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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July 20-August 2


Architectural design firm Maccreanor Lavington revealed designs for a 56-story skyscraper in London’s Canary Wharf, Architects’ Journal reports. Renderings show a bronze-clad building sporting a crown with a thin spire that will light up at night, an element that was Maccreanor Lavington’s response to planning officers’ challenge to design something “distinctive” for the skyline. It will provide 495 homes: 125 affordable homes on levels 6-20 and private homes on the higher levels. The 230-m-tall building will have 296 m2 of shops at the ground level, as well as a pocket park and double-height play terrace for all residents on the fifth floor. The tower is among a wave of new high-rise housing structures in the South Quay area.

July 6-July 19


British Land hired longtime collaborator McLaren Construction as the general contractor for Phase 2 of Aldgate Place on London's city fringe, with work set to start in the third quarter of this year, Construction Enquirer reports. On the drawing board are 136,000 ft2, housing 159 build-to-rent apartments, 19,000 ft2 of office space and 8,000 ft2 for retail and amenities. On its 27th project for developer British Land, McLaren will aim for "a comprehensive upgrade to the public realm with increased biodiversity and a focus on health and well-being." A previous phase of Aldgate Place stands roughly 25 stories, and this iteration appears to be roughly the same height.


Elevator World, Inc.; the German elevator association VFA Interlift e.V.; and fair organizer AFAG, in association with Credit Suisse, are launching a fifth survey of elevator industry representatives on current industry status and anticipated effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on business. Results of the fourth survey were released in early June and revealed that outlook improved to net positive and employment prospects remained healthy, while assessment of the competitive situation remained unchanged. The survey received nearly 400 responses, compared with 600 in the third iteration, 572 in the second and 550 in the first. For the fourth iteration, Credit Suisse Managing Director and Head of European Capital Goods Equity Research André Kukhnin assisted with preparation of a chart analysis, including breakdowns by country, of the results, including responses on the risk of rising raw materials costs to businesses in 2021. To participate in the latest survey, click here.


ELEVATOR WORLD announces its new Product of the Year Award, which recognizes outstanding product development achievements of manufacturers whose products are considered particularly noteworthy or innovative. The product(s) should represent any of the following qualities: a significant advancement in a technology or its application, an exceptionally innovative design, a substantial achievement in price/performance, improvements in design performance and a potential for new product designs/opportunities. For eligibility and rules, go here.


Designs for Marina Tower, the first green high-rise building in Greece, have been released, Foster + Partners announced in July. Developed by Lamda Development, Marina Tower will also be the tallest building in Greece at 200 m. It will provide 200 apartments across 45 floors, with dominant green and water features, unobstructed sea views and natural light. Marina Tower is one part of a six-building master plan for the Ellinikon development. Completion to set to occur in the next five years. “Ellinikon masterplan gives new direction to urban development in Athens, bringing together new ways of living, working and playing, centered on a metropolitan park – a generous amenity for local communities and the city of Athens,” said Antoinette Nassopoulos-Erickson, senior partner at Foster + Partners.


Organizers AFAG and VFA-Interlift e.V. say the international vertical-transportation (VT) trade fair interlift is more than 80% booked, with more than 300 VT companies registered. The fair, which was postponed six months to April 26-29, 2022, at Messe Augsburg in Germany (ELENET 883), is seeing numerous first-time registrants, organizers say, "so the prospects for the coming interlift are good." Against a backdrop of travel restrictions lifting as the coronavirus pandemic gets under control thanks to vaccinations, the fair will incorporate "a discreet hygiene concept." A digital preview of the 2022 fair is scheduled on the original dates — October 19-22 — and the 2023 fair is planned on October 17-20. For more information, visit the trade fair website.


With elevators moving back into regular use — after sitting idle for months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic — facility managers are finding themselves with a need to prepare their vertical-transportation (VT) units for return to operation, reports. Keenan Potter, a specialist in VT for U.K.-based construction engineering consultant Buro Happold, told the source that the onset of the pandemic was cause for worry within the VT industry because of the “sudden collapse of demand for all sorts of services.” While “everyone was sort of holding their breath,” the industry is making a comeback, thanks to active involvement from many governments around the world. Potter added that he believes some elevator rules, such as social distancing and sanitation, will continue post-pandemic, but that in many areas it appears likely that the desire will continue for flexibility that includes working from home. Noting that, pre-pandemic, office staffing was trending toward density, now “you're seeing the desire for more space in the building, and that obviously is going to affect how VT designs are going to change.”






