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ELEVATOR WORLD India 3rd Quarter 2020

Issue 3, Volume 13



by Sheetal Shelar Patil Michele Suria, CEO, IGV Group, and architect Marco Piva share insights about the product line and its many facets.



VT in Gurugram’s Gulf Adiba

by Sheetal Shelar Patil Anand Sharma, founder partner, Design Forum International, shares insights on the Gulf Adiba project.


How Things Will Change, R.E. Urban Density

by Lee Freeland “Global Digital Event Series” kicks off to good attendance, charity funding.

by Vijay Pandya Second webinar in series yields lively exchange of ideas.



Modern Modernization by Sheetal Shelar Patil

“COVID-19 Impact — Real Estate Developers’ Perspective: Future of VT Systems”


Meeting a Need

by Sheetal Shelar Patil Hamstede Living Chief Projects Officer Suraj Bhatt explains the intricacies of the student-housing and coliving segments.


Making the Most of Modernization

by Sheetal Shelar Patil


A Developer’s View


by Yash Pandya

26 40

Bharat Bijlee


E(law)vating Your Thoughts


by Sushant Shetty

48 54 58


Silver Linings

by Sridhar Venugopal


by Sheetal Shelar Patil

by Dr. Paresh M. Kariya

ELEVATORWORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •


22 Pandemic Drives Demand


Editor’s Overview

by Yash Pandya



Returning After Crisis


Inside India News


Regional News


Product Spotlight




SOURCE Directory


Advertisers Index

by Sheetal Shelar Patil

Offsite Insights

Time to Soar

The Green Alternative

Era of Change

by Yash Pandya

by Sebi Joseph

Conserving Resources by Sheetal Shelar Patil

by Sheetal Shelar Patil



by Subramania Bharathiyar

by Sheetal Shelar Patil

A Question of Space


Elevator Safety and the Indian Market

Team Touchless

by Sheetal Shelar Patil


EW ELEVATOR WORLD India is a quarterly magazine published by E­ levator World, Inc., Mobile, Alabama (U.S.) and Virgo Publications, Bangalore (India). Virgo Publications is a sister organization of Virgo Communications, organizers of the Global Lift and Escalator Expo. Elevator World, Inc. is the premier publisher for the international building transportation industry. Since the inception of ELEVATOR WORLD magazine in 1953, the company has ­ expanded core products to include ELEVATOR WORLD India; an ­extensive network of websites, newsletters (including ELENET®), and magazines; and the Source©, the most inclusive industry directory. Publishers – Anitha Raghunath, Ricia Sturgeon-Hendrick, T. Bruce MacKinnon International Publishing Co. – Elevator World, Inc. Indian Publishing Co. – Virgo Publications Editorial International Managing Editor – Angela C. Baldwin Consulting Editor, India – Vijay Pandya EW Editorial Staff (U.S.) – Lee Freeland, Kaija Wilkinson, Matt Irvin EW India Correspondent - M.J. Mohamed Iqbal Contributors – Sheetal Shelar Patil, Yash Pandya, Sushant Shetty, Sridhar Venugopal, Dr. Paresh M. Kariya, Subramania Bharathiyar, Sebi Joesph Printing, Distribution and Commercial Operations Commercial Directors – Anitha Raghunath and G. Raghu (India) Advertising Sales and Marketing Anitha Raghunath and G. Raghu (India) – T. Bruce MacKinnon, Lesley K. Hicks, Scott O. Brown, Pankaj Amarnani (International) Brad O’Guynn (Marketing) Susan Crigler (Education Products) Production and Internet EW Staff (U.S.) – Lillie McWilliams, Khalid Al-Shethry, Claire Nicholls, Diego Torres Vanegas Administration Anitha Raghunath (India) J. Scott Eastman (U.S.) ELEVATOR WORLD® and ELEVATOR WORLD India™ are registered trademarks and all rights reserved. Copyright© 2020. For permission to reprint any portion of this magazine, please write to the publisher at Elevator World, Inc., P. O. Box 6507, Mobile, Alabama 36660, USA or at Virgo Publications, Virgo House, 250 Amarjyoti Layout, Domlur Extension, Bangalore, India 560071. ELEVATOR WORLD India is published in the interest of the members of the elevator industry in India, to improve communication within that industry and to further continuing education of members of that industry. ELEVATOR WORLD India publishes articles by contributing authors as a stimulus to thinking and not directives. ELEVATOR WORLD India publishes this material without accepting responsibility for its absolute accuracy, but with hopes that the vast majority of it will have validity for the field. The ideas expressed therein should be tempered by recognized elevator engineering practices, standards, codes and guidelines. Publication of any article or advertisement should not be deemed as an endorsement by ELEVATOR WORLD India, ELEVATOR WORLD, the publishers at Elevator World, Inc. or Virgo Publications. Printed by Sri Sudhindra Offset Process, No.27-28, 8th Cross, Malleshwaram, Bangalore - 560003, Karnataka, India. ELEVATOR WORLD India will be published quarterly in 2020: February 17, May 18, August 17 and November 16. Advertising and subscription information is available at Send company updates, announcements, press releases, product launches and article contributions to

Editor’s Overview Upgrading to the “New Normal” by Vijay Pandya The theme of this issue is “Modernization,” a topic that has gained much significance in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Managing the simplest tasks has become difficult for all stakeholders connected with vertical transportation (VT), because one has to first analyze the possible implications of every step. Be it the end users, manufacturers, components makers or technology-based solutions providers, the thinking caps are on while contemplating the way forward as people across the globe continue to grapple with this persistent pandemic. While COVID-19 has thrown up challenges for real estate design and development (as well as incorporating VT into the current scenario), the scope for upgrading existing projects, along with the refurbishment of their elevators and escalators, cannot be denied. From incorporating technological advancements in elevators and escalators to make them future-ready, the aspects that need to be considered for their modernization or adjusting elevator lobbies in synchronization with the people flow and number of elevators, plus rethinking their positioning to reduce the pressure levels, myriad avenues are being explored. Recommended strategies and ideal approaches are being discussed regularly in online forums. The demand for elevators from the real estate redevelopment segment is another example of how modernization has assumed greater importance than it would have otherwise. With slums posing a major obstacle to containing the spread of COVID-19, additional focus on replacing them with proper houses has emerged. Space constraints in major metros necessitate going vertical, while accommodating these people in situ per Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) norms. Similarly, the creation of rental housing for migrant labor near their place of employment, the process for which is being facilitated by the government, represents yet another segment that has received an impetus due to the pandemic. In both cases, basic high rises with entry-level elevators will be essential. So, the future of VT is quite bright. It is just a matter of riding out this difficult phase until real estate construction activity regains its fast-track pace. Everyone is hopeful that a vaccine for COVID-19 will soon be launched, enabling all aspects of life to resume full flow. Until then, following social-distancing norms and adopting the “stay safe” mantra remain necessary. • Issue 3, Volume 13 •




World Elevator & Escalator Expo 2020


Shanghai, China


United 2020

14-16 15-17 19-20 21-24 23-25

INELEX Izmir, Turkey

ISO/TC 178 Plenary and Working Groups Meeting Shanghai, China

Eurasia Asansรถr Istanbul, Turkey

Lift & Escalator Symposium Virtual only


CTBUH Conference


Global Lift & Escalator Expo Dhaka


Dhaka, Bangladesh


International Sourcing Exposition for Elevators and Escalators



Virtual only


Virtual only

Mumbai, India


Global Lift & Escalator Expo Africa


Interlift 2021


International Elevator & Escalator Symposium

27-29 19-22 6-7

Johannesburg, South Africa

Augsburg, Germany

Amsterdam, The Netherlands



19 - 22 October 2021 | Messe Augsburg | Germany

io Applicat

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Technical sponsor: VFA-Interlift e.V. Süderstraße 282, 20537 Hamburg I


COVID-19 Pandemic prompts solutions, initiatives. Wittur Offers Webinars

Johnson Lifts Creates Touch-Free Solution

During the COVID-19 crisis, Wittur is keeping external communication channels open through, social media and email. Through LinkedIn and Facebook, the team created and launched a series of technical webinars allowing interested parties to learn about the company’s solutions and services. The virtual events included interactive presentations followed by real-time question-and-answer sessions during which participants could ask questions directly of technical experts. For each event, Wittur offered two sessions to allow for time-zone differences. As of July, webinars have included: ♦ “Electro-Mechanical Safety Gear” led by Andreas Guster and Karl Kriener on April 30 attended by 186 people, including representatives of multinational corporations, independent companies and consultancies worldwide. ♦ “Modernization Solutions Through Wittur Fineline® Doors” led by Roberto Visco and Arthur Wrobel on May 15 in which 171 customers participated in the two sessions with lots of interesting questions and comments. ♦ “Doors for Special Projects” presented by Daniele Rocca and Marco Pasini on May 29 saw approximately 140 participants about Wittur elevator installations. ♦ “Gearless Drives” led by Jens Martin and Steffen Mann, also on May 29, included an interactive session on the company’s gearless drives. Drawing more than 150 attendees, it included a video presentation showing assembly of the patented split-housing WGG-29 drive. ♦ “Modular Solutions for Modernization” led by Robert Visco and Markus Dollinger on June 30 was focused on heavy-duty applications. A new series of topics will be featured in Wittur’s “Wave 2” webinars, dates of which are yet to be announced (as of press

On the heels of Johnson Lifts installing a foot-operated lift call system at the administrative office of the Chennai Metro, the OEM designed and installed such a system for high-footfall areas of the metro itself. V. Jagannathan, executive director, Johnson Lifts, said the company’s R&D “continues to be centered on the aims of designing for efficiency and safety of our customers and end users.”



ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

A passenger uses the footoperated lift call system in the Chennai Metro.

KONE Elevator India Announces Suite of Products KONE Elevator India has introduced a suite of solutions aimed at making buildings and cities safer and healthier places to live, work and commute. The company is also offering to install its 24/7 Connected Services for free for the first six months for current customers that operate medical facilities. According to KONE, the service means less waiting time and disruption, smoother journeys and quicker access to supplies. Amit Gossain, managing director, KONE Elevator India, stated: “In the prevailing COVID-19 environment, the way people interact with everyday surroundings will be challenging. As we ease out of lockdown and re-enter public buildings, we need to come to terms with the ‘new normal’ with complete certainty. To address this changing need, we have introduced a range of health and well-being solutions that will help create safer user journeys and healthy spaces.”


Infrastructure Escalator-equipped passages to improve pedestrian safety

Officials in Hyderabad are planning to build 38 foot overbridges (FoBs), most of them equipped with escalators, Telangana Today reported in July. Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K.T. Rama Rao recently directed the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corp. (GHMC) to make pedestrian-friendly improvements a priority. The FoBs, which will enhance safety for pedestrians crossing busy roads, are planned to be built over a four-month period. GHMC will spend INR102 billion (US$13.7 million) on the structures. Their designs have been finalized, and work orders have been issued. Work will commence in six packages.

An artist’s rendering of the FoB design; image via Telangana Today

Pedestrian Passages with Escalators Planned near Kolkata In an effort to protect pedestrians crossing the Major Arterial Road at the Rabindra Thirtha crossing at the Kolkata Gate, Bidhannagar traffic department officials plan to build four escalator-equipped underground passages, known as subways, beneath the busy thoroughfare, The Telegraph reported in June. People cross the 59-m-wide, six-lane road going to and from jobs at nearby IT offices. Though there are signal-equipped crossings, many pedestrians dart across the road, dodging speeding vehicles. The subways, with four entry/exit points, will offer passage in different directions. They will be approximately 7 m below ground and will have up and down escalators at each end. The township already has 10 subways, but only one of them is equipped with escalators, and these are only upwardtraveling units. The new subways will be the first with two-way escalators.


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

Gossain Named FINCHAM India Chairperson The Finland Chamber of Commerce in India (FINCHAM India) announced a new board structure that makes Amit Gossain, managing director, KONE Elevator India, chairperson. Previously vice chairperson, Gossain took over from Neeraj Sharma, managing director/president, Wärtsilä India, on April 1. An industrial and production engineer with an MS in Management and Systems from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, Gossain joined KONE Elevator India as managing director in 2015. Prior to KONE, he was executive vice president at JCB India Ltd., where he was responsible for marketing, business development, product management and corporate affairs in India and South Asia. Gossain worked with JCB for 10 years. Gossain chairs the Real Estate and Building Technology Committee and co-chairs the Smart Cities and Urban Development division of the Confederation of Indian Industry. The latter has been tasked with producing a report on hastening consumer- and developer-friendly real estate reforms in India. Speaking on being named FINCHAM India chairperson, Gossain said: “FINCHAM brings together all Finnish companies on an organized platform to promote commercial and industrial relations between India and Finland. Together with FINCHAM members, I look forward to strengthening our economic and trade interests and creating a conducive environment for sustainable business. The focus will also be on reinforcing ‘Make in India’ by encouraging innovation, improving skills and building superior manufacturing infrastructure.” Gossain

38 New FoBs Planned for Hyderabad

INSIDE INDIA NEWS Send to Editorial – India Vijay Pandya l Consulting Editor Virgo Publications Bangalore, India +91 9820053482,


ECE Elevators Marks Diamond Jubilee, Looks to Future


ECE Industries Ltd., part of the Birla Group, recently marked 75 years in business. Manish Sikka, president, elevator division, ECE, called the milestone “an extraordinary achievement” that speaks to the loyalty and trust of customers and employees. ECE opened its manufacturing facility in Kolkata in 1961. In 1971, it established a Ghaziabad elevator plant, which covers 250,000 ft2 with the ability to expand. Sikka said ECE’s focus areas are lifecycle cost, reliability, safety, innovation and aesthetics.

A particular focus is lifecycle cost, he said. ECE offers a range of vertical-transportation solutions for low-, mid- and high-rise buildings. Over the past few decades, the company has adapted to increasingly vertical cities, Sikka said. Technological advancements promise to play a key role in addressing the needs of a varied, evolving customer base. Sikka said: “Very soon, we will launch smart vertical-transportation solutions powered by new technologies and the Internet of Things. We are spread firmly across India with more than 20 offices and a service network covering thousands of elevators. Indian at heart, ECE has grown steadily over 75 years . . . .”

ECE’s Ghaziabad factory

96 thyssenkrupp Units for India’s Largest Convention Center Fifty-three elevators, 39 escalators and four moving walks will be provided by thyssenkrupp Elevator India to the India International Convention & Expo Centre (IICC), to be the country’s largest convention and exhibition space upon its completion in mid-2021, India Education Diary reported in July. IICC is being developed by IICC Ltd. and Larsen & Turbo Ltd., and is a Government of India smart-city project taking shape near the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. In addition to the convention and exhibition

space, there will be a multipurpose arena, and retail, commercial, hospitality, entertainment and lifestyle space. The government envisions IICC as a new CBD. thyssenkrupp Elevator India CEO Manish Mehan said the units will have high-end features and finishes, including titanium and gold finishes for elevator cabins and doors and scratch-resistant brush finishes for escalator decking and cladding. Escalators and moving walks are thyssenkrupp’s heavy-duty tugela and orinoco models, respectively. IICC; image courtesy of Government of India


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

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Middle East Updates from around the region Schindler to Provide 160 Units to Mecca Gateway Project In partnership with NESMA of Saudi Arabia, Schindler will deliver and install 160 elevators and escalators to King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR), one of the largest urban-development projects in the Persian Gulf. The units will help move people between some of the busiest landmarks in Mecca, including Al Haram Mosque (Great Mosque). KAAR, commonly referred to as the Mecca gateway project, will use bus, metro and high-speed train transportation to and from a central pedestrian boulevard that accommodates up to 100,000 people. It is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021. The more-than-3.5-km-long, up-to-60-m-wide boulevard will be the new entrance to the city, allowing passage of visitors between the Great Mosque and a high-speed rail terminal in the city’s west that links Jeddah and the King Abdul Aziz International Airport.

ensuring the safety of all our guests and travelers,” said Shareef Al Hashmi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports. Al Hashmi noted that the technology was designed to be easily installed on any existing elevator. Its introduction follows other measures taken at the airport to fight the virus, including the recent introduction of robots that can sterilize staff areas, cargo facilities and passenger aircraft cabins, and booths designed to safely disinfect a person in as little as 3 s.

Officials at Abu Dhabi International Airport have fitted 53 elevators with touchless technology; photo via Gulf News.

Law Change Allows High Rises in Peshawar, Pakistan

KAAR in Mecca; image courtesy of Schindler

Abu Dhabi Airport Elevators Go Touchless As part of their efforts to help stem the spread of COVID-19, officials at Abu Dhabi International Airport have installed touch-free technology on 53 elevators at the facility, Gulf News reported in June. In partnership with Meta Touch, a U.A.E.-based startup, the airport developed and installed “Touch-less Keypad Technology,” which allows elevator passengers to wave their hand in front of a panel to indicate their desired floor or direction. “The installation of the new technology across our elevators is a significant development in


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

Authorities in Peshawar, Pakistan, have amended existing laws to allow high-rise buildings within the city, Dawn reported in May. Citing growing urbanization and the loss of agricultural land to construction purposes, the board of the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) approved a clause to the building bylaws that will allow development of towers more than 10 stories, the previous height limit. During a meeting, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said construction of high-rise buildings was needed to address fast-growing urbanization, adding that the change would attract real estate investment. He directed relevant authorities to develop a mechanism to regulate high-rise construction.

