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The Plaza Starts To Take Shape

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KONE People Flow Day

Canada

The Plaza at New Westminster Station in New West-minster is taking shape, and the public is starting to visual-ize what the “transit village” is going to be once complete. The CAD500-million (US$491-million) project includes three residential towers and a commercial space built on a five-acre site near the New Westminster SkyTrain sta-tion. The development will eventually include a fourth tower on 10th Street.

According to project developer Mike Degelder, “The station is basically going to disappear into our develop-ment.” In November, Degelder toured the site and talked about the widening of an overpass, which will provide pedestrians a barrier-free crossing into the retail com-plex. The project will include approximately 75 retailers, many of which will be located along a corridor under the SkyTrain that will be accessible via new escalators.

China

Elevator Deaths Increase In Shanghai

According to the Shanghai Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau, as of November 2011, nine elevator-related deaths had occurred in Shanghai during the year, compared to a total of six fatalities spread between 2006 and 2010. Officials attribute the increase to aging elevators and a shortage of skilled technicians. Local authorities are stepping up elevator inspections in an attempt to address the situation. In addition, lawmakers are develop-ing legislation that will require property owners to replace aging elevator parts. Currently, no law regulates this, allow-ing old parts to remain in service.

The number of elevator units has increased by 12% per year, while there is a shortage of experienced maintenance technicians. There is no minimum sum that building owners must pay elevator-maintenance companies, meaning companies seek to keep maintenance workers’ salaries low. This causes experienced technicians to quit and be replaced by inexperienced workers. Last year, licenses were revoked for six elevator-maintenance companies found to be hiring unqualified technicians.

During citywide inspections, the bureau discovered 867 potential safety risks in current elevators. These hazards have since been addressed, officials said. As of November 2011, engineers had inspected more than 700 older units in three downtown districts. The bureau expects these units to be refitted or replaced soon. Shanghai has approximately 141,000 public elevators, 12,500 of which have been in service for more than 15 years. Experts in Shanghai recom-mend elevators to be replaced after 15-18 years of service.

New Symax Facility

Symax Lift (Holding) Co., Ltd., a developer and manu-facturer of elevators and escalators with a manufacturing base in China, announced in October that it will establish a new manufacturing facility in Wanzhou, Chongqing. Symax completed a land-use purchase agreement with the local government, making development ready to proceed. The project involves the development of three elevator pro-duction lines in three stages, commencing in November 2011 and ending in August 2013. When all three lines are installed, production capacity will reach 4,000 elevator units per year. The first line is planned to go into produc-tion in June.

Xiaoyan Zhang, CEO of Symax, commented:

“This is an important milestone for our company, allow-ing us to substantially expand into the Western China elevator market. This project will significantly enhance our competitiveness in these markets and across China. Our capability to serve our current and future customers in Western China will improve. We will be even better po-sitioned to deliver quality products, together with timely delivery of installation and maintenance services.”

On October 21-22, Alimak Hek organized an open house for customers at its Neuilly-en-Thelle office outside Paris. The main topic of the two-day event was the launch of the new HEK TPL 500 and 300 transport platforms, which extend the company’s offering of light-range lifts (ELEVATOR WORLD, November 2011).

Other products shown at the event were Alimak Hek’s medium-range mast-climbing work platforms and transport platforms, as well as the high-speed Alimak construction-hoist model. The heavy-range mast climber HEK MSHF was also displayed in an 18-m freestanding setup on a mobile chassis. More than 200 people attended, including Alimak Hek customers from construction companies like Bouygues, Vinci and Eiffage.

Finland

Kone To Modernize Metro Station Escalators

Helsinki City Transport (HKL) has selected KONE to modernize three high vertical rise escalators at the metro station in Ruoholahti. The order also includes a five-year maintenance contract. The escalators will be modernized one at a time starting in January, with the project sched-uled to be completed by February 2013. KONE and HKL have previously worked together on the escalator mod-ernization projects at the Central Railway Station, Sörnäinen metro stations and Hakaniemi station, the lat-ter of which was near completion in November 2011.

