News

October 29, 2014

  

EW’S FOCUS ON DESTINATION DISPATCH

The deadline of November 17 for submissions to the January 2015 issue of ELEVATOR WORLD is looming. This issue will focus on the popular topic of Destination Dispatch. It will also feature the winners of the 2015 EW Project of the Year contest. To participate in the focus topic or for more information, contact the EW Editorial Department at phone: (251) 479-4514, ext. 30 or email: editorial@elevatorworld.com.

PLANS FOR FAIRMONT AUSTIN MOVE FORWARD

Plans for the 37-story, 595-ft.-tall Fairmont Austin hotel in Austin, Texas, have progressed, with developers securing financing and groundbreaking expected in early November, the Austin Business Journal reports. Connected to the Austin Convention Center, the hotel will have more than 1,060 rooms, meeting space and an underground parking facility.

MAXTON CONDUCTS TRIO OF TRAINING SESSIONS

On October 23-24, Maxton conducted a trio of training sessions at R.M.R. Elevator Co. Inc. in Linden, New Jersey, D&D Elevator Maintenance Inc. in Elmsford, New York and at the Eastern Region NAESA International Workshop. Approximately 70 students took advantage of the training, which included hands-on and classroom instruction about how to prevent problems and follow A17.1 code when working with Maxton elevator valves.

October 28, 2014

  

IN MEMORIAM: MARK EDWARD BEEBE

Mark Edward Beebe of Greensboro, North Carolina, passed away on October 20 at the age of 80. A U.S. Navy veteran, Beebe was retired from the elevator industry, having worked for Otis, Guilford Technical Community College as an elevator-technician instructor and the State of North Carolina as an inspector. He is survived by son, Mark, Jr.; brother, Bill; 10 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. A service was held on October 24 in Randleman, North Carolina.

PORTMAN-DESIGNED CHINA SUPERTALL PROJECT LAUDED

The John Portman & Associates-designed Yinchuan Greenland Center in China, a pair of 301-m-tall towers, is one of three finalists in the 2014 Be Inspired Awards, sponsored by Bentley©, in the “Innovation in Building” category. The mixed-use development features interesting parallelogram-shaped buildings, glass façades and energy-efficient glazing. The first tower is under construction and forecast to be complete in 2017, while the second is scheduled to be complete in 2019. Winners will be announced during the Year in Infrastructure 2014 Conference, planned on November 3-6 in London. A complete list of nominees may be found here.

MOVING WALK CAUSES AIRPORT FIRE

A two-alarm fire delayed passengers at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, on October 25, WCNC reported. Though the cause is not yet known, the airport blamed a moving walk for the fire between terminals D and E. Passengers were evacuated from the concourses as firefighters fought the flames for 20 minutes. Six people were treated for smoke inhalation, but there were no reports of severe injuries.

October 27, 2014

  

SYMAX COMPLETES NEW FACILITY TO SERVE CHINA, RUSSIA

Symax Lift (Holding) Co. Ltd. recently completed a new US$9.15-million facility in Wanzhou, China, to serve western China and Russia. The facility is comprised of two production lines and 496,000 sq. ft., including a 174,000-sq.-ft. workshop. The six Chinese provinces the new facility will serve represent 35% of the Chinese population, according to Symax. In addition, the company believes a housing boom in Russia means demand for elevators will grow.

PAKISTANI AUTHORITIES PROBE ELEVATOR PROCUREMENT

Pakistan’s National Accountability Bureau (NAB) plans to examine the procurement of elevators and escalators for the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Project after the bureau received complaints project officials manipulated the process, The Express Tribune reports. Bus authority officials are accused of procuring inferior equipment for exorbitant rates. NAB said it intends “to expeditiously inquire into the matter to ensure that no national funds go to waste in the project.”

CECA UPDATES BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

The Canadian Elevator Contractors Association (CECA) recently announced that its board of directors listing has been updated. Its Eastern Region chair is now Rob Cane, following the post’s resignation by Claude Belisle. A full list of directors and their contact information can be found here.

