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. 14-27

FIVE RESIDENTIAL TOWERS ON DRAWING BOARD IN LEEDS

Two 31-story residential towers are part of plan submitted by SimpsonHaugh to build a total of five towers containing 678 apartments on a former British Gas office site on Bridge Street near the junction of A61 and A64 in Leeds, U.K., the Architect's Journal reports. The other towers would stand 21, 15 and 13 stories. Also set to include commercial space, amenity areas and parking, work has already gotten underway with the conversion of the British Gas structure into a hotel, which the firm said will provide "a visual and aural buffer" between the highway and the rest of the site.

ESCALATOR FALL FATAL AT CANARY WHARF STATION IN LONDON

An unidentified person died from falling off an escalator at the Canary Wharf Tube station in the London Docklands on January 7, The Guardian reports. Police and paramedics pronounced the person dead on the scene at approximately 3 p.m. Commuters present in what is described as one of the busiest stations in the U.K. said they heard the victim fall, but realized he or she was beyond help. Authorities are not treating the incident as suspicious.

SAUNDERS NAMED THYSSENKRUPP ELEVATOR U.K., IRELAND CEO

Stephen Saunders has joined thyssenkrupp Elevator as CEO, U.K. & Ireland. thyssenkrupp describes Saunders as "a senior executive with extensive leadership and industry experience." Prior to his present role, Saunders held various management positions with KONE, including in service, sales and management of a U.K.-based KONE subsidiary. He studied geography, history and fine art at St. George's Weybridge. Wishing Saunders the best in his new role, thyssenkrupp said it has "no doubt that he will take us to the next level in this exciting time for the U.K. and Ireland business."

BREXIT MAY POSE DIFFICULTIES FOR MANUFACTURERS

Many types of products may only be marketed within the European Economic Area (EEA) if they carry a CE mark, but with the deadline approaching for the U.K.'s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) — commonly referred to as "Brexit" — questions have arisen about what the coming change will mean for manufacturers of CE-marked products, Liftinstituut notes in a news release that sources D&F Consulting. The CE mark means the manufacturer certifies its product conforms to the applicable European product directives. Manufacturers outside the EEA may have to appoint an "authorized representative" within the EEA who will assume responsibility for manufacturing. They also can sell directly to the end user, but this will entail customs checks, as well as the Health and Safety requirement in accordance with the Work Equipment Directive by the end user. The question is how post-Brexit U.K. deals with changes to European Product Directives. Some responses might force manufacturers to either cease taking their products to the EEA or to develop two versions of their products to cover the national market and the EU market. Brexit could also create problems for international manufacturers for which the only importer or authorized agent is in the U.K. These manufacturers may have to find an alternative within the EEA.

CIBSE LIFTS GROUP SETS MEETING

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Lifts Group has scheduled its next meeting for February 5 at 4:00 p.m. The annual general membership meeting will kick off the event, and speakers Len Halsey, Dr. Gina Barney, Adam Scott, Phil Pearson and Michael Bottomley will cover Brexit, standards and more. It will be held at CIBSE Headquarters, 222 Balham High Road, London SW12 9BS at no cost. Those wishing to attend are asked to register.

Dec. 31-Jan. 13

WORLD’S TALLEST MODULAR BUILDINGS MARK MILESTONE IN LONDON

Tide Construction Ltd. has marked a milestone in construction of what will be the world's tallest modular towers, at 44 and 38 stories, in the London borough of Croydon with completion of their concrete cores, Planning & Building Control Today reports. Tide's construction arm, Vision Modular, delivered the cores and is installing the modules — manufactured by Vision in Bedford, U.K. — around them. Developed by Greystar and Henderson Park, the development at 101 George Street will offer 546 rental homes and amenities including a winter garden, an art gallery, a business incubator and a café. With a construction timeframe of just over two years, 101 George Street represents "the future of construction," according to Greystar.

LONDON’S PROPOSED TULIP CULTURAL ATTRACTION FACES HURDLES

The Tulip, a 305-m-tall cultural attraction proposed in downtown London next to 30 St Mary Axe is facing a few hurdles, including government watchdog Historic England (HE) objecting to the plan because it could mar views of World Heritage Site the Tower of London, Architects’ Journal reports. Designed by Foster + Partners and developed by 30 St Mary Axe owner Jacob J. Safra, the structure has a futuristic look and would include observation levels, glass slides and gondola pod rides. It would be among the tallest structures in the city. In addition to HE’s concerns, London Airport Authority wants further examination into whether it would interfere with its radar systems.

MULTITOWER PROJECT PROPOSED IN GREATER MANCHESTER, U.K.

