Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Innovation: What is special about the lifts at the QT hotel in Sydney?


At Dunbar and Boardman we keep a watching brief on innovation within the vertical transportation industry and bring it to your attention. In 2013 new technology was installed into the 5 Otis traction lifts at the QT hotel in Sydney located in the historic Gowings Building. The new technology created interactive installations and was the work of a company called Alchemy.This technology enables the lift to change music dependent upon who’s inside much to the amusement of passengers riding the lift. The interactive installations have cemented the hotel’s quirkiness and have been largely well received.

How Do the Interactive Installations Work?

The hotel’s lifts have heat sensors that detect how many people are in them. Fewer people will generate slower music and more people equals party music. Specifically if the lift senses that travelling alone, it plays songs like Elvis's "Are You Lonely Tonight?" or Eric Carmen's "All by Myself." Should another person hop on the lift, the music will adjust to different tunes, including "Just the Two of Us" by Bill Withers and "You've Got a Friend" by James Taylor. Get four people in the elevator and it's fiesta hour: everything from Prince's "1999" to Lady Gaga's "Just Dance" will get the party started. It is worth pointing out that interactive music installations can be muted. In addition to the music the lifts also feature the digital art installations of Daniel Boyd, which combine elements of indigenous Aboriginal art with the European artistic traditions.


What are the Benefits of these Interactive Installations?

The QT hotel has been able to generate a lot of publicity related to their unique lifts and anecdotal evidence indicates that some people are visiting specifically to ride in the lifts.

You can see the lifts in action ‘here’.


Dunbar and Boardman keep a watching brief on technological advances within the vertical transportation industry to better serve our clients. Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. Do you have a current or planned project that would benefit from using an interactive installation? We would be happy to discuss any such requirements and how we may be able to assist. Give us a call on T +44 (0) 20 7739 5093 or send us an email via peterboardman@dunbarboardman.com to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Is the concept of lifts that move sideways a new idea?



At the end of November 2014 ThyssenKrupp announced that they had invented a new cable-free elevator system that can move cabins horizontally as well as vertically using magnetic force. This announcement generated a lot of mainstream press coverage at the time with lots of comparisons made with Willy Wonka ‘s lifts in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. ThyssenKrupp ‘s MULTI system makes it possible to have several elevator cabins in a single shaft, achieving a long-pursued dream of the ultimate in shaft efficiency and a rope-less elevator system. According to the company this could increase passenger capacity by up to 50%. Is this a new idea? Dunbar and Boardman have been working in the vertical transportation industry since 1981 and our consultants and engineers made the following observations during a discussion on sideways lifts.

“In 2010 the ThyssenKrupp Elevator twin system became accepted and now in 2015 the concept promoted by ThyssenKrupp to move elevators up and sideways and potentially horizontally through high rise conduits either at high level or buried within the ground; transferring lift cabins to other buildings, could become a practical reality in the not too distant future.

There are practical challenges as indicated by my colleagues’ comments below but nonetheless these challenges create opportunities for design teams.

As a final comment, it’s interesting that some of the resistance to these changes often come from the people employed within the specialist industries rather than the Client bodies or Client advisors who are often more willing to embrace the future." 

Peter Boardman, Dunbar and Boardman, Managing Director

“This isn't new.  Otis was doing this around 20 years ago with the Oddessy system.” Click ‘here’ to read an article describing a similar product announcement from Otis in 1997.

“A few years ago some of us (D&B staff) saw a lift installed by ThyssenKrupp that crossed a road in Germany above car traffic. The problem is that standing people fall off balance when moved sideways so travel speeds need to be very slow to maintain safety.”

Gary Avis, Dunbar and Boardman, Regional Director

“This idea has been around for many years with the aim being to enable taller buildings without the need for lifts with ropes or for architects to have a free hand in building designs. This could lead to more circular building designs.

The technology proposed to achieve sideways movement has been based on either electro-magnets or linear drives.

It was the introduction of The Paternoster, in the 1860s that the idea of sideways movement was given more consideration. Paternosters were very popular in the first half of the twentieth century.”

Paul Dodd, Dunbar and Boardman, Consultant Engineer

“There are several (sideways lifts) installed at Heathrow Airport at the container (baggage boxes) depot. We carried out a review and report on them around 5 or 6 years ago. If I recall correctly they are a German engineered product.”

John Carrington, Dunbar and Boardman, Consultant Engineer

Are you planning a vertical transportation project including sideways or vertical lifts? Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. We would be happy to discuss any such requirements and how we may be able to assist. Give us a call on T +44 (0) 20 7739 5093 or send us an email via peterboardman@dunbarboardman.com to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Image credit: http://cdni.wired.co.uk/1240x826/w_z/wonkavator.jpg

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

What is Dunbar and Boardman’s Expert Witness experience?


