News

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Week of 11/23/20

INDIAN METRO PROJECTS PROMISE IMPROVEMENTS

Metro projects in India are being touted as offering easier travel through improvements, including better vertical transportation at stations, multiple sources have reported. The Times of India reports that the Delhi Metro Rail Corp. (DMRC) Phase-IV project will offer better air-conditioning, lighting and security, and, notably, bigger elevators and escalators. A DMRC official said the current elevators typically can carry 8-13 people, but Phase-IV lifts will be able to accommodate 20 passengers, with select stations getting lifts that will carry up to 26 riders. Phase-IV stations will also have escalators installed in sets of two, to allow both upward and downward travel. In total, Phase-IV stations will have 295 elevators and 644 escalators. Current DMRC stations have a total of 935 elevators and 1,030 escalators. DMRC has also submitted a "reworked" project plan for the cities of Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, which had been delayed 35 months, The Hindu reports. The Kerala Rapid Transit Ltd. board has approved DMRC's plan, which involves a public-private partnership (PPP). Under the PPP, the project will implement automatic fare collection and operation of elevators and escalators. The proposal must be approved by the Kerala Cabinet.

RAILWAY STATION IN INDIAN CITY GETS TWO NEW ESCALATORS

Officials of Western Railway, a division of India’s Mumbai Suburban Railway, virtually inaugurated two new escalators at Mira Road station in Thane, which is part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Area, mid-day.com reported on November 14. Aimed at providing access for elderly, disabled, pregnant and young people, the units have a 900-passenger-per-hr capacity each. They were installed at platforms 2/3 and 4 at the station’s foot overbridge (FoB). Observing the suburban area is served by more than 50 escalators, Western Railway officials urged all commuters to use FoBs, lifts and escalators to enhance safety and avoid trespassing.

LIFTINSTITUUT PRODUCES VIDEO, OFFERS ELEVATOR SAFETY TIPS

To mark Safety Awareness Week (November 9-15), Amsterdam, Netherlands-based Notified Body Liftinstituut produced a video in which a young father, Reinout, recounts an incident involving his 4-year-old son, Ezra, whose arm became trapped in an elevator door. "At a moment like that, the world collapses," Reinout says. "Yes, the arm is stuck, and there's not much you can do, so you definitely feel a bit of panic." To prevent such incidents in the future, Liftinstituut offers a section on its website with tips on teaching children to use elevators safely. Child psychologist Tischa Neve notes, "Lifts have a magical attraction for young children," which is why they must learn to use them safely from an early age. She goes on to explain the best ways to talk to children about staying safe when riding an elevator. As for Reinout, he was able to free Ezra using a claw hammer and a piece of steel pipe to open the door.

HITACHI WINS BIDS TO PROVIDE 250 ELEVATORS FOR NINE PROJECTS

Hitachi Elevator (China) has won bids to provide 250 elevators and related services for nine projects with the Shum Yip Group, Hitachi announced on November 20. Shum Yip, wholly owned by Shenzhen Municipal People's Government, is a large enterprise group that focuses on real estate development, operation services, infrastructure construction, and emerging industry investment. It is currently developing, operating and managing 47 industrial parks throughout China. Hitachi, which has collaborated with Shum Yip on previous projects, will provide elevators for the nine projects, which include a variety of commercial structures such as Grade-A office buildings, technology offices, headquarters buildings, premium residential buildings, hotels and urban-renewal projects.

TOWER WITH HITACHI VT TOPS OUT IN SHENZHEN

The Kaisa Finance & Technology Center, a 258-m-tall office tower in Shenzhen, China, has topped out, vertical-transportation (VT) provider Hitachi Elevator (China) reported on November 18. The project, which houses 130,000 m2 of space, will include Grade-A office space, a business center, a shared conference center, a staff canteen, a sky garden and a sky lobby. The tower has obtained pre-qualification environmental certifications. With 50 stories above ground and four below-grade levels, the Kaisa Finance & Technology Center will be served by 46 Hitachi escalators and elevators, including 12 high-speed elevators that can travel 5-8 m/s. The elevators are equipped with Hitachi's Destination Floor Reservation System, which incorporates data from system operation, passenger movement, building equipment and layout to provide intelligent elevator dispatching. All building VT will also be equipped with the Hitachi ELECLOUD® system to provide 24-h monitoring. The building is expected to be complete in early 2022.

