News

September 26, 2016

EDMONTON FUNICULAR INTEGRAL TO CONNECTION

CTV News Edmonton has reported approximately one-third of construction work on a funicular project in Edmonton, Canada’s river valley has been completed. Once finished, the inclined lift will hold up to 20 people or up to four wheelchairs. It will be accompanied by an urban staircase, a promenade, a pedestrian bridge, a lookout and a public art piece as part of a CAD24-million (US$18.22-million) accessible connection between the city’s downtown core and river valley.

VERTICAL TRANSPORTATION AMONG CTBUH WORKING GROUPS

“Vertical Transportation” is one of two new working groups announced by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Along with “Program & Construction Management,” it has been added to 10 existing working groups, which bring together professionals in various sectors to conduct research and publish official CTBUH results. The first meetings of the groups are planned in Shenzhen, China, as part of the CTBUH 2016 Conference. Participants are asked to RSVP by October 5.

TISHMAN SPEYER’S LIC PROJECTS IN SPOTLIGHT

Fresh renderings provide a look at significant residential and office projects Tishman Speyer has underway in Long Island City (LIC), New York, New York YIMBY reports. At 28-10 Jackson Avenue, the developer has joined with H&R Real Estate Trust to build a trio of residential skyscrapers standing 43, 45 and 53 stories and containing approximately 1,900 residential units within more than 1.68 million sq. ft. At 28-07 Jackson Avenue, Tishman Speyer is building a pair of 27-story office towers containing 1.1 million sq. ft., of which 800,000 sq. ft. has been preleased. The residential buildings are scheduled for completion in 2018, the office buildings in 2019.

September 23, 2016

ELSCO GETS CANADIAN PRESENCE WITH WURTEC

ELSCO has partnered with Wurtec in the Canadian market, effective October 1. Wurtec will represent ELSCO in Canada. Wurtec will offer ELSCO’s Canadian customers localized customer service and will stock ELSCO’s roller guides and accessories at its locations in Toronto and Vancouver. ELSCO expects the partnership to result in shorter lead times, often with same-day pickup available. Its Canadian customers will also no longer need to arrange for international shipping, foreign currency transactions and cross-border formalities.

DESIGN OF HUDSON YARDS SKYSCRAPER REVEALED

New renderings show the design of 15 Hudson Yards, a 910-ft.-tall residential skyscraper coming out of the ground alongside One Manhattan West and 35 Hudson Yards in the Hudson Yards development on New York City’s (NYC) West Side, New York YIMBY reports. The images, courtesy of Related, show a Diller Scofido + Renfro Rockwell Group futuristic structure featuring a streamlined base tapering into a four-tubed, cloverlike peak. The structure will contain approximately 390 residential units. In a testament to just how significant NYC’s supertall building boom is, 15 Hudson Yards will likely barely break the top 10 of the city’s tallest residential buildings.

ELEVATOR ASSOCIATION OF MINNESOTA ANNUAL MEETING

The Elevator Association of Minnesota held its Annual Business Meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 9. Among general business, the organization elected new board members for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, presented its annual scholarship, and heard the status of the local code and labor landscape from local inspector Bill Reinke and an educational seminar on oil filtration from Michael Johnson of Gorman Co., Inc. Newly elected board members are: Todd Tisher of All City Elevator, president; Brad Ries of EMS, vice president; Kevin Ferrie of All City Elevator, treasurer; Jim O’Laughlin of CEDES, secretary; Kathy Markwell of Elevator Advisory Group; and Kevin Bardwell of KONE.

September 22, 2016

CANNY PROVIDING 24 ESCALATORS TO IRAN MASHHAD METRO

In line with overseas expansion efforts, Canny Elevator has been awarded a contract to provide 24 escalators to Iran Mashhad Metro Line 1. Mashhad is the second-largest city in Iran, and one of the area’s top tourist attractions. Describing itself as “one of the most important suppliers of public transportation,” Canny Elevator says it has made “remarkable achievements in high-standard, strict-requirement transportation systems for major urban rail transit projects both at home and abroad through comprehensive company strength, reliable product quality and efficient customer service.”