A masterplan for Michigan Avenue in the Salford Quays area of Greater Manchester, U.K., foresees as many as 1,500 new homes across a series of towers that could rise as high as 45 stories, Architects' Journal reports. Jeffrey Bell Architects, a Manchester-based firm, submitted an outline planning application on behalf of developer Peel Land and Property and its parent company, Tokenhouse. The submission suggests three to six towers of 14 to 40 floors with the "potential" for 45 stories. The towers would include ground-floor commercial, topped by residential apartments, student accommodations and co-living units.

LIFT SYMPOSIUM CALL FOR PAPERS

A call for papers has been issued by the Lift and Escalator Symposium Educational Trust for its 10th Symposium on Lift and Escalator Technologies. It is to be held on September 18-19, 2019, at Highgate House in Northampton, U.K. To register or submit papers, visit website.

NEW EDITION OF TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS IN BUILDINGS

The second issue of the Transportation Systems in Buildings journal has recently been published. It covers a broad range of topics and can be downloaded free of charge. The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers Lifts Group, Lift and Escalator Industry Association and University of Northampton invites authors to submit a paper for possible inclusion in the next issue. Holistic papers that integrate research, practice and learning to bridge the gap between these three elements are especially welcome. Papers for the annual issues of the journal can be submitted all year round. They undergo a double-blind peer-review process. For author guidance notes and how to submit, visit website.

LIFTEX 2019 COMING UP

The Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA)'s triennial LIFTEX 2019 takes place at London’s ExCeL London on May 15-16. LEIA says "it is already shaping up to be bigger than ever before." Now in its 31st year, the event will showcase the latest products and services across the industry. There will be more than 20 new exhibitors joining other U.K. and European suppliers, and a free seminar program will address key topics from industry professionals. Rounding out the week, the European Lift Association will hold its General Assembly and Annual Conference in London on May 13-14. For more information on LIFTEX or to register, visit website.

FRACO, TURBOIBER PARTNER TO FOCUS ON EUROPEAN MARKETS

Saint-Mathias-sur-Richelieu, Canada-based Fraco Products Ltd. and Turboiber Elevacion S.L., a Spanish lift-solutions provider with operations in Europe, Latin America and Asia, have agreed to merge Fraco and Turboiber subsidiaries in France and the U.K. to design products that fit European markets' specific needs. The newly formed entity will offer rental and servicing of vertical-transportation equipment, including motorized work platforms, construction elevators, transport platforms, industrial lifts and suspended scaffolds. Fraco Co-President Julie Rainville said the partnership "will allow Fraco to focus on the fabrication of innovative lifting products and to benefit from the extended knowledge of the European markets by Turboiber."

Dec. 17-30

UTC SPINNING OFF OTIS AS IT BREAKS INTO THREE COMPANIES

United Technologies (UT) announced on November 26 it is splitting into three independent companies: UTC, an aerospace and defense supplier; Otis, elevators, escalators and moving walks; and Carrier, air-conditioning and building systems. The news came on the heels of UTC's US$23-billion acquisition of aviation electronics maker Rockwell Collins. The separation is expected to be complete in 2020. UTC CEO Gregory Hayes will remain head of the aerospace business. Leaders for Otis and Carrier have not yet been named. Forbes observed that Otis, founded by Elisha Graves Otis in 1853 and growing into the largest elevator company in the world, had sales of US$12.7 billion in 2017 and the largest service portfolio in the world — 2 million units. UTC stated that recent investments include digitally-enabled field service capabilities, positioning Otis for continued growth. UTC purchased Otis in 1976, followed by the purchase of Carrier, which had sales of US$17.8 billion in 2017, in 1979. Although powerhouses in their own right, Otis and Carrier sales will pale in comparison to those of the aerospace company, which, thanks to the Rockwell Collins purchase, will be approximately US$50 billion by 2020.

LLOYDS LOAN PAVES WAY FOR 33-STORY BIRMINGHAM TOWER

A US$34.8-million loan from Lloyds Bank is paving the way for Tower II of Aprirose's The Bank development in Birmingham, U.K., The Business Desk reports. Standing 33 stories and containing 217 apartments, it will join the 189-unit Tower I, a 21-story structure completed in June 2018. The shorter building was "the first standalone build-to-rent development scheme we backed in the U.K.," Selina Dicker, director of Lloyds real estate and housing division, said. Aprirose CEO Gary Jones said The Bank's Tower II will enhance Birmingham's skyline and help cement its reputation as a U.K. hub. Completion is anticipated by the end of 2019.