October 24, 2014

  

OAO MOGILEVLIFTMASH RESUMES BUSINESS IN AFGHANISTAN

OAO Mogilevliftmash has resumed business in Afghanistan after a nearly three-year hiatus, Belarusian News reports. By the end of October, the company, based in Mogilev, Belarus, expects to have delivered 24 elevators as part of three separate contracts to Afghanistan, with which it has been doing business since 1980. Describing the market as “promising,” OAO Mogilevliftmash says it has “serious plans of cooperation with Afghanistan in 2015.”

ELEVATOR OVERHAUL ONGOING AT UH MANOA IN HONOLULU

The University of Hawaii (UH) Manoa campus in Honolulu is in the midst of an elevator overhaul entering its second phase, which includes 17 new elevators, campus newspaper The Ka Leo reports. Since July 2012, the university has renovated 13 elevators. Many of the nearly 100 elevators on campus are between 30-50 years old, 20-30 years past their prime. Campus officials are giving priority to units that prompt the most complaint calls. Currently, 44 elevators have been identified, and the project will have up to five phases.

KONE EARNS TOP MARKS FOR “GREEN” EFFORTS, TRANSPARENCY

KONE received a top score of 100 in the Nordic CDP Climate Change Report, indicating excellence in communicating and understanding climate-change issues from both a company and product standpoint. KONE notes it has steadily improved its score for each of the past five years, and that only five companies out of 250 covered received the top score. KONE also notes it is part of the CDP’s Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index for the fourth consecutive year, showing it is among companies most transparent about disclosing climate-related information.

ELEVATOR UPGRADE FOR SPOKANE COUNTY JAIL

The Spokane County Jail in Spokane, Washington, is undergoing a US$1.1-million modernization of its four elevators, KREM-TV reports. The project includes replacement of door slides, cables and system controls on the 1980s-era system. It is expected to take six to eight weeks. The refurbished units will implement energy-efficient technology, and promise to enhance both safety and comfort.

October 23, 2014

  

THYSSENKRUPP ELEVATOR UNVEILS ACCEL MOVING WALK

On October 22 at its Innovation Centre in Gijon, Spain, ThyssenKrupp Elevator debuted ACCEL, an accelerated moving walk for airports and metro rail stations that dramatically reduces the time it takes for pedestrians to travel from points A to B. ACCEL allows passengers to cover 270 m in 140 s., versus 415 s. on a standard moving walk, which represents a time savings of 66%. For airport operators, ACCEL eliminates the need for expensive infrastructure, such as sky trains for distances up to 1.5 km and, for metro systems, can increase passenger capacity by up to 30%. The company reports that it is in first talks for contacts.

ESCALATOR REPLACEMENT AT LOUISVILLE AIRPORT

New escalators leading from the lower to upper levels at the Louisville International Airport in Louisville, Kentucky, are among up to US$8 million in upgrades planned by the Louisville Regional Airport AuthorityThe Courier-Journal reports. The existing escalators are at least 30 years old, and it is difficult to find replacement parts for them. The authority expects to have design work completed by summer 2015 and award a contract that fall. Also including new lighting, flooring and artwork, the project will likely be done in phases.

INCLINE ELEVATOR TO ENHANCE RIVER ACCESS IN EDMONTON

At least one incline elevator promises to enhance access to the North Saskatchewan River valley in Edmonton, Canada, by 2017, the Edmonton Journal reports. An elevator on the north side has been proposed as part of CAD34.4 (US$30.5 million) in local connectivity projects, and officials hope to find funding for a south-side elevator, as well. The units would run independently and replace a previous plan to install gondolas on the riverbank.

