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.

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Jan 3-Jan 16

TUNNEL, ESCALATOR IMPROVEMENTS PLANNED IN NORTHERN LINE

The Northern line that takes London tube riders to the Bank station is set to shut down in mid-January for planned improvements, including new escalators, at the site, Ian Visits reports. The line, between Kennington and Moorgate, will be unavailable to riders as the work is carried out. The closure of the Northern line was determined needed because a new tunnel was dug at Bank station and needs to be joined with the existing rail tunnel — something that can’t be done when trains are running through. The additional tunnel is for a new, larger southbound Northern line platform, and the old tunnel will be turned into a large central concourse, roughly tripling the amount of space for Northern line passengers. The work includes new escalators between the Northern line and the DLR, and to the Central line. Work is expected to be completed in May.

HOUSING SECRETARY ASKED TO RECALL PLANS FOR LONDON TOWER

Controversial plans for an Allford Hall Monaghan Morris 24-story office tower in Houndsditch were approved by the City of London’s planning committee in November, but later became the first application to be referred to City’s Court of Common Council in 34 years, Architects’ Journal reported in December. The planning application was due to be discussed by the City’s ultimate decision-making body; however, when the Court of Council convened, a procedural motion was moved to skip the item, and the planning application was not discussed. Edward Lord, the motion’s proposer, said considering it would be “an abuse of process that puts [the City of London] at legal risk, let alone massive reputational risk as a planning authority.” Since then, four councilors have written to Housing Secretary Michael Gove to ask him to intervene in the planning process for the tower. In the letter, they said the application “contravened the City’s own policies on office development, tall buildings, massing and bulk, daylight and sunlight and sustainability” while also accusing the City of London’s planning committee of “habitually rubber-stamping office developments, however much they contravene the City’s own planning policies, and whatever harm they do to the City’s own residents and its heritage.” The call comes as other local politicians also raised concerns about the tower.

Dec 20-Jan 2

HYUNDAI ELEVATOR UNIT CREATED WITH BRITISH DESIGNER HONORED

Hyundai Elevator won the Good Design USA Award 2021 in the building materials category for the Designers Edition CLD elevator created in collaboration with British designer Chris Lefteri, Hyundai Elevator announced on December 27. Unveiled at the Korea International Elevator Expo in September 2021, Designers Edition CLD provides a luxury journey, according to Hyundai Elevator. The 71st annual Good Design USA Award is hosted by the Atheneum Architecture and Design Museum in Chicago. Each year, companies from more than 50 countries participate. Lefteri described Hyundai Elevator as the "perfect facilitator," and observed that "a great design can be achieved based on cooperation."

IEES DATES AND HOST CITY: DECEMBER 2022 IN BARCELONA

The International Elevator and Escalator Symposium (IEES), organized by Liftinstituut B.V. and Elevator World Inc., is set take place at the W Barcelona Hotel in Barcelona, Spain, on December 12-13, 2022. The event was previously planned in Amsterdam in early 2022, but uncertainty about future Dutch government lockdowns led to the change of date and venue.

CTBUH MOURNS THE PASSING OF TWO WELL-KNOWN ARCHITECTS

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is among those mourning the passing of Richard Rogers and Chris Wilkinson, founding partner of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and co-founder of WilkinsonEyre Architects, respectively. Perhaps best known for designing the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Rogers also designed such iconic London buildings as The Lloyd’s Building and the Leadenhall Building (the “cheesegrater”). A native of Florence, Italy, Rogers studied at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London and at Yale. He was knighted in 1991. Rogers passed away on December 18 at age 88. Wilkinson founded Chris Wilkinson Architects in 1983 after stints working with Norman Foster, Rogers and Michael Hopkins. He and Jim Eyre launched WilkinsonEyre in 1999. Wilkinson’s contributions to architecture include CTBUH’s 10-Year Award winner, Guangzhou International Finance Centre, Best Tall Building 2021 Award of Excellence winner, One Barangaroo in Sydney and CIBC Square in Toronto. Wilkinson passed away on December 14 at age 76.

DEVELOPER PLANS TWIN RESIDENTIAL TOWERS IN MANCHESTER, U.K.

