Supertall Towers around the World

Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Central Plaza by SOM

Record-breaking buildings planned for Malaysia, China and Australia.

KONE Tapped to Outfit Malaysia Tower with 105 Units

KONE has been hired to provide 105 elevators and escalators to KL118, a 118-story, mixed-use tower in Kuala Lumpur expected to be the tallest in Malaysia upon completion in 2019. The order consists of 18 TravelMasterTM escalators, and 23 MonoSpace® machine-room-less, 23 MiniSpaceTM, four JumpLift and 37 double-deck elevators, along with a destination-dispatch system.

KONE’s energy-efficient units promise to help KL118 achieve Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification. A second phase of the project could comprise four additional towers.

CTBUH: World’s 100th Supertall Completed in China

The world’s 100th supertall building, designed by SOM, was completed in mid June with the topping out of the 303-m-tall Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Central Plaza in Nanchang, China, the Council on Tall Building and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) reports. CTBUH defines supertalls as 300 m or taller. Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Central Plaza, which consists of a pair of towers, is now the tallest development in Nanchang, which is also home to the 239-m-tall International Finance Center and the under-construction, 268-m-tall Jiangxi Nanchang Greenland Zifeng.

Design Revealed for World’s Tallest Towers in China

The U.K.’s Chetwood Architects has revealed plans for Phoenix Towers, a pair of 1-km-tall, Eiffel Tower-shaped buildings in the city of Wuhan, China, inhabitat reports. Should they be built, they would be the tallest pair of towers in the world, equal in height to the under-construction Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The plan is to build them on a 17-ha site on an island in a lake in Wuhan. Inspired by the Chinese phoenix, which balances male and female characteristics, the towers would have energy-efficient features, such as wind turbines, solar panels, thermal chimneys and rainwater-harvesting systems.

Potential Tallest Tower in Southern Hemisphere OK’d

Melbourne, Australia, authorities have approved plans for Australia 108, a 100-story, 319-m-tall apartment building overlooking Southbank that would stand 25 m taller than Eureka Tower, making it the tallest in the Southern Hemisphere, the Herald Sun reports. Proposed by Aspial Corp. of Singapore, the tower was originally proposed and approved as a 388-m-tall structure, but that posed a potential interference with flight patterns. Melbourne recently approved 75- and 54-story towers, and Aspial also wants to build an 83-story tower in the city.


KONE Names Sharma EVP of Asia-Pacific and Middle East

KONE has appointed Neeraj Sharma executive vice president (EVP), Asia-Pacific and Middle East, effective September 1. Managing director for KONE India since 2009, Sharma has more than 30 years of experience in industrial engineering, previously serving as regional general manager, Energy Services, at GE Energy. Outgoing EVP, Asia-Pacific and Middle East Noud Veeger has been appointed EVP for Central and North Europe, also effective September 1. With his new position, Sharma becomes a member of the KONE Executive Board, reporting to KONE President and CEO Henrik Ehrnrooth.

Avire Hires Joshi as Regional Sales Manager

Rajeev Joshi has joined Avire as regional Sales manager for India, Africa and the Middle East. His initial efforts include marketing Avire’s line of safety and security products to OEMs. Avire anticipates demand for these products to grow as their respective markets build and upgrade infrastructure. Joshi’s background includes sales and business development experience in the textiles, chemicals and electronics industries. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Manmade Fiber Technology from Kanpur University and an MBA in International Marketing from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management in Pune, India.

Lerch Bates Promotes Managing Director in Asia

Lerch Bates Inc. promoted Keenan Potter to managing director of Lerch Bates Asia Pacific Ltd., Hong Kong and Lerch Bates (China) Ltd. in July. Based in Shanghai, Potter will have the role of managing the firm’s growing presence in Asia. With more than 20 years of specialized expertise in the façade-access industry, he previously served as general manager of Lerch Bates (China).

 Potter joined Lerch Bates in January 2007 following successful careers as a façade-access equipment manufacturing sales and engineering group leader and an Asia Pacific division general manager of a technology company. During his tenure with Lerch Bates, he developed and managed a façade-access consulting division and spearheaded the development and opening of the firm’s first office in the Asia Pacific region with Lerch Bates (China). He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Lerch Bates President and CEO Bart Stephan said of Potter:

“Keenan’s incomparable experience within Asia’s markets, proven leadership broadening and supporting our firm’s portfolio of expert consulting services in the region and his invaluable understanding of the façade-access industry make him the obvious choice as the leader of Lerch Bates Asia Pacific and Lerch Bates (China). We’re thankful for the continuous contributions he makes to our firm and industry, and we look forward to his guidance as Lerch Bates solidifies its position as one of the most dynamic leaders in China’s construction and building industry.”

