News

Enjoy reading the most important industry news items happening within India and surrounding regions on a weekly basis.  Simply click the tab with the corresponding weekly news that you wish to read.  If you would like to submit your own news please email us at editorial@elevatorworld.com.  If you would like to keep up-to-date on international industry news on a weekly basis, sign up for our ELENET newsletter.

Week of 12/9/19

CHILD’S FOOT GETS TRAPPED IN MALL ESCALATOR IN INDIA

A 5-year-old boy’s foot became trapped between the steps of an escalator at the Pavillion mall in Pune, India, on November 30, the Pune Mirror reports. More than 50 people reportedly rushed to assist the boy, who was shopping with his mother and sustained only a “minor scratch” in the incident. His foot was freed after approximately 30 min, and no complaints are expected, since the mother “thought her son may have been at fault.”

ESCALATORS, LIFTS PLANNED AT SOUTH INDIA RAIL STATION

Five escalators, an unspecified number of lifts, a new foot overbridge and a parking lot are coming to Chennai Egmore railway stationin Chennai, India, the "second-most-important terminal after Chennai Central,” The Hindu reports. Southern Railway plans to have the work complete by March 2020 under an initiative called "One Station, One Division." Once complete, the renovations will make the station "the most user-friendly" in the Chennai division, a railway official said. Located on the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is the biggest cultural, economic and educational center in south India.

BABY STROLLER WHEELS CAUSE ESCALATOR MISHAP IN SINGAPORE

A spokesperson for the Waterway Point shopping mall in Punggol, Singapore, said the wheels of a baby stroller became wedged between escalator steps on November 29, causing the steps to buckle, AsiaOne reports. The incident created uneasiness for the mother and baby who were on the unit, but they suffered no injuries. Witnesses say a “sudden loud noise” accompanied the malfunction, and a safety mechanism triggered the escalator to stop. The spokesperson cautioned those pushing baby strollers or grocery carts to use lifts, rather than escalators, to avoid such incidents.

CTBUH ANNOUNCES AWARD OF EXCELLENCE WINNERS 2020

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has announced the Award of Excellence winners for its 2020 awards program. CTBUH observes the winning projects “represent the very best tall buildings, urban contributions, technologies and innovations emerging recently in cities around the world.” Winners were selected across a variety of categories, including Best Tall Building in five height categories ranging from less than 100 to more than 400 m tall. Quite a few honorees are in Australia, with skyscrapers in China, the U.K., North America, Europe and the Middle East also garnering recognition. North American cities NYC, Chicago and Miami were represented. The winners now move to the next stage of the program, sending representatives to the CTBUH 2020 Tall + Urban Innovation Conference in Chicago in April 2020 to compete in front of an international audience and live juries.

HITACHI ELEVATOR PROVIDES VT FOR NEW BEIJING LANDMARK

Hitachi Elevator provided the vertical-transportation (VT) equipment for Leeza SOHO, a 45-story office building designed by the late Zaha Hadid and developed by SOHO China in the new Fengtai Business District in Beijing. The highly anticipated skyscraper, boasting the world’s tallest atrium at 623 ft and comprising two halves straddling a new subway tunnel, formally opened on November 19, “becoming another landmark in Beijing,” Hitachi Elevator observes. VT solutions included 16 double-cab elevators up to 6 m/s and marks the OEM’s first collaboration with SOHO China. Designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold standards, the building has connecting skybridges within its rotating atrium at levels 13, 24, 35 and 45. Look for our Web Exclusive story on the project in January.

TRANSIT-ORIENTED TOKYO TOWER DEVELOPMENT BREAKS GROUND

Ground was broken in November 2019 on the 265-m-tall, 49-story Toranomon Hills Station Tower, part of Mori Building's US$3.6-billion redevelopment project centered around a new subway station set to open in June in downtown Tokyo, Japan Property Central reports. OMA designed the high rise, which will offer office and retail and a hotel within 250,000 m2. Scheduled for completion in 2023, this portion of the redevelopment also includes a 12-story building with apartments on the upper floors and commercial space on the lower ones. Toranomon Hills Station Tower will be the tallest structure in the vicinity of the new Hibiya Subway Line station.