Week of 11/16/20

OTIS NAMES CALLEJA PRESIDENT OF EMEA OPERATIONS

Otis has named Bernardo Calleja president, Otis Europe Middle East & Africa (EMEA), the company announced on November 9. Calleja has been interim Otis EMEA president since October 1, replacing Mark Eubanks, who left the company in September. An industrial engineer by training, Calleja began his career as an engineer at Otis' San Sebastián factory in 1989 and progressed through several leadership positions before being named president of Otis South Europe & Africa in 2018. He will continue to lead this subregion and maintain his role as the president of the board of directors of Zardoya Otis, a publicly traded subsidiary in Spain. In his new role, Calleja will report directly to Otis President and CEO Judy Marks.

FOUR COAL MINERS DIE WHEN ELEVATOR PLUMMETS IN PAKISTAN

Four coal miners in Jamshoro, Pakistan, were killed on November 11 when the elevator they were in fell 400 ft, Pakistan Today reported. According to reports, the miners had just stepped into the elevator to go to work when it suddenly fell. Rescuers rushed to the scene and recovered the bodies after four hours of effort. The source added that a labor leader said the elevator fell after its ropes broke. There was no mention of whether an investigation was underway.

IGV GROUP’S ON AIR RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AWARD

A modular, customizable elevator system conceived by Italy's IGV Group and designed by Studio Marco Piva during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, ON AIR received The Plan Award 2020 in the industrial design category, IGV recently announced. Introduced in 2014, the award is an annual international competition that attracted more than 1,000 entries this year. Combining form and function, ON AIR features antimicrobial materials, rounded corners and smooth edges to prevent germ buildup, a mechanical ventilation system and UV-C germicidal disinfection. To further reduce risk, ON AIR can be equipped with virus-resistant, touch-free and proximity-activated control panels; multilingual voice interface combined with facial recognition to enable exclusive stops; and remote control of the lift from a mobile device. Automatically activated during the standby phase of elevator operations when no passengers are in the car, “the UV-C ultraviolet component of the lamps, integrated in the technical grooves, guarantees complete sanitation of surfaces,” IGV states.

MITSUBISHI CHINESE JV PRODUCES 1 MILLIONTH VT UNIT

Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Electric announced on November 10 that Shanghai Mitsubishi Elevator Co. (SMEC), a joint venture (JV) operating in China, produced its 1 millionth vertical-transportation (VT) unit earlier in the month, a milestone reached after 34 years of operation. Mitsubishi Electric says it became the first Japanese company to directly manufacture, sell, install and service elevators in China when, in January 1987, it entered into the JV with Shanghai Electric Group to launch SMEC. The company has 89 offices across China.

KONE WINS 187-UNIT ORDER FOR XI'AN METRO LINE

KONE has won an order to supply 187 elevators and escalators to Metro Line 9 in Northwest China’s Xi’an, the company announced on November 12. The 30.6-km-long Metro Line 9 will run southwest to northeast between Fangzhicheng and Qinhan Avenue via 15 stations, a route that will serve Lintong University City. The Xi’an Metro currently has five lines in use, and 10 more are to be added. Line 9 will serve about 850,000 passengers daily. Through its contract, KONE will deliver 152 TransitMaster™ escalators, along with 31 MonoSpace® and 4 MiniSpace™ elevators. The contract also includes two years of standard maintenance. KONE previously provided vertical transportation for Xi'an Metro Lines 1 and 4. The project is being developed by Xi'an China Railway Rail Transit Co., Ltd. No construction timeline was given.

HITACHI CHINA RECOGNIZED FOR ITS ENVIRONMENTAL EFFORTS

The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has named Hitachi Elevator (China) to its newest list of green manufacturers, the company announced on November 6. The list recognizes factories, design products, industrial parks and supply-chain-management enterprises. With the publication of the list, Hitachi becomes the first elevator company to be recognized as a green supply-chain-management enterprise. Companies on this list employ environmental protection and resource conservation activities across the entire supply chain: product design, raw material procurement, transportation, storage, sales, use and scrapping. In addition, three of the company's manufacturing sites — Hitachi Shanghai, Hitachi Tianjin and Hitachi Chengdu — were selected as green factories.