Philippines

AMAIA Land Developments

Amaia Land Corp. has unveiled two projects that cater to low- to middle-income residents, which account for 33% of Filipino households. Amaia Skies, consisting of three 35-story towers, will be located outside the Araneta-Cubao central business district. Each tower will house ap-proximately 1,000 residential units and is within walking distance of the Metro Rail Transit. Amaia Skies’ construc-tion is expected to start in mid 2012, with completion scheduled in 2015.

Amaia Steps will be located in Novaliches, Quezon City, and be comprised of 20 five-story residential buildings with 2,060 residential units. Amaia Steps’ construction is to begin early this year, with completion scheduled in early 2013.

Summit Hotels Construction

According to Bach Johann M. Sebastian, senior vice-president for corporate planning of JG Summit Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Robinsons Land, the com-pany was still studying the construction of the so-called Summit Hotels as of November 2011. Sebastian also said the towers might be built in Mactan, Cebu and Ortigas Center in Mandaluyong City. The Sonota Complex would have four towers, one of which would be used for a service-type apartment hotel. The other three towers are residential condominiums – Sonata Towers 1 and 2, and the 42-story development The Allegro, which is expected to be com-pleted by 2016.

In 2010, the company opened its first “budget hotel” called Go Hotel in Mandaluyong City. The company plans to build 30 additional Go Hotels over the next five years. The developer is also building Azalea Place, a 25-story building near Robinsons Residences.

Scotland

Lift Maintenance Acquired

KONE announced in November 2011 that it acquired Lift Maintenance, Ltd. According to an online statement, the company will continue operating under its current name, while complementing KONE’s existing business in Scotland. Lift Maintenance has specialized in elevator maintenance and modernization for more than 35 years and currently employs more than 70 people. Michael Williams, managing director of KONE UK, said of the acquisition, “Lift Maintenance has built an enviable repu-tation in its chosen markets. . . .We look forward to work-ing together.”

South Korea

Elevator Firefighting System

The Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corp. has installed an elevator firefighting system for subway lines five through eight. When a fire alarm sounds, a signal is sent to the elevator control panel, halting normal operation of the elevator and preventing additional passengers from boarding. The control panel then signals the elevator car to travel to a designated evacuation floor.

Evacuation floors differ depending upon the fire’s location. For a landing-floor fire, the car moves to the highest floor; for a lobby fire, the car moves to the landing floor; and for a ground-floor fire, the car moves to the underground floor. In the event of a smoke-detector malfunction when no actual fire exists, once confirmed by the control unit, the elevator will resume normal operation. It is believed that the new system will minimize accidents and the number of people trapped inside the station and its eleva-tors during fire emergencies.

Geochang Elevator Launch

Corporate leaders and 50 guests from the Korea Lift College (KLC) and various companies gathered in Geochang on September 18-25 for an inaugural meeting celebrating the launch of Geochang Elevator Co., Ltd. Founded by the investment of 20 companies, Geochang Elevator’s goal is to transform the region into a hub for the Korean elevator industry. In a congratulatory address, Lee Hong Gi, Geochang County chief, stated, “Geochang Elevator Co., Ltd., will be a new energy to vitalize the depressed Korean elevator industry and create new jobs [for] young [people].”

Geochang Elevator was founded as part of a new company model for the cooperation of small to medium-sized businesses. Invested companies will relocate to the Geochang Elevator industrial complex and a new factory is under construction, with its operations to begin at the end of this year. The factory is expected to create around 700 jobs and KRW200 billion (US$146 million) in total sales.

KLC will provide manpower for the company, and the Geochang R&D center will assist with research, testing, inspection and certification services. Nearby manufacturers will provide components, selling them as a co-brand. The Korea Testing Lab and KLC will certify the performance and quality of new products. Continued The R&D building will be located in the Geochang general industry complex in the Geochang “elevator valley.” The facility is expected to occupy an area of 4,628 m2, with the entire R&D center occupying 16,529 m2. Kyungnam TP will manage the center, and the Korea Testing Lab will provide and operate testing equipment. The testing, man-ufacturing and R&D center, along with a test tower (with eight elevator shafts), will be installed in August.

