News

Enjoy reading the most important industry news items happening in the UK on a regular basis. The UK Lift / Elevator / Escalator Industry is unique in many ways and generates news that cannot easily be found on other media platforms. EWUK Magazine is the news forum for this specialist industry. News items are submitted by various sectors of the industry, including Lift Contractors, Lift Consultants, Architects, Property Managers, Building Owners, Equipment Suppliers and Government Bodies.

If you would like to submit your own news please email us at editorial@elevatorworld.com. You can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter, EWUK News (tick the box next to EWUK news). The newsletter is emailed monthly and includes expanded news items, new product announcements and mini articles specific to this market packaged in a unique design. If you would like to keep up-to-date on international industry news on a weekly basis, sign up for our ELENET newsletter.

May 12-26

OCTAGONAL TOWER PLANNED IN BIRMINGHAM, U.K.

A Birmingham, U.K., architectural firm has revealed plans for Octagon, a 155-m-tall, octagonally shaped residential tower for the Paradise Birmingham development, Architects Journal reported May 5. If approved, the 49-story tower would bring 346 rental units to the city's Summer Row. Designed by Glenn Howells Architects, the building, being billed as the "world's tallest octagonal tower," would surpass Birmingham's current tallest building, the 152-m-tall BT Tower, though another planned skyscraper, a 61-story tower at 100 Broad Street, will be taller still. Octagon will feature some affordable units and include one-, two- and three-bedroom homes. Paradise Birmingham is a GBP700-million (US$857-million) development by Argent and Hermes comprising commercial and residential space.

TfL ENACTS MEASURES TO STOP SPREAD OF COVID-19

As COVID-19 restrictions were being relaxed and London residents began to return to work over the past week, pictures emerged showing crowded Tube cars of the London Underground system, where social distancing was not possible. In response, Tube operator Transport for London (TfL) has announced measures meant to help users maintain 2 m of separation, MyLondon reports. Markers will be placed on floors, and riders will have to line up to enter stations. Some stations will now have a one-way system or enforce the general policy of "walk on the left." Commuters will also be reminded to maintain social distancing throughout the stations, including on stairs, escalators and elevators. Finally, riders are being reminded to wear a mask and not use the transit system if they have symptoms of COVID-19.

COVID-19 EXPECTED TO CREATE BOTTLENECKS FOR ELEVATORS

With some companies hoping to reopen office buildings in careful steps as the coronavirus pandemic continues, many are acknowledging that the world is facing a “new normal” in light of social-distancing requirements. Nowhere is this expected to be more noticeable than in skyscraper lobbies, as mass gatherings of people will be forced to wait for elevator service. For example, the Daily Mail reported on May 8 that Safe Work Australia is recommending people maintain a 1.5-m distance from others inside elevators. In many instances, this will mean no more than two people per car at any time. Angela Ferguson, managing director of design firm Futurespace, said that, considering an elevator designed to carry 10 people, limiting it to two would mean only 10% of the building’s occupants could be efficiently “moved” during a typical workday. Richard Fennell of JLL, a company that manages hundreds of buildings, said the procedure will likely involve staff to enforce elevator queues and that security guards may be stationed on every floor to ensure empty cars are sent back down. Meanwhile, Quartz reported on May 7 that San Francisco-based global software company Salesforce plans to have employees “check in” for work before leaving home, at which time they will receive a “ticket” for a specific time to ride the elevator, “much in the same way that you would arrive at Disney for a ride,” CEO Marc Benioff said.

CTBUH PUBLISHES VT PRIMER FOR BUILDING OWNERS, DESIGNERS

Noting that vertical transportation (VT) has recently seen "more innovation and change than ever before," the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has published Vertical Transportation: A Primer with the objective of providing basic knowledge “to those involved in the design of buildings." Targeted at building owners, developers and architects, the primer will help the design process "by affording stakeholders greater knowledge, so as to ask informed questions and efficiently gain insights from vertical-transportation experts." The hope is that readers will use the knowledge "to be more creative as buildings become taller." The nine-section publication is available only as a download and can be purchased for US$30 at website. CTBUH individual and organizational members are eligible for a discount.

April 28-May 11

APARTMENT TOWER PLANNED IN GREATER MANCHESTER, U.K.

A development company is proposing a 29-story apartment building in the Anchorage area of Salford Quays, Salford, Manchester, U.K., the Manchester Evening News reported in April. The developer, Cole Waterhouse, has submitted designs for Anchorage Gateway, a project it called a "landmark" tower of luxury apartments. The Salford council’s planning panel approved an outline application last year. It called for the creation of 290 apartment units. The developers recently submitted more details about their plans. They’re now calling for less commercial space in favor of more residential units and amenities.