Week of 11/9/20

FOB PLANNED IN HYDERABAD, INDIA

Noting a number of accidents in which pedestrians have been struck by cars while attempting to cross Inner Ring Road in the Santoshnagar neighborhood of Hyderabad, India, authorities have begun work on a new foot overbridge (FoB) equipped with vertical transportation, The Hans India reported on November 3. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corp. is undertaking construction of the FoB, equipped with escalators and elevators, for a site at Rakshapuram Junction. Officials have set aside INR37 million (US$496,000) for the project, which was expected to take about three months to complete.

BIM SOFTWARE NOW INTEGRATES THYSSENKRUPP'S MULTI SYSTEM

thyssenkrupp Elevator's MULTI system is now easier to integrate into building designs, thanks to DigiPara's automatic building information modeling (BIM) program, thyssenkrupp announced on November 4. Using DigiPara's lift design capabilities, building designers can now integrate MULTI early in the process. The new software enables 3D model configuration with only a few clicks, and designs and plans complete MULTI installations. In addition, architects’ requests for BIM models are now answered by one push of a button. MULTI is a ropeless system that allows multiple elevator cars within a single shaft and horizontal motion between shafts or other building configurations. DigiPara’s models can be uploaded and adjusted into 3D building models, which allows MULTI to be fitted perfectly into buildings, offering higher planning reliability as well as significantly more detailed information, even in an early stage of construction planning. By using the DigiPara lift designer, elevator manufacturers can automate 3D-BIM models as well as system drawings. Through pre-defined parameters, components and logics, the user-friendly software ensures efficient planning and configuration of elevators and escalators. For MULTI, this can save time because building planning and installation of MULTI systems can happen at the same time.

DAMAC PROPERTIES MARKS MILESTONE IN DUBAI

DAMAC Properties is marking a milestone with the announcement of the structural completion of the 53-story, 1,218-unit Tower B of the AYKON City project on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, Albawaba reports. The feat involved 90,000 m3 of concrete and 11,000 mT of steel, equivalent to about half the weight of the Statue of Liberty. The developer observed progress is being made in a real estate industry battered by COVID-19. News of the structural completion came on the heels of DAMAC awarding a contract for the construction of the Zada tower in nearby Business Bay. The Dubai Land Department also reported that property sales in August 2020 saw a 13.4% increase over August 2019.

HITACHI CHINA REPORTS SECOND GUIZHOU PARTNERSHIP

Hitachi Elevator (China) has entered into a second strategic partnership in China's Guizhou Province, the company announced in November. The arrangement, with Zhongyuan Construction Group Co., Ltd., formalizes the two companies' commitment to joint efforts around the supply, installation and maintenance of elevators. Under the strategic cooperation agreement, Hitachi Elevator will provide elevators and support services to all projects underway in Zhongyuan Construction’s housing and municipal services sections, the company recently announced. An earlier partnership, reported in October, is with Zhongtian Financial Group, a Guizhou-based company focused on developing the surrounding region. Hitachi has worked with Zhongtian to develop multiple projects in Guizhou for several years.

JAPAN’S FIRST WALDORF HOTEL COMING TO TOKYO SKYSCRAPER

The first Waldorf-branded hotel in Japan is slated to occupy the 39th-47th floors of a 287-m-tall, 49-story mixed-use tower that is part of the Nihonbashi 1 Chome Central District Redevelopment in Tokyo, Japan Property Central reports. Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts plans to provide rooms ranging from 646-2,120 ft2, an indoor pool, a spa, a fitness center, a banquet hall and three restaurants. Near the old Nihonbashi Bridge and Nihonbashi River, the tower will also include serviced apartments, offices, conference facilities and retail. Nikken Sekkei and Mitsui Fudosan handled design, and Nomura Real Estate Co. Ltd., and Nomura Holdings are the developers. According to the Skyscraper Center, the tower is slated for completion in 2026.

Week of 11/2/20

ESCALATORS, ELEVATORS TO PROVIDE ACCESS IN INDIAN CITY

As part of the Shimla Smart City Project in north-central India, escalators, elevators and moving walks are being installed to enable mobility, The Times of India reports. Fifteen locations along Shimla’s Circular Road are set to get equipment, with city officials describing a system akin to the Central-Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system in Hong Kong. So far, a contract has been awarded for an escalator and two elevators between Lakkar Bazaar and The Ridge road, and two escalators are planned to provide access to Jakhu Temple, one from its parking lot and one from The Ridge.