Dunbar & Boardman Engineers undertake Expert Witness, investigative and advisory assignments in a wide range of industry related areas including: Prosecution and Defence Expert in criminal prosecutions; Coroner’s Expert; Claimant, Defendant and Court Appointed Single Joint Expert in civil cases; Construction Contract Adjudication; Arbitration; Mediation; Expert Determination; and dispute resolution negotiations.

Particular areas of experience and expertise include:

• Equipment generated noise disputes
• Dilapidations and lease disputes under the Landlord & Tenant Act, Service Charge and maintenance contracts, including aspects of liability and quantum;
• Equipment design and regulatory, technical and Specification compliance assessment;

• Contract claims arising under Standard Forms of Contract and LEIA Terms of Contract;
• Lifts and Machinery Regulations compliance;
• Assessment of the suitability and sufficiency of risk assessments;
• Issues relating to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations;
• LOLER and PUWER Regulations;
• Occupiers’ Liability Act.

Examples of recent appointments include:

Defence Expert, in a case described to be of national importance, relating to a fall from an escalator. The case involved the fall of a youth who was riding upon an escalator handrail. At first instance the Defendant was convicted of an alleged breach of the HSWA. The prosecution was dropped at retrial. The Dunbar & Boardman Engineer advised on matters relating to regulatory compliance under the Machinery Regulations, EN115 Standards, UK HSE Guidance and industry practice.

Defence Expert in a personal injury claim in the High Court. The case related to an alleged uncontrolled descent of a lift car which arose during emergency hand winding undertaken by the Defendant’s personnel. The Dunbar & Boardman Engineer established that the descent of the lift car did not arise as a result of the actions of the Defendant’s person el and that the speed of the descent was not excessive as was alleged. The claim was subsequently settled by way of negotiation. The Dunbar & Boardman Engineer advised on causation and equipment condition, together with matters of regulatory compliance, historical BS2655 Standards, LOLER and HSE Guidance.

Defendant Expert in a commercial case relating to a Retention of Title Clause and LEIA Terms and Conditions of Contract. The Defendant recovered a significant sum by way of counterclaim against a lift contractor. The Dunbar & Boardman Engineer advised on maintenance history, equipment condition and liability together with a detailed assessment of quantum and negotiations with the Claimant Expert.  

Court Appointed Single Joint Expert in a commercial dispute between a lift contractor and sub-contractor relating to fit out works to lift car interiors, including elements of liability at individual component level, and quantum. The Dunbar & Boardman Engineer provided advice in relation to compliance with the specifications and contracts, including component design and manufacture and a detailed assessment of quantum.

Client Expert in an investigation into an escalator step pile-up affecting a shopping centre escalator, which gave rise to significant damage and possible financial loss to the centre. The Dunbar & Boardman Engineer undertook a detailed inspection of the escalator equipment, an analysis of reports provided by other Experts, and advised on causation and equipment condition, together with matters of regulatory compliance.

Do you need Dunbar and Boardman to act as an Expert Witness? Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. We would be happy to discuss any such requirements and how we may be able to assist with regard to Expert Witness. Give us a call on T +44 (0) 20 7739 5093 or send us an email via peterboardman@dunbarboardman.com to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.


Photo credit: http://www.flac.uk.com

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

What was different about the HKSB building designed by Lord Foster?

The Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation building (HK) was completed in 1986, designed by the renowned architect, Lord Norman Foster of Foster and Partners based in Britain. It is the fourth HSBC building on the same site in Statue Square, Hong Kong. In many ways the Willis Faber and Dumas Headquarters in Ipswich completed in 1974 represented a dry run for Foster and the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation building cemented Foster’s reputation for high tech architectural design.

There are many unusual aspects to the design and construction of this 47 floor skyscraper building, from following Feng Shui principles, the use of sunlight as the principle source of light, the use of seawater rather than fresh water in the air conditioning, the modular steel sections fabricated in the UK and shipped all the way to Hong Kong, and the use of escalators rather than elevators as the principle method of moving people around the building - the elevators only stop every few floors. Specifically the vertical transportation concept was to have elevators serving every eight floors skipping the intermediate floors with escalators linking the intermediate floors.

In fact, the deliberate use of escalators and elevators in this building gives a fascinating insight into the principles behind the design.

Firstly, the building has been planned as five distinct structural zones, stacked vertically. As well as being assembled as separate sections, these zones are functionally separate, housing subsets of the Bank’s operations. The twenty-three high speed elevators, located on the West of the building, deliver staff and members of the public to the double height truss, or structural transfer, levels. These double height levels incorporate reception areas, fire refuge terraces, dining and recreation areas as well as conference rooms for each bank area.