UoN, LECS ANNOUNCE NEW ENGINEERING AWARD

The University of Northampton (UoN), in association with LECS (UK Ltd.), recently announced the introduction of the Alex MacDonald Award for Lift Engineering. The award, plus GBP200 (US$247) in prize money, will be presented every year to the UoN MSc Lift Engineering student whose master's degree dissertation is deemed the most innovative and of highest quality. Its name is in memory of Alex MacDonald, a colleague of London-based vertical-transportation consultancy LECS, who died in February at the age of 29. LECS said he "was an outstanding engineer and a true professional. Having studied both architecture and engineering, he was leading a groundbreaking project in the Docklands set to attract worldwide attention for its bespoke design." The inaugural award will be presented this year.

NEW EW EDITORIAL CALENDAR

The ELEVATOR WORLD Media Kit includes a new Editorial Calendar. It reflects modifications made considering the coronavirus pandemic. Changes include different Focus Topics for July (now Disinfection and Cleaning, including products, processes and safety enhancements), September (now The Contractor Issue) and October (now Doors and Sensors, including light curtains, edges and sills), and a new deadline for the EW Photo Contest (July 15).

U.K. RAIL SYSTEM SEEKS BIDS FOR NEARLY 300 VT UNITS

HS2, the U.K.'s high-speed rail network, has launched a search for contractors to design, deliver and maintain almost 300 vertical-transportation (VT) units for four major new stations, the system announced on April 22. The contracts, valued at up to GBP465 million (US$574.5 million), call for about 168 elevators and 128 escalators to be installed in the new stations in London and Birmingham, which will serve hundreds of thousands of passengers daily. The new stations will be built to the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method Excellent, which judges sustainable lifetime performance, and are designed to be zero-carbon facilities. Energy-efficient elevators and escalators will play a key role in achieving the standard. The contracts will be divided into separate packages for elevators and escalators, set up to allow for potential changes in the number of units ordered as station designs are finalized. Contracts, expected to be awarded in 2021, will include maintenance for 20 years.

GLOBAL COVID-19 IMPACTS WEBINAR SET FOR MAY 12

ELEVATOR WORLD, Virgo Communications and Interlift are hosting “Global Elevator & Escalator Industry Perspective: Current Scenario & Recovery Plans” on May 12 at 4:00-5:30 p.m. IST. Focusing on COVID-19’s impacts, the webinar will be moderated by Anitha Raghunath of EW India and T. Bruce MacKinnon of EW. Panelists include Achim Hütter of VFA, Roberto Zappa of the European Lift Association, Zhang Lexiang of the China Elevator Association, Sebi Joseph of Otis India, Donald Gelestino of Champion Elevator and the National Association of Elevator Contractors, Massimo Bezzi of the European Federation for Elevator Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and more. There is no charge to register.

KONE WINS FOUR AWARDS AT RED DOT DESIGN COMPETITION

KONE's DX Class elevators won four awards at the Red Dot: Product Design 2020 competition, the company announced on May 7. The Red Dot Design Award, which began in 1955, is one of the world's largest and most recognized design competitions. While the DX Class is a complete system, “elevator interior collection” and “digital experience elevator concept” were honored for outstanding design features, innovativeness and smart elements in the new categories, “Innovative Products” and “Smart Products.” The DX Class comes standard with built-in connectivity and features design, technology, materials, apps and services that KONE says "brings a new user experience to life." Its materials are designed to meet green building criteria of the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and feature anti-scratch and antibacterial surfaces. The elevators support advanced dynamic displays and sound and lighting systems that improve the cars' ambiance. The DX Class debuted in Europe in 2019 and will be introduced to other regions beginning this year.

GLOBAL ELEVATORS & ESCALATORS RELEASED

Swiss financial services company Credit Suisse, a long-term commentator on and researcher of the industry, released several reports on the elevator and escalator market in March. All headlined Global Elevators & Escalators, their individual titles are “Looking at What Is Key for 2020 and Beyond,” “China Local Data Insights Into OEMs Relative Positioning Among Top 500 Developers and in Urban Transit,” “Channel Checking With Big4” and “CS China Elevators Pricing Tracker 3M 2020.” Samples and more information will be included in the June issue of ELEVATOR WORLD, but the full reports are also available to Credit Suisse clients and elevator and escalator market participants. Those interested in receiving it and other industry reports can sign up at website.