The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats announced that their 2021 conference will be taking place in person November 8-12. Titled “The Future City: Addressing Carbon, Climate and Societal Crises”, the conference will be held at a dozen or more chapter locations across the Americas, Australia, China, Europe, Middle East, and Southeast Asia, with more locations and dates to be announced. CTBUH is looking for members to help plan the event for their chapter. For more information, go to or email

June 22-July 5


Neonode Inc. announced it has partnered with Dewhurst UK Ltd. to build, market and sell contactless elevator control products and solutions. Featuring Neonode contactless technology, Dewhurst launched HALO, its first contactless elevator product, in early 2021, which has already been installed in several locations in the U.K. and will continue to be installed through 2021. “The elevator segment is important to Neonode’s contactless touch business, and I am happy to see Dewhurst’s achievements so far and look forward to deepening our win-win cooperation going forward,” said Urban Forssell, CEO of Neonode.


Munich-based TÜV SÜD has partnered with London-based construction analytics company Contilio to provide a joint AI solution, the company announced in a press release. 3D AI Construction Inspection seeks to provide an informative overview of the status of a construction project by supporting data-driven risk management and decisions. The information can be accessed from a cloud-based environment by all project stakeholders and the processes help reduce the cost and time for quality control and progress tracking, which is currently done manually. “Our solution combines advanced 3D AI technology with 150 years of global inspection and testing expertise to automatically provide actionable intelligence from 3D construction site data,” says Zara Riahi, CEO of Contilio.


During its general assembly held online on June 19, the European Federation for Elevator Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (EFESME) reinstated board members and added a new one. Reelected were Massimo Bezzi (Italy), president; Damyan Petrov (Bulgaria), vice president; and Luciano Faletto (Italy), secretary general. They were joined by José María Compagni Morales, coordinator of the federation's Spanish member Federación Española de Asscoaciones de Pequeña y Mediana Empresa de Ascensoristas, who will serve as second vice president. With Morales' contributions, EFESME said it aims to develop additional programs for lift small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Marcel Boutillier (France) was thanked for his contributions as vice president and, previously, president. During the assembly, members said they plan to continue activities aimed at building "an increasingly SME-friendly working environment at the national, European and international levels."


The Airstair escalator handrail sanitizing device developed by Oxonox has been installed as a test inside an escalator at Manchester Piccadilly in the U.K., The Construction Index reported in June. The device works by extracting oxygen and nitrogen from the air to produce plasma particles, which are then applied onto the handrails. The plasma is said to kill and prevent 99.9% of hidden viruses, such as the pathogen that carries COVID-19, and dangerous bacteria. During use, the Airstair continually coats the handrails with the particles, which are applied each time the handrail goes around. The Airstair’s function means escalators do not have to be switched off during the day for cleaning, so passengers are no longer inconvenienced by shutdowns.

June 8-21


Developer Ariel Real Estate is proposing to partly demolish the Walnuts Shopping Centre on High Street in Orpington, London, and build in its place residential units to be spread across 19-story and 24-story buildings, along with 1,000 flats. The redevelopment would transform the town center, but a petition, already signed by 500 people, claims the developer is failing to consider the opinions of nearby residents who object to the “sheer size and scale” of the proposals, News Shopper reports. Ariel Real Estate is leading the project on behalf of global investment company Tikehau Capital. According to the developer’s application for an environmental assessment, part of the existing buildings would be retained, and the existing multi-story car park would be extended. Two smaller buildings, in addition to the tower blocks, would also be built. The total mixed-use development would create 100,000 m2 of floorspace across residential units, leisure, office space and parking, together with “new and enhanced public realm, access and connectivity across the site.” The plans remain at a relatively early stage.


As Canary Wharf visionary Sir George Iacobescu has stepped down and handed the reins to new boss Shobi Khan, it appears that the vision for the Isle of Dogs will be more residential than it has been in the past, Building reported on June 11. This London financial center has a reputation as a place people commute to, work long hours in and then escape from. The streets of the glass and steel district are noticeably quieter on weekends. According to the source, Khan seems to be spreading the message that, to continue to thrive, the 97-acre estate, with its 16.5 million ft2 of office and retail space, needs to provide homes and communities in addition to places in which to work, eat and drink. The move toward residential is already becoming more visible, most notably with Landmark Pinnacle, which, at 239 m, is Europe’s largest residential building. The scheme, developed by Chalegrove Properties and designed by Squire and Partners, will feature 752 flats. Other additions include Wood Wharf, adding nearly 6 million ft2 to the original estate with office space, shops, restaurants and community facilities; a build-to-rent development with 327 flats ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments; Berkeley Homes’ South Quay Plaza development, which will add 1,300 apartments over the next few years; and the 766-flat Wardian scheme by Ballymore and EcoWorld, also due for completion soon. A masterplan designed by Allies and Morrison and Glenn Howells Architects calls for more than 3,600 new homes, 25% of which are affordable, along with a school and a general practice surgery. Buildings include 10 Park Drive, which was completed June 2020 and welcomed the first ever residents to live on the Canary Wharf estate itself.


