News

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Week of 4/5/21

OTIS HONG KONG HONORED FOR EMPLOYEE EFFORTS

Otis Hong Kong recently set a new company milestone when it received three employee-focused awards — Employer of Choice, Appreciation Culture and Employee Engagement — during the prestigious Employer of Choice Award 2020 ceremony. The 2020 edition of the event, organized by JobMarket, represented the seventh installment of the program. It honors organizations, business leaders and HR professionals who have demonstrated outstanding talent management in the workplace. To be recognized, JobMarket award winners must have achievements backed by quantifiable results. Otis Hong Kong is a unit of Otis Worldwide Corp., which, with more than 69,000 employees, is the leading global vertical-transportation provider.

HITACHI OPENS RESIDENTIAL ELEVATOR CENTER IN KUNMING

Hitachi Elevator (China) has inaugurated a Household Elevator Urban Experience Center in Kunming, China, the company announced in March. During a gathering at the center on March 28, company President Jia Yuhui, Vice President Liang Yaoqiang, representatives of the business management team, as well as dealer partners, interior design companies and customers, took part in the announcement and ceremony. With the launch of the center, Hitachi has further expanded its residential presence by offering potential buyers more channels for online, one-to-one consultation and offline service through such centers. Hitachi's residential elevators have such functions as emergency rescue, one-click emergency contact, failure prediction, remote monitoring and on-demand maintenance.

REDEVELOPMENT PLANNED FOR AKASAKA BUILDINGS IN TOKYO

Developers have released detailed plans for the redevelopment of the Kokusai Shin-Akasaka Buildings, Japan Property Central reported on March 22. The Akasaka 2, 6 Chome District project will see two towers of 230 and 110 m. The taller, 41-story East Tower will contain office and retail space, while the lower, 19-story West Tower will offer accommodations, retail, a theater and an event hall. The total building size will be 2.2 million ft2. A 1,000-m2 business support center targeting startups and creatives in the entertainment industry will be in the East Tower. The upper floors of the West Tower will have 10,000 m2 of accommodation targeting foreign business travelers and domestic tourists. Demolition of the existing office buildings will start in 2022, with completion of the new project tentatively scheduled for 2028.

Week of 3/29/21

EW LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE

ELEVATOR WORLD’s new website is now live. The culmination of several months of work, the revamped site includes the following new features:

  • Integration with our updated subscription model, making the website fully content-driven
  • All past issues are being added as digital flipbooks and in HTML format (by article) for fully searchable content. All subscribers will have two to three years of EW available at launch. Eventually, this benefit will be expanded to include all issues over EW's 68 years.
  • Daily News is categorized by "U.S." or "International," but there is an option to continue reading all at once.
  • The main menu is much easier to navigate search.
  • The "Events" (industry calendar) page is now fully integrated into the website, instead of on an external "Directory" page. "Classifieds" and "Directory" will also soon be incorporated into the main site.

INTERLIFT POSTPONED TO 2022

AFAG, organizer of Interlift, has postponed the show until April 26-29, 2022. Citing the continuation of travel and other restrictions related to COVID-19, AFAG believes the original dates in October were not favorable for such a large event. However, by April 2022, it said, "the general conditions should have improved considerably. . . and allow the event to be held successfully and safely for all visitors." It will still take place in the Messe Augsburg in Augsburg, Germany. Registered exhibitors still attending do not have to make changes. As for the following show, it will take place on October 17-20, 2023.

SCHMERSAL NAMES MANAGING DIRECTOR OF CHINESE SUBISIDIARY

The Schmersal Group, headquartered in Wuppertal, Germany, named Michele Seasarro managing director of Schmersal Industrial Switchgear Co. Ltd. in Shanghai. A native of Milan, Italy, Seasarro has been managing the subsidiary, which has approximately 150 employees, since March 1. With more than 20 years' international management experience, Seasarro held senior positions in the consumer goods and food industries in China over the past 10 years. He has a law background and holds an executive MBA from China Europe International Business School. He studied the Chinese language at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Seasarro said he plans to "strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit of the talented colleagues who are part our skilled team in Shanghai."