Iran Elevator Output Drops by More Than Half Since 2013-2014 Annual elevator production in Iran dropped from 70,000 units in 2013-2014 to 25,000-30,000, the Financial Tribune

REGIONAL NEWS reported in June. The source quoted Abbas Abrishami, head of the country’s National Elevator Union, which has approximately 1,800 members. Abrishami told the Islamic Republic News Agency Iran has annual capacity of 80,000, but a construction recession resulted in low demand. Strong output in 2013-2014 was fueled by a large public-housing scheme, Mehr, launched by former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Approximately 750,000 elevators are used by roughly 250 million riders daily.

Hitachi Wins 300-Elevator Order for Singapore’s HDB Hitachi Elevator Asia Pte. Ltd. has won a long-term contract to supply, deliver and install 300 elevators for the Housing & Development Board (HDB) of the Republic of Singapore, the largest-ever order for Hitachi in the country. Observing that more than 80% of Singapore’s population lives in HDB developments, Hitachi Elevator Asia Managing Director Victor Sia said the contract will allow Hitachi to “showcase the ability to adapt to different markets and their needs.” Hitachi Elevator Asia has provided elevators, escalators and moving walks to numerous major projects, including Singapore Changi Airport and Guoco Tower, which, at 290 m, is Singapore’s tallest building.

"The FutuRe of veRtical TRanspoRtation In 2030"


2021 at

HDB flats in Singapore; image courtesy of Hitachi

REGIONAL NEWS Send to Editorial – India Vijay Pandya l Consulting Editor Virgo Publications Bangalore, India +91 9820053482,

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• Issue 3, Volume 13 •



Technology New Hyundai belts have high potential; Avire focuses on a pandemic-prone future. High-Speed Hyundai Unit Uses Carbon Fiber Belts Hyundai Elevator has announced the development of a highspeed elevator using carbon fiber belts instead of traditional ropes, BusinessKorea reported in May. According to the company, the innovation marks the world’s first elevator with carbon fiber belts. It can travel at 1,260 m/min, or 21 m/s. The report said the belt weighs only one-sixth the weight of metal ropes, which the company said allows the new elevator to travel beyond 1,000 m. The report adds that the new elevator can use 30% less electricity than a traditional elevator. The company said the system’s high inherent vibration frequency enables safe operations during windy or earthquake conditions, and a special coating doubles the life of the belts. The system includes a large-capacity, nine-phase machine that can operate under conditions of partial failure; a controller with a high-speed CPU and real-time operating system; and a streamlined car that reduces air resistance, thus improving ride comfort and stability.

guidelines, will become crucial pieces of data to analyze the effectiveness of social-distancing policies.” Tips for property managers include considering making elevators the “up” route, and stairs the “down” route (for those who are physically able); splitting elevators into either “up” or “down” service; and using removable button covers, rather than cleaning products, which can short-circuit electronics.

CTBUH Tall Buildings Book Gets Third Edition The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) released Tall Buildings + Urban Habitat: Volume 3 in June. The third edition in three years, it continues exploring a viable, sustainable urban habitat, with urban density playing an important role. “Tall buildings need to be seen as integrated pieces of urban infrastructure, dedicated to improving quality of life in the city as a whole,” the book explains. “This requires a cohesive, multidisciplinary response.” This 328-page edition provides a global overview of dense urban development, exploring projects, technologies and approaches currently reshaping skylines and urban spaces worldwide. It can be purchased at

Hyundai’s new carbon fiber belt technology allows speeds up to 1,260 m/min; photo courtesy of Hyundai Elevator.

Avire Looks at Elevator Safety Measures During COVID-19 Global elevator safety and communications provider Avire is developing technologies aimed at improving passenger safety during COVID-19 and has provided social-distancing tips for property managers as buildings reopen. Observing that, in some cases, an elevator rated to carry 20 passengers will now only be able to carry two, the company stated that “understanding how many passengers are in a lift at any one time, and whether passengers are following social-distancing


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

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China Infrastructure orders abound; work getting done in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chongqing. Major Metro Contracts Hitachi Supplying 300-Plus Units Hitachi Elevator (China) Co., Ltd. won bids to supply more than 300 units of vertical-transportation (VT) equipment for two metro expansions, the company announced in June. In the first contract, the company will supply 152 escalators and an unspecified number of elevators for the first phase of Guangzhou Metro Line 7, an extension of the system to Shunde, Foshan, the company announced in June. Spanning 13.45 km, the western extension will connect Beijiao and Chencun, both in Foshan, with Guangzhou South Railway Station. It will link to Foshan metro lines 2 and 3, Guangzhou metro line 2 and Guangzhou-Foshan Circular Intercity Railway. Line 7 is scheduled to start test operations in July 2021. Guangzhou officials have reported plans to start the construction of 12 metro projects, which will combine to increase the total length of the city’s metro lines in operation to more than 531 km, in 2020. Hitachi has provided more than 1,800 escalators and elevators to Guangzhou Metro, and its maintenance service covers 177 stations with a staff of more than 200. The second contract calls for 176 escalators and elevators for Foshan Metro Line 3, a 69.5-km, 37-station project that follows a north-south route through the city. Once complete, Line 3 will connect with six other metro lines — some of them already in operation — which will make Foshan Line 3 a major route on the Guangdon-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area rail system. With the Foshan contract, Hitachi will have provided VT for transit systems in 22 Chinese cities. The company’s BPG line of escalators, with heavy-duty design and numerous safety features, has been a popular choice for many of these applications. BPG systems use artificial intelligence (AI) with visual detection systems to improve efficiency and safety by, for example, stopping an escalator if a rider has fallen. The AI system also monitors VT equipment operation to maximize performance.

Otis China to Provide Nearly 300 Units Otis Elevator Co. (China) Ltd. won contracts to provide 207 escalators and six moving walks to Chongqing Metro Line 9 and 85 escalators to the first metro line in Nantong, the company announced in June. In Chongqing, Line 9 will pass through five urban districts covering 32 km and including 24 stations. The area has a population of approximately 9 million. Installation of the equipment is scheduled at the end of 2020. In Nantong, a city of more than 7 million on the Yangtze River, Otis equipment will serve a metro line spanning 38 km with 28 stations. The Nantong line is set to open in March 2022.


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

In its third collaboration with Chongqing Rail Transit, Otis will install equipment to help move people in a megacity of more than 18 million; photo courtesy of Otis China.

Nantong; photo courtesy of Otis China

KONE Wins Orders in Beijing, Nanchang KONE has won an order to provide more than 200 units of vertical-transportation equipment for the new Metro Line 17 in Beijing, the company announced in May. The 49.7-km-long Line 17 will have 21 stations and connect the Beijing Future Science Park in Changping to Yizhuang in southeast Beijing. Ten of the stations will connect with other lines on the Beijing Metro, the longest and busiest metro system in the world. KONE will provide 61 MonoSpace® elevators throughout the line and 143 TransitMaster™ 140 escalators for eight of the stations, from Panjiayuan Market West to Yizhuang South. Line 17 will be completely underground. The project, designed by the China Railway Electrification Survey Design & Research Institute, is expected to be complete by the end of 2022. KONE will also deliver 77 escalators to Metro Line 3 in Nanchang, the capital and largest city of Jiangxi Province in southeastern China, the company announced in April. Nanchang metro already has two lines in service and two

REGIONAL NEWS under construction, with a fifth line planned. Line 3 will be 28.5 km long, traveling between the city’s southern and northern sections. KONE will equip seven of the line’s 22 underground stations, from Qingshan Road station to Jingdong Avenue station, with 77 Transit Master™ 140 escalators. The line is expected to handle 50,000 passengers a day, connecting with the system’s other lines through transferring stations. The project is being developed by the China Railway Electrification Engineering Group Co., Shanghai Branch. Completion is expected by the end of 2020.

Other projects are planned along Shanghai’s West Bund waterfront, along the Huangpu River, home to museums and art galleries housed in renovated factory buildings. The plan envisions the area becoming home to an artificial-intelligence hub.

Otis to Supply 133 Escalators for Airport Project Otis China subsidiary Otis Electric Elevator Co., Ltd. has won an order to provide 133 escalators for the Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport Phase 3 expansion project, the company announced in April. The project will bring the total number of Otis Electric escalators and elevators at the airport to more than 200. The expansion is part of a push to improve the city’s infrastructure as it prepares to host the 2022 Asian Games. Otis Electric has provided equipment and maintenance service for transportation facilities across China, including the Hangzhou Metro. It was also a key supplier to the 80,000-seat Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center. Hangzhou is the largest city in Zhejian province and is a popular tourism and conference destination. It is also home to one of Otis Electric’s two manufacturing facilities in China, the other being in Chongqing.

Existing Otis escalators at the Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport

Construction Moves Forward in Shanghai Construction on new landmarks, including a supertall tower, is in full swing in Shanghai’s downtown Xuhui District, Shine reported in April. The district government released its 2020 major construction plans, listing 61 projects representing a total investment of CNY16.5 billion (US$2.34 billion). Among them is the Xujiahui Center, which will have two office towers — one standing 370 m tall — plus a luxury hotel and seven floors of shops, restaurants, galleries and theaters. The taller building would have 70 stories and become the tallest in the district. Its completion is targeted for 2023. The project is designed to revitalize the commercial developments in the immediate area and will include a skywalk connecting to nearby malls, which are slated for renovations.

A rendering shows a new project under construction in Shanghai’s downtown Xuhui District that includes a 370-m-tall office tower; image courtesy of Shine.

Shenzhen “City of the Future” Planned Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent plans to build Net City, a 2-million-ft2 “city of the future” in the metropolis of Shenzhen, CNN reported in June. To be built on reclaimed land that juts out into the Pearl River estuary, it will primarily serve Tencent, the company behind popular Chinese social media and communication apps WeChat and QQ. It will have dozens of buildings, ranging from single-floor structures to 30-story towers. In addition to employee residences and offices, the development will have schools, retail shops and other amenities that the developer hopes will draw visitors from other parts of Shenzhen. The massive urban development, which will accommodate a population of about 80,000, will prioritize pedestrians, green space and self-driving vehicles, according to the U.S.-based design firm NBBJ, which won an international competition to develop the master plan. NBBJ worked to reduce the impact of automobiles, “removing (them from) where they don’t need to be and focusing on people,” said Jonathan Ward, a design partner with the firm. The master plan’s other environmental sustainability features include rooftop solar panels, wastewater recycling and protection against climate change and sea-level increases. Construction is expected to commence this year and take seven years to complete.


A rendering shows Net City, a huge construction project planned in Shenzhen; image by NBBJ. • Issue 3, Volume 13 •


REGIONAL NEWS Escalators, Towers Loom Large in Redevelopment ArchDaily reported in May that construction kicked off on 10 DESIGN’s MixC Market Hall, a mixed-use development in a former industrial zone of Sungang. It will include two office towers with 102,320 m2 of workspace and 78,890 m2 of retail and dining space. Residential, serviced apartment towers, resettlement housing and public amenities round out the master plan. Completion is scheduled for the third quarter of 2022.

A rendering shows Vivo’s new headquarters building, under construction in Shenzhen; image by NBBJ.

See-Through Observation Deck Opens High Above Chongqing

Escalators look to play a big role in MixC Market Hall’s façade, to include a stainless-steel sculptural canopy that leads to the pedestrianized retail street; rendering courtesy of 10 DESIGN via ArchDaily.

A glass-bottomed observation platform that protrudes from the end of an enormous enclosed skybridge 820 ft above the ground opened to visitors in Chongqing on June 1, the Daily Mail reported. The skybridge, called Crystal, stretches 984 ft across the tops of four skyscrapers, as long as a supertall is tall. It’s part of a massive, eight-tower project known as Raffles City Chongqing. Crystal is a structure of large proportions in its own right; it’s 98 ft wide and 74 ft high, and has 107,000 ft2 of space that will hold a restaurant, two swimming pools and bars, all scheduled to open later this year. It is decorated in a “Mars” motif, reflective of the country’s aspirations to explore the red planet. The observation deck covers 16,145 ft2 and offers an indoor lounge and an outdoor see-through terrace. It offers views of the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers, which come together at the city’s Chaotianmen area. When completely open, the Raffles City complex will offer 1.6 million ft2 of office space, 1,400 residential units, a large shopping complex, a hotel and a major transit hub with access to a ferry terminal and subway and bus stations. An official with CapitaLand, Ltd., the Singapore-based developer, has described its project as “a vertically built riverfront urban district.” Vertical transportation was provided by KONE.

While heights are yet to be confirmed, two office and three residential towers are planned for the large-scale redevelopment, according to The Skyscraper Center.

Smartphone Maker Vivo Building HQ Tower Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo is building a 32-story headquarters building in Shenzhen’s booming tech hub, Business Insider India reported in July. The skyscraper will feature a glass frame with a spiraling series of exterior gardens from the ground floor to the top level. It will accommodate 5,800 Vivo employees and be home to the company’s flagship store. Floorplates will feature extra-wide workstations to give employees more space, according to a press release. The tower’s design, by U.S.-based architects NBBJ, also allows it to self-shade in the summer. Construction began in May and is expected to be complete in fall 2025. A glass-bottomed observation platform protrudes from the end of a skybridge that links the tops of four of the eight towers in Raffles City Chongqing; image by CapitaLand Ltd.


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Tokyo Three towers on the way for the Kachidoki and Toyomicho and Omotesando districts Pair of Towers to Add to Lively Scene The Tokyo Metropolitan Government approved a US$1.15billion project that aims to bring a pair of 54-story residential towers to the Kachidoki and Toyomicho district on Tokyo Bay, Japan Property Central reported in July. Providing nearly 2,100 apartments, the towers promise to add to an already-lively high-rise residential scene with multiple towers offering more than 17,000 residences nearby. A trio of apartment buildings is set to be demolished to make way for the new structures, with construction projected to start in 2022. An entity known as the Toyomi District Town Redevelopment Committee is behind the project. It includes owners of the old apartment towers and major real estate players like Mitsui Fudosan Residential and Mitsubishi Jisho Residence.

Office Tower Planned for Omotesando District The semi-governmental housing corporation Urban Renaissance Agency has announced plans for a 180-m-tall office tower in the Omotesando district, Japan Property Central reported in May. The 38-story tower is planned for the northern end of a 4-ha site that once held 25 low-rise apartment buildings built between 1957 and 1968, Tokyo’s first postwar housing project. The south end of the site has already been redeveloped into a 90-m-tall, 25-story apartment tower and a 70-m-tall, 20-story public housing building. The office tower will include retail and a hotel on its lower floors. Construction is expected to launch in 2022, with completion in 2026 or 2027.

COVID-19 Precautions’ Effect on Kuala Lumpur Supertall Prior to a movement control order aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, construction on PNB’s Merdeka 118 in Kuala Lumpur — expected as Southeast Asia’s future tallest tower (ELEVATOR WORLD India, 2nd Quarter 2018) — had reached the 111th of 118 floors in March, The Malaysian Reserve reported in May. The project was on hold for up to three months, but PNB executives said during a virtual press conference on May 4 that construction was expected to resume within a week. Measures including taking workers’ temperatures, staggering work hours and practicing social distancing are being implemented, and the executives said there are plenty of construction materials on hand to allow work for the next six months. The more-than-3-million-ft2 structure will house 1.65 million ft2 of premium office space, a Park Hyatt Hotel and 1 million ft2 of retail. Completion is anticipated in late 2021.

Merdeka 118; image courtesy of Turner Construction Co.


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A Developer’s View Raj Gala Shah (RGS), partner, Zara Habitats, shares the significance of elevators in their projects and how Horizon at Dadar West, Mumbai, exemplifies the company’s real estate development philosophy, in an exchange with your author (YP). by Yash Pandya YP: How would you define your company’s approach toward real estate development? RGS: They say, “anything in excess is dangerous,” and it seems that the real estate industry didn’t care to take notice of these wise words. With every developer under the sun boasting about offering three- and four-bedroom-hall-kitchen apartments (BHKs) or maybe even penthouses and sky-villas for sale, it seems that opulence was just arbitrarily deemed to be the way of life. It isn’t just the developers who were to blame, since the fascination for these larger-than-life living spaces was subscribed to by seasoned investors and homebuyers, too. I must admit that, starting as a real estate investor, my partner and I were also addicted to the purchase and sale of these residences. It was during many such transactions selling and negotiating our real estate to home-seekers that we asked ourselves, “Is our generation or the next really going to be so swayed by this super-luxury residential living?” “Does that branded Italian wallpaper and furniture hold any asset value?” “Are developers really selling real estate, or are they selling high-end luxury interiors coupled with concierge service?” All the introspection and logical reasoning culminated in “Zara Habitats,” our real estate development company, which was our answer to Mumbaikars’ question, “Are affordable homes a reality in Mumbai?” At Zara Habitats, we plan our projects on these concepts:

Rendering of a high-rise view


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♦ Total ticket price: We worked upon the concept of “smart size.” It is important to understand that the primary reason the real estate market was hit by slowing demand is that developers went overboard with big balconies, bigger decks, terrace gardens and everything but liveable spaces. By “smart size,” we believed that if these frills are done away with, and, instead, the buyer is offered a living space designed to make every square foot useable, the result would be a considerably compact flat size, thereby automatically reducing the ticket price. This makes the decision to own a home in the heart of the city more affordable and possible at a younger age. ♦ Monthly outgoings and asset value: Real estate is all about location. It is very important for any developer and buyer to understand and accept this universal truth. At Zara Habitats, we strongly believe the asset value of your home is directly proportionate to its location; the better the location, the higher the chances of appreciation. Instead of offering homes at mediocre locations but packaged with high-end interiors that would depreciate through wear and tear, it is better to offer buyers locations that will appreciate with time, enhancing the asset value. Also, when projects are a convenient distance from jogging tracks, gyms, pools, theaters, malls, schools, hospitals and other basic infrastructure, we do not need them built into the projects,

INDUSTRY DIALOGUE forward the annual maintenance contract at justified terms with affordable pricing. Apart from this, the facilitymanagement company we appoint is also given training in safety and rescue measures to ensure it is well-prepared for any eventuality.