Construction activity in the U.K. fell 2% in April, but continues to stay above pre-COVID levels for the second straight month, Building reported in June. Construction output in March of this year was 2.4% above that of February 2020, the last fully unaffected month before lockdowns took place in March 2020. This is the first time in 2021 that construction levels have fallen, according to the Office for National Statistics’ figures. The April decline was due to a 2.9% decline in new work and a 0.6% reverse in repair and maintenance activity. Mark Robinson, group chief executive at Scape, cited the decline as a reminder to the industry of ongoing materials shortages, saying: “The additional impact of rising material costs has the potential to delay or even, unless resolved quickly, stop new projects getting off the ground in the second half of the year.”


Build-to-rent developer Platform_ has signed a contract with contractor Graham to begin construction on a tower in Glasgow, Urban Realm reported in June. Designed by Keppie, the tower, called Central Quay, will be constructed on the bank of the River Clyde and will provide nearly 500 apartments across four blocks, with a 20-story tower rising above them. A range of residents’ facilities include a rooftop garden, lounges, game rooms, a gym, a cycle club and a café, terraces and a co-working commercial area. Construction is expected to be complete by 2023. Matt Wilcox, development director for Platform_, says, “The building will not only help redevelop the local area but will provide much-needed housing to cope with high demand.”


Elevator parts and equipment supplier J&L Elevator Components of St. Asaph, Wales, U.K., has turned over controlling interest to its employees through an employee ownership trust (EOT), the company announced on June 7. Making the move was driven by the desire to sustain the organization’s independence, the company announced, while providing a means of ensuring succession planning and rewarding the work of the staff by continuing their job security and control of their future. John Harding, J&L Elevator Components’ co-founder, will continue to be actively involved in the organization, while a trust governance board has also been formed to ensure the EOT acts in its employees’ best interests. Co-founder Lynda Harding will be one of three trustee directors. In a statement, the company said the employee ownership will assure that all who deal with J&L will enjoy the long-term future of the company, even as leadership changes eventually take effect.


On June 8, Otis unveiled two new, connected elevator platforms: The Gen360 elevator, which introduces what Otis describes as “an entirely new electronic architecture with impacts for safety, service, passenger experience and comfort,” and the Gen3TM elevator, which adds built-in Internet of Things (IoT) features to the Gen2® flat-belt system. Gen360 is initially available in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the U.K. Gen3 is initially available in in North America, Australia, China and other parts of Asia. The Otis ONETM IoT digital platform is native to both. The platform provides real-time status information, proactive communications, predictive insights and remote service. The connected elevator “creates value for our customers with greater equipment outcome,” Otis President and CEO Judy Marks said. “It enhances the productivity of our own teams, and it exists at the heart of any smart building’s ecosystem.”


The London Borough of Redbridge has granted approval to Weston Homes and partner Tesco to transform a 10.4-acre store and carpark site in Goodmayes into Lorimer Village, a GBP500-million (US$708-million) mixed-use urban village development, Weston Homes reported in May. The project will provide 1,280 new homes, a replacement Tesco store, thousands of square feet of commercial space, a new school and community space. Construction is expected to start in early 2022 and take eight years to complete. The development will provide 14 medium-rise residential towers ranging from 10 to 22 stories, with biodiverse and brown roofs and connected by a podium to form nine linked buildings. The buildings are designed around a civic square, four large, landscaped podium courtyards and tree-lined pedestrian boulevards linked to a new rail station. Of the new homes, 415 will be set aside as affordable.


The European Federation for Elevator Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EFESME) has unveiled a new graphic logo that the organization’s leadership says gives it “a new and modern look.” The logo incorporates the historical colors of EFESME — inspired by the EU — while maintaining the previous logo’s simplicity as it celebrates the “concepts of elevation and movement representing the lift sector.” Prominent in the change are two stylized blue letter “E’s” flanked by up and down buttons. The restyled logo was released in May during the virtual SBS Lift Forum 2021. In addition to the logo, EFESME is launching a new website that an announcement notes “will soon be fully interactive and rich in content.” Site visitors will be able to receive information on EFESME’s activities from its experts.