BIGGE TO ACQUIRE ALIMAK RENTAL OPERATION

Bigge Crane and Rigging Co., headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, has agreed to acquire the Atlanta-based rental operation of Alimak Group for US$2.4 million. Based in Sweden, Alimak observes “the divestment will allow a stronger focus on product sales as well as after-sales service supporting Alimak’s entire product portfolio in the U.S. and Canada.” Bigge said the deal, expected to close by year’s end, will enhance its existing locations and expertise in the rental of construction hoists and related equipment. Alimak’s rental business serves customers in France, the Benelux Union, Germany and Australia, and sells used equipment.

RESIDENTIAL TOWER REACHES SKYWARD IN HELL’S KITCHEN

Construction on a 440-ft.-tall, 42-story residential tower at 606 West 57th Street in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City has reached the sixth floor, New York YIMBY reports. Upon completion in 2018, it will be among the tallest residential buildings in Manhattan. The building will encompass 998,526 sq. ft. and boast amenities such as a dog-grooming salon and basketball court. TF Cornerstone is the developer, Architectonica is the design architect, and SLCE is the architect of record. With a façade bringing to mind a game of Tetris, structure will contain more than 1,000 apartments, along with parking for both vehicles and bikes.

September 21, 2016

LAX MOD PLANS INCLUDE 2.25-MI.-LONG APM LINE

A US$5-billion Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) modernization is scheduled to reduce congestion, redistribute traffic and improve access to what The Daily Breeze calls “the world’s seventh-busiest airport” and “the largest civic project in the history of Los Angeles.” The program includes two offsite intermodal transfer facilities to the east and west of the airport for trains, buses and vehicles; a consolidated rental car facility; and a 2.25-mi.-long elevated automated people mover (APM). The APM will connect the three facilities with another three stations at the airport. Capable of moving as many as 5,800 airline passengers per hour, nine free automated trains up to 185 ft. long will run every 2-3 min. 24/7. It is estimated that construction could begin as soon as next year. When completed in 2024, the work is to change the face of LAX and how most of the 80 million passengers a year get in and out of the airport.

BICYCLE LAWS FOR ELEVATORS PASS IN NYC

The City Council of New York City (NYC) recently passed three bicycle bills aimed at giving commuters better bicycle access to elevators in residential and commercial buildings under the Bicycle Access Law. One bill, amNewYork reported, requires that office buildings in the city must allow foldable bicycles in offices’ passenger elevators. Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, who sponsored the bill, explained, “Presumably, if a person can fit in an elevator, so can their foldable bike.” Another bill allows commuters to bring their regular bicycles into office buildings’ passenger elevators if freight elevators are closed. The third piece requires residential building owners to allow all bicycles in their buildings’ passenger elevators.

TWO TOWERS PLANNED FOR RESTON, VIRGINIA

A plan to revamp a portion of Sunrise Valley Drive in Reston, Virginia includes 1.5 million sq. ft. of mixed-use development south of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro. Reston Now recently reported that a 24-story, 300-unit residential building and 22-story, 385,000-sq.-ft. office building are part of the plans. Vornado Realty Trust is currently seeking to rezone 12 acres to develop the project over four phases, adding pedestrian paths to the metro, bike lanes, parks and a plaza.

September 20, 2016

BIG PLANS FOR HUDSON YARDS CENTERPIECE

Plans were recently unveiled for the “Vessel,” to be an engaging public landmark serving as the centerpiece of New York City’s Hudson Yards development. The interactive structure is intended to be climbed, explored and experienced. The form of the painted steel frame rises from a 50-ft.-diameter base and widens at the top to 150 feet with an underside clad with a polished copper-colored skin. The design includes an inclined glass elevator for accessibility, designer Thomas Heatherwick explained to designboom. It is expected to take two years to complete.

SEATTLE METRO ESCALATORS REHABBED SANS SAFETY DEVICE

Thirty-nine of the 40 escalators in the King County Metro Transit bus tunnel in Seattle have been refurbished but lack a safety device that an attorney for the family of a man who was killed as a result of becoming trapped on one of the units says could prevent future accidents, KIRO Channel 7 reports. The 42-year-old man was fatally strangled in 2013 as a result of his clothing becoming entangled in the escalator teeth, and his family recently won a US$1 million settlement with King County. The man’s attorney said comb impact safety devices, which shut off escalators if something becomes stuck in the teeth, should have been installed. The refurbishments were required to meet the code of 1987 — the year the escalators were built — which did not call for the devices.