A Zara Habitat lift lobby

thereby reducing the mandatory monthly maintenance cost for the buyer. YP: What is the emphasis on providing amenities that fulfill lifestyle aspirations? RGS: Today’s market is more “need-driven” than “greeddriven.” Today’s buyer is well-traveled and believes in spending on experiences. Hence, we implement amenities like high-end security systems, robust water-saving plumbing systems and smart homes that can offer savings of time and money. Developers should do what they do best — develop wellplanned real estate, rather than retailing luxury brands and finishes. As far as concierge and ancillary pampering is concerned, let apps do it. YP: What is the significance of elevators and escalators in your company’s real estate projects — their maintenance, safety aspects, etc.? RGS: At Zara Habitats, we believe that time is the most valuable asset in today’s fast-track life, and our buildings grow taller with each passing day. YP: How are the vertical-transportation (VT) requirements calculated? RGS: Before finalizing the plans, we engage with consultants specializing in VT and work out the requirements based on the location and estimated footfalls, thereby determining the elevator cabin size and the speed. The placement of the elevators is of prime importance, and this is finalized to ensure minimum distance to reach and, at the same time, it should also be easily accessible from key areas, like emergency exits, car parks, fitness centers, etc. The most important aspect to be considered is the width of the lift lobby, which is very important, especially in these days of social distancing. Hence, at Zara Habitats, our lift lobbies and passages are always planned to accommodate one-and-a-half times the expected traffic at any given point of time. We adhere to all requirements of automatic rescue devices, emergency intercom facilities, closed-circuit TV (CCTV) monitoring and fire resistance. Considering the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we plan to upgrade our elevators to enable customers to operate them via their mobile phones, thereby making them contactless, adding a layer of safety and precaution. The maintenance of elevators is prenegotiated with the elevator company so as to enable the society to smoothly carry

Raj Gala Shah

YP: Looking at 2020 and beyond, do you see buildings in Indian metropolitan areas like Mumbai going even higher? How would this impact decisions regarding elevator selection? RGS: Looking at 2020 and beyond, it is inevitable that buildings in metros like Mumbai will go higher, given how space-starved the city is. Also, the requirements of open spaces mandated by the new Development Control and Promotion Regulations 2034 will ensure that there is less ground coverage. Hence, to consume the available floor space index, newer buildings are bound to grow taller. With this paradigm shift in planning, there will be a definite change in the need for elevators, especially in terms of speed, coupled with technology advancements, such as contactless travel. Reputable companies that can deliver on time and provide honest aftersales maintenance will be given preference, since the stakes are going to be high for any developer, both in terms of money and brand image. YP: Which aspects set the Horizon project at Dadar West apart? RGS: Horizon offers smart-sized homes for the next generation. Standing tall in the most prominent location of the city, it offers design of A Zara Habitat high-rise development


• Issue 3, Volume 13 •



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ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

every space to maximize the carpet area to accommodate all lifestyle needs. Horizon comprises smart-sized 1BHKs with an unrestricted view of the coastline and skyline, surrounded by social and academic infrastructure. Features include rainwater harvesting, a hydraulic car-parking system from Expert Parking Solutions with a capacity of 28 cars, an elegant entrance lobby with CCTV and video door camera, and two high-speed elevators by thyssenkrupp with a capacity of 15 persons each. There’s a multidish direct-to-home TV, generator backup for lifts and common areas and 24/7 security. Homes at Horizon are vaastu-compliant, having been planned by a renowned consultant holding a PhD in the field. Amenities include home automation, full-height French windows, vitrified flooring, intercom facilities, door cameras, plaster of paris/gypsum walls, designer bathroom fittings, concealed electrical wiring and branded modular switches. YP: Which locational advantages does Horizon offer? RGS: Horizon offers time-saving conveniences. In a city like Mumbai, to live at an address that allows you to balance your professional and personal life is a boon. Its location allows residents to reach the hubs of Mumbai quicker than one might anticipate. Moreover, the location offers ready social and academic infrastructure: ♦ Proposed metro station (SEEPZ to Colaba), 5-min walking distance ♦ Matunga Road railway station, 5-min walking distance ♦ Western Express Highway, 10 min by road ♦ Eastern Express Highway, 10 min by road ♦ Bandra-Worli Sealink, 12 min by road ♦ Bandra Kurla Complex, 15 min by road Horizon offers lifestyle amenities, many geared toward wellness for adults and sports activities for children: ♦ Leisure and Health: Shivaji Park, Shivaji Park Beach (Arabian Sea) and Veer Savarkar Udyan ♦ Entertainment: Theaters — Citylight, Pardise E Square, Star City and PVR Cinemas ♦ Shopping: Citylight Market ♦ Malls: Big Bazaar (Magnet Mall) and High Street Pheonix ♦ Places of Worship: Shitla Devi Temple, Udyan Ganesh and Siddhivinayak Temple ♦ Cuisine: Maharashtrian, Moghlai, Continental and Chinese ♦ Schools: Bombay Scottish School, Canossa High School (Girls), Billabong High International School, St. Michael’s High School and Victoria High School ♦ Colleges: D.G. Ruparel College, R.A. Podar College, Welingkar Institute and Ruia College ♦ Hospital: Hinduja Hospital Yash Pandya reflects the changing paradigm of new-age journalism, which is part storytelling, part statistical data and part what the future might hold. Though based in Mumbai, he has traveled abroad extensively and considers himself a “global writer” who is not constrained by geographical boundaries.


Bharat Bijlee Nakul Mehta (NM), vice chairman and managing director, shares insights with your author (SSP) on the motor manufacturer’s emphasis on sustainability, advanced technology and recent developments. by Sheetal Shelar Patil SSP: How is technology transforming the verticaltransportation (VT) industry in India? What has been Bharat Bijlee, Ltd.’s contribution in this regard? NM: Although elevators are relatively long-lifecycle products, the industry has been both an innovator and early adopter of new technologies in the last 20 years. This has impacted not just the domain of product design, but also the equally important aspects of early-stage specification, installation and service. Important trends today are digitalization and energy efficiency. These are driven by the need to maximize efficiency and traffic management at the lowest cost and to maximize equipment uptime using connectivity and real-time analytics. Our contribution to the industry is as a manufacturer of synchronous gearless machines across a wide range of applications and specifications. Permanent-magnet motor technology enables lower energy consumption, space savings and freedom from environmental concerns caused by oil leaks and spills. This is a relatively new product line for us, and we are excited about being part of the VT industry. SSP: What is the significance/unique selling proposition of your brand and its offerings for the VT industry? NM: We have been manufacturers of rotating machines since 1946. From 1973 to 2004, we manufactured and installed elevators under the Olympus brand and had over 12,000 installations Nakul Mehta holds a BS in Science and an MS in Engineering Mechanics. He joined across the country. This Bharat Bijlee in 1984 and has been a legacy left us with an managing director since 1990. understanding of the nuances of the complex VT business and its fast-changing technologies. By 2007, the building industry was increasingly aware of the advantages of machine-room-less (MRL) elevators and gearless machines, new technologies gaining rapid acceptance in other parts of the world. That year, we identified gearless synchronous elevator machines as a new line of business, leveraging our understanding of elevator applications with over six decades in the manufacture of electric motors. In


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Bharat Bijlee’s Magnet Technology Machines plant

The GreenStar gearless machine for elevators

2008, in partnership with Permagsa of Spain, we became perhaps the earliest manufacturers of permanent-magnet gearless elevator machines in India. We understand that some customers need guidance in product selection, commissioning and troubleshooting, and we can help with personalized support and technical documentation. We also provide field service support across the country, which is monitored and measured by our central ServiceLINE™ team. SSP: Which are the key markets to which you cater? Which are the key offerings showcased recently, like the GreenStar range of gearless machines? NM: With our own sales force, we are active in about eight cities in India, which we plan to expand to 15 cities. We also

INDUSTRY DIALOGUE have a reasonable proportion of export sales with regular sophisticated, but gaps remain that are now being addressed by supplies to customers in Spain, Germany, Portugal and Russia. enlightened members of the industry and its stakeholders. Most Our GreenStar synchronous gearless machines are used in important is safety and all the elements of making VT safe. passenger, goods and home elevators. They are compact, Equally important is a realization that elevators are the lifeline reliable and relatively maintenance-free. Over the years, several of a building and that cost cannot be a dominant criterion in variants have been developed for different applications, loads selection. There is also a growing awareness that effective and rated speeds, most recently the elevatoring — the number, GreenStar BELT for elevators with capacity, speed and layout of VT An interesting trend likely to flat-belt suspension. These machines equipment — is unique to each can accommodate multiple encoder building and must be an essential gain enough traction to options and operate with the part of project planning at its transform the industry is customer’s preferred drive. initial stages. SSP: What are the recent SSP: To what extent do you see digitalization. Using IIoT, developments at Bharat Bijlee? the market for VT in India evolving personalized mobile apps NM: In 2018, we set up an entirely and developing further? new Indian Green Building CouncilNM: Urbanization is the biggest and artificial intelligence, it certified Green plant for gearless macro driver for the VT industry. is possible to create a digital machines. This year, we had planned to Alongside the infrastructural and ecosystem that connects a augment the facility to double the sustainability challenges this production capacity. However, that is a poses, it is argued that wellbuilding’s owner and facility decision that will have to be reviewed regulated urbanization is a positive manager, the OEM’s call over the next few months. force, with cities becoming engines SSP: What are your development/ of development and economic center and service growth plans and vision for the future? growth. Continuing urbanization technicians, and even the NM: Technology is changing faster in India, together with high land than ever before, and our goal is to costs, will drive the vertical growth passenger in real time. continuously innovate to stay abreast of of cities, not only in metros, but the curve. Product improvement and increasingly in tier-2 and -3 cities. development is a continuous process. Our quality processes and Typically, construction growth is closely linked to the growth systems are customer-centric and closely integrated with of the economy and to perceived optimism about its immediate operations and suppliers, and this is a focus area for ongoing outlook. Recent economic headwinds and discrete events like improvement. We are evaluating smart technologies for demonetization and the implementation of RERA and GST have Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-based condition monitoring; had an adverse impact on the real estate sector and, hence, the the question is only whether there is a clear value proposition VT industry. Construction as a share of gross domestic product for the customer. We already have a reasonable export shrank significantly during the last five years. Even so, the footprint, and we will look to expand this. There is a growing elevator market grew at a compound annual growth rate of awareness that India’s share of the global market for elevator around 9% between 2011 and 2020. components is minuscule and that there is an opportunity here Saving energy in real estate and construction is a growing for the industry. priority, with green buildings being designed to consume less SSP: How would you compare the VT industry in India with energy. Elevators can account for up to 7% of the total energy that in other countries? load in an office building, and there is a trend toward green NM: Generalized statements about the Indian elevator elevators, as well. This encompasses not only energy market are difficult to formulate. India is like a continent. Even consumption, but also materials, control protocols, lighting and in this age of increasing homogeneity, the cultural, economic ventilation. Green elevator technology also extends beyond the and demographic diversities in this country are immense. equipment itself and includes factors that can lower the carbon Essentially, there is no “single” Indian elevator market. Every footprint across an elevator’s lifecycle: for example, the energy state and city has its unique characteristics. Most global efficiency of manufacturing facilities, through to remote service elevator OEMs are established here and have offerings that monitoring where digitalization again plays a role. Our cater to multiple market segments. This means that a certain contribution to this is through our high-efficiency gearless minimum benchmark for product performance and service has machines, the option of flat-belt suspension and regenerative been set. At the same time, the highly segmented market drive systems. means that there is space for smaller regional manufacturers; SSP: What trends have been witnessed in different elevator many have grown to a reasonable size, improving continuously segments in India? Which segments do you see driving and even competing with multinational corporations. A lot of growth? newer technologies from specialist component manufacturers NM: Low- and mid-rise residential buildings continue to are now available to everyone, which levels the field in some account for a major share of the elevator market, with growing ways. The industry has matured, expanded and become more adoption of MRL products. Home lifts are an interesting new Continued

• Issue 3, Volume 13 •



Ideally, all states should follow a new central lift act with uniform safety standards, and perhaps this will happen in due course.

Product design underway

segment. High-rise, high-end commercial and residential properties tend to follow business cycles, and it is likely that activity in this segment could be muted in the immediate future. The infrastructure sector will be an important driver of demand, along with government initiatives such as the Smart Cities Mission. An interesting trend likely to gain enough traction to transform the industry is digitalization. Using IIoT, personalized mobile apps and artificial intelligence, it is possible to create a digital ecosystem that connects a building’s owner and facility manager, the OEM’s call center and service technicians, and even the passenger in real time. This can result in dramatic improvements in equipment reliability, uptime, waiting times and passenger safety. Interestingly, digitalization need not be the exclusive purview of large OEMs, as the technology is now becoming available from independent system specialists. SSP: In light of the COVID-19 situation and emphasis on high rises in major metros, what are your expectations for the VT industry during 2020 and beyond? NM: The Indian elevator market in 1996 was just 7,000 units annually. Since then, it has grown to about 75,000 units per year with an installed base of 600,000 units, making it the second-largest VT market in the world. The aftermath of the pandemic will affect the new-installation business badly — as it

About Bharat Bijlee

Established in 1946, Bharat Bijlee has two business segments: Power Systems that comprises its transformers and projects businesses and Industrial Systems that comprises electric motors, drives and industrial automation and magnet-technology machines divisions. The company caters to a spectrum of applications, industries and the builders of the nation’s infrastructure: power, refineries, steel, cement, railways, machinery, construction and textiles. Headquartered in Mumbai, it has a sales and service network across India and also serves international markets. The company’s manufacturing facilities are in Navi Mumbai on more than 170,000 m2. It has modern plants for its product lines that have been certified with ISO 9001:2015 and 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007 standards.


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

will other sectors of the economy due to disrupted supply chains and cash cycles, labor shortages and muted demand. According to some estimates, it could take as long as four years for elevator demand just to return to 2019 levels. In a broader context, many of the changes we have witnessed during the pandemic are likely to be permanent. We have all already begun to redefine the way we work, conduct our business and interact with colleagues and customers. We will see a more digitalized future with new benchmarks for business processes and productivity. SSP: How important is it to have uniform regulation of VT with specified norms applicable across India? NM: It is vital, because only uniform regulation can ensure uniform safety levels in VT systems across India. Apart from the performance parameters of the equipment and the effectiveness of the elevator solution for a particular building, there is a critical aspect of human safety. An elevator is not just an agglomeration of component systems; it comes into existence only when it is installed in a hoistway. So, while design integrity and quality of the equipment is important, how the elevator is installed and maintained is equally important. Conformity with relevant standards in letter and spirit is crucial, and the ongoing initiative to harmonize Indian Standards with international standards is a welcome step. Similarly, the applicable section of the National Building Code (NBC) of India 2016 (which includes “Minimum Technical & Safety Requirements”) comprehensively details how an elevator should interface with different kinds of buildings. It covers the entire elevator lifecycle and is intended as a model for adoption by all stakeholders, including inspecting authorities. The sheer breadth of its scope makes it a uniquely comprehensive document. What is important now is for individual state and city building bylaws to place substantive emphasis on compliance with relevant provisions of the NBC. All states could follow the example of those that have already modified technical schedules of their lift acts and rules to call upon the relevant Indian Standards. Ideally, all states should follow a new central lift act with uniform safety standards, and perhaps this will happen in due course. Together, these initiatives can make a significant difference to VT safety and performance. Sheetal Shelar Patil works with a content solutions agency, overseeing weekend sections, special features, news columns, magazines and theme pages for one of India’s leading Englishlanguage daily newspapers, as well as working with several business-to-business publications. A holder of a diploma course in journalism, Patil previously worked in administrative positions with various real-estate, hospitality and media enterprises.



Amit Gossain (AG), managing director, KONE India, provides perspectives on modernization to your author (SSP) throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

by Sheetal Shelar Patil


SSP: What is the scope for modernization of existing elevators and escalators in our current scenario? AG: In any given scenario, modernization of elevators is essential. It is important to update old components with the latest technologies to ensure traffic moves efficiently and safely, while enhancing elevator comfort and appearance. The global elevator modernization market is projected to reach US$12.83 billion in 2023, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 4.63%. Technological advancements and safety regulations are projected to drive the elevator modernization market in the coming years. Any improvements should be planned meticulously to ensure minimum discomfort for the tenants. The design and construction of buildings and their verticaltransportation (VT) systems need to be balanced with the latest technology, while increasing convenience and efficiency. Improvements in elevator safety, comfort, speed, quality, space efficiency and performance have become challenges, as well as opportunities. Increasing building intelligence, new technology and connectivity provides opportunities for builders, architects and building owners to be more competitive. When we design and conceptualize such elevators, we design them for the future. This is why the process always begins with research to understand customer and user needs over the lifespan of a building. Through design, we can offer solutions that can adjust to the possible changes. When we begin the design process, we first look at the external environment and human behavior, changing values and cultures, and how we can incorporate our findings on these into the design. We work on-location. A modernized elevator will ensure fewer breakdowns and better performance, make the elevators safer, and improve accessibility and appearance. A good-looking elevator complements your building and makes an elevator ride pleasant. Modernization can significantly improve ecological efficiency. Our EcoDisc® motor is energy efficient, consuming far less energy than a geared, two-speed traction or hydraulic elevator. Customers can also enjoy the benefits of LED lighting and our regenerative drive system. SSP: Which are some of the technological advancements in elevators and escalators that make them future-ready? AG: All segments are expanding, and the desire for cities to go vertical has become a necessity. At the same time,


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maintaining VT equipment is of prime importance to ensure smooth ride comfort and end-user safety. This means that the opportunity for its service and modernization is quite high. As the installed base expands, so will the service business of VT companies in India. Construction of elevators and escalators for buildings with unprecedented heights and structure requires creative architectural vision, watertight planning and up-to-date technology. Examples of that are KONE’s UltraRope technology and JumpLift construction lifts that can be moved upward as construction progresses, which can shorten overall construction schedules by several months. Additionally, our 24x7 Connect, in collaboration with IBM Watson, is designed for fewer faults and faster repairs for less equipment downtime and detailed information on maintenance work. SSP: What are the aspects considered in modernization of elevators and escalators, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic? AG: Smart technologies can help support the world as it recovers from the impacts of the pandemic. KONE Residential Flow can help by improving accessibility and convenience, making everyday living smoother and safer. Life as we know it may have been put on pause, but support and care for our communities shouldn’t be. Our R&D centers work with customers, suppliers, strategic partners and research institutes to innovate.

