News

July 30, 2015

TOP FLOOR ELEVATOR STORE BECOMES WURTEC, EXPANDS

Top Floor Elevator Store, the Canadian distribution arm of Wurtec, has been renamed Wurtec and nearly doubled its size in a new, 15,000-sq.-ft. location at 880 Milner Avenue, Unit 3, Scarborough, Ontario M1B 5N7. Phone and fax numbers remain the same. In announcing the changes, Wurtec states it sees “great value and clarity in [having] one globally recognized brand” and invites customers to come by and see the location.

DIA’S ELEVATORS AND ESCALATORS NEAR COMPLETION

Lerch Bates Inc., designer of the elevator, escalator and façade-access systems of the US$544-million Denver International Airport (DIA) expansion, said that installation of the 16 elevators and 11 escalators for the DIA Hotel and Transit Center Program is nearing completion. Work includes 60-ft.-long escalators with unique, large-scale light art by Yann Kersalé above them. The company described part of its design as “three colossal five-story escalators that connect the transit center on level one with the public plaza on level five.” The Westin hotel portion of the project is scheduled to open on November 19. Commuter rail service is to begin in 2016.

UNIQUE CAR ELEVATORS IN PORSCHE DESIGN TOWER

Work is underway on the Porsche Design Tower in the Miami suburb of Sunny Isles Beach, CBS News reports. It will include a trio of elevators that carry cars and people to their condos on any of the high rise’s 60 floors. Miami-Dade County Chief Inspector Mike Chavez says the elevator hoistway is the largest he has ever seen and that the elevators will be the first of their kind. They are now being installed under ASME A17.7 performance-based code by Mid-American Elevator Co. of Chicago. The entire development is to be complete in summer 2016, joining other branded condominium towers in the area like the Armani Casa and Fendi Chateau.

July 29, 2015

ULTRAROPE GOING INTO NEW ZEALAND LANDMARK

KONE’s UltraRope® is going into the elevator system in the 328-m-tall Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand, the country’s number-one tourist attraction and tallest manmade structure. KONE has a modernization contract with Sky Tower operator SKYCITY, and UltraRope was added to it several months ago due to its ability to reduce energy consumption and mitigate building sway. The modernization is scheduled to be complete in September. Johannes de Jong, KONE’s head of technology for Major Projects, estimates there are approximately 3,000 buildings globally that could benefit from UltraRope.

ASANSÖR ISTANBUL 2017 ANNOUNCED

The next Asansör Istanbul has been announced for March 23-26, 2017. Again organized by the Istanbul Fair Organization, hopes are that its growth will continue. A record number of trade professionals attended the 2015 event. The organization announced that 68% of exhibitors at that show have already reserved their stands for the next iteration, which anticipates the attendance of 30,000 visitors and 450 companies from 30 different countries.

CHINESE WOMAN DIES IN MALL ESCALATOR ACCIDENT

A 31-year-old Chinese woman died on July 26 in a mall in Jingzhou, China, as the result of falling into an escalator truss when the floorplate collapsed as she and her young son were nearing the top, various news outlets, including CNN, report. In security footage, the woman is seen pushing her son up and out of the way before falling into the shaft. It look police approximately 4 hr. to recover her body. The incident is under investigation.

July 28, 2015

PAIR OF 35-STORY, MIXED-USE TOWERS FOR L.A.

A pair of 35-story, mixed-use towers is planned in downtown Los Angeles (L.A.) on 12th Street near the Staples Center, CoStar Realty Information Inc. reports. Circa is set to include approximately 650 apartments, retail and parking. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said Circa promises to create 1,000 construction jobs over the next two-and-a-half years. It is part of a tall-building boom going on in L.A. that includes the US$1-billion Metropolis project.

2ND & PIKE RISING IN SEATTLE

Construction has begun on 2nd & Pike, a 39-story luxury apartment tower overlooking Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports. Designed by Seattle architect Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig, the project is set to include approximately 340 residences and 9,000 sq. ft. of retail. Urban Visions is the developer, and the U.S. subsidiary of Japan’s largest real-estate company, Mitsui Fudosan, is an investor in the US$74.4-million project, part of a luxury building boom around Pike Place Market.

BOY INJURES FOOT IN SOUTH AFRICAN ESCALATOR ACCIDENT

A six-year-old U.K. boy on holiday with his family in South Africa was injured as a result of his foot becoming trapped in a shopping-center escalator in Umhlanga, South Africa, on the evening of July 21, The Citizen reports. The accident was called in at approximately 9 p.m., and it took emergency responders several hours to free the child from the escalator. He was hospitalized, but the extent of his injuries was not known.

July 27, 2015

CONFINED SPACES RULE COMPLIANCE DEADLINE EXTENDED

OSHA has extended the deadline from August 3 to October 2 for U.S. employers to comply with the confined-spaces rule, which provides protections for construction workers but requires education and training. The rule applies to workers in elevator and escalator pits. Companies not in compliance by the original deadline will not be issued citations if they are making good-faith efforts toward education and training. The Associated Builders and Contractors were among trade associations seeking additional time, Engineering News-Record reports.

35 HUDSON YARDS LOOKS POISED TO TAKE SHAPE IN NYC

It appears the 1,000-ft.-tall, 79-story 35 Hudson Yards is poised to take shape, with a new rendering released and paperwork making its way through the New York City (NYC) Department of Buildings, New York YIMBY reports. Plans have been adjusted before, but observers believe the latest incarnation will stick. The Skimore, Owings & Merrill design features a light-colored, stepped façade with a setback containing an outdoor area and a pool for hotel guests. Condominiums are also planned in the building, which will be the second supertall within the Hudson Yards development and the final piece of the Eastern Yards portion of the project. Completion by 2019 is anticipated.

