EWEU News is ELEVATOR WORLD Europe’s free monthly newsletter focusing on vertical-transportation news in Europe. Contact the EW Editorial Department to submit news or the EW Advertising Department to advertise and reach more than 4,000 subscribers across Europe.
February 2021
A project commissioned by COIMA SGR in Milan, Italy, involves bringing an iconic, 1950s office building up to current European Union energy regulations and constructing a new, vegetation-covered residential tower next door, New Atlas reports. Architecture firms Stefano Boeri Architetti and Diller Scofidio + Renfro conceived Pirelli 39, which includes renovation of the 127-m-tall, 32-story Pirelli office tower and the new tower, which appears to be of similar height. The buildings will be connected by a greenery-filled bridge, and the 1,700 m2 of foliage on the tower will change colors with the seasons and absorb 14 mT of CO2 and produce 9 mT of oxygen a year. No construction timeline was provided.
View from the Alto Tower roof; photo courtesy of Otis
Otis released results of a three-month academic study on how elevator airflow affects potential exposure to COVID-19 (ELENET 854) on January 27. Led by Dr. Qingyan Chen, the James G. Dwyer professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, the study presented a science-based approach to mitigating exposure in elevators. Findings show the significant amount of air exchange in most elevators, combined with simple mitigation strategies (including all riders wearing surgical-style masks and installation of an air-purification system), puts an elevator ride on the lower end of the exposure spectrum. The study concluded that, when simple mitigation measures are in place, a short elevator ride of 1-2 min represents a very low risk of exposure compared with several everyday activities, such as dining outdoors and going to the grocery store. Intensity of exposure is impacted by the level of air exchange or ventilation. By design, elevators have significant air exchange and are required by code to have openings for ventilation. Many elevators also have fans to increase ventilation. “If all passengers properly wear masks, the relative exposure risk drops 50%,” Chen said. “Air purification systems that use NPBI® [Needlepoint Bipolar Ionization from Schaumburg, Illinois-based BSE] can reduce this risk by an additional 20-30%.”
The March-April 2021 issue of ELEVATOR WORLD Europe will focus on safety (products, systems, field/public). Submissions will be accepted through March 2. Bonus distribution of the issue is planned for Ascen.Tec planned for May 28-30 in Paiania, Greece. Contact Bülent Yılmaz for editorial submissions and editorial and advertising inquiries within Europe. Those outside of Europe may contact Angela C. Baldwin for editorial and T. Bruce MacKinnon for advertising.
3XN, working with IttenBrechbühl, designed the mixed-use, 85-m-tall Tilia Tower for developers Insula SA and Realstone Group planned in Lausanne, Switzerland, New Atlas reports. At 85 m tall, it would be among the tallest timber towers in the world, rivaling the 85.4 m height of Mjøstårnet, the current world's tallest timber tower in Brumunddal, Norway. On the drawing board are apartments, stores and a hotel within roughly 37,000 m2. The source observed it is unclear whether Tilia Tower will have a concrete core or be all-timber like Mjøstårnet. The plan, which also includes upgrading an adjacent office building to make it more energy efficient, highlights the "natural beauty of the wood" and lets in plenty of light. No construction timeframe was provided.
Transport for London (TfL) has won approval to improve the entrance to the Walthamstow Central Tube rail station for the Victoria line, Ian Visits reported on January 29. The proposal, part of a plan for rebuilding a nearby shopping center, involves the entrance to the railway station on the south side that also includes a large bus station and access to both the underground and the London Overground. The Victoria line currently has one pair of escalators up to the ticket hall, which is shared with the Overground facility, causing congestion at peak hours. In addition, the Victoria line platforms lack lift access for people with mobility needs. The new plan will double the number of escalators and include a large lift that will help draw people from the existing shared exit. The new hall will not have a ticket office, but will have ticket machines and come with six standard ticket barriers and two wide barriers. The report did not say when the work would begin.
