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United Announces Educational Topics

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Mike Poon speaks during a seminar in Baltimore.

The hosts of United in Atlantic City 2012 have set educational topics for the upcoming event on September 10-13 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Among the issues to be discussed include:

  • ASME A18.1: Comparison between 2008 and 2011
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Architectural Metal Finishes
  • Destination Dispatch
  • Elevator Modernization
  • Elevators: Preventative Maintenance
  • Escalators: Skirt Inspections, Maintenance, Repair, Existing
  • Firefighters’ Safety Code/Fire Service Operation
  • Integrated Hydraulic Freight Controller

The educational program has been submitted to the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) for Certified Elevator Technician (CET®) and Certified Accessibility and Private-Residence Lift Technician (CAT®) continuing-education credit; the Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund, NAESA International and QEI Services toward inspectors’ continuing-education requirements for maintenance of qualification; and various states for mechanics’ license-renewal continuing education. In addition to the educational sessions, a panel discussion regarding how current codes relate to existing elevators will be held on September 10.

The hosting organizations for United include the Canadian Elevator Contractors Association, the International Association of Elevator Consultants , NAEC, and NAESA International. For more information, contact Teresa Witham of NAEC at phone: (770) 760-9660; e-mail: teresa@naec.org; or website: www.unitedconvention.com.

Schindler Announces Continuing-Education Offer

Schindler now offers architects five courses to earn learning credit units (LCUs) from the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Continuing Education System (CES). The following five seminars provide architects, designers and builders information about recent developments in elevators, escalators and other vertical-transportation technology and sustainable design:

  • “Vertical Transportation: Machine-Room-Less (MRL) Elevators” provides an overview of MRLs, discussions on the history of elevators, low-rise and mid-rise application, standard configurations and the “green” benefits achieved using MRLs. The course can also be taken online (www.aecdaily.com). (1.25 LCU)
  • “Escalators for Public Transportation” instructs AIA members on how to choose the right escalator for public-transit requirements. (1.5 LCU)
  • “Vertical Transportation – Escalators” focuses on escalator architectural features, mechanical components of escalators and escalator design review. (1.5 LCU)
  • “General Vertical Transportation” provides members with information about industry product offerings and applications. (1.5 LCU)
  • “Sustainable Design” includes information on how elevators and escalators contribute to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® certification. (1 LCU)

The CES program provides AIA members additional opportunities to maximize their professional skills. Architects are required to complete 19 credit hours per year to remain active members of the AIA program. For more information, contact Schindler at website: www.us.schindler.com.

Original Equipment In Wisconsin Capitol

The Wisconsin State Capitol building is reinstalling a set of its elevator doors, circa 1909, after some 40 years of mothballing. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the doors have been “installed on a wall in one of the most inaccessible and highest hallways of the Capitol,” a circular path outside the rotunda dome on the sixth floor. The heavy, ornate iron doors that once protected an elevator in the building will not be restored, though nearby Inn on the Park, also in Madison, displays cleaned and repainted counterparts of the pieces.

While Gerilyn Schneider, a Wisconsin Department of Administration worker who helped get the equipment on display, has learned much about the doors’ technical specifications, such as their requirement of operators until the early 1960s, she notes, “What we need now is information on the people who operated these Capitol elevators. We especially want to hear from anyone who knows what sort of uniforms (the operators) wore, or even if they might have saved a uniform.” Schneider found records noting the original elevators in the Capitol were contracted to the Vulcan Iron and Steel Works of Milwaukee, Duffin Iron Works of Chicago and Hecla Iron Works of New York.

California Rail Stations Get Elevator Upgrades

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority has started a renovation and maintenance project on the elevators at 10 light-rail stations in California. The project will be done in three phases and also address escalator needs, including step and step-chain replacements and controller installations. The Hamilton Light Rail Station in Campbell will receive upgrades during the third phase, which starts on July 9 and is scheduled to be completed on July 19. In addition, the Curtner and Virginia stations will be included in the third phase but are scheduled to be closed until September 5.

The upgrades include the following:

  • New cab wall installations, controllers and speakers
  • Ceiling and floor renovations
  • Emergency communications and video systems

CTBUH Announces City Representative Program

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced the launch of its City Representative program, part of an initiative to increase its presence at a grassroots level. City representatives will work closely with country representatives, where established, to create education and networking events, and increase awareness of best practices in tall buildings and urban design. To qualify as a city representative, one must be a CTBUH member in good standing and recognized for professional accomplishments. In addition, city representatives should have experience in the development of significant tall-building and urban-planning projects.

