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February 17, 2017

KONE INDIA LAUNCHES SMART ELEVATOR “HACKATHON”
KONE India, in partnership with IBM and HackerEarth, has launched an elevator “hackathon,” in which developers are invited to come up with digitally innovative ideas to, in this case, enhance the elevator-user experience. The hackathon is being powered by IBM Watson’s Internet of Things platform on IBM’s BlueMix cloud. More than 2,300 people from across India registered, and the top 60 shortlisted teams presented their ideas in Bengaluru and Chennai. On March 4, the top 15 teams are scheduled to demonstrate the integration of their prototypes at KONE’s R&D center in Chennai, with the winning team awarded a cash prize of US$5,961 and a chance to further developer its idea at KONE’s R&D center in Finland.

HYUNDAI EXPANSION INCLUDES TURKEY, INDIA
Hyundai Elevator Co. of South Korea plans to acquire or build a factory in Turkey, having entered the market last year, South Korean newspaper Pulse, reported. Additionally, the company intends to enter India either in joint-venture or independent capacity this year. It sees the moves as a stepping stone for entering the Eastern European elevator market. Its other growth plans include the 2019 completion of a second plant in China near Shanghai and reinforcing its maintenance division in South Korea, where the segment provides 20-30% of operating income.

SINGAPORE MOVES TO ADDRESS TECHNICIAN SHORTAGE
Singapore's Building and Construction Authority (BCA) is addressing the need to hire 1,000 new vertical-transportation technicians in the next three years by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with industry partners to support scholarships and sponsorships to attract new talent, Channel NewsAsia, reports. More than 2,000 technicians currently maintain approximately 63,000 lifts and 6,000 escalators, according to BCA, but more are needed as the city-state's tall buildings continue to multiply. Challenges remain, however, including the fact that the vertical-transportation industry competes with higher-paying jobs in industries such as engineering, building services and transportation.

CHINESE GOVERNMENTS HOPE TO REDUCE ELEVATOR ACCIDENTS
In light of elevator fatalities across China, governments are taking steps to increase accountability, Global Times, reports. In Northwest China, Baoji has begun offering liability insurance, and in East China, Qingdao has revised regulations to require that elevators in schools, hospitals, supermarkets and other public places be outfitted with surveillance cameras. The Qingdao regulations also stipulate maintenance entities set up 24-hr. hotlines and dispatch rescuers to scenes in a timely manner. National regulations already require elevators to be cleaned, lubricated, adjusted and checked every 15 days, but this is often ignored. Forty-one people died in elevator accidents in 2016, a drop from 48 such fatalities in 2015. Early this month, 43- and 44-year-old male relatives from Shenyang plunged down a shaft to their deaths from the 28th to third floors.

SRI LANKA’S AITKEN SPENCE RECEIVES ISO CERTIFICATION
Aitken Spence Elevators, sole Otis distributor in Sri Lanka, was recently awarded the ISO 9001:2008 certification for its quality-management system (QMS) by SGS Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., Mirror Business, reported. The certification includes sales, marketing, installation, testing, commissioning and maintenance of Otis elevators, escalators and moving walks. It is provided to organizations that demonstrate their QMS has the robust ability to consistently fulfill customer requirements, as well as statutory needs. It also indicates the organization is committed to continually enhancing customer satisfaction through the application of the management system with processes in place for nonconformance management and improvement.

February 13, 2017

2018 IEE EXPO ANNOUNCED
The next International Elevator & Escalator (IEE) Expo is to be held on February 28-March 2, 2018, at the Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre in Mumbai. For more information or to reserve a booth, contact organizer Messe Frankfurt.

ELEVATORS/ESCALATORS FOR 25-PLUS MUMBAI STATIONS
At least 25 railway stations in the Mumbai area are slated to receive elevators and escalators as part of the 2017-2018 Railway Budget, The Hindu, reports. Stations to get them include Mumbai Central, Bandra Terminus, Borivali, Dadar, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus and Kalyan. The improvements are expected to be extended to 500 stations across India as Indian Railways focuses on adding 3,500 km of railway, enhancing passenger safety/cleanliness and improving accounting practices.

39-STORY VICTORIA POLICE CENTRE IN MELBOURNE
The Victorian government has approved plans to build a 39-story building in Melbourne, Australia, that will house 2,500 police personnel, The Urban Developer, reports. The Woods Bagot-designed structure will be built next to an existing police complex in the 300 block of Spencer Street and include a public foyer with an area to exhibit police memorabilia. It is being developed by Australia Post and Cbus Property in partnership with the government, and is set to dovetail with the expiration of the Victoria Police's lease at the World Trade Centre in 2020.

February 6, 2017

ONE DEAD, ONE INJURED IN JOBSITE ELEVATOR MISHAP IN INDIA
A 35-year-old female construction worker was killed, and another was injured as a result of being crushed by an elevator on a jobsite near in Hyderabad, India, on January 30, Telengana Today, reports. The injured woman was transported to a hospital and reported to be in stable condition. Police are investigating the incident, which involved the women becoming caught under a construction elevator. The fatality was attributed to severe head injuries.

GOETTSCH DESIGN FOR COFCO HEADQUARTERS IN SHENZHEN
Chicago's Goettsch Partners won a competition to design headquarters for China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp. (COFCO), a pair of 200- and 180-m-tall towers expected to start taking shape in Shenzhen, China, this summer, SkyRise Cities, reports. With a pinstripe design that gives way to translucent markers near their tops, the nearly identical towers will span 129,000 m2 and boast large atriums, sky terraces, natural ventilation, solar shading and paths linking to neighboring green space. Completion is anticipated in 2019.

AUSTRALIAN PLAN WITH 103-STORY TOWER CLOSER TO REALITY
Orion Towers, set to include what would be the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere at 103 stories, moved a big step closer to reality earlier this year when developer Orion International Group closed on a 5,724-m2 piece of property spanning Enderley and Markwell avenues and Surfers Paradise Boulevard in Gold Coast, Australia, The Urban Developer , reports. The mixed-use project, which also features a 76-story tower, was in the hands of the Gold Coast City Council in February. Woods Bagot designed the structures, set to house approximately 1,130 residences, including a penthouse on the 100th floor.

CTBUH ANNOUNCES 2017 CONFERENCE
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) will be holding its 2017 conference in Sydney on October 30-November 3. This year's topic is "Connecting the City: People, Density & Infrastructure." CTBUH notes Sydney has a 230-year history in urban development and finds itself at the nexus of much of the current debate about cities: density versus suburbanization, modernity versus historical preservation, infrastructure versus urban life and the high-rise versus the low-rise realms. A call for paper abstracts and sponsors has been initiated. For more information, email CTBUH or visit the CTBUH website.