Developer Renaker, planning to build two 51-story skyscrapers on the edge of the Manchester, U.K., city center, has submitted its intention, BBC reports. On a site in the Great Jackson Street area, next to four towers at the city’s Deansgate Square, the new towers will stand 153-m (501-ft) tall — among the highest in the city, but shorter than the current highest, 200-m (656-ft) Deansgate Square, which was also developed and built by Renaker. The Local Democracy Reporting Service said the plans include a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom flats, including eight penthouse duplex apartments in each tower. Each building would also have its own co-working space, gym and lounges, plus private underground car parks and cycle storage within the three-story basements. A spokesman for the developer said the towers would be "striking" and "unique," adding, "This planning submission represents another significant step in our journey to revitalize the Great Jackson Street area."

Dec 6-19

“LIFTINSTITUUT EXPERT SESSIONS” PRODUCES EPISODE 5

The “Liftinstituut Expert Sessions” has produced Episode 5 of its online videos, “Elevators and Cybersecurity,” available now at liftinstituut.com/knowledge-center. Presented by Elena Mauro, functional safety certification specialist at Liftinstituut, the latest episode focuses on elevators and cybersecurity. Main questions to be covered are:

  • What are the risks concerning elevators and IoT?
  • Are there standards concerning elevators and cybersecurity?
  • What can we learn from other industries like the automotive and process industry?

Previous sessions, also available, are Episode 1, “Safety Inspections”; Episode 2, “The Integral Safety Vision”; Episode 3, “BREXIT and its Consequences for the Lift Industry; and Episode 4, “IoT in the Lift Industry.”

BABY “LUCKY TO BE ALIVE” AFTER MANCHESTER ESCALATOR FALL

The mother of a 1-year-old said her daughter is “lucky to be alive” after the pram she was in plunged down an escalator at a shopping center in Manchester, U.K., on December 9, BirminghamLive is among outlets to report. The baby’s 28-year-old mother told The Manchester Evening News that she decided to use the escalator since several people were waiting in line for the lift. Approximately three-fourths of the way up the escalator, the mother lost grip of the pram and it “did at least three somersaults to the bottom” as horrified shoppers looked on. After being attended to by paramedics on-site, the child was treated for minor injuries to her face and head at a local hospital.

OEMs MAKE “A” LIST FOR TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE

KONE and TK Elevator (TKE) are among the OEMs recognized with a prestigious "A" score from international nonprofit CDP for their efforts to fight climate change. The OEMs are among a small number of high-performing companies out of nearly 12,000 evaluated that scored "A." Others with "A"s include Mitsubishi Electric Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. KONE said in a press release that it has disclosed through CDP since 2009 and has received a score of A or A- for climate change for nine consecutive years. CDP allocates scores from A to D- based on comprehensiveness of disclosure, awareness and management of environmental risks, demonstration of best practices, environmental leadership and setting ambitious goals. In 2020, KONE set targets for significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon neutrality by 2030. Achieving an "A" score for the second consecutive year, TKE says it continues to be focused on sustainable products and services, particularly its commitment toward lower CO2 emissions through measures such as transitioning its vehicle fleet to electric and hybrid. TKE's goals include becoming climate neutral by 2050 and using electricity only from renewable sources by 2030.

KONE REPORT TELLS STORY OF PEOPLE FLOW DURING COVID-19

KONE has analyzed data from its global elevator portfolio to tell the story of the flow of people in cities around the world over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release. The data collected covers the period from before the first lockdowns confined most populations to their homes to the present day, and provides an original data set for illustrating the return of people to workplaces, educational institutions, hotels and within residential buildings.

The report includes the following highlights:

  • In the top 10 European cities, the average number of elevator journeys plummeted 80% between February and April 2020. The return to office buildings in Paris, Munich, Helsinki, Berlin, Milan and Hamburg has remained at 60% of pre-pandemic levels since the start of this year, but data show that the return to the office slowed in November with the discovery of a new coronavirus variant in the second half of the month.
  • Data for hotel elevators tells the dramatic story of the pandemic. From a monthly peak of over 22,000 starts per hotel elevator in September 2019, this number plummeted almost 90% to around 2,500 starts per hotel elevator by April 2020. Although the monthly number of average journeys in European cities recovered in October 2021, the numbers fell again in November.
  • The global picture shows national differences when it comes to the return to the office. Since January 2021, a more nuanced picture has emerged from KONE's elevator data for office buildings, which reflects different COVID-19 strategies in individual countries.