The decision was made that within each structural zone, clients and staff would circulate by escalators moving up and down between the floors. There are a total of sixty of these escalators in the building, planned to allow a more sociable method of moving around within the "social village" of each part of the Bank.


Another interesting design aspect is the visibility of the elevators and escalators. We are now familiar with glass elevator shafts, but Norman Foster, who also designed the Hearst Tower in New York City and the Millennium Bridge in London, went one step further in his design for this building. Not only are the elevator shafts glass, so that you can see the movement of the elevators through the building, but even the floor has been removed from the elevator core, so that you can stand beneath and view the lifts rising and dropping through the building. In addition, the undercarriage of each escalator is glass, revealing the intricacies of the machinery within to those working beneath.

It was said that the elevators represented Chinese lanterns when illuminated at night.

On the ground floor a large public plaza sits almost empty. Eight steel masts are visible, carrying the entire weight and wind-load of the superstructure down through the four basement levels to the bedrock. The only other interruption in the expanse of the plaza is the presence of two angled escalators leading up into the curved ceiling and to the banking floor above. These escalators, and this expanse of plaza are all located and positioned according to the underlying principles of Feng Shui, a discipline that is clearly evident throughout the design of this building, even including the importance of an uninterrupted view to Hong Kong Harbour and concrete canons to deflect bad energy from other buildings.

Dunbar and Boardman conducted a peer review of the HKSB building with Pell Frischmann in 1983.

Are you planning a vertical transportation project? Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. We would be happy to discuss any such requirements and how we may be able to assist. Give us a call on T +44 (0) 20 7739 5093 or send us an email via peterboardman@dunbarboardman.com to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.
Photo credit - http://www.fosterandpartners.com/projects/hongkong-and-shanghai-bank-headquarters/


Thursday, 15 January 2015

Five of the world’s most Impressive Escalators

The vertical transportation industry has changed massively since the 1850s, as you would expect. Here at Dunbar and Boardman we are sure that both Elisha Otis and Nathan Ames would be genuinely amazed at the type of elevators and escalators that exist today. To read more about Elisha Otis click here. The name of Nathan Ames is not as well known as Elisha Otis. It was Ames who invented something he called Revolving Stairs and who has become enshrined in history with his US patent number 25,076 – generally acknowledged as the world's first escalator. Following our last post devoted to amazing elevators this time we have chosen to focus on five of the world’s most impressive escalators.

We would love to hear about your personal favourites, please feel free to comment at the bottom of this post or tweet us your thoughts via https://twitter.com/DunbarBoardman

1.  CNN Center's atrium escalator in Atlanta, Georgia



















CNN Center's atrium in Atlanta Georgia (USA) has the longest freestanding escalator in the world. It travels the distance of 62 meters equivalent to 8 stories. This escalator is supported only at both ends. Originally built for a theme park, it now transports visitors for CNN studio tours.

2. Central Mid Levels Escalator, Hong Kong

























The longest covered outdoor escalator system in the world is in Hong Kong where the 800 metres long escalator rises 135 metres. It takes 20 minutes to ride the entire length of this escalator, but travellers can stop off at places like the traditional Hong Kong Central Market. Another stop offers a visit to antique shops. This system is comprised of 20 escalators and 3 moving walkways with footbridges 14 entrances and exits. This escalator is known as the Central-Mid-Level escalator system and it is located in one of Hong Kong's trendiest residential areas. 

3. Outdoor escalator in Medellin, Columbia


















A huge outdoor escalator has been built in one of the poorest areas of Columbia's second largest city. The escalator replaces hundreds of steps equivalent to climbing a 28 story building. This escalator is over 1,200 feet long with several stops where people living on the hillside have access to it. This giant escalator reduced the journey from 35 minutes to 6 minutes and saved a lot of energy and stress. This is a marvellous enhancement for the lives of the poor people that use this system.

4. The Haulien Farglory Ocean Park, Taiwan



















The Haulien Farglory ocean park in Taiwan has an amazing escalator. This escalator travels through the main aquarium on an undulating escalator that is airtight while sharks and other creatures of the sea swim nearby. This escalator is staggered so that passengers can go to the bottom of the aquarium on stairs and climb back up to the escalator.

5.  Saint Petersburg Metro - Moscow, Russia


















The longest individual escalators in the world are in the underground stations of the Saint Petersburg Metro. Three stations: Ploshchad Lenina, Chernyshevskaya, and Admiralteyskaya have escalators up to 137 metres long and 68.5 metres high.

If you have enjoyed this post you might also like Curved escalators: Who made the first one?

