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Sunday November 3, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday November 3, 2013 MYT 9:45:02 AM
by dr choy su-ling
With cities building ever higher, elevators are becoming crucial elements of infrastructure.
Taking the next leap in sustainable building solutions.
LIFTS are an aspect of urban life we tend to take for granted. They are simply part of the infrastructure of multi-storey buildings that we use without any thought – unless, of course, they stop working!
Even when they do work faultlessly, though, we need to put more thought into them in a world that is constantly building higher.
More than half of the city dwellers surveyed around the world earlier this year – 68% to be exact – see tall buildings as an essential part of the modern cityscape, and 63% believe that building upwards is a sustainable way to develop urban areas.
The survey was conducted by Kone, one of the global leaders in the elevator and escalator industry. Kone also revealed that 95% of tall buildings to be built in the near future will be built in Asia and the Middle East.
The future of urban spaces is moving upwards as evident in the increasing number of tall and super tall (300m onwards) buildings that have been built in recent years. These include Malaysia’s Petronas Twin Towers (1998, 452m), Taipei 101 (2004, 508m) and the Burj Khalifa (2010, 828m). Observing this trend, Kone began innovating new sustainable technologies nine years ago, and their effort has certainly paid off.
The Finnish multinational has taken a leap in innovative sustainable solutions to meet the building needs of the future with its newly launched UltraRope and People Flow Solutions. The launch took place at the Marina Bay Sands luxury resort in Singapore in conjunction with the World Architecture Festival 2013 last month.
The timely Kone UltraRope modernised passenger elevator at the resort allowed the company to show off its super-light and durable elevator hoisting technology. The the UltraRope’s carbon fibre core and unique high-friction coating combat the disadvantages of typical steel ropes used in all elevators.
The “sustainable” part comes in with the lightness of the UltraRope – it’s enough to reduce elevator energy consumption in high-rise buildings such as Marina Bay Sands by up to 35% per elevator.
The ropes are extremely strong, highly resistant to wear and abrasion, and has a lifetime that is two times longer than that of conventional steel rope.
The UltraRop is also far less sensitive to building sway, which results in less elevator downtime and less inconvenience for users.
But most important of all, the Kone UltraRope will make elevator travel heights of 1km possible in the future.
Noud Veeger, executive vice president for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, said: “We have had a lot of interest in Kone UltraRope globally since it was announced in June, and I am very excited that the first global installation was made here in Singapore at the impressive Marina Bay Sands, a symbol of the city and of innovative building technology.
“Marina Bay Sands is a pioneer in adopting state-of-the-art technology and of smart building, and it is very fitting that our first Kone UltraRope installation was made here.”
Kone also launched its People Flow solution for access control, destination guidance, information communication, and equipment monitoring. These solutions allow a building to have smoother and smarter people flow, facilitate efficient building management, and increase the value of the property.
And the RemoteCall smartphone application puts the elevator button right into users’ pocket/purse, allowing them to call the elevator just before they get to the entrance of a building.
Timo Tiainen, head of design, explained: “The hardware for managing access and controlling door, turnstile, and elevator access provides a system through touchscreen panels and mobile applications to manage tenant and visitor access throughout a building.”
The sleek and modern operating panels won the Red Dot Design Award in 2012.
Veeger also said that it is possible that buildings of the future could be designed with available technology in mind.
“Currently, architects do adjust their building style according to what’s available,” and that Kone comes in very early in the building process to offer an integrated way of looking at building.
“Ultimately, we want to deliver the best people-flow experience and the only way to do that is to listen to our customers. This is one of the main reasons why Kone is Forbes magazine’s most innovative company three years in a row.”
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Lifestyle, Spaces, elevators, Kone
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