Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Vertical Transportation & Energy Efficiency

How has the vertical transportation industry responded to society’s demands for energy efficiency?

In recent years elevator and escalator manufacturers have embraced society’s demands for energy efficient or ‘green’ products with many innovations. These innovations within the industry have enabled manufacturers and their clients to reduce energy consumption and the carbon footprint of the buildings in which they are contained in many cases. Technological improvements have been adopted quickly across the industry.  Below we have listed 6 significant recent innovations in the vertical transportation industry..

1. Solar Powered Lifts
Perhaps the most newsworthy of relatively recent developments was the introduction of the completely Solar Powered lift by Schlinder in 2013. Solar powered lift systems can potentially be utilised throughout the world and particularly on the continent of Africa and in the Middle East. The solar powered lift can deliver an energy saving of up to 50%.

2. Escalators and Passenger Conveyors in Sleep mode
Escalators and passenger conveyors can be fitted with a passenger sensing device for automated operation that enables the escalator to activate sleep mode (also referred to as standby mode) when there is no passenger demand.

3. Lifts in Standby mode
The same process can also be applied to lifts. For example, the power side of the lift controller and other operating equipment such as lift car lighting, user displays and ventilation fans switch off when the lift has been idle for a prescribed length of time. 

4. VVVF Control
The lift uses a drive controller capable of variable-speed, variable-voltage with variable-frequency (VVVF) control of the drive motor.

5.  Regenerative Features
Lifts fitted with regenerative features are those that convert the energy generated from the lift motor driven by gravity into electricity for other uses. Compared to older lifts, regenerative lifts are 20-30% more energy efficient. These are also described as lifts with a regenerative overlay.

6.  Energy Efficient Lighting with LED technology
LED lighting runs for up to 50,000 hours and is a modern, cost-effective alternative to incandescent or fluorescent lighting that uses 90% more power. The light quality is brighter and superior improving visibility. Additional energy-saving options include lights that switch off when the lift is not occupied, and a dimmable feature allowing passengers to adjust the level of lighting inside the lift-car.

Would you like to discuss energy efficiency measures for your building? Are you working on a project that would benefit from greater energy efficiency? Please give us a call on T +44 (0)20 7739 5093 to discuss or send us an email via to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

What are the benefits of Destination Control?

We have all been into a building where there seems to be an excessively long wait for an elevator at the lobby. Most likely the building in question is not utilising a Destination Control system. Destination Control is a traffic management system for lift passengers that groups passengers and their destinations and then selects the most efficient lift car for their journey.  Destination Control can be installed in new buildings and significantly can also be applied to existing buildings too. The key benefits of installing a Destination Control system are listed below.
1. Waiting times are reduced. 
Waiting times can be reduced and the passenger experience improved. Crowded lobbies with passengers speculating on the arrival time of the next lift car can become a thing of the past.

2. Quicker journeys
People travelling to similar destinations share a lift and this results in quicker journeys across the board.  Your journey to the 18th floor is no longer delayed by passengers travelling only one or two floors, for example.

3.  Fewer stops
Intelligent grouping of the destinations means that each elevator journey will have fewer stops than a random approach would have and therefore the lift car can return to the ground floor or another floor if a shuttle system is being deployed.

4. Easy to operate
A Destination Control System is very easy to operate via a keypad in the lobby.

5. Can reduce the need for lift shafts by 25% 
Installing a Destination Control System can reduce the need for lift shafts by 25% in some cases. This could represent a huge financial saving for developers of new buildings and is a very good reason why lift specialists should be involved in the initial stages of commercial building design.

6. Energy Efficiency
Smarter use of elevators via a Destination Control system can result in greater energy efficiency in some cases. There will be more time when the lifts are not being used.

Dunbar & Boardman has extensive experience of Destination Control projects as you can see by clicking here

Would you like to install Destination Control in your building? Are you working on a project that would benefit from Destination Control? Please give us a call on T +44 (0)20 7739 5093 to discuss or send us an email via to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

How do your ensure that a high-rise can cope with the needs of the people using it? 5 Considerations.

Elijah Otis’ invention of the over speed governor and safety brake in 1853 was a turning point that enabled elevators to be used in high-rise buildings. By the 1880s the first high-rise buildings were constructed in the USA and by the mid 20th century high-rise buildings existed in many cities throughout the world. Cities with dense populations require increased numbers of high-rise buildings and each high-rise presents a number of challenges that need to be addressed prior to ground being broken and a project starting the build phase. There are 5 considerations listed below.

1. Planning
Involve a specialist lift company at the initial orientation phases of a high-rise construction project and ensure that calculations are made for the number of people who will need to be moved vertically throughout the day. These calculations are fundamental to the success of the completed building.

2. Traffic Flow Management
Managing the daily traffic flow of people up and down the building in what is referred to as vertical transportation is one of the biggest challenges facing any building contractor. 

3. Elevator System Design
What sort of elevator system should be used? This will depend on the traffic flow estimates for the building. How many elevators will be needed? Is it advisable to use a double deck system? Should shuttle elevators and escalators be deployed?

4. Energy Efficiency
Elevators account for between 2-10% of a building’s energy consumption. Depending on the traffic requirements of the building it may be advisable to establish a system of Destination Selection Control (DSC) that will both limit energy consumption and transport people in the most efficient way by grouping destinations. In recent years innovations such as solar powered elevators have increased the energy efficiency options available in some cases.

5. Building Maintenance Units
How will the building be maintained on an ongoing basis? The design and creation of Building Maintenance Units (BMU) is specialist work and needs to be addressed during the initial stages of a building project.

Dunbar & Boardman has extensive experience of high-rise projects as you can see by clicking here

We worked on the iconic ‘Burj al Arab’ and have successfully designed and installed Building Maintenance Units and Destination Control systems. We have also provided Maintenance Management Services for many buildings.

Do you have a new high-rise project that you’d like to discuss with us? Please give us a call on T +44 (0)20 7739 5093 or send us an email via to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.