The Elevator Remote Call feature uses WhatsApp.

This pandemic has left us with people coming together, and we’ve become intensely conscious of the air we breathe. KONE Health and Wellbeing Solutions serve as a response to related learnings and will help us navigate through this crisis. Before the products’ launch in India, the solutions were indigenized to meet the Indian market environment and requirements. The new health and well-being solutions help improve air quality in elevators, help disinfect elevator handrails and reduce the need to touch surfaces.

A real concern related to shared spaces with people beginning to return to work has become clear: people are unwilling to touch common surfaces like buttons in elevators. KONE’s Elevator Remote Call using WhatsApp is a response to this. It allows users to call an elevator using social messaging like WhatsApp, removing the need to touch buttons or displays.

The Handrail Sanitizer

Physical-distancing elevator floor stickers and full-loadlimit adjustment will ensure less crowding and thereby contribute to a healthier environment. To further reduce concerns over elevator use, we have introduced our Elevator Air Purifier in select markets. It uses technology — including an advanced photocatalytic oxidation process — to improve elevator car air quality by removing most potential pollutants, including bacteria, viruses, dust and odors. The KONE Handrail Sanitizer uses a type of ultraviolet (UV) light called “UV-C” to gradually disinfect escalator handrails. Continuous chemical-free cleaning happens inside the escalator, so users aren’t exposed to it. Exposure to UV radiation helps reduce and inhibit the reproduction of microorganisms. SSP: What is the scope for modernizing elevator lobbies in synchronization with elevators to reduce the pressure on VT? AG: In these times, information-technology-enabled offices that offer flexibility and smooth VT are critical to a building’s success. We believe the lobby gives the first impression of a building’s brand image and is the starting point of the VT experience. Our “smart lobby” approach aims to create a seamless, enjoyable and fluent experience for the end user. Lobbies are transformed into lively spaces that operate effectively. SSP: What is the potential demand for elevators from the real estate redevelopment/refurbishment segment? AG: In the current scenario, real estate projects are delayed and will be for months as construction work is halted. After the upliftment of lockdown in several parts of the country, developers have taken time to resume construction work, either for new or redevelopment projects, as most of laborers have gone back to their hometowns. The real estate market also will take time to come to terms with the new ways of working, like the incorporation of social distancing. However, the pickup is likely to be quick once things settle down. And, when projects commence, cost will always be a factor. JumpLift is a good example of how we can help cut construction time and costs with smart solutions.

EW TURKEY / 8,500+ Readers This monthly email newsletter is sent during the first week of every month. It supports the bi-monthly publication by delivering the most current and important news regarding the Turkish elevator and escalator market. The newsletter is designed to enhance the reading experience by providing 1-2 paragraphs of news, with photos, in both Turkish and English. Visit to signup for the newsletter. To advertise contact

• Issue 3, Volume 13 •




Manish Mehan (MM), CEO, thyssenkrupp Elevator (India), shares insights with your author (SSP).

by Sheetal Shelar Patil


SSP: How would you describe the scope for modernization of existing elevators and escalators in the current scenario? MM: The growth of the elevator and escalator modernization market is highly influenced by the increasing need for a smooth and efficient mobility system inside buildings, owing to increasing urbanization. Moreover, rising concern for safe operation of elevators and escalators is also acting as a growth factor for their modernization. Since the average lifespan of elevators and escalators is 20-30 years, this equipment needs continual maintenance or modernization to function efficiently. Some state lift acts in India specify the useful life of an elevator and define guidelines for their partial or complete modernization. For example, the Haryana Lifts and Escalators Act specifies the useful life of an elevator as 20 years. Moreover, old elevators and escalators installed in 1995-2005 tend to be less costeffective, as most of them function with obsolete parts. This is a driving factor for the modernization business: these obsolete parts have to be replaced by new, cost-effective spare parts to achieve optimal configuration and profitable operation. Nowadays, many customers ask for state-of-the-art technology with the latest safety features. That makes modernization necessary. Sometimes, however, the entire unit must be replaced. This further boosts the growth of the elevator and escalator modernization market. SSP: How are advances in technology enabling elevators and escalators to become future-ready? MM: Today’s elevators and escalators are equipped with advanced technology, including power-saving and safety features to offer greater efficiency and comfort, better reliability, increased product life, low operating costs and enhanced safety. Energy-efficient control systems are being developed to cater to the expectation of carbon footprint reduction.


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

As a company, thyssenkrupp Elevator always aims to be on the forefront of providing innovative mobility solutions and focuses on providing such solutions that are tailored for rapidly developing urban areas. The company invests significant resources in R&D with a goal that its products achieve higher efficiency, lower maintenance and minimal emissions. The company has introduced the following technologies: ♦ MULTI is the first rope-free elevator that moves multiple cars in a single shaft vertically and horizontally and reduces elevators’ footprint by up to 50%, while increasing passenger throughput. The system is designed so architects and developers are no longer restricted in their designs by concerns about elevator shaft height and vertical alignment. ♦ The TWIN elevator system has two cabs running independently in the same shaft, each with its own counterweight, safety and drive equipment. It comes equipped with intelligent traffic control, which optimizes traffic automatically and reduces empty runs. It is designed to use less energy yet transport up to 40% more passengers than conventional elevators. ♦ MAX is a predictive, preemptive service solution that extends remote-monitoring capabilities to increase current availability levels for both existing and new elevators. Utilizing Microsoft Azure Internet of Things technology, MAX makes it possible for an elevator to “tell” service technicians its real needs, including real-time identification of repairs, component replacements and proactive system maintenance. ♦ ACCEL is a moving walk designed to offer high capacities and high speeds for short distances with no waiting times. Passengers step onto it at normal walking speeds, accelerate smoothly up to 7.2 km/h (12 km/h for passengers who continue walking), then decelerate to normal speed when disembarking. SSP: Which are the specific aspects being considered in the modernization of elevators and escalators, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic? MM: Modernization provides the opportunity for improved safety, better performance, improved energy efficiency, increased property value, a more comfortable ride and an overall more pleasing experience. During such crises, the first and foremost aspect to consider is elevator modernization, while implementing all COVID-19-related safety measures, including mandatory usage of personal protective equipment

by elevator teams onsite and proper sanitization of equipment and the site to avoid spread of coronavirus. Our modernization teams have safely and successfully completed many modernization projects across the country during the lockdown period. SSP: To what extent is there scope for modernizing elevator lobbies in synchronization with elevators to reduce the pressure on vertical transportation (VT)? MM: Scope for modernizing the elevator lobby usually lies with the developer or building society. It’s usually effected during building redevelopment. The societies usually do not go for large-scale lobby modernization due to higher costs; they try to manage with minor repairs and repainting as needed. Having said that, most buildings are designed in a way that additional lifts cannot be installed. However, modernization provides opportunities for bigger cabins, higher speed or TWIN installation to increase the capacity and/or reduce travel time. SSP: Is there a market for elevators from the real estate redevelopment/refurbishment segment? MM: In the wake of the stagnating real estate market, approval delays, stringent norms and reduced margins, redevelopment projects in India have been losing their charm among developers and evinced a sharp decline in 2019-2020. In the current situation, this segment does not appear to be as lucrative for the elevator industry as had been anticipated. However, government-promoted public infrastructure redevelopment projects, such as for metros and airports, hold promise for increased VT business.

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• Issue 3, Volume 13 •


Industry Dialogue

ON AIR Michele Suria, (MS) CEO, IGV Group, and architect Marco Piva (MP) share insights about the product line and its many facets with your author (SSP).

by Sheetal Shelar Patil Italian lift systems manufacturer IGV Group and Studio Marco Piva have launched ON AIR, intended as a product line for a new generation of lifts interacting with spaces as elements of interior design, while meeting the need for a safe environment even in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(l-r) Marco Piva and Michele Suria

Michele Suria Michele Suria has been IGV’s CEO and general manager since January 2019. He most recently worked for Implanta Group as chief financial officer (CFO), managing its corporate restructuring during 2016-2018. Over the years, he has gained experience in restructuring and reorganizing companies and in the management of insolvency procedures. In 2013-2016, he was operational manager and CFO of furniture and luxury designer Driade. In 2008-2013, he was employed by chemical and environmental company Athena as general manager. He has also worked for Andersen Consulting, Meccaniche Lodi,


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

Telecom Italia and Vodafone. After graduating in Economics and Business at the University La Sapienza in Rome, Suria worked toward his MBA at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. SSP: What was the thought process behind the concept of ON AIR? MS: With the design of ON AIR, IGV Group wanted to create a product that could harmoniously complement the surrounding environment as an interior design marvel, ensuring aesthetic continuity with the skillful use of materials. ON AIR’s elevator cabins are covered meticulously with laminate, aluminum, glass and stone. The combination of tailored IGV cabins and the creativity of Piva has led to the creation of this strategic made-in-Italy product. SSP: How was the architect selection process conducted? MS: The relationship with Piva is not the result of a selection, but of a common vision, a way of understanding architectural projects as a whole, without excluding the importance of elevators, which must also be considered an architecturally conceived element, pivotal for harmony within the entirety of an architectural project. SSP: What were the parameters and goals? MS: There was no selective process between architects. The intention was to leave space for the creativity of the architect. Indian architects are always seeking new technologies and new materials. We are sure that ON AIR will provide them with different new elements to study. SSP: Do you see ON AIR as a gamechanger when it comes to incorporating elevators within a building in terms of their positioning, etc.? MS: Being tailormade, each elevator incorporates high-end materials, elegant designs and unique features. This moves the

elevator from simple functionality to value (hygienic), thus touching upon new markets, helping high-level clients with their luxury buildings. SSP: What has been the feedback to ON AIR so far? MS: It is too early to evaluate the results; however, we are noticing a perceptible interest and curiosity regarding this product line. SSP: Was the sanitizing aspect part of the initial concept, or was it added post-COVID-19? MS: The sanitization aspect has been important to ON AIR from the beginning. There are many technical solutions involved to guarantee the full sanitization of the lift car, ranging from preprocessed antimicrobial materials, to rounded profiles removing corners and edges by connecting the car walls to the floor to prevent the buildup of germs. Extensive research has been conducted, from technical grooves in the walls serving as an integrated handrail provided with UV-C germicidal technology, to the highly efficient mechanical ventilation system for continuous air purification and a near-instant air exchange. ON AIR is equipped with advanced interface and internal communication systems: from virus-resistant to touch-free and proximity-activated control panels, to multilingual voice interface combined with face recognition for enabling exclusive stops, to remote control of the lift system from a mobile device. All these are intended to reduce contagion exposure risk.

SSP: What is your representation in this country? What is the significance of India for your overall operations? MS: We are very confident of the success of this product line in this country. Since the last decade, India, thanks to our partner Graand Prix, has always been a top-selling country. With Indians’ passion for innovation and the continuous search for new products and material, we believe the country will confirm its status as a top seller again. SSP: What will be the demand drivers for ON AIR in India? MS: Lifts are one of the most used common spaces, and their surfaces act as an ideal vehicle for spreading viruses and infections. Car surfaces such as push-button panels and handrails are exposed to the buildup of viruses and bacteria. ON AIR combines safety and design, focusing on both these elements with the goal of a virus-free, high-design lift. SSP: Which are the types of buildings or real estate segments in India where you see a market for ON AIR? MS: ON AIR can be installed in a wide range of elevators, regardless of the useful load or traction type. Its best positioning is for public, hotel and luxury office lifts, where its features can be best showcased. Continued

The Excelsior Hotel “Grand Floor Promenade” A Studio Marco Piva cab design in Excelsior Hotel Gallia

• Issue 3, Volume 13 •


Marco Piva


Studio Marco Piva’s work ranges from master planning to architecture, interior and industrial design. Piva, a traveler and a designer, creates unique design solutions pervaded by stylistic freedom. Currently, the studio is engaged in the development of hotel complexes and prestigious houses in China, the U.S., India, Monte Carlo, the U.A.E., Italy, Algeria and Albania. In Osaka, Japan, the studio has participated in the design and construction of the innovative complex Next 21. In the U.A.E., it designed for the hotel and residential complexes of Oceana and Tiara on Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. It also designed the Laguna Palace in Mestre, Italy; the Port Palace in Monte Carlo; the Hotel Mirage in Kazan, Russia; the Una Hotel in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France; the THotel in Cagliari, Italy; the

and great attention to the environment. The projects we are developing around the world require all our dedication and attention. We relate them to the major issues affecting the structure of the global society, bearing in mind the limits imposed by sustainability. We develop our activities first around the cultural tradition of the project, and use a strong synergy Transparent materials on display between research and project, local sensibility and Italian taste. SSP: How is this reflected in projects designed by Studio Marco Piva? MP: The projects have to reflect aesthetic and functional quality. They have to include, wherever possible, innovative elements. The “design style” of symmetric multiprocessing architecture and interior design is pervaded by stylistic freedom. The works aim to be functional, long-lasting, elegant, sophisticated without vulgarity and integrated in the everyday lives of the clients. I have always put the research on materials and new technologies, related to sustainability and energy efficiency, first. Our objective is to construct buildings with

Full immersion is a goal of the product line.

DoubleTree by Hilton in Mogliano Veneto, Italy; and the multifunctional complex Le Terrazze in Treviso, Italy, awarded as one of the best projects dedicated to recovering industrial architecture. Its recent projects in China are the Feng Tai Business Cluster in Beijing, the Yuhang Cultural Center in Hangzhou and the Dianshan Lake Master Plan in Shanghai. In Italy, the studio has realized the Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan, which won several architecture and design international prizes. Piva also did the concept design for Bulgari Worldwide Windows and the Casa Alitalia lounges for Alitalia. SSP: How would you describe your design philosophy? MP: The foundations of the design philosophy of Studio Marco Piva lie in the assiduous research into the formal and functional aspects of space, updated technology and materials


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

The theme of this car is “lightness.”

guaranteed certification regarding the architecture, where nature and architecture meet, to develop structures characterized by the lowest environmental impact. As for the design, what has always attracted me is its need to be linked to research and experimentation, not only from the formal and functional point of view, but also from the semantic and social one. I always try to discover the elements from which to start creating a dynamical new expressivity, in strict relation to the surrounding environment, both urban or natural. The main task is not simply to build a new building, but to create harmonic conditions with the social and historical to generate emotional relations. SSP: What was the brief given to Studio Marco Piva for ON AIR? MP: Given the COVID-19 situation, the brief was that a revision of many types of connected elements and architectural components was needed. The elevator sector, more than others, offers real opportunities for innovation for the protection of public and private environments. SSP: What was the overall timeframe? MP: During the lockdown period, together with IGV, we realized that among the elements that play a strategic role in safeguarding people, the systems of vertical movement

Reimagining the steel box

A more literal application of ultraviolet light

Nature was used as inspiration for some of the designs.

are among the most exposed to bacterial and viral contamination. So, we decided to move in the direction of creating a new element, with unprecedented performance and quality standards. Developing a deeper understanding of technologies, materials ergonomics and advances in operational implementation to acquire sufficient knowledge and tools to create something new required much time and research. We launched ON AIR on June 4, so the overall timeframe can be considered two months. SSP: What makes ON AIR and other creations by Studio Marco Piva stand out? MP: Accurate design, selected materials, technology, fluidity and functionality are the key elements for any of our creations. The technological aspect was a focus in regards to ON AIR. Together with IGV, we worked to Continued

• Issue 3, Volume 13 •


This car’s surface is designed to be reactive.

guarantee the full sanitization of the lift car, rich finishes and refined materials, emotional use of light and, moreover, aesthetic continuity with interior and architectural spaces. ON AIR is a new way of conceiving the inner and outer space of the lift car, which is the ideal place for the accumulation and transmission of pathogens. SSP: Do you think ON AIR will influence building designs going forward? MP: We sincerely hope so. ON AIR is not simply a design solution, but a new mix of technology conceived for safe vertical connectivity. It combines technologies with highperformance materials and eclectic surfaces. It is also fully customizable, with antibacterial materials embedded in the decorative layer, to provide innovation-inspired aesthetics strongly characterized by the use of light. SSP: How did you finalize the overall look and ambiance of ON AIR? MP: ON AIR is fully customizable; it can be dressed with polished finishes, such as laminate, aluminum, glass, stone or antibacterial finishes, or it can become a full-size monitor for an enveloping and fully engaging experience. Along with IGV, we wanted to create a tailormade project based on the client’s need with endless possibilities. Studio Marco Piva’s proposal for ON AIR is just a selection of the many possible configurations based on these materials and technologies. It is intended to be freely “interpreted” by other architects and designers in harmony with their creations. The customization permits an aesthetic continuity between an interior and its architectural space, fitting harmoniously in context and giving the building in which it is installed an intrinsic and unique added value.


