The second South-East Europe Lift Meeting-SEELift Network Conference, organized by three associations in the Balkan Countries, was held on 7-8 November 2022 in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.
Having held their first event in Ohrid, Macedonia in 2019; the organizers Macedonian Lift Association (MLA), Croatian Lift Association (HUDIZ) and Bulgarian Lift Association (BLA) held their second meeting at the Hotel Antunovic Congress Center in Zagreb. Ahead of the two-day event, guests gathered at a registration and meeting dinner at the hotel on the evening of November 6.
The first day
The guests, who had the opportunity to meet again after three years, gathered for the opening ceremony on the morning of the first day. In their opening speeches, the presidents of the MLA, BLA and HUDIZ associations thanked the guests and shared information about the program. The president of MLA, Goran Sekovski stated that they are in direct contact with the companies, especially since there is no association in the lift and escalator sector in many Balkan countries.
The first speaker in the forenoon was Dr. Milan Kostelac from the University of Zagreb. Kostelac shared important information on steel chassis applications in lifts and EN 1090-2 Steel and aluminum construction applications and technical requirements for steel structures.
Mirta Prokršćanski Landeka from the Croatian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development gave important information about the legal framework of the lift sector in Croatia and the relevant legislation. He shared that all necessary steps have been completed regarding the legislation in the lift sector after SEELift, which is another step of EU membership of Crotia, having also joined the Schengen region.
Following the previous speech, Goran Sekovski, President of MLA and ITI (Institute of Technical Inspection & Safety Engineering) gave a very interesting presentation on the history of lift legislation in Southeast Europe. Sharing the legislation that have been used since the Yugoslavian period about a hundred years ago, Sekovski revealed that legislations on lift safety were established before many European countries thanks to the steps taken by Southern Europe about a hundred years ago.
Krešimir Bošković from Siget Dizala company in Croatia presented information about the installation and maintenance of the existing lift in the historic Vukovar water tower. After Bošković, Ivan Božič from the Slovenian Institute for Occupational Safety made a presentation on the use of firefighter lifts during a fire.
After the coffee break, a panel discussion was held on the installation of lifts in existing buildings with funds from EU and other sources. The opening speech of the panel was made by Zdravko Čizmar, secretary of the Croatian Lift Association. He mentioned that thousands of high-rise buildings in Croatia have no lifts. He said that as an association, they have launched an initiative to ensure that everyone with any form of disability has the option to install a lift, which is an EU strategy in terms of accessibility and decentralization. He stated that it is possible to request a funding from the European Commission for the installation of lifts in existing buildings.
According to the data available to the association, there are more than 16,000 buildings with four or more floors without lifts in Croatia, and more than 10,500 buildings are interested in installing lifts. Čizmar mentioned that Croatian lift companies could supply and install a thousand elevators per year. In the panel discussion, the main problems and possible solutions for the installation of lifts in existing buildings were discussed. The panel discussion was moderated by Tin Bašić and the participants were:
- Željko Uhlir, State Secretary of the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction and State Property
- Azra Sarić , City Office for Zoning, Building, Spatial Planning, Construction, Social Affairs and Traffic of the Municipality of Zagreb
- Zlatko Vlašić, Member of the Board of HUDIZ
- Dr. Dejan Bodu, President of the Croatian Association of Tenants and Building Partners
- Dr. Zlatan Fröhlich, coordinator of the project for the installation of lifts in apartment buildings on behalf of the HGK
- Ivica Belić, President of the Croatian Lift Association.
The second day
The first presentation of the second day was given by Viktor Gavriloski from Skopje Methodius University on the importance of education in the quality of installation and maintenance of lifts. The second presentation of the day was given in English by Nikolay Marinkov, Secretary General of BLA, who shared very striking information and pictures about the old lifts in Bulgaria from the Soviet era. Marinkov revealed the dangers posed by these lifts, which do not meet any current safety standards, and explained the steps taken by the association on this issue and the solutions they are trying to create by meeting with public authorities.
Subsequently, Goran Sekovski gave his second presentation at the event, addressing the modernization of lifts in existing buildings with solutions for upward overspeed protection. After Sekovski, Mario Ćutuk from Croatian company, SENS Design, made a presentation on the design of inclined lifts. The last presentation of the day was given by Samuele Gasparrini from the Italian telecommunications company Esse.ti. In his presentation, Gasparrini explained the changes made to EN 81-28 in 2022.
After the lunch break, the SEELift Network Congress ended with a guided tour of Zagreb city with a rented touristic bus.
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