30-STORY RESIDENTIAL TOWER FOR MINNEAPOLIS

Multi-Housing News (MHN) recently reported the Opus Group plans to build a 30-story multifamily and retail development in downtown Minneapolis. The 365 Nicollet Avenue project aims to support the city’s goal to double the downtown population by 2025 with 369 apartments and 9,500 sq. ft. of ground-floor retail space. MHN stated Opus has played a significant role in the transformation of the area, having completed two major developments on adjacent blocks — 26-story luxury apartment building The Nic on Fifth, as well as Xcel Energy’s headquarters at 401 Nicollet. Construction is scheduled to begin in early October, and completion is set for summer 2018.

September 19, 2016

NEW THYSSENKRUPP DEVICE IMPLEMENTED IN THE FIELD

thyssenkrupp recently announced its use of its Microsoft HoloLens technology in its elevator service operations worldwide. Calling it a “special mixed reality device,” the company is equipping more than 24,000 of its service technicians with it. thyssenkrupp stated it will allow them to visualize and identify problems with elevators ahead of a job and have remote, hands-free access to technical and expert information when onsite. Its initial field trials have shown a fourfold increase in service speeds. Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator, unveiled the product on September 15 to global media, including ELEVATOR WORLD’s Kaija Wilkinson and EW Correspondent Carmen Maldacena and her husband, Luis, in New York City.

RESIDENTIAL DUMBWAITER POPULARITY RISES

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that dumbwaiters are making a comeback in expensive homes. The devices are seen as a solution in flood-prone areas where stilt homes are popular and give Victorian-styled homes authenticity, especially versions powered by hand. As 43.6% of for-sale homes with dumbwaiters were priced over US$1 million, most of the segment is in the upper end of the market. The article quotes ELEVATOR WORLD Correspondent Dr. Lee Gray as explaining that the first electric models appeared in the early 20th century, but when the depression hit, the market effectively dried up.

SOLAR ELEVATOR REPORT ON OFFER

360 Market Updates recently released “Europe Solar Powered Elevator Market Report 2016,” an in-depth analysis of solar-powered elevators. Various definitions and classifications of the industry, applications and structure are included. The present status of the solar-powered elevator in key regions is stated, and industry policies and news are analyzed. The units’ manufacturing process is then analyzed with respect to raw materials used, equipment suppliers and associated manufacturing costs. Despite the report’s title, manufacturers from around the world are included in its focus on key national players.

September 16, 2016

CTBUH STARTS COMPREHENSIVE INNOVATION STUDY

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Research Office, project sponsor thyssenkrupp and an international steering committee have embarked on a 24-month research study investigating how technical innovations in elevators, specifically rope-less, non-vertical elevators, could impact the design outcomes of tall buildings and cities. Thyssenkrupp contributed US$265,000 to the project, which was, launched on August 30 with a kickoff meeting in Chicago that brought together experts in design, structural engineering, vertical transportation, real estate, consulting and fire safety.

MORE OTIS ORDERS IN CHINA

Continuing to win big Chinese orders (ELENET 657-659), Otis recently received two large orders for under-construction developments. The first is from Xiamen International Trade Group for 169 Otis elevators for its high-end residential projects in Fujian province. Here, Otis China will provide 163 Gen2® elevators and six SKY™ elevators. The second is for Xinhaidu International Hot Spring Resort in Harbin, which will receive 50 Gen2 elevators and escalators. With a 400,000-m2 construction area, the “mega resort” is expected to be completed this year and have eight resort hotels and other amenities.

AVIRE IN LEEDS, U.K., BUILDING

Avire has installed its E-Motive iS2 LCD multimedia display at the City Exchange office building in Leeds, U.K.’s Trinity Leeds. After City Exchange’s lift service provider suggested the iS2 as a solution as part of a general refurbishment program, it was decided to upgrade the displays in the seven-story building’s four lifts. Avire stated, “Changing graphics or information on the existing displays had proved an extremely time-consuming and costly process, with an engineer call-out needed to make even the slightest alteration.” Since the building was constantly letting and re-letting its floors, easy owner customization was highly desired.