Asia-Pacific Companies Expand and Celebrate Growth

Hyundai Elevator Marks 30 Years, Highlights Growth

Hyundai Elevator marked 30 years in business and examined past and potential growth during a ceremony in May at its headquarters in Icheon, South Korea, Korea Joongang Daily reports. Approximately 600 employees attended the event, during which Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun emphasized the company’s intent to expand its reach globally. The number-one elevator company in South Korea for the past seven years, Hyundai Elevator reported revenue of US$1 billion in 2013 and installed more than 15,000 elevators, compared with revenue of US$1.6 million and 400 installations during its first year. In order to lay the groundwork for growth in China and Brazil, the company recently secured a 100% stake in Shanghai Hyundai Elevator and completed a factory in Brazil able to produce 3,000 units a year (ELEVATOR WORLD, April 2014).

Schindler Upping Its Stake in Chinese Company

Schindler has inked an agreement with the majority shareholders of XJ-Schindler (Xuchang) Elevator Co. Ltd. to increase its stake in the company from 46% to 66% by 2017, in increments of 5% per year starting in 2014. With a presence in China since the early 1980s, Schindler established a joint venture with XJ Elevator in 2011. XJ designs, manufactures, installs and maintains elevators and escalators. Schindler anticipates XJ-Schindler to generate revenue in excess of CNY300 million (US$17.7 million) for 2014, and, pending approval, results will be incorporated into Schindler’s financial statements.

Toshiba Elevator Opens Kuala Lumpur Engineering Center

On July 1, Toshiba Elevator opened an engineering center in Kuala Lumpur to better serve its India, Middle East and Southeast Asia customers. It joins a Toshiba Elevator manufacturing facility in Penang, Malaysia. Citing the boom of high-rise buildings worldwide, the company states:

“The center will use [Toshiba Elevator’s] comprehensive portfolio of people-moving technologies to deliver highly responsive support and quality products that meet market needs for safer, more comfortable, high-quality elevators and escalators.”

Major Metro/Subway Projects

Escalator installations and replacements planned for Istanbul and Paris

Hyundai Elevator to Supply 238 Units to Istanbul Subway

Hyundai Elevator Co. of South Korea has struck a deal with Doğuş construction to supply 189 escalators and 49 elevators to Istanbul subway stations, Yonhap News Agency reports. The deal is worth US$13.1 million and will involve 16 stations along a 20-km-long route. Hyundai Elevator also says it hopes to supply elevators, escalators and additional products, such as platform screen doors, to the 250 subway stations planned in Istanbul by 2024.

30 Paris Metro Escalators Too Wide, Must Be Replaced

Thirty escalators installed in the Paris Metro in 2006 and 2007 are 10 cm too wide and need to be replaced, The Connexion reports. Intended to increase capacity, the 1-m-long units on three lines are often out of service and require expensive repairs. By next year, the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) plans to replace the units at a cost of at least US$8 million. RATP has alleged design flaws are to blame for the problems, and contends the manufacturer should pay for replacement. A French court is set to decide which entity will fund the project. 

24 Units for London Bridge Station Upgrade

KONE has been selected to provide and install 24 TransitMaster® 140 escalators for the London Bridge rail station upgrade, scheduled for completion in 2018. The fourth-busiest rail station in the U.K., London Bridge sees approximately 50 million passengers annually. Part of a comprehensive rail-network upgrade underway across the country, work at the London Bridge includes elevators, escalators and additional platforms to ease passenger flow.

29 Units for Mumbai Residential Tower

KONE has been selected to provide 29 elevators to the 358-m-tall Worli Tower B, the residential component of a two-tower project in Mumbai designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, India Blooms reports. The order consists of 24 MiniSpaceTM  and five MonoSpace® units, including panoramic, freight and vehicle elevators. The E-LinkTM monitoring system promises to enhance availability and traffic flow, while a radio-frequency identification card system will offer added security. Installation is expected in late 2015.

Apex Installs Custom Sugar Elevator for Tate & Lyle

London’s Apex Lifts has designed and installed a custom sugar-only lift for the historic Tate & Lyle Sugars refinery on the Thames River. Part of a larger modernization project, the unit transports sugar up and down the eight floors of the refinery. It incorporates safety and efficiency features, including motion detectors, a newly designed safety gear and an automatic gate on the ground floor that can be remotely operated by a forklift driver loading the lift. The lift carries up to 1.5 mT of sugar at 1.3 mps. Noting the project was a first for Apex, Managing Director Warren Jenchner observed:

“From design to manufacturing and through to installation, the lift project for Tate & Lyle was challenging. It was vital to ensure heavy loads of sugar were delivered safely and efficiently throughout the building.”  

ThyssenKrupp Elevator Improves Services

The company uses strategic tools to better serve customers. 

Developing Cloud-Based Monitoring System

In partnership with Microsoft and CGI, ThyssenKrupp Elevator is developing a cloud-based elevator monitoring system designed to diagnose and prevent problems, in turn improving reliability and safety. Expected to be rolled out early next year, the solution is based on Microsoft’s cloud architecture, the Internet of Things. CGI securely connects ThyssenKrupp Elevator’s “things” – the thousands of elevator sensors that monitor shaft alignment, cab speed and door function; the data gathered by those sensors; and the computers and mobile devices used by elevator technicians – to the cloud. ThyssenKrupp Elevator CEO Andreas Schierenbeck explained:

“We wanted to go beyond the industry standard of preventative maintenance to offer predictive and even preemptive maintenance, thereby guaranteeing a higher uptime percentage on our elevators.”