The European Federation for Elevator Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EFESME) and the Small Business Standards (SBS) brought together speakers who offered numerous perspectives during a virtual version of the SBS Lift Forum 2021. The focus of the event, held May 27, was “Building Information Modeling” (BIM) and the impact it has on SMEs — especially those in the lift industry. Promoting BIM methodology as “revolutionary,” EFESME speakers asserted that it will “bring about important changes in the lift sector, and in its production, maintenance and sales.” Multiple sessions were presented. The first was a general look at BIM, followed by a session that looked at how it impacts the lift sector and its opportunities and risks. A close look at BIM standardization led to a discussion of its evolution within CEN TC442, an especially important subject to EFESME members.

May 25-June 7


HS2, the U.K.’s high-speed rail network, is expected to invite bids for the Interchange station at Solihull, a job expected to be worth up to GBP250 million (US$352.9 million) and the fourth and final station of phase one of the HS2 line, Building reports. Running between London and Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, HS2 spans 330 mi. and is also known as “Y” because of its shape. Teams consisting of Balfour Beatty/Vinci and Mace Dragados are building previous stations. A contractor for Interchange, which will include an automated people mover linking the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham International Airport and Birmingham International Station, is expected to be named in 2022, with construction starting in 2024.


Elevator World, Inc., the German elevator association VFA Interlift e.V. and fair organizer AFAG, in association with Credit Suisse, recently shared results of their fourth survey of elevator industry representatives on current industry status and future business outlook during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey received nearly 400 responses, compared with 600 in the third iteration (ELENET 875), 572 in the second (ELENET 861) and 550 in the first. Credit Suisse Managing Director and Head of European Capital Goods Equity Research André Kukhnin assisted with preparation of a chart analysis, including breakdowns by country, of the results, including responses on the risk of rising raw materials costs to businesses in 2021.

Responses revealed that outlook improved to net positive and employment prospects remain healthy, while assessment of the competitive situation remains unchanged. Key findings include:

  • Shortage of material and/or equipment has become a more prominent limiting factor.
  • The current situation assessment gradually improved into the positive territory by April 2021 compared with January, helped mainly by Europe outside of Germany.
  • Outlook for the next six months improved further and is net positive globally.
  • The competitive situation assessment remains cautious and has not changed versus January.
  • Employment prospects remain unchanged and remain at a healthy positive net level.
  • The risk of disruption by new IoT-enabled entrants in maintenance is seen as low overall.


TKE is among companies committed to the Business Ambition for 1.5˚ campaign, led by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in partnership with the U.N. Global Compact and the We Mean Business Coalition in an "urgent call-to-action for companies to ensure their (CO2) emissions will match with the 1.5˚ goal," the OEM announced on May 28. The goal is linked to a requirement in the Paris Agreement that all countries work together to bring greenhouse gas emissions to zero within the second half of the 21st century. TKE said it is committed to reaching net-zero global emissions by 2050 at the latest, and observed it has adjusted its vehicle fleet, facilities and products. Other companies involved in the vertical-transportation (VT) industry that have either committed to the campaign or set targets include U.K. outfits Arup, Mott MacDonald Group, Buro Happold and the British Standards Institution. Globally, companies with VT divisions, such as Hitachi and Prysmian Group, have set targets and committed to the campaign, respectively. 


Scottish architecture practice Kettle Collective has unveiled designs for a 703-m-tall supertall skyscraper in St. Petersburg, Russia, which would be the second-tallest building in the world, Dezeen reported on May 26. Called Lakhta Centre II, the 150-story building would also have, at 590 m, the highest occupied floor in the world. The tallest building in the world is the 828-m-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which was designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill; it has a top floor height of 585 m. Lakhta Centre II would sit next to the Lakhta Centre, the headquarters of Russian energy firm Gazprom that completed in October 2018 and is currently the tallest building in Russia. A construction timeline has not been reported.


Otis Worldwide Corp., in a May 25 announcement, said Abbe Luersman will join the company as executive vice president and chief people officer (CPO), effective July 26. In making the appointment, Otis President and CEO Judy Marks called Luersman "a passionate leader who brings decades of proven experience, business understanding and a commitment to ensure all voices are heard, especially across a globally distributed workforce." Luersman currently serves as chief human resources officer with Ahold Delhaize, a Netherlands-based international food retail group, where she has worked to develop and drive the organization's enterprise-wide people strategy. She holds a Bachelor and Master of Art in Human & Organizational Development from Miami University in Ohio. She will report directly to Marks.