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) recently announced the best Tall Building Award of Excellence Winners for 2021. The buildings were evaluated across five height thresholds and three functions — under 100 m, 100-199 m, 200-299 m, 300-399 m and 400 m and above, and office, mixed-use and residential. Additional winners in engineering, construction, interior design, urban habitat and more, will be announced later. The winners now move on to the next stage of the awards program, in which the owners/developers and design/engineering teams compete in the CTBUH 2021 Tall + Urban Conference for best-in-category recognition. Taking place online on May 18-20, the event will conclude with the announcement of the 2021 overall best tall building worldwide. Winners hailed from countries including the U.S., Canada, China, Australia, France, Germany and the U.A.E.
thyssenkrupp Elevator is providing maintenance, including predictive maintenance, for the vertical-transportation (VT) system at the University of Seville in southern Spain, the OEM announced on January 19. The contract covers 161 passenger elevators, 22 small freight elevators, eight platform lifts and 22 chairlifts. The company credits its cloud-based, digital solution MAX with helping secure the contract, which has been in place since June 2020. The university's maintenance department praised MAX for enabling constant monitoring, and predicting and preventing breakdowns. According to thyssenkrupp Elevator, the university "combines future-oriented technology like [MAX] with tradition and architectural highlights like the university's main building," known as the Old Tobacco Factory and dating to the 1700s.
KONE recently announced changes on its executive board and a new managing director (MD) of Belgium and Luxembourg. Johannes Frände was appointed executive vice president (EVP), general counsel and a member of the executive board. Based in Espoo, Finland, Frände reports directly to KONE President and CEO Henrik Ehrnrooth. He succeeds Klaus Cawén, who is focusing on non-executive duties after nearly 40 years of service. Cawén will support Frände in the transition through March and will continue as an executive advisor through April 1. The acquisitions team that currently reports to Cawén will transfer to the finance team, reporting to EVP and Chief Financial Officer Ilkka Hara. Thomas Hinnerskov has been appointed EVP for South Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), starting April 1. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Hinnerskov will continue as a member of the executive board, reporting to Ehrnrooth. He succeeds Pierre Liautaud, who is retiring from the board after serving 10 years as EVP for South EMEA. Axel Berkling has been appointed EVP for central and north Europe, succeeding Hinnserskov. Based in Hamburg, Germany, Berkling will report to Ehrnrooth. KONE also named Ilse Vanderlocht the new managing director of Belgium and Luxembourg. She succeeds Pascal Lekeu, who is assuming new responsibility within the France leadership team.
Residents in Manchester, U.K., have complained after the council expressed support for a 55-story student tower, Manchester Evening News reported on January 20. Hundreds of people living nearby have, for several years, been fighting the GBP130-million (US$177-million) proposal, which would open 853 rooms in the student tower. Complaints have criticized what they call a "tombstone" design with a windowless side, as well as how the target would change the residential makeup. The University of Manchester has spoken against the plan, but the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) is now speaking in support. Foes say the MMU staff would have parking passes on the site. In a statement, MMU said its position changed after "rigorous" assessment of the proposals, as well as other considerations. An application is due to be considered by Manchester Council's planning committee for the first time, with the council being "minded for approval" by planning officers.
Fermator's 14,000-m2 Doors Movement Technology plant in Falset, Spain, collapsed as a result of heavy snowfall earlier this month, prompting production to shift to the Tecnolama S.A. plant in Reus, Spain, Fermator Group Sales Manager Eduard Amigó said. Fortunately, he added, there were no injuries among the plant’s 120 employees. The company plans to reconstruct the destroyed Falset factory, and production will remain in Reus until it reopens in approximately eight months. Describing the Falset facility as one of Fermator's biggest factories in western Europe, Amigó said the company thanks all who reached out with "countless expressions of solidarity, support and affection from all over the world."
The Schmersal Group has unveiled a new "webshop" for customers in the U.K. and Ireland. It links Schmersal's online catalog to an automated ordering and shipping system, "creating a convenient and secure purchasing tool available to customers around the clock," according to the Malvern, U.K.-based company. Approximately 6,000 safety and automation products, such as electromechanical safety switches, programmable safety control systems and software, are on offer. Each product is accompanied by up-to-date information. The webshop also provides access to operating instructions and certificates for components. After customers register, they can find current prices and delivery times.
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 third survey of elevator industry representatives on current industry status and future business outlook during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey received 600 responses, compared with the 572 in the second iteration (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.