ThyssenKrupp Elevator states the solution “all adds up to less travel time, better efficiency and reduced costs” in a quickly urbanizing world.

Survey Says Accessibility Crucial for Seniors

Germany’s aging population will need accessibility solutions, such as stairway chairlifts, platform lifts and home elevators, since more than half of citizens 40 and older said they want to stay in their own homes during their golden years, a survey conducted for ThyssenKrupp Elevator found. Approximately a quarter of those surveyed expect they will have to retrofit their homes with such equipment. The survey found 46% of women view stairway chairlifts as “important” to “very important,” versus 40% of men. Men, however, are willing to spend more on a chairlift: more than US$6732 (EUR5,000). Approximately half of Germany’s privately owned homes are senior friendly.

Singapore Lawmakers Re-Examining Escalator Regulations

Singapore lawmakers are taking a closer look at escalator regulations in the wake of an August incident in which a step on a unit carrying passengers down from a children’s education area on an upper level of a shopping mall dislodged, leaving a gap approximately the size of a person’s foot, Channel News Asia reports. No one was injured. Singapore has an escalator maintenance code that states units must undergo maintenance once a month and testing once a year. Lawmakers are considering harsher penalties for noncompliance. 

Space Elevator Progress Seen in Competition

Ishai Zimerman and Ronen Atzili, winners of the 2014 Technobrain competition, furthered hopes of a space elevator by building a device that climbed up a steep cable at a high speed, while being powered by an electric screwdriver. Competitors were required to build a device that could climb a 25-m cable, then slide down from this height, while lifting a “space elevator” suspended from the other side of the cable. The use of combustion or any open-flame energy sources was forbidden. The pair won a NIS10,000 (US$2,920) cash prize and said they would “use it to cover the costs of this year’s competition” and use the leftover funds “to cover expenses of next year’s competition.”

IEE Expo Dates Announced

Virgo Communications & Exhibitions (P) Ltd. of Bangalore, India, has announced dates for its next two annual International Elevator and Escalator Expos (IEEs). Next year’s show will take place in Dhaka, Bangladesh, at the Bashundhara Convention Center on February 10-12, 2015. The following IEE is scheduled for the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai, on March 17-19, 2016. For more information on or to participate in either, visit website: www.ieeexpodhaka.com.

homeSAFE Home Elevator Safety Campaign Launched

Industry partners have launched the homeSAFE (Safety Awareness For Elevators) campaign to increase home elevator safety and reduce preventable injury. John Sweeney, president of the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC), a homeSAFE partner, said the campaign “fills a critical gap by uniting key leaders in the home elevator industry to take action and raise awareness with homeowners about the complexity and importance of safe home elevator installation, operation and maintenance.” Besides NAEC, partners are the Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry, National Association of Elevator Safety Authorities International and ThyssenKrupp Access Corp., which has ceased operation in the U.S. but remains committed to educating the public on safe use of home elevators. For more information, visit: www.homesafecampaign.com

KLEEMANN Ranks First in U.K. Growth

Fueled by brisk sales in the U.K., KLEEMANN Lifts UK Ltd. announced it is the fastest-growing company among the 274 in the U.K. industry, according to Plimsoll Publishing Ltd. research. Published in May, the research shows KLEEMANN saw sales increase nearly 423% in 2013, with total sales of GBP4 million (US$6.5 million). The company’s current market share is 4%, and its goal is to capture 10% by 2017. Among its recent notable projects are:

  • A customized, panoramic unit at The Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, U.K.
  • Eighteen lifts at the 51,700-capacity Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland
  • Lifts at the 22,500-capacity American Express Brighton Stadium
  • Lifts at Ireland’s tallest building, the 85-m-tall Obel Tower in Belfast

KONE Makes African Acquisitions

KONE announced its acquisition of the elevator and escalator business of Marryat & Scott (Kenya) Ltd. and Marryats East Africa Ltd., its authorized distributors in East and Central Africa, in August. KONE believes the moves will help it expand its presence in the African market and improve the availability of its products and services in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Marryat & Scott (Kenya) has operated in the African elevator and escalator market for more than 50 years and acted as KONE’s distributor in the country since 2003. Marryats East Africa has been KONE’s distributor in Uganda since 2003. Together, the companies employ more than 120 people.

Pierre Liautaud, executive vice president and area director for KONE West and South Europe and Africa, commented on the deals:

“Africa is urbanizing rapidly, and new housing and infrastructure-building projects are emerging as a result. This creates business opportunities for KONE. These acquisitions are in line with our long-term business strategy, and we look forward to bringing reliable products and services to Kenya, Uganda and their neighboring regions.”  

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Elevator World | September 2014 Cover