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

SSP: What are the challenges and opportunities in providing touchless or hands-free access to buildings using apps, barcode scanners, rotating doors and other such measures? MP: Nowadays, there is a tendency to adapt the spaces to the new needs of the market, which are more and more demanding. This can provide great opportunities, and the challenge lies in creating efficient and understandable hardware and software that are innovative, functional, legible and easy to use. Following the recent crisis, appropriate mediation tools that disallow us to touch public surfaces will become fundamental for our daily life. Design must take this factor into account. SSP: Do you see any changes in the way lobbies, elevators and escalators are positioned and operated with advanced technologies? MP: Every new opportunity to rethink and reorganize spaces for the best usage should be well-received. Even if the impetus is from the pandemic, we have to respond, to the best of our technical capability, to the request for updated concepts in accessing buildings or floors; checking people for their safety and security; and directing them in the most efficient way to their destinations inside residencies, offices and commercial buildings. SSP: Social distancing is expected to continue to increase waiting times for elevators. How do you think this can be managed effectively? MP: It depends on the level of intelligence we want to place in the elevator systems. Like gentle robots, they should be able to combine many different variable inputs for an efficient output. They should be fast but in a pleasant way; they should be able to plan efficiently in dynamic operational conditions and do this consistently throughout their trips. Their task should be to optimize time and stops based on required services. Furthermore, the number of passengers awaiting requests could be signaled from users’ smart devices or voices and registered by lift cameras. SSP: What is the significance of elevators and escalators in other Studio Marco Piva projects? MP: Vertical design has a great importance to us: as for the development of cities of the future, we believe the challenge will necessarily be upward. Verticality plays an important role, even in buildings of a few floors, because it can express, in addition to the efficiency of the connections between the various levels, strongly emotional aspects related to materials and light reflections, or views of urban or territorial surroundings. For example, the custom lifts designed for the Excelsior Hotel Gallia, which we realized in Milan, are characterized by special materials and formal research and light reflections through materials and walls. In a completely different context, in Beverly Hills, California, we are designing lifts with crystal walls that will be placed in exclusive villas that provide a view of the amazing Malibu landscape. In China, we are working in Suzhou and Chengdu on high-capacity and -speed lifts in skyscrapers that will move residents, guests and workers in a matter of seconds, from the lower floors of the podium to the top floors more than 200 m in the sky.

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levator ride quality is a first indicator of the quality of design, installation and service. The EVA-625 has become the International Standard for the absolute measure and analysis of ride quality and vibration & sound. The EVA system includes powerful analytical software tools to fully analyze all aspects of the elevator mechanical and control system. The highly accurate response of the EVA system, and the powerful analysis capabilities offered by the EVA Elevator/Escalator Analysis Tools software, allows rapid identification of problem areas so that corrective actions can be targeted quickly and precisely. The EVA EVA-625 system uniquely provides the ability to measure the vibration and sound that people feel and hear, yet allows analysis of the broad-band vibration and sound that is the result of the function of all dynamic aspects of the elevator system. Problems with roller guides, rail joints, motor control systems, and other dynamic elements can be identified in minutes. Quality of installation and service can be improved dramatically. The EVA system and accessories are designed to be robust and easy to operate. The system includes high resolution sensors and data acquisition system, all necessary cables, one year warranty and the industry standard EVA Elevator/Escalator Analysis Tools software, all at very low cost.


Elevators / Escalators

The Absolute Measure . . .


A Question of Space Gururaj Raghavendra (GR), senior director, Business Operations at Space Matrix, India, explains the implications of COVID-19 on space design to your author (SSP). by Sheetal Shelar Patil SSP: How would you describe the Space Matrix approach and philosophy toward space design? How do you plan to adapt to the changing needs of designing a workplace postCOVID-19? GR: There are two ideologies behind all projects that Space Matrix executes. First, we always endeavor to understand the client completely, including their vision and the nature of their business. These elements form an integral part of our design recommendations. Although some elements may be used in multiple projects based on certain market trends, all the offices we design and build are starkly different from one another. They are custom-created to our clients’ ambitions and aspirations, and we do not leave a signature of our own. We also try to work around the experience the clients wish to provide to both their existing and potential employees and visitors. This has become even more imperative post-COVID, since the office design would need to have certain specific changes. For this scenario, we have created a five-point strategy for revamping office spaces: ♦ Social distancing: As employees come back to the office, they will be keen to make up for the weeks of lost collaboration. They will want to engage with coworkers, work on new ideas together or simply enjoy some face-toface human interaction. But even as they look forward to reaping the benefits of collaboration, they will harbor some natural trepidation about whether it’s really safe to do so. It is up to employers to ease this trepidation. The most straightforward way of doing this is through smart space planning. Simply by alternating or staggering their teams, organizations will be able to reduce headcount by 20-50%. With fewer people coming to the office on any given day, employers will be free to tweak their seating arrangements to be much safer — by removing every alternate workstation or by adding extra pedestals to increase the distance between seats. ♦ Hot-desking with ergonomic seats can be an effective way to make use of available space, too. This system comes with an additional benefit Common area


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

— having an unassigned seating policy ensures that desks are all empty at the end of the day and can be easily scrubbed clean. Self-sufficient neighborhoods are another logical office design solution. A system in which each team is assigned to a single neighborhood helps limit constant movement across the office. Social distancing would make employees feel safer, but there will still be the fear of infection due to coming in contact with contaminated surfaces. Common surfaces, such as door handles, switches, buttons and tabletops, may be touched by multiple people throughout the day. To alleviate this fear, we envisage creating more partitions and installing sensorbased switches and taps in the common area. Management of unplanned scenarios: Contingency planning is important. For instance, a delay by pantry staff can potentially derail the lunch hours or create a crowd in the waiting area. Installing smart crowd management systems and a desktop/smartphone-app-based ordering system can eliminate such unforeseen scenarios. Adherence of protocols: Some employees are prone to not following the protocols. To ensure adherence by all, there must be a cultural and behavioral shift in the workplace.


Classroom/meeting room

Kitchen/cafe area

Hot-desking workspace

This will be brought about by strategic placement of graphics and signage that remind people of the protocols. ♦ Overcoming employee concerns: Assuring the employees of their safety is a major need. They will be confident of returning to offices if they are convinced their hygiene and wellness are being taken care of. Superior sanitization, social distancing protocols and integration of biophilia can enhance the physiological and emotional wellness of the employees. Air-purifying plants, soft relaxation music and aromatic fragrances can revitalize people by bringing down stress levels. Sensor-based technology must be used for café points, printer stations, restrooms and work areas. Real-time

data analysis must be undertaken to ensure maintenance of social distancing and density at the workspace. SSP: What are the challenges and opportunities in providing touchless or hands-free access to buildings using apps, barcode scanners, rotating doors and other such measures? GR: There will be greater technological integration in workspaces in the COVID-19 era. We are seeing an increased demand for designs that ensure a touchless experience for employees. We will see various features like temperature screening being merged with facial scanning, and, instead of rotating doors or biometrics, the future norm will be closedcircuit-TV-based access at entrances. Touchless hygiene stations and biosensor-driven switches, air-conditioning, etc., will become a basic requirement. To ensure social distancing, there will be apps and tools for digital queue creation, whether it is for entry into an elevator area or a café. A digital waiting system for lunch hours or meetings can be created that offers e-tokens. Sensor-based monitoring tools placed within the premises will raise an automatic alert if minimum distancing protocols are not maintained by people. There will be many more areas wherein such technological intervention will take place. Most of the tools are ready and easily deployable without many changes to existing physical structures. With mass adoption, such systems will become more affordable and feature-rich. SSP: Do you see a scope for greater usage of escalators and moving walks within office spaces on multiple floors in the same building, especially during peak hours? GR: Shared spaces like pathways, elevator lobbies, staircases, break-out zones, flexible seating areas, printing bays and eating areas will have to be revamped. There will be revisions to operational conditions, such as permitting fewer people in elevators and using destination-controlled elevators. There may also be a greater focus on voice-operated elevators that can be controlled without buttons. Existing corridors could be widened, and directional controls can be put in place. This would help in ensuring social distancing protocols inside the premises. Another likely trend is app-based access to elevators. There could be an app for handling various processes in the office, such as lunch slot booking in the cafeteria. A similar process can be created for elevators. As soon as an elevator reaches its revised capacity (according to social distancing rules), it will stop accepting people. Users would get updates, such as, “The elevator is currently full; next elevator will be available in 2 min.” Such things would help in making elevator usage touchless and help prevent gatherings in the lobby. SSP: As Space Matrix operates across the globe, can you elaborate on the difference in the approach toward space design between India and other countries? Are there aspects or approaches used in other countries that India could emulate? GR: The pandemic’s impact has been similar in countries across the world. The precautions are common as prescribed by the World Health Organization. The practices that work in one region are likely to be effective elsewhere. Hence, it will be one unified culture and global strategy in the future. SSP: Which trends do you foresee in workplace design? Continued

• Issue 3, Volume 13 •



Collaborative space

Small gathering area


Small meeting cubbies

Access control


Reading/conversation nook

GR: We see both short- and long-term trends with respect to workplace design. The short-term trends will be driven by the need to reopen offices and implementing the protocols until a vaccine for COVID-19 is ready or herd immunity is achieved. These trends include social distancing by creating temporary partitions to separate employees previously working in open areas. One-way passages are being created. Unlike in the past, where collaboration, huddles and get-togethers were encouraged, the trend now is to adopt digital processes and innovation. In the longer term, especially while creating new office spaces, materials such as self-cleaning, anti-dust and antimicrobial surfaces and paints, in addition to digital systems, will become the norm. There will be a focus on digital crowd


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

INDUSTRY DIALOGUE management systems, sensor-based equipment and the ability to maneuver the office without contact. Another trend that has already caught on in a big way is the “work-from-home” culture. This will become an integral part of strategies and a component of innovation and creativity. It is not going to replace conventional office work but will augment it in a much bigger way. SSP: Social distancing is going to be a key aspect and is expected to increase waiting time for elevators. How can this be effectively managed using design? GR: Social distancing needs to become part and parcel of office-design thinking in the post-COVID-19 scenario, and the focus will be on reducing density. Technology and sensor-based solutions for café points, printer stations, restrooms and office zones would provide facility teams with real-time data to ensure social distancing is maintained across office space in real time. It is likely that office spaces will become categorized into different zones, such as private, semipublic and public. Private zones would be individual work areas, whereas the public zones will comprise elevators and pathways. Staggered shift timings and crowd-management tools, such as predetermined attendance/occupancy charts, will help better management of the spaces. Signage and tech-based systems will be used to keep track of the number of occupants. Based on the resulting data, artificial intelligence-based sensors will operate or disable the services or access to places. Shared spaces, such as pathways, elevator areas, staircases, break-out zones, flexible seating areas, printing bays and cafeterias will need modifications. Changes in operational norms, such as allowing fewer people in elevators and employing destinationcontrol systems, can be employed. Corridors might be widened or provided with control in terms of direction of movement to ensure people maintain social distance. People will also be encouraged to use the staircase more often to avoid overcrowding in the elevators.

About Gururaj Raghavendra


As business operations director, Gururaj Raghavendra manages the Space Matrix’s largest business center, P&L, and is responsible for the overall direction, strategy and growth of Design and Build Services in Bengaluru and across India. He has more than 16 years of real estate experience, in which he has worked with clients across industries and assisting them with their corporate office design and builds. He has a multidisciplinary exposure that includes architecture, retail and food and beverage design and build. He is also known as a corporate office/ workplace subject-matter expert and is well known for his strong relationships with clients, developers, suppliers and investors.

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• Issue 3, Volume 13 •



E(law)vating Your Thoughts A compendium of interesting elevator laws and specimens from across the globe by Sushant Shetty “Life is like an elevator. Up and down, just make sure you get off on the right floor.” — Keith Douglas Modern elevators are the most important and widely used mode of conveyance. Yet, they are taken for granted, and their importance is never openly discussed and acknowledged. In this article, we pay homage to this device that saves so much of our time and energy daily by discussing its global laws for operation. Also, to keep it interesting, we will give some fascinating specimens of elevators around the world.

India Like most legislation in India, laws pertaining to safety and regulation of lifts and elevators are state subjects; hence, there is currently no uniform central law in place. One of the newer notable legislations is The Maharashtra Lifts, Escalators and Moving Walks Act, 2017 (repealing the earlier Bombay Lifts Act, 1939) introduced to provide for the regulation of the construction, erection, maintenance and safe working of all classes of lifts, escalators, moving walks and all machinery and apparatus pertaining thereto in the State of Maharashtra. Unlike the earlier act, it specifically includes escalators and moving walks, which makes it one of the more modern laws dealing with the subject matter. The 2016 edition of the National Building Code of India, Part 8, Section 5 is dedicated entirely to “Installation of Lifts and Escalators and Moving Walks.” There are also standards prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards — particularly, IS 14665 (dimensions, installations, operations, maintenance and safety rules of electric traction lifts); IS 4591 (installation and maintenance of escalators); IS 14671 (hydraulic lifts); Kolkata’s Raj Bhavan houses Otis’ first elevator installation in India, which was completed in 1892. and IS 15330 (lifts for handicapped persons). India’s first elevator was installed at Raj Bhavan in Kolkata in The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 1892. This elevator was designed by the British and was the 2016 (RERA) seeks to protect the interests of flat purchasers earliest design of an electric lift by Otis. Even after 128 years, through transparency and efficiency in the construction and this lift is in good condition and has only been updated twice: execution of real estate projects, inter alia, by making the in 1969 and 2010 with modifications to the regulator, cabling promoters responsible for providing the disclosed fixtures, fittings, amenities and common areas. RERA stipulates that, and fittings (ELEVATOR WORLD India, 3rd Quarter 2014). after the nature of the fixtures, fittings, amenities and common U.K. areas (including the nature, number and brand of elevators, as The Lifts Regulations 2016 applies to lifts permanently serving approved by the competent authority) are disclosed or buildings or constructions and to the safety components for furnished to the flat purchasers, the promoter shall not make lifts in the U.K. The Lifting Operations Lifting Equipment any alterations or additions to the same without the previous written consent of at least two-thirds of the flat purchasers. Regulations 1998 is a set of regulations created under the Health


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LEGAL ISSUES and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, which places duties on people and companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment. The British Standards are the standards laid down by BSI Group, which supports the aforementioned regulations, particularly BS EN 81-20:2020 and BS EN 81-50:2020, which detail the safety rules for the construction and installation of lifts.

Germany Elevators in Germany are installed in accordance with Directive 2014/33/EU (replacing the previous Directive 95/1/EC), which aims to ensure advanced safety standards for lift users and maintenance staff. The primary national German legislations in force are the Product Safety Act (replacing the earlier German Equipment and Product Safety Act). This specifies safety requirements for products and employs various European Union regulations in German laws. Additionally, the German Industrial Safety and Health Ordinance is a regulation dealing with health and safety in the use of work equipment.

China The Law on Safety of Special Equipment of the People’s Republic of China includes elevators and lifting appliances within the ambit of “special equipment,” as well as other appliances “which have high risks relating to safety of human lives and

Elevators in Mumbai were not allowed to go to rooftops until November 1, 2017. properties.” It stipulates that elevator installation, alteration and repair must be carried out by the elevator manufacturer or an entity that has obtained the relevant license according to the law and authorized by the manufacturer. China’s GuoBiao (GB) standards are issued by the Standardization Administration. Considered the Chinese national standards, the ones particularly relevant to elevators are GB 7588:2003/ XG1-2015, which prescribe safety rules for the construction and installation of electric lifts. South China Morning Post reported in March that, according to state media, the Hefei, China-based Easpeed has innovated a technology wherein lift users enter their floor number using holographic images of buttons. Though not widely used, the source reported at least one elevator in the eastern city of Hefei had installed it. Easpeed said it had received more than 100 orders for the component.

U.S. In the U.S., OSHA and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) regulate all laws pertaining to elevator safety and maintenance. The ASME A17.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators is the standard for elevators and escalators and covers aspects relating to design, construction, installation, operation, testing, inspection, maintenance, alteration and repair.

Some Fascinating Lifts Paternosters

The AquaDom, an 82-ft-tall aquarium at the Radisson Blu hotel in Berlin-Mitte, Germany, is the largest cylindrical tank in the world, with a fully operational glass elevator that runs through its center; photo courtesy of Gizmodo.

A paternoster is a passenger elevator that consists of a series of open “shelves” that move in a continuous loop. Passengers can board or alight at any floor they desire. A reason for their popularity in earlier times was that a paternoster’s capacity could triple or quadruple that of Continued

• Issue 3, Volume 13 •



London’s Leadenhall Building, also known as the Cheesegrater, is a 224-m-tall skyscraper and has the fastest lift in Europe, installed by KONE, which travels at 8 mps.

The CTF Finance Center in Guangzhou, China, has the fastest elevator in the world. Hitachi completed its installation in 2019. Per Guinness World Records, it travels at 75.6 kmph (47 mph).

A paternoster and how it works; images courtesy of YouTube user DiodeGoneWild

Conclusion According to The Bowery Boys, the world’s first public elevator was installed in NYC by Elisha Graves Otis in 1857 in the five-story E.V. Haughwout Building. It was powered by a steam engine in the basement. The original elevator was replaced with an electric model in the 1890s.

standard elevators in similarly sized shafts. These lifts were once popular in Germany and parts of Eastern Europe; however, owing to the great peril of mishap, the manufacture of new paternoster lifts is not permitted in most jurisdictions, and few exist.