SCHINDLER TO PROVIDE 74 ESCALATORS FOR RIYADH AIRPORT

Schindler has won a contract to supply 74 escalators for a modernization project at Terminals 1, 2 and the Royal Terminal of King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Trade Arabia reported on October 27. Schindler signed the deal with the Riyadh Airports Co. to provide a heavy-usage system that could handle the airport's 28 million-plus passengers per year. The OEM will install 74 of its 9300 models in a project scheduled for completion in 2022. Within the past 10 years, Schindler has expanded its footprint in the country by acquiring Saudi Elevator and partnering with the Olayan Group, a large, diversified conglomerate heavily involved in the construction sector.

TOWER PROPOSED IN KARACHI, BUT CONCERNS RAISED AT MEETING

A 33-story office building is seeking approval for a site in the Clifton neighborhood of Karachi, Pakistan, but several concerns were raised during a recent public hearing, Samma reported on October 26. The building, to be named Citi Financial Tower, will have offices on floors 13-31, an executive office on 32 and building services on 33. It will also have showrooms on the first and second floors, parking in the basement level and on floors two-10, and a recreational area on 11. During the hearing in September, residents raised concerns about the building's possible impact on traffic and infrastructure, and some raised objections to having a commercial building so close to their homes. If the tower wins approval to proceed, construction would take about five years.

CTBUH RELEASES FULL PROGRAM FOR UPCOMING CONFERENCE

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has released the full program for its upcoming 2020 Conference, "The Post-Crisis City: Rethinking Sustainable Vertical Urbanism." More than 60 speakers are on the program, a virtual event that will be livestreamed from Singapore, London and Chicago over 21 hours on November 17. Among the scheduled speakers are Lord Norman Foster, Patrik Schumacher, Alison Brooks, Mun Summ Wong and Christopher Hawthorne. Two global panel discussions are also planned. Top sponsors for the event include vertical-transportation companies KONE, Otis, Schindler, thyssenkrupp Elevator and consultant firm Lerch Bates. To register or for more information, go to website.

TWO-TOWER OFFICE DEVELOPMENT IS A GO IN MELBOURNE

City planners in Melbourne, Australia, have greenlit GPT Group's plan to build 15- and 39-story office towers designed by Bates Smart on Flinders Street, The Urban Developer reports. The shorter, north tower and the taller, south tower will take shape atop six-level podium, with the entire project delivering 29,000 m2 of office space and 900 m2 of retail along Flinders Street. There will also be basement parking for 88 vehicles and 274 bicycles, dedicated coworking space, a wellness center and garden terraces on the fourth, sixth and 39th floors. Construction is slated to start in 2021 and be complete in 2024.

NORTH SYDNEY’S TALLEST BUILDING WELCOMES OFFICE TENANTS

A Bates Smart-designed tower served by a KONE elevator system, 1 Denison in North Sydney, Australia, is welcoming at least 1,000 office workers, The Urban Developer reports. Winten Property Group developed the building, which, at 39 stories, is the tallest in North Sydney. The source observed the move-in provides "a welcome shot in the arm for Australia's broader office sector, which has been rocked by the coronavirus." Among the tenants are European software giant SAP, which is occupying 10,000 m2; Nine Entertainment Co., 25,000 m2; and Microsoft Australia, 10,000 m2. The energy-efficient structure, which general contractor Multiplex topped out in February 2020, is expected to eventually be home to approximately 6,000 workers.

HITACHI CHINA, ZHONGTIAN FINANCIAL ENTER PARTNERSHIP

Hitachi Elevator (China) has entered into a partnership with Zhongtian Financial Group, a Guizhou, China, company focused on developing the surrounding region, Hitachi announced on October 29. Zhongtian has developed numerous projects in the areas of urban renewal, industry upgrading, urban construction and boutique real estate projects. Hitachi has worked with Zhongtian to develop multiple projects in Guizhou for several years, establishing itself as a leader in the region's elevator market. With their new association, officially established during an October 14 ceremony in Guiyang, the two companies have committed to a long-term strategic partnership to jointly support urbanization in Guizhou province. The companies' joint projects include Guizhou Zhongtian Financial City, for which Hitachi is supplying 81 elevators and six escalators; and Zhongtian-Future Ark World Trade Center, for which Hitachi is providing 153 elevators and 38 escalators, including 12 8-m/s units.