Sri Lanka

Government To Complete High-Rise Project

The Sri Lankan government plans to take over the  Celestial Residencies tower project in Colombo, with the goal of completing construction. The planned 45-story tower, owned by Ceylinco Homes International Lotus Tower, part of the Ceylinco Group, was designed to house a five-star hotel and apartments. Construction was aban-doned after the parent firm became embroiled in financial trouble and the building was put up for sale. The takeover will be effected under a new law going through the judi-cial and parliamentary approvals process that allows the state to take control of what are identified as “underper-forming enterprises and underutilized assets” owned by the state and those in which it is considered to have an interest. Compensation will be paid to those who purchased apartment units in the tower. A committee of officials was formed to revive construction work and complete the project, as further delays might make the structure unus-able, with the risk of steel already used in the building rusting. Government officials claim the project needs to be revived to cater to the region’s postwar tourism boom.

U.K.

Amalgamated Lifts Honored

At an October 26 gala dinner and awards ceremony in London, Amalgamated Lifts was named Best Medium-Sized Business by the Bromley Business Awards 2011. Based in the London borough of Bromley since its incep-tion in 1988, Amalgamated Lifts maintains, modernizes and installs elevator systems. The Bromley Business Awards were developed to celebrate dynamic and innovative busi-nesses located in the borough.

STANNAH LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE

Elevator manufacturer Stannah Lifts has launched a new website (www.stannahlifts.co.uk) for its commercial customers. The site contains information about elevator products, their applications, technical information, product images and the latest industry legislation. Resources relating to all Stannah products and services are offered, with images, technical datasheets and literature available for download. The site also provides service, repair and refurbishment expertise for a range of equipment from various other manufacturers.

Worldwide

Schindler Announces Contracts

Schindler’s third quarter in 2011 resulted in several news contracts worldwide. New projects include a contract to supply 57 9300 AE escalators for an underground rail link in Zurich, Switzerland. Installation began in 2001; however, the majority of the escalators will be installed this year. Additional contracts include the installation of 62 elevators, 40 of which are Schindler 7000 high-rise elevators, for One Oasis, a new residential complex in Macao. In addition, the Rasuna Tower in Jakarta, Indonesia, will be equipped with 25 7000 high-rise elevators, 16 of which will be supplied with Schindler’s Personal Occupant Requirement Terminal technology to help control access and guide passenger traffic. Both installation projects are expected to start in June.

Schindler will also provide 28 7000 high-rise elevators, in addition to nine other units, for a residential complex being developed by Queensway Investments, Ltd. in the Tsuen Wan district in Kowloon, China. Installation is scheduled to start in April 2013. Schindler was also awarded a contract to supply 76 elevators and 50 escalators for a mixed-use complex in Chengdu, China, with installation expected to start in January 2013.

CTBUH Announces “Best Tall Building Worldwide”

At its 10th-annual awards ceremony held at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago in November 2011, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) announced KfW Westarkade in Frankfurt, Germany, as the 2011 overall “Best Tall Building Worldwide.” According to the council’s awards chair, the building is considered one of the world’s most energy efficient buildings. Designed by Sauerbach Hutton architects, KfW Westarkade has been integrated into its surrounding environment, while standing out due to its unique use of color. The project was also recognized as the “Best Tall Building” in the Europe Region (ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2011).

Kone Celebrates People Flow

KONE celebrated its second-annual People Flow™ Day on October 27, 2011, with an emphasis on accessibility challenges of different user groups. KONE’s vision is to transport people through buildings in a smooth, efficient and safe manner without waiting. To better understand the vision, more than 900 KONE employees in over 30 countries visited 150 sites to meet with customers and building owners, and observed building use during a typi-cal weekday.

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