54-STORY MIXED-USE TOWER PLANNED IN PERTH’S ELIZABETH QUAY

A consortium led by Malaysia’s Victor Goh and Perth, Australia-based CA Corp. plans a 54-story tower containing 60,000 m2 of office space and 168 apartments on a plot of land in Perth’s Elizabeth Quay development, The Urban Developer reports. With a  curved, sculptural façade, the structure is set to include a restaurant and bar on the 48th and 49th floors, a rooftop pool, a mezzanine with 1,000 m2 of coworking space and childcare and wellness facilities on level 4. Listed on the heritage register, the property is the site of the execution and burial of a leader in the Aboriginal resistance, and a “detailed heritage interpretation plan” will be part of the design as it evolves.

KONE TO EQUIP CITYMARK CENTER IN SHENZHEN

KONE won an order to deliver 52 elevators and escalators, 12 KT 100 turnstiles and its Office Flow™ solution to the Citymark Center, a new office building in Shenzhen, China. Citymark Center will host commercial, residential and entertainment facilities. When completed, the 70-story tower will stand 388 m as the tallest landmark in northeast Shenzhen. KONE will deliver 39 MiniSpace™ elevators, which can travel at up to 8 m/s, five MonoSpace® elevators and eight TravelMaster™ escalators. The contract also includes the E-link™ equipment monitoring system and two years of standard maintenance. The construction timetable calls for the building to be topped out by the end of 2021. It is being developed by Guangdong Citymark Real Estate Co., Ltd.

DEVELOPER VANKE HONORS HITACHI ELEVATOR (CHINA)

In a March 17 ceremony held in Shanghai, property developer China Vanke Co., Ltd. honored Hitachi Elevator (China) with a 25-year partnership award, Yahoo Finance reported. The event, Vanke’s 2021 Spring reception held for its partners, included a keynote address from Hitachi Vice President Liang Yaoqiang, who emphasized the importance and positive experience of working with the right partners. He said Hitachi's products have become industry standards and that the service component of the elevator business will become even more critical. Hitachi, founded in 1995, has partnered with Vanke on numerous projects since 1996. As of the end of 2020, Hitachi had supplied more than 45,000 escalators and elevators to Vanke.

DEVELOPERS PLAN TO REDEVELOP SYDNEY CLUB SITE

A development team of Melbourne-based ICD Property and Singapore’s First Sponsor Group is working to redevelop Sydney’s City Tattersalls Club, The Urban Developer recently reported. The project, located on Pitt Street, would include a 50-story hotel/apartment tower. Plans for the AUD760-million (US$578-million) project include redeveloping the club with a 101-room-hotel/241-apartment tower and a podium featuring ground-floor retail and other amenities. Designer BVN was named to the project last year after winning an international design competition. Construction of the project is to begin in 2022, with completion targeted for 2026 if approval for its application is granted by the end of 2021.

Week of 3/22/21

SINGAPORE INVESTOR PLANS RESIDENTIAL TOWER IN PERTH

Privately owned property investment manager Peakstone is planning a 35-story tower that will bring 175 residential units to South Perth, Australia, The Urban Developer reported on March 11. The tower is planned for a site at 88 Mill Point Road. The Singapore-headquartered property investment company Director Chris Khoo said South Perth is changing, and the proposed building, designed by architects Hassell, will offer one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments. It was originally planned to stand 144 m but has been reduced to 123.3 m.

AKE ELEVATOR PROVIDING 68 UNITS TO ANKARA METRO IN TURKEY

Vertical-transportation (VT) equipment manufacturer Ake Elevator and Escalator Trade Co., Ltd., headquartered in Antalya, Turkey, signed a contract to provide 68 VT units to the Ataturk Cultural Center (AKM) railway station and Kizilay line of the Ankara Metro. Ake will supply 52 escalators, four moving walks, seven elevators and five platform lifts. The 3.3-km, US$150-million Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure project consists of three stations and lines and the AKM-Gar-Red Crescent Metro. It is scheduled to go into operation in 2022.

EHC TUFFLEX HANDRAILS FOR EXPANDING CAIRO METRO

EHC Global, part of Prysmian Group's elevator and escalator division, recently supplied TufFlex escalator handrails to Cairo Metro in Egypt, EHC announced on March 16. Serving the greater Cairo metropolitan area, Cairo Metro was the first underground railway system built in Africa. It consists of three lines and more than 60 stations. The system served more than 3.5 million passengers daily in 2019 and is undergoing an expansion that includes construction of a fourth line. EHC previously supplied its step chain rollers to the metro system.

