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.

October 13-26

EFESME MEETING DISCUSSES EUROPEAN INDUSTRY

In its October newsletter, the European Federation for Elevator Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (EFESME) reported on a September 17 meeting to discuss the evolving COVID-19 crisis and take stock of projects and initiatives by EFESME, member associations and authorities at a national level. President Massimo Bezzi opened with a speech on the current situation in Europe, noting an emerging optimism, with the industry showing resilience and solidity. ANACAM (Italian elevator association) had an issue with the lack of condominium meetings due to strict lockdown rules but expects high growth in new orders when this problem is solved, especially since state incentives have been allocated to residential building renovation. Representatives also spoke on the association's upcoming expo, ANACAM 2020, taking place December 2-4 at the Milan Marriott Hotel. FEPYMA (Spanish lift association) representatives said Spain has the same problem of suspended condominium meetings, but the national government has been asked to regulate and organize digital versions.

PLAN TO TRANSFORM GLASGOW SITE WITH RENTAL TOWER

Developer Watkins Jones Group has submitted an application to city councilors in Glasgow, Scotland, to transform a brownfield site on India Street in the city center with an up-to-30-story residential rental tower, The Scotsman reports. To take shape on the site of a mid-rise office building, which would be demolished, the property would offer 800 units, with stores, a café and coworking space at ground level. Watkins Jones Group is no stranger to the build-to-rent concept, having undertaken numerous such schemes in the U.K. If the Glasgow tower is built, it will be the tallest structure in the city center. The developer aims to complete the project in 2024.

29-STORY TOWER PLAN IN MANCHESTER MOVES FORWARD

U.K.-based developer Cole Waterhouse received approval from the Salford City Council to build the 28-story, 290-unit residential Anchorage Gateway project in the Anchorage area of Salford Quays, Manchester, U.K., World Construction Network reports. Designed by Chapman Taylor, the L-shaped tower will include 27 levels containing one-, two- and three-bedroom homes; 4,000 ft2 of ground-level commercial space; and 2,500 ft2 of residential amenities. The plan also includes landscaped gardens for residents on the mezzanine and 19th levels and penthouse apartments with private terraces. Cole Waterhouse plans to name a general contractor later this year and start construction in 2021.

ELEVATOR INDUSTRY SECOND COVID-19 SURVEY RESULTS ANALYSIS

Elevator World, Inc., the German elevator association VFA Interlift e.V. and fair organizer AFAG, in association with Credit Suisse, recently shared results of its second survey of elevator industry representatives on current industry status and anticipated effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on business. The survey received 572 responses, more than the first iteration that received 550 responses. Credit Suisse Managing Director and Head of European Capital Good Equity Research Andre Kukhnin assisted with preparation of a chart analysis, including breakdowns by country, of the results (excluding China, as, in July [ELENET 849], only a few of the responses were from that country, and an even comparison of previous and current results was needed). The most recent survey included a new question about the competitive environment that pointed to toughening competition globally across manufacturers, service providers and components suppliers. Additional observations include:

  • Respondents in Germany and North America were most positive, while those in Asia (excluding China), South America and the Middle East were most cautious.
  • Industry associations and consultants remain most cautious, while all divisions of the industry (component suppliers, manufacturers and service providers) have become positive.
  • Overall, the industry has become slightly less cautious, with 29% still expecting unfavorable development over the next six months (the same as in July), but with 24% now expecting favorable development (versus 19% previously).
  • Germany and North America both had improved outlooks compared to in July. Europe (excluding Germany) remained broadly unchanged in terms of negativity, while South America improved.
  • Outlook in Asia (excluding China) worsened slightly.
  • Consistent with July, uncertainty about economic policy remains a perceived limiting factor for business performance.
  • The level of concern about demand, financial constraints and materials/equipment shortages lessened slightly.
  • Employment outlook shifted from slightly negative in July to slightly positive.
  • Globally, business activity is expected to be 5% below pre-pandemic levels, with Germany most positive and nearly fully recovered and South America and Asia (excluding China) most negative, with business nearly 10% below pre-pandemic levels.

TOWER TO BE TALLEST IN IRELAND GREENLIT IN CORK

The city council of Cork, Ireland, granted planning permission to developers of a 140-m-tall, 34-story mixed-use tower that will be the tallest, "by far," in Ireland, Joe reports. Being developed by Tower Holdings Group, which has offices in NYC and Cork, the structure is set to rise on the old Port of Cork site on Custom House Quay. On the drawing board are a luxury hotel with a spa, a swimming pool and a gym; a restored Custom House; and a sky bar and restaurant where visitors can enjoy city views. Also planned are an interactive visitors' center highlighting Cork's maritime heritage, retail, and food and beverage outlets, including a microdistillery.

TfL RENDERINGS SHOW UNDERGROUND STATION

Transport for London (TfL) has published renderings showing the entrance and ticket hall for the Elephant & Castle Underground Station, a project set for completion in the late 2020s, LondonSE1 reported on October 9. Based on the images, passengers will be able to reach their trains by either escalator or elevator. The Tube station is being planned in conjunction with the extension of the Bakerloo line. The source reports that the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed TfL's final approval of the plan, but in a move to keep the project on track, local officials have approved demolition of the Elephant & Castle shopping center, set to begin in October. However, construction work cannot start until TfL enters a binding agreement to complete the station, which is not expected until March 2021. TfL has set completion for 2029, but project developer Delancey is pressing for the station to be ready by fall 2028.