HITACHI ELEVATOR CHINA WINS MANUFACTURING AWARD

Hitachi Elevator (China) Co., Ltd. was awarded the 2019 China Manufacturing Golden Great Wall (CMGGW) Award — Industry Benchmark Company of the Year — at the China Smart Manufacturing Annual Summit in Guangzhou on November 18. The summit is organized by the 21st Century Business Herald, which, each year since 2016, has recognized companies for innovations in technology, investment in R&D, accumulation of intellectual property rights, revenue attributable to high-tech products and organizational structure. The company observed it was honored for its "efforts promoting industrial intelligence across the elevator industry and integrating intelligent elevator technology into a variety of scenarios."

37-STORY APARTMENT TOWER GREENLIT OPPOSITE PERTH ZOO

The Metro Central Joint Development Assessment Panel in Perth, Australia, has greenlit an AUD65-million (US$44.3-million) plan to build a 37-story apartment tower designed by Bates Smart opposite the Perth Zoo in the south part of the city, The Urban Developer reports. The plan, from Australia's Sirona Capital and Chip Eng Seng Corp. of Singapore, will deliver 99 apartments and commercial/retail space to a site at the corner of Labouchere Road and Lyall Street. The proposal follows a previous, 41-story  design by Woods Bagot that was rejected. Describing the process as "long and frustrating," Sirona Managing Director Matthew McNeilly said he is happy with where it ended up.

Week of 12/2/19

INDIA’S BMRCL TO COVER GAPS BETWEEN ESCALATORS, STAIRS

In an effort to improve safety, Bangalore Metro Rail Corp. Ltd. (BMRCL) will cover gaps between escalators and staircases at Kempe Gowda Metro rail stations in Bengaluru, The Times of India reports. Also involving safety-rail repair, the upgrades come in the wake of a fatal January 2019 accident in which a toddler fell from an escalator at Srirampura Metro to the road below, indicating the need for gaps to be covered by safety nets or metal sheets. With many stations served by only one escalator, BMRCL is also installing more escalators at existing stations, including Nagasandra.

BOY KILLED IN ELEVATOR ACCIDENT IN INDIA

A 9-year-old boy was crushed to death in an elevator accident in a suburb of Hyderabad, India, on November 24, The New Indian Express reports. The boy and his older sister were on the fourth floor of the residential building where they lived with their family when the incident occurred. He opened the protective door and looked up as the lift was descending from the fifth floor. It hit him on the head and dragged him down 50 ft. The protective doors had been revealed to be defective in the days prior, but residents had apparently not brought it to the property owner's attention. An investigation is ongoing, and police have registered a case of suspicious death.

THYSSENKRUPP RECEIVES BIDS FOR ELEVATOR DIVISION

thyssenkrupp has received at least three separate bids from groups hoping to purchase a majority stake in the company's elevator business, Reuters reports. thyssenkrupp AG, a Germany-based conglomerate with steelmaking and automotive divisions, asked for bids for thyssenkrupp Elevator earlier this year as part of a massive overhaul of its operations. The elevator division is the company's most profitable segment. KONE — which has been a suitor for some time — teamed up with private equity firm CVC to move beyond potential antitrust concerns. Another bid was jointly entered by private equity firms Blackstone and Carlyle and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board; the third bid was a joint offer by Advent, Cinvin and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. A major shareholder is pushing an outright sale of the elevator division, but others, including labor representatives, want thyssenkrupp to retain a stake. The source said the bidders are prepared to take a minority stake, if necessary. thyssenkrupp also recently announced it was eliminating 640 jobs from its System Engineering division, which builds assembly lines for the automotive, aerospace and battery industries, as part of “major restructuring” of its three underperforming divisions.