Shabbat Elevators Since Jewish law requires abstention from operating electrical switches on Shabbat, the Shabbat elevators are programmed to stop automatically on every floor during the Shabbat. In July 2001, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, passed a law mandating the installation of at least one Shabbat elevator in all new public buildings and residential buildings. Shabbat elevators are widely prevalent in Israel, where they are required by law, and in certain other countries with sizeable Jewish populations.


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I hope readers have found the above insights on the world’s varying elevator laws, as well as unique lifts and elevators, to be informative and interesting. In case readers come across some more unique and notable legislations or more quirky elevators, send them to email:

Acknowledgements A special thanks goes out to our firm’s intern, Ananya Misra, for her painstaking research for this article. (She claims she found it enjoyable!) Sushant Shetty is a lawyer based in Mumbai who practices in real estate and construction laws. He is a member of the International Bar Association Real Estate Committee and regularly writes and speaks at national and international forums on topics of interest. He is currently group head - Real Estate for the Western region for one of India’s oldest law firms, M/s. Fox Mandal & Associates.


Silver Linings The future of elevator maintenance is in IIoT, according to Intellithink CEO by Sridhar Venugopal The pandemic and its associated economic crisis has precipitated a contraction of incredible and unanticipated proportions. One need only survey the recent Institute for Supply Management and Federal Reserve reports to see the damage to the real economy. However, there may be something of a silver lining to this crisis: while the lockdowns and decline in consumer demand directly hurt business, they simultaneously offer many on the supply side a pause to engage in much-needed modernization efforts, perhaps especially those in the building-transportation space. Most importantly, these efforts should be led by the integration of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology with existing and new elevators and escalators. After working with clients in the vertical-transportation (VT) domain, I have observed firsthand how onerous service costs can be to manufacturers and service providers. Regularly scheduled maintenance checks, which remain the dominant strategy today, are enormously costly and resource-intensive. However, it would be similarly costly to recommend manufacturers avoid engaging in these regular service visits, as any mechanical problems have the potential to manifest in devastating consequences. This is where IIoT comes into play. Servicers can harness the capabilities of IIoT to employ the most up-to-date and data-driven predictive-maintenance technologies to mitigate otherwise exorbitant upkeep costs. We at Intellithink leverage IIoT to forecast potential equipment failures well ahead of time, thus reducing the need for costly in-person maintenance visits, while retaining a commitment to

Advantages of IIoT


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

safety and regulatory compliance. Such analysis occurs constantly with the assistance of real-time data, which regular service visits can never match. This gives maintenance professionals and elevator/escalator owners the power of remote monitoring and instantaneous notifications and diagnostics. Furthermore, IIoT integration has the potential to provide additional data to manufacturers to supplement existing R&D efforts. IIoT technology also allows servicers to forecast their inventory needs more accurately, thus reducing wasteful accumulation of parts in imprecise anticipation of equipment failures. Dutch elevator consultancy Liftinzicht utilized similar IIoT-based predictive-maintenance services to realize maintenance cost reductions of 30% annually and fewer equipment failures. As the economy still reels from the ongoing effects of COVID-19, savings like these could help companies with predictably thin profit margins stay afloat. One of the most attractive features of an IIoT-based predictive-maintenance solution is that it need not exclusively apply to new elevators and escalators. My work with clients in this realm has primarily focused on retrofitting legacy elevators with ambient intelligent technology, and we have seen remarkable success. The apparent cessation of much economic activity in India gives building managers and elevator manufacturers the opportunity to upgrade existing equipment to reliably cut service costs without sacrificing safety. In addition to ours and Liftinzicht’s solutions, the IBM Watson platform and KONE have realized the enormous

MAINTENANCE capacity of IIoT to cut elevator maintenance costs. These solutions have also found value as tools to monitor and meaningfully evaluate usage data. Such statistics can assist building managers and service specialists in analyzing equipment depreciation and energy consumption, which, in turn, creates safer elevators, reduces wasteful downtime and allows buildings to optimize their elevator usage. This essentially means they can use the information to maximize efficiency by more accurately determining peaks and building more productive maintenance schedules. IBM has even gone so far as to suggest that this form of analysis in elevators is part of the broader movement toward artificial intelligence (AI) and smart cities, an initiative in which India hopes to lead. Developments in cloud computing, sensor technology and machine learning have provided further reason for the VT and adjacent industries to be enthusiastic about the near future of IIoT-based predictive maintenance and monitoring tools. Current-signature analysis, which principally utilizes electrical, rather than mechanical, signals to offer predictive maintenance, has the capacity to revolutionize IIoT-oriented solutions by cutting costs even further and enhancing the “plug-and-play” characteristics of these solutions that render them so enticing to facilities managers and VT service specialists. In Europe, Semiotic Labs experienced a high degree of success employing current-signature analysis in other industries, and Intellithink has produced patent-pending technology that provides current-signature analysis to the Indian market for the VT and other industries. With the current rate of technological progress and an increasing dependence on AI, now is the best time for those involved with elevators or escalators to renovate their maintenance strategies for the modern economy.


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Sridhar Venugopal is CEO and founder of Intellithink with more than 25 years’ experience in various industry verticals and Fortune 500 companies. This experience includes building and delivering scalable and mission-critical software in the business-to-business and business-toconsumer space. Venugopal has a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from Government College of Technology in Coimbatore and a master’s degree in Engineering from Western Michigan University.

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• Issue 3, Volume 13 •


Industry Dialogue

VT in Gurugram’s Gulf Adiba Anand Sharma (AS), founder partner, Design Forum International (DFI), shares insights with your author (SSP) on the Gulf Adiba project.

by Sheetal Shelar Patil SSP: What was the thought process behind Gulf Adiba’s orientation-sensitive design and sand dune effect? AS: Gulf Adiba’s orientation-sensitive design is enabled by stepping the built form as it recedes south to north, enabling the north glazed façade with scatter-free light and ensuring that all internal courts get sufficient sunlight. It also allows for terraces to be formed on the southern side, full of sunlight and ventilation, a welcome break from enclosed office spaces. North and south faces are open to enable wind flow. In the absence of formal site influences, a fluid, rhythmic yet continuous form inspired by nature creates identity in the otherwise mundane surroundings. This is achieved by the


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

creation of gradual-stepping terraces. A roofline that follows the floor profile complements the overall form of the built volume, resulting in a structure that bears a resemblance to the sand dunes in the deserts of the Middle East with the distinct floors characterized by the ripples on a sand dune. Glass/polycarbonate panels create a semi-covered roofing system, to which the building tapers. This enables the aerial view to be viewed as a vague “8.” SSP: What was the ambience you wanted to create? AS: Located in the suburban National Capital Region (NCR) within proximity of South and West Delhi and very close to the airport, Gulf Adiba is an information-technology (IT)/ IT-enabled services office complex on a 4,000-m2 industrial plot within a dense office complex site comprising another similar milieu. The development’s functional, Vaastucompliant edifice was envisaged as a paradigm shift from the typical, closed work environment that creates a stressful work ecosystem. The lack of significant views determined the design development as a distinctive, introverted, environment-friendly, climate-responsive built volume with sufficient recreational spaces that would allow for employee interaction, engagement and pleasurable workspaces, both private and public. The building norms, permissible ground coverage (40%), a height restriction of 30 m and floor area ratio (two) further led the private, calm design spread across

This spacious lobby for the central lift core is accentuated with ambient lighting and contemporary furnishings.

seven floors. A stilted open space frees up the ground to bring in light and circulate air. A low, recessed adjacent neighboring plot further enables the creation of an east-facing entry court that not only reinforces the private nature of the office, but also creates landscaped zones away from noise and pollution. The porous ground level also permits the movement of ample natural light and ventilation through the built volume, while crafting interactive and recreational spaces as a part of the interiors. The southwest zone being blocked by construction further necessitated the conception of recreational spaces at every level. This outdoor space at every level provides opportunity for interaction, while aiding a visual connect and moving air. SSP: How was vertical transportation (VT) incorporated within this design? AS: VT as an important intervention was designed to ensure safety of the occupants. Elevators are in the center of the building. This VT core provides a lavish experience. The four elevators from Mitsubishi Electric include two with a capacity of 13 passengers each and two with a capacity of 20 passengers each. They travel at 2 m/s. SSP: To what extent were elevator aspects, like the type of footfalls envisaged, taken into consideration? AS: The norms for planning the VT at Gulf Adiba had been central to the concept behind overall design. This has been done by keeping people movement in mind. An IT building must be designed to provide 10 m2 per person with 20% extra area for service personnel and visitors. With an estimated footfall of 1,326 persons per month, Gulf Adiba is built on a 4,000-m2 plot with a 16,830-m2 total built-up area. The three basements occupy 5,780 m2, and the built-up area of the floors is 11,052 m2. SSP: How did the unique design of the building impact the decisions regarding elevator selection and access? AS: The VT core was chosen to be centrally located due to its unique and rhythmic design. The design also impacted the way the elevators operate. In handling capacity, two elevators cater to the odd floors, and the other two elevators cater to the even floors. SSP: How is DFI leveraging advances in technology and keeping the environmental impact in mind when designing projects? What is the significance of incorporating VT in the process? AS: There are many aspects of teamwork at DFI: mechanical engineering, lighting design, fire protection, electrical engineering, health and wellness, experiential design and sustainability. From the outset of a project, our design teams work cohesively to provide efficient building systems that aim to reduce energy and water consumption, enhance user experience and ensure indoor environment quality. The sustainable design strategies are employed after detailed analysis of their environmental, social and economic performance and impact. Our expertise ranges from building design to urban master plans. We make sure that, from conceptualization to final commissioning, the systems Continued

The project is home to four Mitsubishi Electric elevators. • Issue 3, Volume 13 •


The design exploits the sustainable paradigm at the entrance and mimics the natural ripples of sand dunes.

The entrance, with its bodies of water and design elements in metallic finish, provides shaded pedestrian routes and an engaging experience.

For a functional edifice to be Vaastu-compliant, the VT core and emergency exit staircase must be located at the west.


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

delivered are based on a sustainable network of lighting design, daylight solutions and VT. VT is one of the most important building systems that have witnessed innovation at a higher scale than other services. Furthermore, it is an important aspect of fire evacuation planning and management. The efficient operation of VT in a building design system ensures comfort and safety of the occupants. Therefore, placement of elevators, brand and speed play important roles in the overall planning of a space, especially corporate offices or workspaces. SSP: How have you incorporated car-parking systems? AS: The car-parking system at the stilt floor and three basements comprises 96 physical car spaces made into 204 equivalent car spaces via mechanical stack parking.

About Anand Sharma


Anand Sharma holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He started the practice Tevatia Chauhan & Sharma Architects in 1995. In 2003, the practice was rechristened as Design Forum International (DFI) with a clear intent to foster an egalitarian organizational ethos where distinctive architectural talent finds self-expression in a democratic and collaborative work environment. Anand is an architect, singer and literary enthusiast. His contribution to nation-building includes projects like the Vanijya Bhawan, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India; New Integrated Terminal Building Delhi, Guwahati International Airport; metro stations; the Dakshineswar Skywalk, Kolkata; and the ITO Skywalk, Amritsar Railway Station and MultiModal Logistics and Transport Hub, Dadri.

The fluid, rhythmic form and neatness of materiality continues here to the entrance, where high-performance glass glazing is used.

• Issue 3, Volume 13 •



Offsite Insights Nejeeb Khan, India country head for construction giant Katerra, discusses advantages of the offsite building process in a rapidly changing world. by Sheetal Shelar Patil


Nejeeb Khan is country head for India and design head, Asia and Middle East, for Katerra, a multinational construction and design company focused on the offsite building process in which building components are built in a factory and taken to the construction site for assembly. In his role, Khan leads Katerra’s design and business strategy in India. As an architect, he is recognized across India for a holistic design approach and for bringing innovative and sustainable solutions to large-scale projects in hospitality, healthcare, housing, retail development and commercial projects. In 2003, he cofounded KGDArchitecture, which today has more than 300 architects and engineers and is Katerra’s design partner in India and the Middle East. Khan holds a master’s degree from the University of Colorado. He is a member of the Council of ArchitectureIndia, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the American Institute of Architects. Your author (SSP) recently engaged with Khan (NK) in a discussion about the advantages of the offsite approach to real estate development and its implications for vertical transportation (VT). SSP: Why is it essential to adopt the offsite approach to real estate development, instead of the traditional model? In which project sectors has offsite construction been successful? NK: India has an estimated urban housing shortage of 18.8 million and growing. The country’s construction industry has not kept pace with the growing housing needs of its burgeoning cities. A quality, affordable home is still a proverbial dream for most. Government-proposed initiatives, such as Housing for All by 2022 and smart cities, would require constructing approximately 30 million houses and building

close to 98 smart cities. To achieve this colossal feat within the promised timeline, India will need innovative and technologydriven construction and design methods that can build houses at least three times faster than the traditional way. In such a scenario, technology-driven construction, design for manufacturing and assembly (DfMA) and offsite construction are critical technologies. We are using technology solutions, such as data-driven design, high-end component design, DfMA and offsite manufacturing, along with an integrated construction software solution to deliver faster, smarter, better buildings of all types: commercial, retail, residential, educational and industrial. Offsite construction has been used to build entire cities across Singapore, China, Dubai and most of the Western world. While the concept is still new in India, we have built office buildings, malls, hospitals and residential buildings for clients like Embassy, Infosys, Bosch, Vaishnavi and others. We foresee a continued trend toward offsite manufacturing post-COVID-19. SSP: What are the direct and indirect benefits at each stage of the construction process using this approach? Which developers have opted for it, and what has been the feedback? NK: At Katerra, we use technology at all stages of construction: design, material management, factory offsite manufacturing and site assembly.

Design We design buildings as components that can be assemblyline produced at our factory for efficiency and speed. This is the DfMA concept. These components are then connected using unique connectors. While each building design is unique, repeatable elements like walls, floors, staircases, beams and columns, and even complete bathrooms are value engineered and optimized at the design stage to ensure minimum waste and maximum repeatability. We use software to detect any clashes in the different design aspects of the building and begin production only once a design is final. This approach allows our clients to benefit from speed and cost optimization while still having a unique building design.

Material Management At Katerra, we have integrated software systems for end-to-end material

GEMS School


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •


This building for Bosch is among the many structures built using Katerra’s offsite construction process.

management: from supplier, to factory, to project site. All materials are radio-frequency-identification-tagged to ensure just-in-time deliveries and efficient material management, reducing waste and increasing optimization. We are also investing in material sciences to improve our carbon footprint, and we are working on new concrete mixes that are more efficient and stronger than traditional combinations.

Factory Offsite Manufacturing All our building projects have minimal onsite work. Our predesigned and value-engineered components are produced in an automated assembly line using robotic and high-end machinery — this includes bathrooms, rooms, double walls, beams and hollow-core slabs. All factory elements are fully finished with mechanical, electrical, plumbing, finishes and fittings. Elements are tagged and sent to the site just in time for assembly.

Site Assembly Finished components reach the construction site mapped by our software-driven, integrated delivery system. We then use high-end cranes to assemble these elements together. Our use of technology is safer for employees and more sustainable because there is no waste of water or other materials. Since there is no traditional construction onsite, there is no dust or noise pollution, which is extremely important for the wellbeing of communities — especially in densely packed Indian cities. We have witnessed a keen interest in a technology-driven approach in which construction completion time is critical to business success. We are in the process of completing delivery of close to 7 million ft2 in 2020 for clients like Infosys, Lulu Mall, Bosch, KMCH Hospitals, Vaishnavi Builders and Embassy Group, among others. SSP: How would you describe Katerra’s philosophy toward space/project design? How do you plan to adapt to the changing needs of design in a post-COVID-19 scenario? NK: We are a design-led company. We have always believed in bringing holistic designs into the industry in a big way. The pandemic has made the world more aware of the threat of large-scale infectious diseases, which will impact design on all

Infosys building

fronts across sectors. Offices will look at more space per employee, and open office designs will have to be made more adaptable to social distancing. At homes in high-rise apartments, common areas and the number of elevators based on occupancy will be reevaluated. More working from home will give rise to the need for a home office/study area in new apartments. The growth of the digital world will lead to more demand for warehousing and data centers. All spaces we occupy will see a design rethink. We will have to take a new look at materials, air-conditioning and elevators, and see how we can make sure these don’t become infection carriers. The most critical aspect the pandemic has brought to the forefront globally is the lack of healthcare infrastructure and the ability to deliver hospital facilities in a short time during epidemics. Katerra has designed a 200-bed hospital with a two-week build time and minimal workforce requirement. We need more design ideas like this to prepare our healthcare infrastructure for pandemics. SSP: What are challenges and opportunities in providing touchless or hands-free access to real estate projects, such as units using apps, barcode scanners, rotating doors and other measures? NK: COVID-19 has highlighted the need for technology in all sectors, and construction is no different. We will see more digital intervention for touchless doors and elevators; retina scanning for identification; and, at a base level, the use of multiple elevators in a single shaft, controlled through automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and microprocessors for better traffic management. The challenges will be on two fronts. First is the cost: in general, India is a cost-sensitive market, and we will need to make all of these technologies more accessible. Second are the problems of adding them to existing buildings. While these new technologies are easily adaptable for new, greenfield projects, it will be quite complex to incorporate them in existing buildings. SSP: Do you see any changes in the way elevators and escalators will be positioned and operated? NK: I feel the significant trends in elevators will be touchless systems, sensors, AI technology, data analytics and cloud computing to manage elevators and the flow of people better


• Issue 3, Volume 13 •



A corridor of the KMCH medical facility in Coimbatore

Vaswani Vaishnavi Tech Square


and more efficiently. AI-driven systems will make having a single shaft more manageable for multiple elevators. This will help in saving space, while improving the ratio of lifts to people across high-rise offices and apartments. SSP: How does Katerra calculate and coordinate VT requirements with the developer, taking into account such factors as project location; estimated footfalls/traffic; connections to critical areas; and the planning and positioning of elevators, lift lobbies and access points? What are the challenges faced in managing this aspect? NK: Several different aspects go into determining VT requirements for any project. These decisions are also dependent on the kind of developer and project. Affordable


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housing developments face more challenges than luxurious high-rises. Developers often want to minimize elevator and common area spaces while providing for more livable/sellable spaces. Long-term VT maintenance by end-users also plays a role. We need more focus on elevators in India. Very few Indian buildings have service elevators or elevators that can carry hospital stretchers. These aspects are not often at the forefront; however, the pandemic has made people more aware, and we expect to see changes in the future. At Katerra, we work with global companies and high-end developers and have not faced many challenges in VT. Our clients understand these aspects and are following the best VT practices. SSP: Looking at 2020 and beyond, with buildings in Indian metros getting ever higher, how would this impact the demand and expectations from Katerra and its prefabrication approach? NK: The relocation of the populace toward urban shores will make our cities denser, and there will be demand for spaces to live, work and entertain. With land being scarce, we will have to go higher, and we will have to design buildings and connections for taller buildings that can be manufactured offsite and delivered onsite. China, Singapore and Dubai have applied offsite construction to deliver high-rise buildings, but India has different seismic ranges and environmental factors. We will need to adapt to that. Also, government intervention for R&D and updating building codes is essential. The government’s Global Housing Technology Challenge is an excellent initiative, but we need more interventions to witness real change.