EFESME/SBS TO HOST WEBINAR ON LIFT STANDARIZATION UPDATES

European Federation for Elevator Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EFESME)/Small Business Standards (SBS) plan to host a webinar on December 14 at 2 p.m. Central European Time covering updates on lift standardization. EFESME states the first edition of the SBS Lift Webinar series will be the perfect opportunity to get an overview of the work done by EFESME/SBS experts on standardization in the lift sector, which is going through a particularly active period. The updates will have an impact on the daily business of small- and medium-sized enterprises. Participants will have an opportunity to speak directly with experts about the latest developments within CEN TC 10 and ISO TC 178. For more information, contact EFESME at email.

EXCITING CHANGES FOR ELEVATOR WORLD PODCAST

The ELEVATOR WORLD Podcast is changing from daily to once a week, on Fridays, when we will highlight some of the biggest industry news from the past week. In the coming year, the podcast will be revamped to included more interviews, discussion of current events, weekly news highlights and more.

OTIS ELEVATOR AIR-FLOW STUDY PUBLISHED IN PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL

“Airflow and Elevators,” an academic study commissioned by Otis about how elevator airflow affects potential exposure to COVID-19, has been accepted for publication in ScienceDirect’s peer-reviewed journal Building and Environment, Otis announced in November. Findings remain the same: Thanks to significant air exchange by code-required design, taking an elevator is a low-risk activity during the pandemic, with the rate of exposure lower than that of outdoor dining and comparable to that of shopping in a grocery store. Otis observes that many publications share news about academic/scientific studies only if they are published in peer-reviewed journals. Now that the study has been approved through a peer-review process, Otis expects to see it published in additional news outlets. In November, for example, USA Today included it in a COVID-19 news roundup.

LEEDS, U.K. RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX APPROVED

Approval of a US$305-million high-rise development in Leeds, U.K., has been granted, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat reports. The complex is being developed by both Marrico Asset Management and Helios Real Estate, while DLA Architecture is the designer. There will be two residential high rises on the site, one 33 stories and the other 22. The buildings will hold a total of 629 flats and 11,000 m2 of office space. There will also be a 24-story high rise that will provide 548 student apartments and an 11-story office building. In addition, a 15-story serviced apartment will contain 3,000 m2 of co-working space. The project design aims to be a transition between the city’s financial core and the nearby residential areas, featuring the traditional red brick hues found in Leeds and shifting to a more contemporary palette in the western part of the site. Fifty five percent of the site is planned to hold gardens and landscaping.

TRIO OF UP-TO-55-STORY-TALL TOWERS PROPOSED IN WEST LONDON

Pilbrow & Partners has filed an application for a plan that includes two 50-story and one 55-story-tall skyscraper as part of the 1 Portal Way mixed-use development in West London, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat reports, citing the Architect’s Journal. The application was submitted to London mayoral entity Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corp. Planned on the former Dixons Carphone headquarters site, the plan also includes two 18-story buildings, a 16-story building and a six-story building. If approved, 1 Portal Way would bring more than 1,700 new homes to the area, along with up to 35,000 m2 of commercial space. The site is next to the not-yet-built 4 Portal Way, a Kohn Pedersen Fox project that consists of 45- and 55-story towers approved in 2020.

Nov 22-Dec 5

FIRST CALL FOR PAPERS FOR 13TH LIFT & ESCALATOR SYMPOISUM

The Lift & Escalator Symposium Trust announced the 13th Symposium on Lift & Escalator Technologies and has issued a first call for papers. Abstracts from industry professionals, academics and post-graduate students may be submitted through March 31, 2022. Featuring presentations by leading experts of peer-reviewed papers, as well as networking with colleagues, the event is planned online and in-person at the Hilton Hotel in Northampton, U.K., on September 21-22, 2022.

FINAL VIDEO OF “LIFTINSTITUUT EXPERT SESSIONS” NOW AVAILABLE

"Liftinstituut Expert Sessions” online videos Episode 4, “IoT (Internet of Things) in the Elevator Industry” is now available at liftinstituut.com/knowledge-center. The fourth video of this series, with Managing Director John van Vliet, covered the following themes: “What IoT developments are relevant for elevator and escalator safety?” and “What is the legal framework for safety inspections using IoT?” Viewers involved with elevator and escalator safety — including inspectors, engineers and repair/maintenance technicians — will find a discussion of topical interest in all videos of the series. Episode 1, “Safety Inspections,” Episode 2, “The Integral Safety Vision,” and Episode 3, “BREXIT and its Consequences for the Lift Industry,” are already available. Liftinstituut is Europe’s leading organization for conducting certification and inspection of elevators and escalators.