The U.S.-based National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work with the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) to develop the U.S. National Building Information Management (BIM) Program, NIBS announced on May 25. Under the two-year MoU, CDBB experts will assist NIBS in developing technical standards for the built environment in the U.S. The collaboration was enabled through support of the U.K.’s Construction Innovation Hub. The plan is for NIBS to adapt the U.K. program model and materials as a guide to developing a national roadmap aligned with the international standard for BIM-ISO 19650. The U.S. National BIM Program is meant to foster a productive and more collaborative international digital construction sector for the public good, facilitating innovation to drive increased value and be an engine for long-term sustainable growth.


Those interested in presenting a paper at this year's International Elevator & Escalator Symposium (IEES), "The Future of Vertical Transportation in 2030," planned for December 6-7 at the Hotel Okura Amsterdam, should submit a brief abstract including the following information:

  • Name of author
  • Company/organization affiliations
  • Email address
  • Title of paper
  • Paper's objectives
  • Methodology employed
  • Main results
  • Conclusions

Authors should submit abstracts no later than June 18 via email, and those accepted will be notified by July 16. A 10-page maximum paper must be submitted by October 1, and authors will receive notification of acceptance or feedback by October 8. Final submission is due October 29. More guidelines are available online. Also, a limited number of booths is still available for rent; those interested should submit an email. IEES is co-organized by liftinstituut and Elevator World, Inc.

May 11-24


General assemblies of the European Lift Association (ELA) and the European Elevator Association (EEA) reflected a mood of cautious optimism about the outlook for the lift sector in 2021/2022 during a virtual meeting on 17 May 2021, the General Assemblies reported. The gathering was directed from joint headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Solid financial health of the associations was confirmed despite the ongoing pandemic that has had a significant impact on the industrial sector throughout Europe. The global lift sector registered a turnover of around US$80 billion, and of the 17 million units installed worldwide, 6.5 million are installed in Europe. The strength of ELA comes from the more than 200 expert technicians from its various member associations who, through their professionalism, debate the issues addressed in ELA’s Technical Committees and Working Groups, producing information notes, technical opinions and ELA positions. Management committees were announced during the event, and include changes to the EEA Management Committee. The following directors joined new President Wim Koster: Christian de Mas Latrie; Aitzol Garcia Castellanos; Jorge Ligüerre; Rudolf Ramseier; Gerhard Schiffner; Olivier Terryn; and Roberto Zappa. In addition, changes were made to the ELA Board, representing national associations and more than 1,500 companies. For more information, visit


Otis and KONE are among OEMs to recently announce winning awards in the international Red Dot Award: Product Design 2021 competition. Otis was recognized for its Ambiance hall fixtures with call buttons and position indicators. Ambiance fixtures are available in Europe with Gen2® elevators. The fixtures replace conventional, small call buttons covered by a switch plate with large tiles that can be pressed on their entire surface, making it easier to push the button with an elbow, forearm or wrist. Ambiance fixtures also reduce energy consumption and exceed new European accessibility standards. Finland-based KONE won five awards, including a Red Dot: Best of the Best honor in the Interior Design Elements category for its TravelMasterTM Premium Kit escalator solution. The company was also recognized for the Lane next-generation access gate, which received two awards, one each in the Interior Design Elements and Innovative Products categories, the Office Flow solution in the Smart Products category and the Digital Experience Car in the Interior Design Elements category.


Google searches for homes in the U.S. with elevators increased by 15% since the start of the pandemic, with global luxury property agent Savills observing that elevators are a key feature for 119 properties it lists in the U.S., London-based property broker reports. Demand for apartments with city and sea views, often necessitating elevators, also increased during the pandemic, the source said. While elevators lead the pack in the U.S., swimming pools top the list for homebuyers in the U.K., Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland and Thailand.


Ten Degrees, HTA Design's modular tower at 100a George Street in Croydon, South London, is now the world's tallest modular residential building, reaching a height of 135 m, Architects’ Journal reported on 12 May. The £151-million (US$212-million) project has usurped two 40-storey towers designed by ADDP Architects in Singapore as the world’s tallest modular development. The 41,819-m² project includes 38- and 44-storey towers, providing 546 homes to rent, an art gallery and a café. The towers overlook East Croydon station and offer views across London. Flats were manufactured off-site in a Bedfordshire factory by Tide Construction and sister company Vision Modular Systems. Ready-built modular pods were then stacked on top of each other on site. As carbon emissions are reduced through offsite manufacture, it is hoped the homes’ construction will use up to 67% less energy than traditional builds. HTA Design won planning permission for the tower in 2017, and construction began in January 2018.