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Statistics, orders and tall-building progress

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WOHA’s first office tower in China, Vanke Yun City in Shenzhen, has topped out, the firm reported.

Source: China Has Capacity to Supply the World

In the 40 years since China opened its economy to the world, global elevator companies have rushed in, transforming the country from a small producer of vertical-transportation (VT) equipment to the most competitive market, Shine observed in a June report. In those four decades, the Chinese VT industry has grown from eight state-owned companies to a manufacturing powerhouse, with an output of 500,000 units per year. Li Shoulin, president of the China Elevator Association (CEA), said that domestic producers have an inventory backlog that would allow them “to supply the whole world” with its annual demand of about 900,000 units.

Engineer Chen Liang told the source that when he joined the industry nearly 30 years ago, “an elevator was worth almost two apartments in Xujiahui.” Today, a typical apartment there costs CNY10 million (US$1.6 million), while “an elevator sells [for] only around CNY150,000 (US$23,000),” he said. Intense competition is the reason lifts have become so much more affordable, said Chen, who today works for thyssenkrupp.

Worldwide, elevator demand is growing 5-7% annually, but in China, sales surged an average of 20% a year between 2002 and 2015, drawing all of the global industry’s giants into the market. This booming market, Chen said, has transformed elevators from luxury items to everyday devices enjoyed by common people. Another factor is urbanization. In 1978, only about 17.9% of China’s citizens lived in cities, but by the end of last year, that had risen to more than 58%, according to government statistics. This shift to the cities has created massive investment in urban real estate. Further fueling growth is consumer demand for more and better elevators, the source noted, adding that maintenance, repairs and modernizations will spur even more growth in the domestic industry.

By the end of 2015, China had around 700 elevator makers, 200 component makers and 10,000 maintenance companies, according to CEA.

KONE Wins Orders for Three Metro Lines 

KONE has won orders for more than 500 vertical-transportation units on three metro lines across the country, the company announced in June. The work will be at the Changsha Metro Line 5, the Xiamen Metro Line 2 and the Nanning Metro Line 3.

The order for Changsha Metro Line 5 includes 105 TransitMaster™ escalators, 26 MonoSpace® elevators, and five MiniSpace® elevators. These will serve people traveling on the new north-south route in the capital of Hunan Province. Line 2 of the Xiamen Metro is an east-west line connecting Xiamen Island with the Haicang District on the mainland and with other Xiamen Metro Lines. KONE will equip the line with 199 heavy-load TransitMaster 140 escalators. For Line 3 of the Nanning Metro, KONE will provide 150 TransitMaster 140 escalators and 28 MonoSpace elevators.

The traffic-handling capacity for equipment at each of the sites is estimated at some 7,000 people per hr. All three of the new metro lines are due to begin trial operations in 2019.

“As cities grow, the need for sustainable and efficient ways to help people move around them also grows,” said William B. Johnson, executive vice president, KONE Greater China. “We have a solid record of supporting the development of infrastructure in China with our people flow expertise and are proud to have been selected to contribute to these projects.”

WOHA’s First Office Skyscraper in China Tops Out

Singapore-based architecture firm WOHA says its first office skyscraper in China, Vanke Yun City in Shenzhen, has topped out, ArchDaily reported in June. The 150,000 m2 structure, designed as three tower blocks attached to a central T-shaped core, seeks to present “an alternative office-tower typology that responds to the subtropical climate in Shenzhen,” the source reported.

At ground level, the building footprint is raised to create a public urban landscape beneath, with green and water features dotted across a partially sheltered plaza. Above, a series of seven-story “knolls” display greenery extruding from the towers. Atop each knoll, an open community space is integrated with lush landscape, with further semi-public sky gardens and microclimates cascading down the side of the structure totaling almost 8,000 m2.

The three towers vary in height between 217 m and 246 m. A curtain-wall system features extruded vertical mullions that will light up at night, creating an elegant outline of the skyscraper. Completion is expected in the second half of 2019.

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