EW PROJECT OF THE YEAR WINNERS

ELEVATOR WORLD is pleased to report the winners of the 2022 Project of the Year contest. Winning projects, which will be featured in our January 2022 issue, are (with category): Ascent in NYC submitted by Liberty Elevator (Elevators, New Construction); Scotia Plaza in Toronto submitted by Schindler Elevator Canada (Elevators, Modernization); Taichung MRT in Taichung, Taiwan, submitted by Otis (Escalators, New Construction); New York Marriott Marquis in NYC submitted by KONE (Escalators, Modernization); Beijing Winter Olympics Jumping Center in Zhangjiakou, China, submitted by Suzhou Rhine Lift Manufacture (Inclined Lifts); Taiyuan Botanical Garden in Taiyuan, China, submitted by TK Elevator Asia-Pacific (Moving Walks); NYC Housing Authority Refuse Lifts in NYC submitted by Gillespie Corp. (Platform Lifts and Stairway Chairlifts); Emirates Hills Private Residence Elevator in Emirates Hills, U.A.E. submitted by Toshiba Elevator Middle East (Private-Residence Elevators); and Residential Car Elevator submitted by Quest Elevator Co. of Mississauga, Canada (Special-Purpose Elevators).

Nov 8-21

IEES IN AMSTERDAM: NEW DATES ARE JANUARY 31-FEBRUARY 1

Due to the Dutch government's November announcement of a series of three-week lockdowns as coronavirus cases increased across the country, the International Elevator & Escalator Symposium (IEES), previously scheduled on December 6-7, 2021, at Hotel Okura in Amsterdam, has been rescheduled to January 31-February 1, 2022. Hotel Okura remains the host venue, and rooms that were secured will remain so. Attendee ticket holders do not need to make any changes to participate, and those who already booked rooms at Hotel Okura may have their reservations changed free-of-charge by IEES organizers or hotel staff. Exhibitor booths will be ready on the relevant date. For more information, email symposium organizers.

LONDON’S TULIP PROJECT REJECTED

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher has followed the recommendation of Planning Inspector David Nicholson, rejecting Foster + Partners’ Tulip project, Architects’ Journal reports. The decision ends years of planning wrangling, which started in 2018 when Foster + Partners submitted plans for the 305-m-tall tourist attraction for a site by the Gherkin in the City of London. The City of London approved the highly controversial skyscraper in spring 2019, but London Mayor Sadiq Khan overturned the decision, calling it an “unwelcoming, poorly designed” mega-project, the source reports. He argued the tower would offer little benefit to Londoners with no new office space or housing. In the planning inspector’s report, Nicholson said the “chosen purpose, form, materials and location have resulted in a design that would cause considerable harm to the significance of the Tower of London, and further harm to other designated heritage assets. Although considerable efforts have been made to adopt all available techniques to make the construction and operation of the scheme as sustainable as possible, incorporating a tall, reinforced concrete lift shaft would result in a scheme with very high embodied energy and an unsustainable whole lifecycle.”

OMNIA VINYL DIRECTORS BECOME 3M-ENDORSED INSTALLERS

Gareth Watkinson and Richard Whiteley, directors of Swindon, U.K.-headquartered Omnia Vinyl, Ltd., have qualified as 3M-endorsed architectural vinyl installers after receiving additional training and passing a written exam, Watkinson announced on LinkedIn. “[Whiteley] is now the only qualified lift engineer/technician in the U.K. who is also a 3M-endorsed installer,” Watkinson states. This means, he says, that Whiteley’s knowledge and experience will help ensure that 3M DI-NOCTM architectural vinyl will be installed to the highest standards and that the lift is “correctly and, more importantly, safely controlled during the wrapping process.”

21-STORY LONDON OFFICE PROJECT APPROVED DESPITE OBJECTIONS

Despite objections from heritage groups, a 21-story office project on Fleet Street in London has been granted planning permission by the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat reports. The project, developed by CO—RE, involves detaching the Daily Express building, which is Grade II* listed, from the River Court building, which will be demolished to make way for the new office building. The office building will wrap around the heritage Art Deco building on two sides and will feature a series of stepped roof terraces starting on the sixth floor. Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, it will deliver 50,550 m2 of office space and 1,700 m2 of retail space. A dedicated cyclehouse with storage for more than 1,000 bicycles with a bicycle concierge service and coffee shop will be situated on the ground floor. The Daily Express building will also be redeveloped into a publicly accessible cultural venue with a public roof garden.