WOMAN INJURED IN BART ESCALATOR MISHAP

A woman was treated for non-life threatening injuries on July 22 as a result of her clothing becoming caught in an escalator at Powell Station, part of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in San Francisco, San Francisco News reports. The incident caused some skin on the woman’s arm to become pinched. Earlier in July, four people suffered minor injuries when a Powell Station escalator suddenly stopped.

July 24, 2015

TOSHIBA SELLS STAKE IN KONE

Toshiba Elevator and Buildings Systems sold its 4.6% stake in KONE recently for EUR864.7 million (US$949.8 million) to institutional investors to boost the books of parent company Toshiba after accounting irregularities were discovered at Toshiba, International Business Times reports. KONE also announced that board member Kazunori Matsubara, formerly president of Toshiba’s elevator division, resigned. KONE stated the sale and the resignation have “no other effect on the strategic alliance” with Toshiba, which entails Toshiba manufacturing and marketing elevators using KONE’s machine-room-less technology in Japan.

VTME HIRES CONSULTANT FOR DUBAI

VTME Vertical Transportation Systems Consultants announced in July that Vignesh Dhanapal joined its Dubai branch as Project Support engineer. Dhanapal holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Anna University in Chennai, India, and is skilled in preparing elevator and escalator layouts and 3D modeling of mechanical components. He will assist in vertical-transportation design and supervision projects from the VTME Dubai office and manage the building information modeling (BIM) for the firm’s projects. VTME cites Dhanapal’s hiring as a response to increased demand from U.A.E. architects for 3D BIM modeling.

WORK BEGINS ON LONG ISLAND CITY TOWERS

Excavation and foundation work has begun for two towers that are part of a tall-building resurgence in Long Island City, New York, New York YIMBY reports. Both mixed-use buildings will have ground-level retail. QE7 at 29-26 Northern Boulevard, a 44-story building, is planned for completion in summer 2018. At 27-17 42nd Road, a 25-story building is taking shape that will have more than 180 residential units. It is scheduled for completion by late 2017.

July 23, 2015

52-STORY SKYSCRAPER WOULD BE TAMPA’S TALLEST

A 52-story skyscraper containing retail, parking, offices and condominiums is on the drawing boards in Tampa, Florida, courtesy of developer Feldman Equities, a Florida outfit that already owns 4 million sq. ft. of office space in Tampa and Orlando, The Tampa Tribune reports. Mayor Bob Buckhorn welcomed the project, which would take shape on the site of a failed Donald Trump project downtown. At 627 ft., the building would be taller than the Tampa area’s current tallest tower, the 579-ft.-tall Regions tower. Feldman recently filed plans with the city.

OCTOBER EW FOCUS TOPIC, DETAILS

The October issue of ELEVATOR WORLD will focus on drives and motors, include a Continuing Education article and receive bonus distribution at Interlift 2015 in Augsburg, Germany. Its submission deadline is August 17. To participate or for more information, contact the EW Editorial Department at phone: (251) 479-4514, ext. 30 or email: editorial@elevatorworld.com.

ACCIDENTS WITH INJURY IN CHINA, VIETNAM INVESTIGATED

A pair of falling-elevator accidents in Shenyang, China, and Da Nang City, Vietnam, in which more than 20 people were injured on July 15 and 17, respectively, are being investigated by authorities, various news outlets report. All passengers were hospitalized, with some still being treated for injuries, including serious bone fractures. The Shenyang incident occurred in a mixed-use building and involved 12 people, all employees of the same company. In that case, a unit fell from the 12th floor. In Da Nang City, an elevator containing 10 passengers fell from the sixth floor of a luxury hotel.

July 22, 2015

SCHINDLER WINS LARGEST-EVER CONTRACT IN MYANMAR

Schindler has been awarded a 103-unit contract to supply the vertical-transportation system for the multitower, mixed-use Times City, scheduled for completion in 2017 in Yangon, Myanmar. Willis Phua, general manager of Myanmar Jardine Schindler, noted it is the largest elevator/escalator contract ever awarded in Myanmar. It consists of 79 elevators and 24 escalators, including 41 3300AP and 38 5500 machine-room-less elevators. The order also includes Schindler’s Lobby Vision for elevators and escalators in the office and hotel towers.

IN MEMORIAM: CHARLES H. “CHARLIE” MURPHY

Charles H. “Charlie” Murphy of West Roxbury, Massachusetts, passed away on July 6. Murphy had a long career in the industry and was a valuable contributor to national codes. He held positions with Bay State Elevator Co., Consolidated Elevator and Westinghouse. He was involved in construction of the Prudential Tower in Boston. After the purchase of Consolidated by Montgomery Elevator (now part of KONE), Murphy became part of a group that purchased McLaughlin Elevator. His final career move was as a state inspector, where he became involved in writing and developing codes. He was a longstanding member of the Massachusetts Elevator Safety Association. Funeral services were private.

33-STORY MARRIOTT TO JOIN RESIDENTIAL TOWER IN NYC

Renderings for a 33-story, 345-ft.-tall Marriott hotel planned adjacent to a 50-plus story residential tower at 151 Maiden Lane in the Financial District of New York City (NYC) have been revealed by New York YIMBY. Designed by Peter Poon, the hotel features a glassy façade with a smattering of ripples and very little setback from tower to base. It is set to contain approximately 270 rooms within 110,207 sq. ft. Completion is anticipated in 2017.