AGC Releases Construction Statistics

According to an April report by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the U.S. construction industry lost 7,000 jobs between February and March. Despite a similar decline of 6,000 jobs the month before, the industry extended its pattern of year-over-year job increases that AGC considers “modest.” Though the organization considers lack of long-term federal highway and transit funding threatens to hold down future job gains, there was a 55,000-job (1%) increase in construction employment between March 2011 and March 2012. Furthermore, March was the seventh consecutive month construction employment had risen from the same month a year earlier.

The report noted multifamily, manufacturing, distribution and energy-related construction are growing, and private hospital and university work are starting to improve, but public construction is declining, while single-family homebuilding, office and retail work are largely limited to remodeling jobs. The construction unemployment rate in March was 17.2%, roughly double the national unemployment rate. Still, this shows an improvement in the industry’s rate from 20% in March 2011 and 24.9% in March 2010.

Technical Education Seminar Held In Baltimore

A technical-education seminar for the Mid Atlantic Chapter of the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC) took place on February 29-March 1 in Baltimore. Considered a preview of technical-education classes to be held across the U.S., the event was organized by Motion Control Engineering, Inc. (MCE). MCE was joined by its sister company, Imperial Electric, and drive partner, KEB America. The identical day-long sessions accommodated contractor companies that sent representatives for hands-on education and training for MCE’s controller platforms and destination-based dispatching, Imperial Electric’s AC gearless machines and KEB’s AC drive technology.

Capital Tristate, an electrical and lighting product distributor in the Mid-Atlantic region, hosted the seminar. Michael Poon, MCE Technical Support director and event technical content coordinator, said of the event, “The seminar gave us the opportunity to bring our products and expertise directly to our customers. It’s the first of what we hope to be a series of similar seminars around the country.” In addition to Poon, seminar speakers included Dennis Rhodes and Rob DePaul of Imperial Electric, and Tony Heiser of KEB. A functioning Motion 4000 controller and simulator were used for hands-on training, floor height adjustment, and terminal slowdown switch adjustment.

Oklahoma Tower To Undergo Modernization By Kone

KONE has been awarded a contract to modernize 14 elevators in the Oklahoma Tower in Oklahoma City. In addition, 12 of the elevators will feature KONE’s Polaris™ Destination Control System, which optimizes elevator traffic patterns. KONE will also upgrade 13 of the building’s elevator control systems to ReSolve™ with Unity Drives. Designed for existing DC gearless elevators, this technology improves energy performance by using low harmonic distortion and a near-unity power-factor capability. It also enables full-line regeneration of energy to reduce energy consumption. KONE is scheduled to begin the project in July and will modernize one elevator at a time. Completion is scheduled for 2015.

Oklahoma Tower

EESF Partners With Planet Green

The Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (EESF) has launched a recycling fundraising program in cooperation with Planet Green, a recycling company that works with schools, and religious and nonprofit organizations. EESF asks supporters to mail ink cartridges, cell phones and small electronics to EESF at 362 Pinehill Drive, Mobile, Alabama 36606. The Foundation will aggregate the items and ship them to Planet Green, which will inspect them and send EESF a check. Planet Green and the thousands of organizations participating in the recycling fundraising program have been able to keep millions of pounds of waste out of landfills, while raising more than US$40 million for organizations nationwide.

Schindler Contract With Caesar’s Entertainment

Caesar’s Entertainment Corp. has awarded Schindler a five-year maintenance contract for more than 1,200 elevators, escalators and moving walks in 31 of its hotels and casinos across the U.S. According to Phil Harty, director, Key Account Management at Schindler, “Schindler has a longstanding relationship with Caesar’s, which originated at Harrah’s in Atlantic City, [New Jersey,] and has grown tremendously over the years.”

Draka Personnel Changes

    In April, Draka Elevator announced two managerial personnel changes. Shaun Roberts joined the company as Sales manager/South Central Region, and Allen Rhodes was promoted to Sales manager/Northeast Region. Each is tasked with customer relationship management, sales and business  development in his respective region, and each reports directly to Draka Director of Sales/Americas Eric Lazear.

   Based in Houston, Roberts has spent seven years in sales and sales management for Otis in Texas and Florida. He received a BS in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida, and an MBA from the University of Tampa. Rhodes has been with Draka since March 2009 as a customer-service representative. He previously worked as a sales manager for Amerlink Log Homes, and as a sales representative for Pate Dawson Co. and Williams Foods Inc.