ELEVATOR SHAFT FALL FATAL FOR MAN IN SOFIA, BULGARIA

A fall down an elevator shaft on October 18 was fatal for a 53-year-old man in the Geo Milev residential district of Sofia, Bulgaria, FOCUS News Agency reports. A local official stated the entity responsible for the unit’s maintenance fulfilled a legislative requirement to respond quickly after an accident. The official also observed the unit lacked a protective shield underneath its cabin – one of the requirements Bulgaria is phasing in after an August incident in which one woman died and another was injured.

October 22, 2014

  

BANGKOK “SUPER TOWER” WOULD BE TALLEST IN REGION

At 615 m tall and 125 stories, what is now being called “Super Tower” would be the tallest building in Southeast Asia when completed in approximately six years, The Nation reports. Developers announced they were proceeding with the project in October. Designed by U.S.-based Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), the tower resembles another SOM-designed building planned in Jakarta, the 530-m-tall Pertamina Energy Tower, which has a clamlike shape. Super Tower would be the centerpiece of a mixed-use development spanning 11.7 ha.

KEB AMERICA GETS STO CERTIFICATION

KEB America recently announced that its F5 elevator drive with SIL3 Safe Torque Off (STO) has been independently reviewed and verified by an elevator safety organization to meet the most recent ASME A17.1 and EN 81 code requirements. Using a KEB F5 drive with STO allows users to replace the traditionally used motor contactor(s).

RENDERINGS SHOW THIN, GLASSY TOWER FOR NYC

New renderings of 151 Maiden Lane, a 52-story, 520-ft.-tall residential tower planned in New York City (NYC) near South Street Seaport, reveal a slender shape, glassy façade and wraparound balconies, New York YIMBY reports. Designed by Goldstein, Hill & West, the building is planned to have an adjacent 33-story hotel, designed by another architect. Thus far, hotel renderings have not been released. Construction is expected to start soon, judging from recent permit activity.

BABY SUCCUMBS TO ESCALATOR-FALL INJURIES IN INDIA

A 15-month-old girl succumbed within hours to injuries she sustained on October 12 as a result of falling from her mother’s arms from the second to the ground floor of a shopping-mall escalator in Kochi, India, The Times of India and Emirates 24/7 reported. Although eyewitnesses confirmed the tragedy was an accident, authorities vowed to inspect all lifts and escalators in Kochi, paying particular attention to those in malls. Passengers of Ernakulam Junction in Kochi also called for escalator assistance for senior citizens during heavy traffic.

October 21, 2014

  

NEW CHINESE COMPANY SUPPLIES BANGLADESHI MALL

Hangzhou SWORD Elevator is a new manufacturer and service provider in China. According to the Shanghai Elevator Trade Association, its facilities produce 50,000 pieces of elevators and related products annually. It is located in a 120-m-tall production base in Hangzhou. It also owns an elevator testing tower that can accommodate the testing of models up to 7 mps in speed. One of its upcoming projects is the 166-ft.-tall “Elegant Shopping Mall” in Sylhet, Bangladesh, which will include four elevators and three escalators. The company is also actively exploring the Bangladesh elevator market and seeks cooperation there to aid its expansion in South Asia.

BROOKLYN TOWER REACHING TOWARD THE SKY

Avalon Willoughby West at 100 Willoughby Street in Brooklyn, New York, is taking shape quickly, tripling in height to 15 stories in approximately one month, New York YIMBY reports. The SLCE-designed building is eventually planned to reach 57 stories, or 595 ft., and will briefly be the tallest tower in quickly growing downtown Brooklyn. There are 674- and 800-ft.-tall towers planned nearby.

LARGE OTIS PRESENCE IN SICHUAN, CHINA

Otis Elevator (China) Investment Co., Ltd. has strengthened its presence in the Chinese province of Sichuan, the Shanghai Elevator Trade Association recently reported. Otis has opened a second office there in Mianyang, bringing its number of branches in the country’s western region to 10. It is also providing Chengdu Yintai Center (in Sichuan) with a number of elevators. Developed by Yintai Group, the project is to be completed in 2016.