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 Defense 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:

Defense 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.

Defense 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 to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.

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 to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.
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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

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  to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 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!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Where is the world's highest Outdoor Elevator?


There are many truly amazing elevators around the world and one elevator that consistently makes it into top ten lists is the world's highest outdoor elevator. We are referring to the Bailong Elevator also known as the Hundred Dragons Elevator inside the World Heritage Site at Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan Province in China. Designed and operated by The Bailong Elevator Company the elevator  was built between 1999 and  2002 at a cost of  120m yuan, or around £12m. It was opened to the public in 2002. There are three double-deck glass elevators that vertically transport passengers 330m high (1,070 feet) to a plateau near Shuiraosimen. The first 154 metres run through an underground shaft and the remainder via an above ground derrick.  There are earthquake detectors installed so that the lifts can be  evacuated quickly in case of disaster. The elevators have a passenger capacity of 50 and take 2 minutes from top to bottom giving a daily capacity of 18,000 people.

The Bailong Elevator project met stiff resistance and not just from the quartz sandstone column that the lift shaft was dug into. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1992. When the project was first muted in the 1990s environmentalists claimed that the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park already had enough tourists at 5 million annually and that the proposed Bailong Elevator Project was likely to increase this number and cause damage to the environment. Controversially  the local government built the elevators without consulting the World Heritage Committee. This was the view of Edmond Moukala, then program officer of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Similar structures in World Heritage Sites are forbidden so the Bailong Elevator is one of a kind in more ways than one. In 2002 -2003 the elevator was closed for 10 months as safety concerns were resolved. Since reopening in September 2003 the elevator has remained open to the public. Perhaps the final word on the, 'should it have been built' debate should go to Project chief engineer Zhuo Zhiyuan who told Beijing Today, “Such elevators are really convenient for tourists. But from the angle of environmental protection, they shouldn’t have been erected.” However, he added, it was now too late to talk about whether the project should have been allowed or not. Now all we can do is to take it as a lesson and never make a similar mistake again.”

From the perspective of a passenger the Bailong Elevator is spectacular – the views of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park are breathtaking and you have a 360 degree panoramic view that stretches for miles. The area is where the movie Avatar was filmed. The elevators save pedestrians three hours of walking. Are you planning a vertical transportation project? Do you have problems you are now facing?

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 to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Marine Elevators – When was the first elevator installed on a Yacht?

Photo credit Mrs Ethel Pook, Gosport. Her husband was Shipwright Officer for 7 years

This week we are returning to our series of world firsts in the vertical transportation industry. If you are new to the blog you may want to read the following posts: Double-Deck elevators, Curved escalators & Travelator. 

 Marine elevators are elevators installed onboard yachts and ships.  The production, installation and maintenance of marine elevators is very specialist work. 

When was the first elevator installed on a ship or a yacht? 

The first marine elevator installed was on the third incarnation of the Royal yacht, Victoria and Albert III in 1900.  The elevator was made and installed by London-based Richard Waygood & Co. Waygood and Co were later responsible for installing the marine elevators in the Titanic. The firm was bought by Otis in 1914 and became part of their company.

The lift installation was completed successfully but the yacht did have an accident. The Victoria and Albert III was 380 feet in length, 40 feet in the beam, and draft of 15 feet, giving her a displacement of 4,700 tons. Her double- bottomed hull was made of steel sheathed in wood, and covered in copper.  Just before scheduled launch in 1900 the yacht was undergoing final preparations in dry dock. When the dock flooded the yacht toppled over due to 700 tonnes of excessive weight around the centre of gravity of the yacht.  The repairs caused a delay in the launch and Queen Victoria never sailed in the new Royal Yacht. The Victoria & Albert III eventually launched in 1901 and was in royal service for 38 years.

What are specific challenges for marine elevators?

Marine elevators often require an extremely efficient use of space, weight and to be energy efficient. Any required maintenance has to be managed around a ship’s itinerary.  Specialist Marine elevator companies with engineers located around all the world’s shipping routes have been created to enable efficient maintenance. There are also specialised monitoring systems for these lift to operate in rough seas, as well as dedicated power suplies in case of an emergency occurring.

What is the Marine elevator market like today? 

The current marine elevator market is dominated by Kone who have over 50% of the market and have created a specific range of products for each of the following: cruise ships, ferries and cargo ships.

Are you working in the marine or offshore environment? Do you have a current or planned project that includes marine elevators or 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 to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.