SEMATIC C-MOD DOOR NOW AVAILABLE WITH WITTUR ECO+ DRIVE

Wittur has announced the availability of the Sematic C-MOD car door with the Wittur ECO+ drive as an option. It said the new option brings together "the reliable and space-saving mechanical structure of C-MOD and the bestselling Wittur drive" to offer distinctive technological advantages. A three-panel execution with ECO+ as an option will be announced later. As a further option, C-MOD can be delivered with CANbus connection to be included in a remote-control system for predictive maintenance. The new option shares the same fixation points of the standard C-MOD car door, so no changes in the installation procedure are required. The electronics can be installed on top of the operator or on the car roof, according to space requirements.

VFA FORUM CALL FOR PAPERS

VFA-Interlift e.V. has announced the VFA Forum, to be held at Interlift 2019 on October 15-18, 2019, at Messe Augsburg in Augsburg, Germany. The lecture forum for exhibitors and visitors of the larger event will allow presentations of approximately 20 min. long followed by discussion. Main topics this year include new products and services, development and implementation of standardization, international markets, smart elevators, building information modeling for the elevator, qualification of personnel in the elevator industry and more. The deadline for lecture submission is April 12, 2019, and should include speaker names, company/institution, communication data and a 10-line summary of content in German and English. Presentations will be published on the VFA website after the show.

Orona also partnered with Ikerlan and Mondragon University to exhibit at the Go Mobility fair, what it called "the first Southern European industrial exhibition on sustainable mobility of the future." Their booth, taking up 133 m2, exhibited technological capabilities developed in the Orona Ideo project. These include grid regeneration, energy recovery with storage in super condensers, reduction of grid power by storing it in batteries, power supplied by renewable energies, the grid-power-free lift and Class A energy efficiency for lifts. Targeting professionals and companies specializing in electromobility and energy storage, the fair took place on November 27-28 in Irun, Spain, and was organized by FICOBA.

TALLEST BUILDING IN MANCHESTER TOPS OUT AT 65 STORIES

The tallest building in Manchester, U.K., topped out in November at 200 m, or 65 stories, with Manchester City Council Leader Sir Richard Leese placing the final concrete piece during the ceremony, Insider Media Limited reports. Developed by Renaker Build, it is the south tower within the Deansgate Square development in the city center, and will contain nearly 500 apartments. It will be joined by three other structures that are at least 38 stories tall. Deansgate will bring more than 2.3 million sq. ft. of property to Manchester, including 2.7 acres of public space with a riverside plaza.

EFESME HOLDING FORUM IN BRUSSELS

The European Federation for Elevator Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (EFESME) will be holding a forum on the impacts of digitalization in the lift sector, “Digitalisation: Lifts Reaching the Cloud,” in Brussels on the morning of December 18. EFESME asks any who plan to attend to register by December 10.

LONDON GHERKIN NEIGHBOR: A CULTURAL ATTRACTION, THE TULIP

The owner of 30 St Mary Axe (also known as the Gherkin) in downtown London is working with architect Foster + Partners on plans to build a cultural attraction shaped like a tulip next door, the Architect's Journal reports. At 305 m, The Tulip would be among the tallest structures in the city, standing slightly shorter than the 306-m-tall Shard but taller than the proposed, 290-m-tall 1 Undershaft. a cultural center, a sky bar and restaurants are planned for The Tulip’s glazed observation levels. Rides in gondola pods and glass slides are also on the drawing boards. Completion could be as early as 2025.

NEW OPTIDRIVE SIZES DEBUT

Invertek Drives Ltd. recently introduced the Optidrive IP66 Sizes 2 and 3, and E3 Size 5 VFD at the SPS IPC Drives show in Nuremburg, Germany. The variable-frequency drives (VFDs) include thin-film-transistor displays as standard. The new IP66 outdoor-rated sizes bring additional opportunities for applications in harsh, outdoor situations. The Eco and P2 Size 2 are available up to 5.5 kW, with the Size 3 up to 15 kW. All Optidrive P2s provide 150% overload for 60 s. as standard, ensuring each drive is suitable for heavy-duty applications. The new E3 size will provide a power rating of up to 37k W for demanding applications. Invertek plans on OEMs to use them to reduce panel space and lower machine costs.

ELEVATOR LINES FOR LOW- AND MID-RISE BUILDINGS

thyssenkrupp Elevator says it is responding to the challenges of delivering customized mobility solutions in Europe and Africa by introducing two new elevator families: evolution and synergy. The completely reengineered lines have three models each, 100/200/300, and are intended for low- and mid-rise buildings for residential, commercial, and infrastructure applications. Their technical enhancements include improved shaft efficiency and sustainability features. All include the thyssenkrupp MAX predictive-maintenance tool. In addition, there are three design lines for the residential and commercial market. Each accommodates the different styles preferred in the European and African countries. The evolution 100 and 200 are for commercial buildings, while the synergy 100 and 200 are for residential buildings. The 300 models of each line are intended for infrastructure applications.

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