions. Lectures will be simultaneously interpreted in German and English.

For more information on the event and a list of topics for the speakers’ forum, contact Anja Gietz of VFA-Interlift at Rahlau 62, D-22045, Hamburg, Germany; phone: (49) 0-40-727301-60; e-mail: anja.gietz@vfa-interlift.de; or website: www.vfa-interlift.de.

BMC To Replace Mumbai’s First Escalator

India

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corp. (BMC) is replacing Mumbai’s first escalator after almost 30 years of not operating, according to the MumbaiMirror. Located at Girgaum Chowpatty, the escalator was installed in the 1970s and only traveled upward, forcing passengers to use stairs to descend. During this period, BMC staff would monitor the escalator during the day and close it in the evening. Maintaining the escalator is said to have been problematic due to its proximity to the beach, where conditions eroded the metal and caused problems with the machinery. According to a local resident, the escalator broke down in the 1980s and remained inoperable for several years before being dismantled.

In April, civic officials were designing plans to reconstruct the escalator, which is attached to the city’s oldest footover bridge, and installation was expected to begin soon. In addition, BMC has appointed a consultant to study other busy pedestrian areas where escalators can be installed.

Toshiba Completes Smart Community Center

Japan

In April, Toshiba Corp. announced the completion of its Smart Community Center in Kawasaki. It will be the base for Toshiba’s organizations in Japan involved with smart community businesses. Construction of the 15-story building began in 2011, and it is scheduled to open in October. It will house approximately 7,800 personnel from a variety of related disciplines, all of which will be consolidated within fiscal year 2013. The center will incorporate an intelligent Building Energy Management System, earthquake-absorbing structure and energy-efficient technology.

Amsterdam Redevelopment Under Construction

Netherlands

A redevelopment of Amstel III, on Amsterdam’s southeast side, is currently underway. Work includes a slim hotel, standing 60 m high and 24 m across. Dubbed the “Fletcher Hotel,” it includes a fully glazed façade, underground parking and integrated fixed windows. It is set to receive the Green Key Gold hallmark for sustainability and corporate responsibility for organizations in the recreation sector.

The main structure of the hotel is a combination of in-situ concrete and a steel construction. Steel construction is hung onto this at the location of the partition walls of the hotel rooms and on all floor levels linked with the intermediate precast concrete floors. The building’s circular plan includes a central core housing the elevators, stairs and service shafts. The roof is made of steel and covers a technical room. The supporting structure of the car park consists of concrete retaining walls and steel columns, with a roof made of hollow-core floor slabs.

VDA Hires For Toronto, D.C. Locations

North America

Elevator consulting service Van Deusen and Associates (VDA) has added two employees to its staff. Thomas McCorkell has joined as senior associate – VDA Toronto. With more than 40 years of elevator consulting and installation experience, McCorkell’s responsibilities include equipment and maintenance quality-control evaluations, authoring equipment and maintenance specifications for new and existing vertical-transportation equipment and providing services during the construction-administration phase. In addition, he will serve as project manager on select VDA projects in the Middle East. He has worked on such projects as the Burj Khalifa and Palm Atlantis Hotel, both in Dubai, and ITCC Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.

Additionally, Meg Lauridsen has joined VDA’s Washington, D.C., area office as an associate. She has more than 17 years of business-development and account-management experience in the elevator industry. Lauridsen’s responsibilities include development of new business in her office’s area, as well as consulting services for existing VDA clients in the region.

Techno Elevators Reaches Milestone

Oman

Techno Elevators LLC, part of North Ocean Enterprises, has completed 250 successful Installations of Hyundai Elevator elevators and escalators in Oman during five years of operations in the country. Techno Elevators also installed one of the country’s first automatic car-parking systems last year and has a goal of installing 100 elevators in 2013-2014.

Green Hospital For Dubai

U.A.E.

What TheNational calls the country’s “first green hospital” was launched in Dubai on April 10. MedHealth Medical Centre in Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) features a paperless system in which patient records are maintained only electronically and is housed in a building designed to be energy and water efficient. Among its features are a solar-powered hot-water system and a scheme that collects condensation from air conditioners and uses it for irrigation.

Designers claim the building is 50% more efficient than those of a similar size and features extensive insulation to prevent heat gain, as well as maximizing the use of natural daylight. Furthermore, nearly 30% of the materials used were locally produced, while 14% featured recycled content. The edifice is certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold and had been under construction since 2008.

U.K.

Residential Elevators On The Rise

Though residential elevators are often viewed as luxury additions or used for accessibility, Derek Moorse of Cambridge Elevating, Inc. suggests they will be commonplace within 10 years. According to the London Free Press, many homebuilders are designing homes incorporating elevator shafts with future installations in mind. Known as “stacked closets,” the design allows homeowners to build their home and install an elevator later.

Moorse also notes residential elevators are revered as a solution to density, making vertical designs more enticing than horizontal ones. He also believes the competition and popularity of residential elevators will decrease their price. “They can be put into a home quite easily and cost a lot less than people think,” Moorse said. Cambridge Elevating has seen a 15-20% increase in the residential market over the past four years, with installation costs between GBP30,000 (US$46,000) and GBP60,000 (US$92,000).

Otis Celebrates 160 Years

Worldwide

Otis recently celebrated its 160th anniversary. Founder Elisha Otis sold the first Otis elevator in 1853, after developing the safety brake, designed so that “if the rope breaks, the platform cannot fall.” Over the past 100 years, the company has grown to be a US$12-billion unit of United Technologies Corp. Otis has equipped eight of the world’s 10 tallest buildings, including the Burj Khalifa in Dubai; Shanghai World Financial Center in China; and Empire State Building in New York City. In addition to recently launching its Gen2 Switch™ elevator (ELEVATOR WORLD, May 2013), Otis announced the opening of three new manufacturing facilities, in São Paolo, Brazil; Bangalore, India and Florence, South Carolina (EW, October 2012).

EHC Global Achieves Certification

EHC Global’s manufacturing facilities in Germany and China have achieved ISO14001-2004 Environmental Management System Standard certification for their commitment to meeting environmental standards. These locations join EHC’s corporate headquarters in Oshawa, Canada. The certifications represent EHC’s continued commitment to provide sustainable products, while offering cost-effective solutions.

Jeno Eppel, EHC president, said of the certification: “We have always been dedicated to reducing pollution and helping make our community a healthier place to live. This year, those efforts have been formally recognized by International Organization for Standardization (ISO). We believe the extensive environmental and energy-conservation measures we have undergone in recent months reinforce that commitment.”

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