CONDOMINIUM TOWER IN GREATER TOKYO TO BE ONE OF SIX

Makuhari Bay Park Sky Grand Tower, a 48-story, 172-m-tall condominium building designed and constructed by Kumagai Gumi, is rising in the Chiba prefecture of Greater Tokyo, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat reports, citing Blue Style. Next to it, the 43-story, 158-m-tall Makuhari Shintoshin Wakaba Residential Area Plan is set to rise, ultimately joining the five other towers in the Makuhari Bay Park Complex. The reinforced concrete towers have steel foundations and cast-in-place concrete pilings. With ZFG Architects as the master planner, the development will provide a total floor area of 89,000 m2, and include retail and a childcare facility.

CTBUH REVAMPS WEBSITE, RESTRUCTURES BOARD

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has launched a new design for its website, now customized for mobile devices and simplified to better offer tall-building news, research papers related to building tall, videos and reports. It also recently restructured its board of trustees, expanding it from nine to 13 members and establishing "seats" for each distinct industry sector. It said the new structure is aimed at ensuring the organization's highest-level decision-making body is reflective of its diverse membership. The four new board seats are open to represent architecture/interiors, government, occupier/tenant and urban design/planning/infrastructure. Applications are due by December 20.

Week of 11/26/19

EW PROJECT OF THE YEAR WINNERS

ELEVATOR WORLD is pleased to report the winners of the 2020 Project of the Year contest. Winning projects, which will be featured in our January 2020 issue, are (with category): “The Vessel” in NYC submitted by Liberty Elevator (Elevators, New Construction); “Empire State Building” in NYC submitted by Otis (Elevators, Modernization); “Jewel Changi Airport” in Singapore submitted by Schindler Singapore (Escalators, New Construction); “San Diego Convention Center” submitted by KONE (Escalators, Modernization); “Riosol Hotel” in Gran Canarias, Spain, submitted by thyssenkrupp (Inclined Lifts); “Yacht Obsession” in Mystic, Connecticut, submitted by Gillespie (Platform Lifts and Stairway Chairlifts); “Mega Elevator” in Tel Aviv, Israel, submitted by ELMAS (Special-Purpose Lifts); and “Device for Assessment of Technical Condition of Guides” in Chełm, Poland, submitted by The State School of Higher Education – The Institute of Technical Sciences and Aviation (Elevators, Upgrades and Repairs).

CHANGSHA HUA CENTER PHASE II COMPLETE

Huayuan Group’s “urban life center” project in the center of the old city of Changsha, China, is complete and ready for occupants, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat reports. The Hua Center Phase II, at Jiefang West Road, Taiping Street and Pozi Street, includes ground-floor retail space, offices, sky lobbies and other amenities. The design was inspired by the mountains in Zhangjia Jie and features two towers that are staggered and twisted with uneven setbacks. A link bridge connects the 99- and 133-m-tall towers.

55-STORY TOWER SET TO RISE IN TEL AVIV DISTRICT

A 55-story tower, designed by Guy Miloslavsky to integrate with its surroundings, has been approved by authorities in Ramat Gan in the Tel Aviv District of Israel, Globes reports. Bass Tower, a 60,600-m2, mixed-use structure at the intersection of Arlosorov and Jabotinsky streets, will contain retail, office and public space. Moshe Bass & Sons Elite Garage is the developer of the project, adjacent to the Red Line light rail station. Taking the place of a gas station, the plan involves building a roof over Hamaayan Street, which will be lowered to ease access to future underground parking lots. The architect said the structure will be "covered by glass that looks like expensive, honed stone. . . ."