LIVERPOOL CITY COUNCIL APPROVES TWO-BUILDING PROJECT

The Liverpool City Council has approved plans for Patagonia Place, a two-building residential development that would bring 278 apartments to the city's waterfront, Echo reported on October 7. The project, on William Jessop Way at Prince's Dock, would involve 31- and 11-story towers on a site that had previously been targeted for a 55-story building. Consultant Ian Ford, speaking before the council's planning committee, said the development "has been redesigned and resubmitted" to make sure the GBP50-million (US$65.3-million) plan is viable. The two applicants behind the project are Peel and Your Housing Group, and it is being designed by architects Falconer Chester Hall. No construction timeline was reported.

September 29-October 12

CIBSE LIFTS GROUP ANNUAL SEMINAR ANNOUNCED

The 2020 Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Lifts Group Annual Seminar will be held online at 1:30-3:30 p.m. BST on November 23. The event, chaired by Adam Scott, will comprise a short video describing the highlights of CIBSE Guide D: Transportation systems in buildings (2020). Four of its principal authors will be featured with short presentations of their contributions, followed by a question-and-answer session.

HIGH-RISE RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PLANNED IN SHEFFIELD, U.K.

Architecture firm Hodder + Partners, working with developer SFGE Properties, has submitted plans for Kings Tower, a proposed high rise in central Sheffield, U.K., that could become one of the tallest buildings in the region, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat reported on September 30. The Manchester-based practice has submitted an application that seeks to demolish a shuttered retail store and replace it with a 38-story, 206-unit residential building in the city’s Castlegate district. As proposed, Kings Tower, at 51-57 High Street, would stand 117 m tall, higher than the 101-m-tall St. Paul's Tower in Sheffield and the 112-m-tall Bridgewater Place in Leeds. It would feature one- and two-bedroom flats, plus duplex apartments. A ground-level, 337-m2 space would house a shop or café. Construction could begin in 2021, with completion targeted for fall 2023.

EFESME, SBS RELEASE NEW STANDARDS REPORT

The European Federation for Elevator Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (EFESME) released its most recent monitoring tables on the European standards and the directives. Examining July-September, EFESME and Small Business Standards (SBS) observed the following industry standards updates:

  • Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Switzerland reported new editions of EN 81-20 and -50, all published in 2020.
  • Greece, Luxembourg and Norway reported new editions of EN 81-72 and -73, all published in 2020.
  • Croatia reported new editions of EN 81-20, -50, -72 and -73, in addition to an English-only translation of EN 81-21, -28, -70 and -77.
  • Ireland reported new editions of EN 81-20, -50, -72 and -73.
  • Sweden reported a new translation (into Swedish) of EN 81-20 and a new version of EN 81-72.
  • Bulgaria reported a new translation (into Bulgarian) of EN 81-70.

JOURNAL REPORTS ON CORONAVIRUS/ELEVATORS STUDY

The professional journal Indoor Air published a report on September 23 detailing an investigation into how long aerosol droplets of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 persist in hospital elevators and offered specific measures to reduce the risk of transmitting the disease. The investigators, funded by the University of Amsterdam, found that it took 12-18 min for the number of particles to diminish 100-fold, both in medium-sized and large elevator cars, but that time was reduced significantly when the doors were left open. As a result of the tests, the authors offered suggestions like adjusting the doors so they stay open longer and mechanically altering ventilation systems. Rather than exhausting air through the top of the car into the hoistway (as is the case in many hospital elevators), the proposed alteration draws in fresh, filtered air from the hoistway. They also suggested extending the length of time ventilation fans operate after the car has gone idle.

KONE TARGETS CARBON-NEUTRAL OPERATIONS BY 2030

KONE has set a goal of significantly reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, the company announced on September 28. Saying its targets have been validated against the latest climate science by the Science Based Targets initiative, the company also pledged to have carbon-neutral operations within the same timeframe. In the announcement, KONE committed to a 50% cut in GHG emissions from its own operations, compared to a 2018 baseline. In addition, KONE targets a 40% reduction in the emissions related to its products’ materials and lifetime energy use over the same target period, relative to orders received. To reach the 50% cut in GHG emissions by 2030, KONE plans a variety of actions, such as incorporate more hybrid and electric vehicles in its fleet, as well as optimizing vehicle routing for maintenance visits. The company will increase the sourcing of renewable electricity at its facilities worldwide to 100% in 2030. To achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2030, the company will offset the remaining emissions.

September 15-28

EW PROJECT OF THE YEAR ENTRY DEADLINE OCTOBER 16

The deadline for submissions to the ELEVATOR WORLD Project of the Year Awards 2021 is October 16. The contest recognizes excellence in vertical, horizontal and inclined transportation. Winners in each of nine categories will receive an award and be recognized in a feature story in the January 2021 issue. Entries can be made in “Elevators, New Construction”; “Elevators, Modernization”; “Escalators, New Construction”; “Escalators, Modernization”; “Moving Walks”; “Inclined Elevators”; “Platform Lifts & Stairway Chairlifts”; “Private-Residence Elevators”; and “Special-Purpose Lifts.” The contest is open for projects that have been completed within the past two years, and both text and photos must be submitted, along with a completed entry form. To download the form and obtain more information, visit website.

REMOTE CERTIFICATION, LEARNING OFFERED BY LIFTINSTITUUT

Amsterdam-based Notified Body Liftinstituut, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is offering remote certification of elevators, escalators and safety components, and is continuing to provide its series of free webinars focused on functional safety. Its experts can certify elevators remotely by closely observing, via video link, tests as they are undertaken by factory product experts. For more information, visit website. Earlier this year, Liftinstituut presented a series of four free webinars on "Functional Safety — an Introduction to PESS." Programmable Electronic Safety Systems (PESS) have seen use in the automotive and aircraft industries, and have begun to find their way into the elevator industry. The four webinars explain the technology and offer Certified Elevator Technician (CET®) credit and are still available. To sign up or for more information, visit website.