For the first time, the release of the results was followed by a webinar in which approximately 200 people participated, hosted by Kukhnin; Achim Hütter, chairman, VFA-interlift; and Henning Könicke, CEO, AFAG. They shared further insight and information, observing that initiatives such as the surveys promise to “put vertical-transportation (VT) on the map as one of the most resilient in the industrial world” and that there is a “clear divide and fork in the road regarding how VT companies will monetize IoT.” Könicke provided an overview of upcoming industry events around the world, and the trio said their aim is to increase the number of survey participants and countries covered. Additional observations include:
• Assessment of the current situation clearly improved further in Q4 2020 across all regions and across the supply chain.
• The outlook for the next six months gradually moved to a less cautious stance, but with significant variations across regions and the supply chain.
• Consultants are more positive than associations.
• Businesses are more optimistic about increasing employment, with the most marked improvement seen in the Middle East.
• The competitive situation assessment remains cautious but has become slightly less so versus the October 2020 survey.
• Employment prospects remain positive and improved further globally.
• Uncertainty over economic policy remains the key limited factor, while others have generally abated.
• Raw materials inflation is now seen as a significant risk by 80% of respondents.
London's Rafael Viñoly-designed, 37-story "Walkie-Talkie" skyscraper at 20 Frenchurch Street will likely be getting a 30-story neighbor, with the City of London Corp. approving Hong Kong developer Tenacity International Group's office tower plan, Bloomberg reports. The source observed it is one of the largest proposed developments in London's financial district since the onset of the pandemic, and noted there are indications that big corporations continue to commit to longterm leases, given a dearth of new office space. Noting that Brexit and the pandemic have created "incredibly difficult conditions," Tenacity CEO Patrick Wong said he believes "London is, and will remain, an attractive city for companies large and small, and their workers."
Italy's IGV Group has released Pop Up, the second lift in its Ad Hoc line. Designed by Milan-based CaberlonCaroppi, Pop Up draws inspiration from the cinema and, according to IGV, "is just like children's books that open [to] 3D figures. . . giving personality to an environment that has always been somewhat neglected, to transport people into a dream that lasts the time of a short trip." Pop Up includes three options designed to create "a suspended moment of experience and surprise" for elevators serving homes, hotels and public and private buildings. Design options are:
• "Belle Epoque," "dreamlike and elegant, expressing a clear reference to poetic films of Wes Anderson"
• "Golden Age," inspired by black-and-white movies that showed a lift operator, this option is characterized by geometric wallpaper from Zambaiti Parati's Eterea collection, complemented by mirrors and metal accents.
• "Home Sweet Home," a more intimate space with wood-paneled walls accented by mirrors and frames, a padded bench and a parquet floor
Coordinated by IGV's new Art Director Giulio Cappellini, Pop Up cabs are fully customizable.
Pop Up's "Golden Age" option
Wuppertal, Germany-based Schmersal Group says its latest sensorless standstill monitor offers a significant improvement over its AZR- and FWS-series predecessors. The SSW303HV is a universal standstill monitor application, which replaces 14 variants of the previous product range. This is made possible via a wide-range power supply for all common AC and DC operating voltages, from 24 VDC/VAC to 230 VAC. The increased temperature range of -25 to +55°C also brings additional application potential. A further benefit is the model taking up only 45 mm of structural width in the switch cabinet. The connecting terminals are pluggable and coded, and an additional signaling contact provides error-status information. 
As the standstill monitor operates entirely without sensors, the machine builder no longer needs to intervene with the hardware of the surrounding structure. The safety module is connected directly to a three-phase motor and directly measures the frequency of the induced voltage at rated motor voltages of up to 690 V. The safety contacts for releasing the locking mechanism close as soon as the motor comes to a standstill. 
If a machine or system is expected to produce potentially hazardous overtravel movements, a combination of safety interlock on the guard and standstill monitor in the switch cabinet can provide the requisite level of safety, Schmersal says.
Editorial submissions, reprint permission requests and subscription/removal requests should be sent to the EW Editorial Department. EWEU News editorial staff: Angela C. Baldwin, Lee Freeland, Kaija Wilkinson and Matt Irvin. The ELEVATOR WORLD Media Kit can be downloaded here. EWEU News is a registered trademark, and all rights are reserved. Copyright 2021 © Elevator World, Inc.