Week of 11/18/19

INDIAN RAILWAYS TO INSTALL 25 ESCALATORS, 32 ELEVATORS

Indian Railways will install more escalators and elevators in the Northeast Frontier Railway stations, the Shillong Times reports. There are currently 11 elevators and 10 escalators in operation across major stations, but to improve accessibility, especially for older passengers, Indian Railways is working to add 25 escalators and 32 elevators by the end of 2020. Eight escalators will be installed in stations in December of this year and 17 more will be added by December 2020. Of the elevators, six will be installed by the end of this year and the remaining 26 will be installed by June 2020.

SKYWALK WITH ESCALATORS GOING UP IN MUMBAI DISTRICT

A November 12 ceremony marked the beginning of construction of a skywalk with four escalators in the Santacruz district of Mumbai, The Free Press Journal reports. The 500-m-long, 4-m-wide skywalk is being undertaken by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corp. at Nehru Road to alleviate pedestrian congestion in the rapidly growing Santacruz district, which has been experiencing problems with increasing vehicle traffic. A budget of INR200 million (US$2.7 million) is set for the skywalk, which will have escalators at each end. The project is expected to take 18 months to complete.

41-STORY FIRST PHASE OF KUALA LUMPUR TOWNSHIP LAUNCHED

The 41-story first phase of Kiara Bay in Kepong, northern Kuala Lumpur, was launched this month by developers UEM Sunrise and Melati Ehsan Group, The Edge Malaysia reports. Slated for completion in late 2023, the tower will contain 870 apartments and such amenities as swimming pools, a gym and a sky deck. Kiara Bay is adjacent to Kepong Metropolitan Park in a town surrounded by mountains. It is being designed as a new township to take shape over 15-20 years, with new infrastructure, a range of product types and services such as auxiliary police and buses to nearby mass rapid transit stations. First-phase buyers are expected to be people 35 or younger, as units are smaller and priced from approximately US$144,840-217,260.

THYSSENKRUPP ESCALATORS FOR NEW CAIRO METRO STATIONS

Continuing a relationship with Cairo Metro dating to 2004, thyssenkrupp Elevator has delivered 57 escalators to four new stations and will install 12 more, the company announced on November 14. One of two subway systems in Africa, Cairo Metro has three lines and is expanding, with recently built stations Haroun el Rashied, Alf Masken and El Shams Club equipped with more than 40 thyssenkrupp escalators. The OEM also installed 17 escalators at the new Heliopolis Square Station. The 12-unit order is for the new El Nozha Station. In all, thyssenkrupp has provided the system with 69 escalators, and services and maintains 432 elevators and escalators. thyssenkrupp observes metro ridership is growing, with approximately 805 million passengers in 2009-2010 and an estimated 2.2 billion this year.

KONE LANDS 74-UNIT DEAL FOR PROJECT IN TIANJIN, CHINA

KONE has won a contract to supply 74 total units to Tianjin Pingan Teda IFC, a luxury mixed-use development planned in Tianjin, China, the company announced on November 14. The development will have two towers, rising 313 m and 240 m in height, and will bring office space, apartments and high-end shopping to the city. KONE will deliver 54 elevators for the project — 12 MonoSpace®, 37 MiniSpace™, four MiniSpace DoubleDeck and one MiniSpace Transformer — as well as 20 TravelMaster™ 110 escalators to the development. The complex, which includes a 68-story residential building, will also be equipped with the E-Link™ monitoring system, and the contract includes two years of standard maintenance. The project is being developed by Tianjin Meiyin Real Estate Co., Ltd., and is scheduled for completion in 2022.

“LORD OF THE RINGS”-INSPIRED TOWERS RISE IN CHINA

A trio of towers inspired by the “Lord of the Rings” franchise is rising in Chongqing, China, DailyMail reports. The project, which features a circular glass corridor resembling the “Eye of Sauron,” consists of three 107-m-tall (350-ft-tall) towers. The ring-shaped corridor is suspended 99.8 m (327 ft) above ground, supported by the three towers. This project, which will house office space upon completion, is part of Chongqing’s Xiantao Big Data Valley, a technology park covering 494 acres.