Are you planning a vertical transportation project including escalators?  Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. We would be happy to discuss any such requirements and how we may be able to assist. Give us a call on T +44 (0) 20 7739 5093 or send us an email via peterboardman@dunbarboardman.com  to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.
Photo credit - http://19cities.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/atlanta-visiting-city-center.html
Photo credit: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latin-america/medellins-comuna-13-shows-murals-ahead-world-urban-forum-n69986 
Photo credit: http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g297907-d1815413-i41536484-Farglory_Ocean_Park-Hualien.html
Photo credit: http://www.saint-petersburg.com/images/transport/metro/metro5-in-st-petersburg.jpg

Friday, 9 January 2015

Five of the world’s most Amazing Elevators

Last months post about the world’s highest outdoor elevator got us thinking about our top five of amazing elevator rides. What follows below is a short list of amazing elevator rides. The vertical transportation industry has come a along way since Elisha Otis’ free-fall safety demonstration in 1853 at the New York World's Fair. There are now some truly spectacular elevators all around the world. There are far too many breathtaking elevator rides in existence to be described in a single post but here are five of the world's most impressive elevator rides in no particular order.

1. Aquadom in Berlin, Germany

























Photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AquaDom

Opened in 2004 this elevator ride takes its passengers through the centre of an 82 feet tall cylindrical aquarium that offers the visitors a panorama of undersea life. Fish in vibrant colours stare at the walls of the aquarium, just a few inches away from the visitors in the elevator. The ride gives an experience similar to floating in an undersea wonderland. It is located in the Radisson Blu Hotel’s lobby. It is part of the aquarium complex, Sea Life. There are over 100 varieties of the fish that total over 1500 in number.  

 2. The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri




















Image credit: http://www.destination360.com/north-america/us/missouri/the-gateway-arch 

Opened to the public in 1965 the arch has the distinction of being the tallest arch in the world. The 630 feet high monument is the tallest man-made monument in the United States. Each leg of the arch has a tram and each tram has eight compartments, with each compartment having seats for five passengers. The elevator ride takes 4 min to reach the top. Eero Saarinen designed the arch and added glass doors to the elevator. The glass doors reveal the true marvel of this complex steel structure. 

3. Skyview in Stockholm, Sweden


















Photo credit: http://wearecunard.com/2013/03/cool-and-contemporary-stockholm/

It is often said that the Skyview ride offers the best view of the skyline of the city of Stockholm. Opened in February 2010 this elevator is on the outside of Ericsson Globe. Ericsson Globe is credited with being the biggest hemispherical building in the world. It has a diameter of 110 m and is 85 m high (279 feet). The elevators/gondolas run along the exterior of the spherical structure. These glass lifts take 20 min to reach the top and back and offer the visitors an evolving view of the skyline of Stockholm.

4. The Bailong Elevator in Zhangjiajie, China
























Photo credit: http://planetoftravel.com/bailong-elevator/

Opened to the public in 2002 the subject of our last post is the highest and the heaviest outdoor elevator in the world. The elevator, which took three years to be completed, takes visitors to the observation deck that is 1070 feet above the ground. The ride offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding tree covered mountains. This glass elevator is built on the side of a huge cliff.

5. Taipei 101, Taiwan



















Photo credit: http://homesthetics.net/taipei-101-tower-in-taiwan-by-c-y-lee-partners/

When it opened in 2004 this building held the record of being the tallest in the world before Burj Khalifa towers took away the crown six years later. In the year of its opening the double-deck elevators in this building set a world record, in being the fastest elevators in the world with top speed (ascending) of 55.2 feet per second or 60.6 km per hour. It takes the visitors to the observatory on the 89th floor in just 37 seconds.

Are you planning a vertical transportation project?  Dunbar and Boardman is the lift, escalator and access equipment consultancy. We would be happy to discuss any such requirements and how we may be able to assist. Give us a call on T +44 (0) 20 7739 5093 or send us an email via peterboardman@dunbarboardman.com to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.




Monday, 15 December 2014

2014 Annual Roundup

Whilst there is mixed economic news around the world there seems to be more confidence in the UK generally, with perhaps mixed results in the non-tiger firms in retail. Given our broad spectrum of work we continue to see improvements, in particular in the London residential and overseas markets.

Grenville announced his retirement after two decades with the firm. He continues to support our marketing efforts and will completely withdraw in March. We wish him well and much enjoyment in the future. Paul Hastings has stepped into the RD role based in Sheffield.

Around the corner Jim Baynam and  Frank Seymour will retire in 2015. As Jim works in the East and Frank works in the West we will need new wingers in the future.......

Stan Blatch joined us in December and Paul Dodd will join us in January. Both are seasoned lift men and we welcome their experience and wisdom in the years to come.

The breakthrough in lift technologies will only feed into more complex and taller buildings so we look forward to the future with optimism.

As the winter holidays approach we are looking forward to 2015 with continuing vigor!