“LIFTINSTITUUT EXPERT SESSIONS” EPISODE 3 SET TO GO

“Liftinstituut Expert Sessions” online videos Episode 3, “BREXIT and its Consequences for the Lift Industry,” will be available at liftinstituut.com/knowledge-center beginning Thursday, November 11. As the third of this four-part series, viewers involved with elevator and escalator safety — including inspectors, engineers and repair/maintenance technicians — will find a discussion of topical interest. The final video, Episode 4, “IoT in the Lift Industry,” will be available November 25. Episode 1, “Safety Inspections”, and Episode 2, “The Integral Safety Vision”, are already available. Liftinstituut is Europe’s leading organization for conducting certification and inspection of elevators and escalators.

OTIS UKI UNVEILS DIGITAL SHOWROOM IN WEST LONDON

Otis UK & Ireland (UKI) held a grand opening for its digital showroom located in company UKI headquarters in the Vantage London building in West London on October 4. Engineered and designed by Otis, the 9.2-m2 space allows visitors to interact with Otis digital products and virtual reality (VR) technology to explore lift car designs and specifications in real time. Otis UKI Engagement Manager Amy Botterell said the showroom was designed and built by Otis to resemble an Otis lift. It is accessed through Otis panoramic elevator doors using Compass® 360 and eCallTM Pro, showcasing the OEM’s call technology. When the company described the showroom on social media in October, it was met with great enthusiasm, with LinkedIn respondents describing it as cool, exciting, innovative and futuristic. “[Otis Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer] Abbe Luersman wasn't kidding about Otis going all-in on VR!" said Dave Geoffrey of computer software company Axonify of Waterloo, Canada.

Oct 25-Nov 7

U.K.’S JACKSON LIFT GROUP PROMOTES EMPLOYEE TO NATIONAL ROLE

Jackson Lift Group, a family-owned and run business based in London, has promoted Matthew Rudd to the position of national installations sales manager, according to an announcement on LinkedIn. Rudd previously held the position of new lift and modernization sales engineer, working from the Charlton Head Office. Prior to that position, and for several years, he held the position of regional sales consultant, covering London & Home Counties. The company says that Rudd is already well-known by its customers and “this appointment will help strengthen the many relationships we have with national customers and those who choose Jackson for a major project.”

ISO SPECIALISTS HELP RISE ELEVATOR EARN CERTIFICATION

ISO consultancy company Compliant FM has worked alongside Rise Elevator to help the business gain the ISO 9001:2015 quality standard, BDaily reports. Compliant, which has been based in Sunderland, U.K., since 2017, works with companies across the U.K. that are looking to grow their businesses by gaining UKAS-accredited ISO certification. Compliant was approached by Rise Elevator as it looked to grow its business by gaining the ISO quality standard. Having recently moved into new premises in Gateshead’s Team Valley, Rise Elevator provides lift, installation and repair services to businesses across the U.K., including the NHS and the National Trust. With a view to tendering for large national contracts and to give its customers the reassurance they were working to the highest quality, Rise opted to gain ISO 9001:2015, the quality management standard. Following its successful certification, Rise has now retained Compliant’s services to help maintain the standard as the company looks to further grow its business.

ESCALATOR INJURIES REPORTED IN WILMSLOW

A man and a woman were injured after falling on an escalator in a retail store in Handforth Dean retail park on Earl Road, Wilmslow, U.K., the Knutsford Guardian reports. Firefighters were called to the scene and provided basic first aid and oxygen therapy to the injured parties who were subsequently taken to hospital.

“LIFTINSTITUUT EXPERT SESSIONS” EPISODE 2 SET TO GO

“Liftinstituut Expert Sessions” online videos Episode 2, “The Integral Safety Vision,” will be available at liftinstituut.com/knowledge-center beginning Thursday, October 28. As the second of this four-part series, viewers involved with elevator and escalator safety — including inspectors, engineers and repair/maintenance technicians — will find a discussion of topical interest. Upcoming videos will be Episode 3, “BREXIT and its Consequences for the Liftindustry,” available November 11; and Episode 4, “IoT in the Liftindustry,” available November 25. Episode 1, “Safety Inspections,” is already available. Liftinstituut is Europe’s leading organization for conducting certification and inspection of elevators and escalators.