SOCIAL DISTANCING CAUSES LONG LINES FOR ELEVATORS

Because of social-distancing requirements, residents of a high-rise apartment building in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta, Australia, ended up waiting an hour to ride the elevator up to their homes, with the line stretching out the building's door and down the street, the Daily Mail reports. In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, measures put in place limited the building's elevators to one household per ride. One resident posted a photograph May 2 of the queue with a caption noting he had already been waiting 30 min. He said the building's concierge staff was monitoring elevator use to ensure the restrictions were followed. Other residents commented that building staff said the stairs were to be used only for emergencies. Government officials planned to meet this week to discuss relaxing pandemic protocols.

RESEARCH FIRM LOOKS AT ESCALATOR CLEANING MACHINE MARKET

Cole Market Research has made available an "in-depth study" predicting "big revenues" during the 2020-2026 period in the escalator cleaning machine market. The company reached its conclusions using several research methodologies, as well as looking at future growth opportunities. It made a separate assessment of the current and future trends for the machines, which was "sketched into the report." Included in the report are such industry aspects as machine pricing, production, distribution, supply, profit margin and revenue. It also looks at "factors that may act as a barrier" to growth in the market. The report is broken down by geographic areas and looks at major companies in the escalator cleaning machine sector. More information, including a PDF sample of the report, is available at website.

April 14-27

ZHA-DESIGNED MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT APPROVED IN LONDON

Vauxhall Cross Island, a mixed-use trio of towers up to approximately 55 stories across from Vauxhall Underground Station, has been approved by planning officials in South London, The Architect's Newspaper is among outlets to report. The source describes the Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)-designed towers as "more subtle" than typical ZHA designs, though they still have the signature biomechanical look of the late architect's creations. Having been opposed for years because of its scale, Vauxhall Cross Island is envisioned as a new town center for Vauxhall, with 257 apartments, offices, a hotel, retail space and a new public square. A timeline for the project, being developed by VCI Property Holding, has not been announced.

LIFTINSTITUUT OFFERS FREE WEBINARS ON FUNCTIONAL SAFETY

“Functional safety” has become an important consideration in the elevator industry, but many may not fully understand what the term means. Liftinstituut is organizing a series of four free webinars to shed light on the subject. The online gatherings will discuss the most common misconceptions and failures of functional safety, SIL and Programmable Electronic Safety Systems (PESS). PESS experts will introduce functional safety and its application to elevators. Each webinar lasts 1 hr and starts at 9 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. For more information and to register, visit website. The topics are: “What Is Functional Safety?” (April 28), “What Is Safety Integrity Level (SIL)?” (May 12), “The Bigger Picture of Functional Safety: The Interconnection of Standards” (May 26) and "What Is the FMEA (Failure Mode Effects Analysis)?” (June 9).

SCHINDLER PRODUCT USED TO PROMOTE DISTANCING

Schindler’s Ahead DoorShow displays information, advertising and announcements on elevator doors. Earlier this month, Schindler Lifts Singapore Head of Digital Business Nima Bahadori said he partnered with one of his "customers in Singapore to leverage the high-impact #DoorShow channel to communicate #SocialDistancing messages to tenants in their building." The product involves a projector adjusting to the width of the door that shuts its blind immediately when the doors open and restarts automatically when they are fully closed. Its display content can be updated with various types and format, including moving images, stills and movies in either landscape or vertical formats. They can be displayed in series as a playlist, allocated to certain times of the day or coincide with special events. All media is distributed wirelessly and remotely through Schindler's Ahead Connectivity.

INTERNATIONAL B2B SUPPORT INITIATIVE

Futur/io Institute and Wirecard have launched the Innovation for Now initiative portal for support during the coronavirus pandemic. The portal is intended to help business-to-business (B2B) companies by providing a central platform with offerings and services in a crisis. As numerous enterprises are setting up special B2B offers of assistance for small and medium-sized companies, the portal has gathered them onto a single, central platform. Futur/io is a European institute for exponential technologies and desirable futures, and Wirecard is a global internet technology and financial services provider based in Aschheim, Germany. Swiss agency for business and digital transformation Chameleo is a new partner for Innovation for Now for Switzerland.

ELEVATOR WORLD PHOTO CONTEST DEADLINE EXTENDED

The deadline has been extended for the ELEVATOR WORLD Photo Contest 2020. We have already received more than 80 fantastic photos for this year’s contest. However, due to the current health crisis and shelter-in-place protocols, we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to participate. The new deadline is set for July 15, and winners and runners-up will now be featured in the November issue. We cannot wait to see, and share with everyone, images of our industry on the rise. For full details and to submit photos, visit website.