Thyssenkrupp Elevator Furthers Sustainability Efforts

ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas has announced several new global sustainability initiatives and partnerships to further its commitment to such practices. The efforts include the following:

Expanding the company’s nationwide network of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED)- accredited professionals. In 2011, the company launched its first LEED Green Associates examination preparation for employees and plans to hold the training several times a year.

Partnering with Save Energy Now, run by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program, to achieve a 25% reduction in industrial energy over the next 10 years

Joining the National Clean Fleets Partnership to reduce petroleum consumption used by ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas’ U.S. fleet. In the past four years, the company has achieved a 32% reduction in fuel use, due to right sizing, the use of alternative-fuel vehicles and route optimization.

Developing and implementing a continuing-education course focused on elevator energy usage. The course is approved for LEED-accredited professionals and architects. The company’s Sustainability department recently launched “lunch and learns,” educational sessions focused on LEED and elevator sustainability, which allow attendees to gain continuing-education credits.

Detroit Elevator Completes Renovation

Detroit Elevator Co. has completed an elevator renovation at the 26-story Tower Plaza in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The company began the project in June 2011, and upgraded elevator cabs and installed a new digital-control system, AC-based hoisting machinery, door-operating systems and signal fixtures. As a result, elevator speeds have increased from 280 fpm to 400 fpm, and waiting times have been reduced. The digital-control system assesses elevator activity and dispatches elevators faster and more efficiently based on need. In addition, the new Traction Auxiliary Power System prevents passengers from being stranded in an elevator due to a power outage. According to Don Purdie, Jr., vice president of Detroit Elevator, “If the building loses power, the elevator will progress to the next floor to allow people to exit [it].”

Ingenthron Joins Brugg As President, General Manager

Douglas Ingenthron joined Brugg Wire Rope as president and general manager of Brugg Wire Rope, LLC, a division of Brugg Lifting based in Rome, Georgia. He will take over for Kevin Heling, who now serves as Business Strategy consultant to the chairman of the board of Brugg Lifting.

Prior to joining Brugg, Ingenthron served as director of Sales and Marketing (North America) of Industrial Products at Alimak Hek Ltd. in Houston. Here, Ingenthron was also responsible for overseeing advertising and trade shows and monitoring lead generation, account development/management, pricing and term/conditions negotiations. Prior to this, he held several positions at Siemens Industry and Energy in Houston. Ingenthron has a BS in Finance from the University of Houston.

MCE To Install Mrl Elevator In Statue Of Liberty

Motion Control Engineering (MCE) has been awarded the project to provide a custom machine-room-less (MRL) elevator for the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York City. The company is using its nonproprietary Freedom® elevator, manufactured in the U.S. with U.S.-manufactured materials. The U.S. National Park Services also chose Liberty Elevator of Patterson, New Jersey, for its vertical-transportation work and Van Deusen and Associates as its elevator consultant. The current renovation project has been ongoing since October 29, 2011, following the landmark’s 125th anniversary. More than four million people visit the structure each year.

“Fellow In The Institution” Awards

The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE), U.S. Branch has awarded Gary Keith and Russell Sanders of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) the distinction “Fellow in the Institution,” which represents authority in the fire engineering community. Keith serves as vice president of Field Operations and Education and oversees six NFPA divisions and manages 13 field offices across the U.S. and Canada that support the adoption and use of NPFA codes and standards. Sanders is the director of NFPA’s Central Regional office and is responsible for promoting the adoption of NFPA codes and standards and the implementation of advocacy projects across nine states.

To become eligible for a “Fellow” membership, IFE members must demonstrate leadership, service or contribution to the fire engineering community. Fire engineers assess the hazards and risks of fire and examine and review new designs, construction techniques and building materials to lessen potential fire damage.

Elevator Boutique Opens In Hollywood

Lift Shop, an Australia-based luxury home elevator designer, unveiled its Elevator Boutique in West Hollywood, California, in March. Joining other lifestyle brands in the Pacific Design Center, Elevator Boutique’s showroom features four home elevator models and allows homeowners, architects, builders and designers to test and compare a range of elevators. In addition, designers are available for custom consultations.

The launch of Elevator Boutique follows the success of Lift Shop, which was founded in 2003. According to Les Katz, CEO of Elevator Boutique, “Our international expansion into the U.S. is a natural progression for the brand. Lift Shop designs were already being sold [abroad], so we already had many systems and processes in place. . . .”

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