NEW CALL URGES INSTALLATION OF ELEVATORS IN RWANDA

Observers and others in Rwanda are calling for greater efforts by building owners and others to install elevators in apartment buildings, The New Times reported on March 16. Critics say the absence of elevators is making life more difficult for tenants, especially those with physical disabilities. The report notes that a law passed in 2012 mandates that buildings constructed for public use should allow accessibility for those with disabilities. Lax enforcement is apparent, however, as many apartment blocks are not equipped with elevators. Observers say the value of elevators outweighs the cost and urged government officials to ensure elevators are installed in buildings that should have them.

EW FOCUSES ON HYDRAULIC ELEVATORS AND COMPONENTS

ELEVATOR WORLD’s June issue will focus on Hydraulic Elevators and Components. Additionally, this issue is EW’s annual People Issue. Finally, it will have a Special Advertising Section on Lubricants and Testing. Bonus distribution is planned for Russia Elevator Week in Moscow. The deadline for editorial submissions is April 15. To participate or for more information, contact the EW editorial department at phone: 251-479-4514, ext. 30 or editorial@elevatorworld.com. To advertise, contact ext. 38 or advertising@elevatorworld.com.

Week of 3/15/21

SCHINDLER INSTALLATION ROBOT R.I.S.E. DEPLOYED IN DUBAI

Schindler's elevator installation robot R.I.S.E. is being used at the 340-m-tall Uptown Tower in Dubai, the third deployment of the technology after its use in 2020 at Trlllple in Vienna, Austria, and Varso Tower in Warsaw, Poland, Global Construction Review (GCR) reports. Besix subsidiary Six Construct is using R.I.S.E. (which stands for Robotic Installation System for Elevators) to drill holes in the concrete elevator shaft, and the source includes a video that shows it in action. GCR explained the system "reads data from the building's digital model and scans the surface to find the correct spot, avoiding rebar." The pandemic, according to Six Construct Project Director Luis Miguel Monteiro, accelerated the use of such digital technologies. Uptown Tower was designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture and is to be the first building completed in the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Free Zone when delivered in 2022.

DELHI METRO RED LINE RENOVATIONS NEARLY COMPLETE

DD News recently reported on progress made since July 2019 on the Delhi Metro Red Line between Dilshad Garden and the Rithala section. Renovations have wrapped on 12 of the 21 stations, and the remainder are to be complete by May. Work includes renovation of the escalators and the installation of new ones, new signage to comply with the latest specifications and replacement of analog CCTV cameras with digital versions for enhanced clarity. Major stations next to complete are Dilshad Garden, Jhilmil, Mansarovar Park, Shahdara, Welcome and Shastri.

“NEUTRAL-USE” TOWER CONCEPT REPOSITIONS ELEVATOR CORE

In an effort to future-proof buildings in the wake of the pandemic, a group of architects, builders and engineers unveiled the concept of a “neutral-use” tower, which reimagines and repositions the elevator core, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat reports, citing B+H Architects. In addition to B+H, the team includes Mortensen, Coffman Engineers and Robert Bird Group. “Defined by a ring shape and inspired by organic structures like bamboo,” the concept would allow a property to be adapted for multiple uses. Neutral-use buildings, according to the team, could be easily converted to offices, residences, shops or a mix of these. Observing that a building’s operations and functionality are mostly driven by the elevator core and its large floor area, the group moved it out of the main building, placing it in a neighboring tower of the same height. 

PITT STREET TOWER APPROVED FOR SYDNEY

A 39-storey office tower above Sydney Metro’s future Pitt Street Station to be developed by Canada-based Oxford Properties Group has been approved, The Urban Developer reports. Designed by Foster + Partners, the building fits an L-shaped block on Pitt Street in the CBD, with frontages to Park and Castlereagh streets. It is to rise 177 m and have 55,743 m2 of space. It includes the train station, mezzanine, two sky lobbies and retail. Construction is expected to begin later this year and be complete in 2023. Metro services would begin the following year. The building is part of a twin-tower development, but its mate has not been approved.