Time to Soar Industry consultant has advice for service providers. by Dr. Paresh M. Kariya Vertical-transportation (VT) equipment constitutes one of the most important and dynamic parts of the building. It is an arterial system and a lifeline that connects the entire structure and brings life to it. VT is so important that you cannot imagine tall buildings or multistoried buildings without it. The average life of an elevator before it gets replaced is 28-34 years. The VT purchase process should attach adequate importance to post-sale service of the equipment, and the decision-making should be based not only on the equipment and its price, but also on the service and its cost. An elevator deal is incomplete unless the maintenance terms are fixed and the sales contract includes adequate clauses pertaining to the post-sales service. Initial plans and designs for an elevator system are merely the start of a long equipment lifecycle. Elevator systems will often remain in operational use long after those responsible for their initial planning and installation have left the scene for new projects. In some cases, the systems outlive the building itself. However, for the long-term success of new projects, it is vital to realize the system is substantially affected by decisions on its operation and maintenance made during the planning and creative stages. Aftersales service is a crucial and strategic part of an elevator or escalator sale. Concluding the aftersales service contract while finalizing the equipment sale should be considered prudent by the elevator company, which should voluntarily come forward to discuss this with the customer. It not only assures the company the annual maintenance contract (AMC) business for the future, but also avoids unnecessary post-defect liability period negotiations on AMC rates. The customer benefits, because he or she may get a great deal for the AMC rates and fixes all the conditions in a single go, leaving no room for post-sales ambiguities. Elevator companies seldom come forward voluntarily, fearing they will become uncompetitive in a price-sensitive market. They need to realize, however, that voluntary discussions will help make positive impressions. The greatest strength for any VT company is its ability to support the customer diligently by responsibly handling emergencies and breakdowns, and ensuring timely preventive maintenance. Maintaining an adequate stock of components and critical spares is another important aspect elevator companies should consider. Planning inventory is very important, and every company should ensure its cost of inventory does not exceed thresholds beyond which the quality of its service would be seriously impacted. In such cases, it is best to seek expert advice.


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Aftersales service is a crucial and strategic part of an elevator or escalator sale. Concluding the aftersales service contract while finalizing the equipment sale itself should be considered prudent by the elevator company, which should voluntarily come forward to discuss this with the customer. The focus of every VT service provider should be the customer —never forget that your very existence is because of the customer. All decisions and planning should be made with the customer as the focal point. When users or equipment owners don’t get timely support during emergencies or breakdowns, it leaves them dissatisfied. Call-backs may occur for any reason or on any equipment, but if they are repetitive or frequent, it will reflect poorly on the capabilities of the company providing the service. A maintenance company should have sound engineering support to identify and fix issues. In the elevator industry, the buyer may or may not be the end user; in either case, insufficient or improper service will leave the user dissatisfied, and the seller will likely lose the user’s future business. As part of a study, about 30 people who deal directly with elevator service providers were interviewed through an unstructured market survey to determine their most pressing issues with respect to their elevator service. Some responses were:

1) “We have a maintenance contract with our company . . . their engineers were never on time.” — Residential property owner voicing a typical issue pertaining to responsiveness 2) “We need effective service providers that don’t have to come back for the same reason over and over again.” — Office property manager on the need for fixing it the first time and service quality 3) “Company communication was lacking, in my opinion. I never spoke with a person who could solve the problem directly.” — Township property manager describing a serious communication-related problem

READERS’ PLATFORM 4) “Independent service The focus of every VT providers have service provider should better relationship management. I notice be the customer — more effort from their never forget that your technicians and sales representatives.” — very existence is Residential managing because of the agent offering customer. All decisions a positive view regarding customer and planning should be engagement made with the customer 5) “Service personnel behave arrogantly as the focal point. and have improper attitudes.” — Private bungalow user voicing a typical complaint related to the lack of service-centric courtesy 6) “Are there any third-party experts who can do elevator reviews, inspections and safety audits?” — Facility management company manager expressing a lack of trust on service quality and delivery 7) “Delayed visits. We have to make follow-up arrangements for elevator service.” — A private office user discussing an issue regarding service scheduling Analysis of these opinions and views provided during the interviews lead to two major insights:

1) Gaps exist between the promises and motivations of elevator service providers, and the expectations and perceptions of those seeking service. 2) Complaint-makers and their recipients both need education and application of changes that bring them closer. Key service quality management and improvement strategies for both users and service providers include: ♦ Working toward service excellence/transformation ♦ Listening to the elevator users’ problems and seeking advice when needed ♦ Meeting service customers without cause or reason, which will help strengthen the existing relationship and develop new ones ♦ Engaging third-party inspection bodies, which can elevate the quality of service, as well as provide insights based on universal good practices ♦ Employing user-centric awareness programs designed to address safety and performance, which will improve visibility and ensure all stakeholders are made aware of the critical aspects of the equipment ♦ Using accredited third-party elevator inspection/audit companies to help service users ensure continued compliance with requirements and to check that the required standard of operation is being maintained, since inspection is an essential part of ensuring the operational safety of the riding public ♦ Use of accredited third-party elevator inspection/audit companies by users, property managers and facilitymanagement and real estate companies to maintain neutrality and impartiality during inspections

India is a vast geography with a multitude of differences in both demographics and requirements. The country is emerging as a service capital of the world, and the elevator industry cannot afford to be left behind. A revolution in service-quality excellence is the next major step the industry must undertake. The industry must not only provide state-of-the-art technology, but must also gain an understanding of customers and their needs, while paying attention to processes and costs to keep prices low and, therefore, competitive. The greatest barrier is attitudes, which must undergo a major overhaul. Extreme situations will need extraordinary resolve to meet challenges and stay above the competition, and a hunger for performance and aptitude to excel will be the drivers in this competitive market. A determination to say, “Don’t just serve — it’s time to soar!” will decide the winner. Dr. Paresh M. Kariya is director of buildingtransportation consultancy PAPL. He has nearly three decades of diverse experience in the industry with Otis, beginning as a service engineer working closely with equipment, then progressing to management positions in India, Thailand and the Asia-Pacific area. Among the many projects to which he has contributed is the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, the world’s tallest statue. His focus is on developing programs that bridge the gap between elevator companies and customer requirements.

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• Issue 3, Volume 13 •



Elevator Safety and the Indian Market European EN 81 standards are not a legal requirement in India, but they still represent world-beating safety quality. by Subramania Bharathiyar During my 18 years in the elevator and escalator industry, I have come across some sobering stories about accidents that can happen in elevators. Elevator accidents are rare but can be serious. There were around 28 estimated fatalities from elevator accidents in India in 2019. I am sure that many readers of ELEVATOR WORLD India have come across some of these stories. And, in the industry, we are all aware that it is always possible to do more to enhance the safety of elevators to avoid future accidents. EN 81-20 and -50 are world-leading European elevator safety standards. In Europe, all new elevators put into operation must comply with these standards by law (except goods lifts and passenger lifts traveling slower than 0.15 m/s). EN 81 standards are not a legal requirement in India, but they still represent world-beating safety quality. Furthermore, India’s existing National Building Codes and Standards draw on Europe’s EN 81 standards. Broadly speaking, the latest EN 81 standards are designed to improve accessibility, safety and comfort for passengers and service personnel, and cover both mechanical and electrical equipment. The standards call for improving, among other things, elevator car speed and movement, brake redundancy, door-operation detection, fire resistance for car walls, car-door locking mechanisms, the strength of doors and walls, evacuation procedures and facilities, and car lighting for passenger safety. Additionally, the standards provide for electrical safety with residual current devices; additional lighting for The EN 81-20-compliant version of the the car top, shaft and NICE3000 integrated solution, dubbed “NICE3000+”


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

machine room; safer pit and control-room access; improved cartop balustrades; inspection and rescue doors; and safe refuge space in the pit and headroom for service personnel. Monarch BST — an Inovance company, one of the world’s largest suppliers of electrical components for elevators, offers a The NICE1000+, designed for the Indian market range of products that comply with these applicable stringent standards. These include the NICE3000+ international variant (an all-in-one elevator controller and drive) and the NICE900 door controller. We also focus on developing products specifically for the Indian market with a range of bespoke products that have been designed based on our extensive local market research. These include the NICE100+ and NICE1000+ integrated elevator controllers, as well as the MD380L open-loop elevator drive. We have a dedicated R&D team in India for elevator product hardware and software development and customization, in addition to pan-India sales and service operations. In this era of COVID-19, elevator safety has taken on a whole new dynamic, with technologies such as contactless elevator calling systems coming into their own. Now, every elevator manufacturer is working on any possible solution to enable passengers to use elevators safely in this era, and big strides are being made very quickly. Subramania Bharathiyar is elevator product manager for Monarch BST — an Inovance company.


Conserving Resources Roland Bechmann (RB), managing director and partner at international engineering consulting firm Werner Sobek AG, shares insights on sustainable design and VT-related aspects with your author (SSP). by Sheetal Shelar Patil SSP: How would you describe your approach toward sustainable design? What are its basic principles? RB: Building and operating our built environment accounts for 39% of all emissions of climate-damaging gases, often referred to as greenhouse gases. Thus, the building industry bears a huge responsibility for the climate crisis. At the same time, many people in the world lack access to decent accommodation, a healthy work environment, schools, hospitals, etc. This means we have to build more, not least because the world population is continuing to increase. Our approach to sustainable design, therefore, is to build more with fewer resources and emissions. This includes emissions released during the production phase, i.e., the extraction and manufacturing of building materials and components, as well as the construction process itself. These activities, along with maintenance and disposal, account for “embodied emissions.” When considering an office building with high energyperformance standards over its lifespan, only about half of the emissions are accounted for by the building’s operation. The other half can be classified as embodied emissions. SSP: What themes set your project designs apart? RB: Our roots lie in the field of lightweight engineering, so we place a strong focus on minimizing the materials needed to construct a building. Equally important for us are materials that

are recycled, following the principles of lightweight design and the circular economy. In addition, we track all emissions potentially caused by a building from the beginning of the design process and use this tracking to reduce gray and operational emissions. As a result, we can design buildings that emit about 30-40% less than typical buildings. To make them fully carbon neutral, we then implement sustainable energy production elements, such as photovoltaic cells. SSP: What importance do you give to vertical transportation (VT) when designing projects? RB: Especially in tall buildings, elevator design and the choice of the elevator system are crucial for reducing emissions. First because of their operational energy demands, but just as much because of their space requirements. The latter often govern the entire floorplan layout and, therefore, the overall building design. At the same time, the social aspects of a sustainable building design are strongly influenced by the choice of VT. How do people get to their workspaces? What is the atmosphere like when strangers meet? SSP: What challenges and opportunities are faced vis-à-vis sustainable design when it comes to incorporating VT? RB: The challenges and opportunities are in finding a system that allows building visitors to feel good while using it, while finding a system with limited emissions.

Bechmann was project head for World Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan.


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About Roland Bechmann


Roland Bechmann is managing director and a partner in international engineering consultancy Werner Sobek AG. Born in Berlin, Bechmann moved to Hanover, Germany, where he studied structural engineering. Upon earning his diploma in 2000, he began working at Werner Sobek Stuttgart and rose to be appointed principal, then general manager, before accepting his current position. Among his duties, Bechmann leads the department of competitions and is a specialist of project management, lightweight structures and steel construction. He has extensive experience in various important high-rise projects, such as ADAC Headquarters in Munich, Germany, and the 400-m-tall Olympic Tower in Nanjing,China. He has led other complex and large-scale projects, such as World Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan, and the underground railway station in Stuttgart. Since 2013, Bechmann has been a country representative with the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and, since 2017, a member of the Baden-Württemberg Chamber of Engineers Committee for Competitions and Contracting.

SSP: Can you name some specific projects incorporating VT that are role models of sustainable design and could be emulated in India? RB: We designed a test tower in Rottweil, Germany, for thyssenkrupp. In it, thyssenkrupp is running the first MULTI, a ropeless elevator that fully relies on magnetic engineering. Once systems like this are on the market, they have the potential to totally change building design. SSP: What are your observations regarding the approach toward sustainability in design, materials, etc. when it comes to projects in India? RB: All that we have discussed before about minimizing operational and gray emissions is extremely relevant to India due to the high demand for good construction. For India, I see a strong potential in focusing on buildings that have a high level of prefabrication and that use local and sustainable materials, such as timber. SSP: How can the benchmarks of sustainable design incorporating VT be raised? What are the essential elements and processes? RB: Rather than having different benchmarks, we should focus on monitoring emissions over the entire lifecycle of a building. Relating this figure to the square meter gives us a number that is a simple benchmark and easy to compare. This number should be just as important as a sustainable rating system, such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

thyssenkrupp’s test tower in Rottweil, Germany, was designed by engineers at Werner Sobek.

Rendering of another Werner Sobek project, an underground rail station in Stuttgart, Germany; image © ingenhoven.

SSP: What trends do you foresee in workplace design? RB: The trend of creating open and flexible workspaces will continue, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has made working remotely even more acceptable. SSP: Will advanced technologies change the way lobby areas, elevators and escalators are positioned and operated? RB: Rather than having one central lobby for a building, designs will change to multiple access situations in the elevator system — maybe on different floors, maybe connecting to sky bridges. If systems like MULTI evolve, cabins will move horizontally and vertically, which will allow designers to connect them directly to the public transportation. SSP: Social distancing is going to be a key aspect and is expected to increase waiting time for elevators. How can this be managed effectively using design? RB: Waiting time for elevators was an issue even before the necessity of social distancing emerged. Unfortunately, it has never been experienced the way it could and should be: a brief period in a busy day that gives you time to relax or socialize. From my perspective, we will see a combination of digital tools that provide a much better prediction of demands, much faster systems and improved lobby design and waiting-time scenarios. • Issue 3, Volume 13 •



by Lee Freeland

“Global Digital Event Series” kicks off to good attendance, charity funding. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) held an hourlong webinar, “Adapting Urban Density to the Pandemic Challenge,” on May 6. The first of a series of virtual events, the panel discussion saw experts investigating how the city-building industry is addressing the challenges arising from COVID-19 and the responsiveness of dense cities to future crises. Approximately 500 registered and donated more than US$3,100 to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Live attendees numbered 366 from 44 countries to see and hear the four panelists moderated by CTBUH Chairman Steve Watts, who is also partner at alinea Consulting. Suzanne MacCormick, global healthcare business growth director for WSP, a Canadian consultancy for the built and natural environment, explained that half of the world population lives in cities, with that figure rising to 70% in 30 years. Poverty

Figure 1; slide by WOHA


ELEVATORWORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

and environmental degradation are dense cities’ biggest problems. As they are responsible for 75% of CO2 emissions, she focused on climate change, especially as it affects air pollution, explaining: “Over the last few weeks, we’ve all become more and more aware of how important our air is to us. But air pollution was killing people long before this COVID-19 pandemic struck us, and it’s been linked to increases in rates of cancer, heart disease, stroke and other diseases. Research in America has shown that about 40% of people will die through air pollution.” To ensure cities are safe, healthy and sustainable, “We need to reshape the approach to city design — from the inside out,” she concluded. This includes not only buildings and streets, but also MacCormick


Figure 2; slide by WOHA

circulation and eliminating as many touchpoints as possible. Among the most important of these involves elevator buttons, which he suggested should be bypassed by using apps to make elevators completely automatic. Dr. Peter Wynne Rees, professor of places and city planning at University College London and former City of London Corp. chief planning officer, next presented on making workplaces “better.” London’s history of bouncing back from plagues and other crises was examined, focusing on the positive aspects of their rebounds, Rees said. However, “You shouldn’t try to come back the same as you were before. You need to learn things and adapt to create a new normal.” He added that it is fortunate headway had been made to this end prior to the pandemic. For example, there have been trends showing that the true strength was/is not really in big corporations. “We’re all traveling far too much,” Rees emphasized, with the problem not being “density of occupation, but density of travel.” This is how the coronavirus spread so quickly in the first place. Increasing the cost of air travel, outlawing cruises and Rees


touchpoints like elevator buttons and handrails of all types. Next, Robert Rottersman, principal and industrial hygienist for engineering consultancy Ramboll Group A/S in Chicago, gave acute guidance on COVID-19 responses. Rottersman explained he has been working with companies to reduce the virus’ effects within their facilities. He said there is a misconception about air transmission: the spread of coronavirus requires an air droplet to survive. “In most buildings, it’s not going to travel very far,” he added. “It’s not going to get into your ventilation system. . . . We’re not seeing that yet. So, we’re fortunate in that way.” Continuing, Rottersman said that close occupant contact should be the focus for this outbreak. Outlining “the hierarchy of control,” in which the steps are first to eliminate the threat, then use administrative controls, then use personal protective equipment. However, since people who may have the virus cannot simply be eliminated from the urban environment, the next step has been taken. These administrative controls include social distancing, increasing ventilation


• Issue 3, Volume 13 •




even slowing down and reducing the frequency of high-speed trains were some of his suggestions. Mun Summ Wong, founding director of WOHA Architects in Singapore, worried we may not learn the lessons of the pandemic. He said urban density is not the problem; rather, it is that “cities and developments are not built with sufficient spaces, and social spaces and amenities are not incorporating or safeguarding enough nature and allowing corporations to maximize profits.” He showed photos of (usually) polluted cities with stark contrast between pre- and inter-pandemic smog (Figure 1), showing how “our lives really could be better without vehicles,” especially personal vehicles, noting that crashes in them account for more than 1 million deaths a year. He added that, rather than conventional 2D planning, engineers use “3D integrated city planning” with high densities and amenities, as well as system thinking and ecosystem services for a host of benefits, such as repairing the planet by thinking about buildings being able to produce food and clean energy and water (Figure 2). In response to Watts’ question, “Will COVID actually change everything, or will human memories prove short, and will we all, like in previous crises, just revert to type?” MacCormick thinks people will revert to type due to them being selfcentered, unless a trigger is provided. Rottersman explained the role density plays in contagion, but Wong maintained that design by increasing amenities at the same rate as density can counter density’s disadvantages. He gave examples of how public housing is handled better in Singapore than in Hong Kong.


ELEVATORWORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

It was agreed that reducing the density of, particularly, public transportation would be helpful in reducing contagion, with Rees calling for an increase in public transportation spending and office scheduling in ways to prevent workers from traveling as often. Rented property for residences, he and Wong agreed, will help in reducing the wealthy from buying apartment buildings as nearly empty, wasted “safety deposit boxes.” Rees said rent control and, more importantly, security of tenure are the best ways the government can help. The speakers agreed that increasing density is inevitable. Their solution, as Wong articulated, is, “We have too many bad cities, and I think it’s about time to make all the cities better.” Specifically, Rees added, cities need to protect their important retail areas and plan to repurpose the ones that are closing in the wake of the pandemic. This can be seen as an opportunity for smarter planning. He also called for professionals to work with people to make where they live and work better, rather than enabling politicians to look at urban planning as trophygrabbing through top-down strategy. How will COVID-19 (and the possible COVID-20 or COVID-21) change society permanently? “I think it’s a wakeup call to us as humanity,” MacCormick said. Rottersman agreed, explaining there will likely be waves of coronavirus outbreaks and similar diseases that will give cause for alarm. Relatedly, Watts asked, “What can real estate learn from science?” New technology in buildings, including UV-C lighting and improvements to its use, are important to develop and expand, Rottersman answered. Finally, building for better healthcare was discussed. “I think it needs to be a collaborative way forward,” MacCormick said. All involved, from politicians to contractors, need to have a mindset of building “smart cities” and community living designed “in a healthy way.” Then, that needs to be taken “one step forward into whatever it is this new world will be.” “There should be a social solution to this problem,” as opposed to a technological one, Rees concluded. The full video is available at


The Green Alternative Vasudevan Suresh (VS), chairman, IGBC, shares insights with your author (YP) on the council’s digitally launched rating system and aspects related to VT. by Yash Pandya YP: The cost differential between normal and “green” buildings is only 1-2%. Do you see this driving the category’s growth? VS: Over the years, the cost differential between conventional and green buildings has come down drastically. This is primarily due to two reasons:

construction input, which leads to cost savings.


1) Wide availability of high-performance products, materials and technologies: through its numerous platforms and events, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) has, since 2001, introduced many innovative and sustainable building materials, products and technologies. These include high-efficiency chillers, high-performance glass, fly-ash blocks, solar photovoltaic panels, waterless urinals, ecologically friendly paint and many others. In this direction, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the parent body of IGBC, has launched the GreenPro rating for certification of green building products. Thus far, more than 1,000 products have been certified. GreenPro is recognized by the international nonprofit, Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN), which is a worldwide association of eco-labeling organizations. 2) Highly scientific tools like energy simulation and lighting analysis were introduced to Indian consultants by the IGBC. Until then, these tools were unheard of in the Indian building sector. To date, about 50 consultancies have been incubated, developed and trained on green building concepts by the IGBC. Today, these firms employ multiple IGBC-accredited professionals. These firms provide clients with vital design and

Today, there should be no major barriers to developers adopting green building practices and achieving IGBC certification. All developers want to offer better value-added products with minimal cost overruns to potential buyers, tenants and investors. YP: What is the significance of the digitally launched IGBC Green Service Buildings Rating System? How do you envisage it making a difference? VS: The system was digitally launched on May 23. This rating allows small buildings to holistically adopt green principles. The system is designed for both new and existing buildings, such as petroleum, police, bus and fire stations that are less than or equal to 2,500 m2 of built-up area. Offices, banks, retail and mixed-use office buildings that are less than or equal to 1,500 m2 can also adopt this rating. Any other small building typologies, fulfilling the above norms and not addressed under other IGBC Ratings, can also adopt it. We have received tremendous response and encouragement from stakeholders, and we expect more project registrations under this rating in coming days. In fact, the certification of the first project under this rating is already underway. YP: What are the advantages of some of the unique, green

IGBC Platinum-rated Mindtree Kalinga educational campus in Bhubaneswar

Green Business Centre in Hyderabad, one of CII’s Nine Centers of Excellence. This building was the first in India and third in the world to achieve a LEED Platinum rating from the USGBC.


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

concepts addressed in the IGBC rating system, such as passive architecture and use of alternative construction technologies/ materials? VS: Green buildings using passive design (including architectural, structural, envelope and passive mechanical) strategies are optimized for interaction with the local microclimate. The ultimate vision of passive design is to reduce requirements for active mechanical systems and associated fossil-fuel-based energy consumption and to maintain occupant comfort at all times. Examples of passive design strategies include use of suitable orientation, shading devices


No. of Projects Adopting IGBC Green Building Ratings

Built-Up Area (Million ft2)

Green homes



Green new (commercial) buildings



Green factory buildings



Green existing (commercial) buildings



Green healthcare facilities (hospitals, medical 33 colleges and nursing homes) Green schools


11.43 16.59

Schindler India’s Pune facility is IGBC Platinum rated. Iris Court in the Mahindra City area of Chennai is Gold-rated in the IGBC Green Homes Rating System.

for new materials. Many IGBC-rated green building projects use these. YP: The rating system also acknowledges and awards points to projects that address health, hygiene and COVID-19 concerns. Could you elaborate? VS: The India and state governments have embarked on several initiatives to address issues related to people’s lives and livelihoods during the pandemic. The nationwide lockdown is one of the significant measures aimed at stopping the spread of infection. There could be multiple challenges to operationalize Continued

Office building Inspire BKC in Mumbai is Gold-rated in the IGBC Green New Building Rating System.

or overhangs; punched or recessed windows; atriums; thermal massing; optimum window-to-wall-area ratio; lightweight shelves and pipes; and wind towers. With environmental concerns playing an increasing role in how we design and build our homes and commercial buildings, alternative materials are growing in popularity. These often provide clear advantages over the more commonly used options and range from innovative new technology to materials and techniques that have been in use for thousands of years. It is crucial to select sustainable building materials that have been salvaged, recycled or are locally manufactured. This lowers the building’s ecological footprint. Adaptive reuse of existing materials, such as bricks, also helps minimize the need

[Alternative materials] often provide clear advantages over the more commonly used options and range from innovative new technology to materials and techniques that have been in use for thousands of years. • Issue 3, Volume 13 •



Today, there should be no major barriers to developers adopting green building practices and achieving IGBC certification.

MN Park in Telangana is IGBC Platinum-rated and boasts a green core and shell.

About Vasudevan Suresh Vasudevan Suresh is a civil engineer from Anna University’s College of Engineering in Chennai. Focused on sustainable development, he has 54 years’ experience in housing, infrastructure and rural and urban projects. He is a fellow of the Institution of Engineers (India), the Indian Plumbing Association and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He is a senior fellow at IGBC, and an honorable fellow of the Indian Institute of Architects, the Institution of Public Health Engineers–India and the Institution of Fire Engineers (India). Suresh is vice chairman of the National Building Code of India, chairman of the Housing Sectional Committee and member of the Bureau of Indian Standards’ Smart Cities Committee. He is also a member of the International Property Measurement Standards — Standard Setting Committee.

About the IGBC The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) was formed by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in 2001. It is headquartered at CII — Green Business Centre in Hyderabad, one of CII’s Nine Centers of Excellence. This building was the first in India and third in the world to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Since 2019, this building has also achieved a Platinum net-zero-energy rating.

existing green buildings and carry out construction activities at new building sites once lockdown is lifted partially or in toto. IGBC is fully aware of the importance of addressing the COVID-19 aspects of all typologies of new and existing buildings. To enable stakeholders to implement appropriate measures, IGBC (with input and support from experts and key stakeholders across the country) developed the guideline “Combating COVID-19 in Green Buildings.” To encourage


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

upcoming and existing buildings to implement the guidelines, credit points will be awarded under IGBC Green Building Ratings for each of the following measures: ♦ Hygiene in buildings ♦ Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning and related equipment ♦ Water and plumbing fixtures ♦ Measures at construction sites ♦ People transit These measures are illustrative and recommendatory. Projects can explore adopting measures over and above these guidelines to curb the spread of infection. Furthermore, the applicability of the IGBC Health and Well Being Rating in our current times should be mentioned. This rating is designed primarily for new and existing buildings in all developments. The rating has a holistic “whole body/mind” approach. It emphasizes people-centric design and stresses the following: ♦ Awareness of the importance of fitness and wise nutritional choices ♦ Improved visual, thermal and olfactory comfort ♦ Improved hygiene and better sanitation ♦ Creation of a caring environment and safer surroundings ♦ Lower sickness rates, physical strain and associated health impacts on occupants

The Role of VT YP: Vertical transportation (VT) plays a key role in most buildings. How is this aspect covered by the rating system? VS: VT has a significant impact on energy consumption. IGBC ratings always encourage projects to adopt the latest technology that lends itself to energy efficiency. In the case of VT, it is considered that efficient systems, like logically controlled and regenerative elevators, result in a significant reduction in energy consumption, when compared to conventional systems. Regenerative elevators are approximately 30% more efficient than conventional elevators. Consider a typical example: With a 1600-kg load (assuming 300,000 trips per year at 2.5 m/s), a conventional elevator would consume approximately 24,000 kW of electricity annually, whereas a regenerative elevator’s consumption would be 4,100 kW. Energy savings also depend on the following parameters: ♦ Design capacity ♦ Travel speed ♦ Loading profile ♦ Travel distance


NetApp’s campus in Bengaluru is IGBC Platinum-rated under the Green New Building Rating system.

The above parameters enable a VT system to exhibit better energy efficiency. The cost of regenerative elevators is about 30-50% more than conventional elevators. Return on initial investment in a regenerative elevator system occurs in approximately five to eight years. This provides major energysaving opportunities, especially in high-rise buildings. YP: Does the rating system make any specific recommendations or have standardized norms for elevators and escalators? VS: All IGBC Green Building Rating Systems encourage efficient lifts to minimize a building’s energy load. An example is the IGBC Green Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) rating. The MRTS rating recommends user-friendly elevator systems for enhanced public utility. The following are a few significant points to be considered under the rating system for a MRTS VT system. All elevators should: ♦ Be equipped with wide-access doors, handrails and control buttons at a convenient height ♦ Be equipped with Braille buttons inside and out ♦ Implement variable voltage, variable frequency (VVVF) technology (applies to escalators, as well) ♦ Have submetering ♦ Have an energy measurement and verification plan IGBC also encourages its stakeholders to opt for emerging technologies such as voice-controlled and sensor-based elevators to stay ahead of the curve. YP: How has RERA impacted green buildings? Do you see preference for green buildings from developers and end users emerging in specific real estate segments? VS: To a large extent, RERA has ensured buyers get timely delivery of their residences with all the amenities promised by the developer during project launch. Almost all IGBC-rated green buildings ensure that amenities such as efficient taps and flush fixtures, rainwater harvesting, onsite sewage treatment plants, electric vehicle charging stations, organic waste converters, efficient air-conditioners, recreational spaces and ample greenery are provided. Daylight and ventilation are given supreme importance in all regularly occupied spaces. These features and the corresponding benefits are showcased as key selling points in a project’s marketing material. Most buyers care about these green features. RERA has strengthened

Logically controlled and regenerative elevators result in a significant reduction in energy consumption, when compared to conventional systems.

developers’ commitment to deliver all the promised features before handover.

India Gets Greener Green-building projects are on the rise in India. As of May 31, 5,918 projects from the government and private sectors had adopted various IGBC ratings. This is equivalent to a green footprint of 7.17 billion ft2. This includes 1.37 million residences and 577,000 acres of large developments (green campuses, townships and cities). Below is a breakdown. Compared to conventional facilities, IGBC-rated green buildings have resulted in tremendous reductions in CO2 emissions, construction waste going to landfills, and energy and water usage. More importantly, green buildings have led to enhanced health and well-being of occupants. With the support of all stakeholders, the green-building movement in India continues to grow and touch the lives of citizens from all sections of society. The vision of IGBC is to enable a “sustainable built environment for all.” To date, IGBC has achieved the following milestones: ♦ Developed 26 green building ratings covering nearly all types of projects ♦ Green-rated and closely worked with government bodies, public-sector enterprises and public-private partnerships on nearly 200 projects ♦ Awarded incentives by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and 10 state governments ♦ Accredited 4,451 IGBC professionals ♦ Trained more than 40,000 professionals on green-building concepts ♦ Collaborated with approximately 2,500 developers, corporate and government entities across India to achieve IGBC Green residential, commercial and industrial buildings ♦ Collaborated with metro authorities across the nation to get roughly 500 metro stations to adopt the IGBC MRTS rating. ♦ Encouraged 13 greenfield and smart cities across the country to adopt the IGBC Green Cities Rating ♦ Worked with schools, hospitals, campuses and townships to adopt green design, construction and operation practices in line with IGBC ratings • Issue 3, Volume 13 •



“COVID-19 Impact — Real Estate Developers’ Perspective: Future of Second webinar in series VT Systems” yields lively exchange of ideas. by Vijay Pandya While the COVID-19 crisis continues to impact people’s lives and livelihoods in different ways across the globe, India is undergoing yet another extension of a nationwide lockdown. Rising cases, districts segregated into colorcoded zones with containment areas and the gradual realization that this is not a short-term battle made it imperative to initiate discussion on how to deal with the new normal and formulate a blueprint for managing business going forward. . . . Editor Organized by ELEVATOR WORLD India and Virgo Communications, the second edition of a webinar series on how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting the verticaltransportation (VT) industry had the theme “COVID-19 Impact — Real Estate Developers’ Perspective: Future of VT Systems.” A

panel comprising developers, property consultants and architects provided perspectives on the way forward and implications for both real estate and VT during the crisis and over the long term. Following the successful first webinar, “COVID-19 Impact — Challenges Faced by the Elevator Industry and the Way Forward,” on April 28 (ELEVATOR WORLD India, 2nd Quarter 2020), the most recent event was held on May 9 and drew 599 registrations and 278 attendees from 46 cities. The panel consisted of K. Mukund Raj, president and CEO, real estate business, Raymond Group; Mohan Abichandani, director — projects, K. Raheja Corp.; K. Jayakumar, managing director, RMZ Corp.; Kumaran W.R., senior vice president, development, Virtuous Retail; Nilesh Dongre, architect/head developer, Edifice Consultants; Jatin Shah, national director, Colliers International; and Rana Ram, architect, RSP Design

Aerial view of Bengaluru; Social distancing will be difficult to manage in the city, which has a population of more than 8 million; photo by Kshitiz Bathwal for Wikimedia commons.


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

A solution could be to have a greater number of smaller elevators with fewer destinations. — Nilesh Dongre, architect, head developer/spaces, Edifice Consultants Raghunath hosted and co-moderated the webinar.

Consultants. Panelists discussed the ramifications of the short- and long-term COVID-19 impacts related to elevator pandemic over the short to long term and shared their capacity. He said real estate developers view elevators as a “very expectations for the VT industry. important factor in buildings”: more than merely a means of Anitha Raghunath, publisher of EW India and director of transportation, a way for end users to interact with a property. Virgo Communications and Exhibitions Pvt. Ltd., hosted and Jayakumar said that, for up to eight months, density will co-moderated the webinar with Krishna Kumar Ravi, president come down. Long term, he said, he expects the situation to and CEO, PVN Associates Pvt. Ltd., a leading elevator consultant return to normal. Companies opting for employees to work in India. from home will also bring down passenger density and relieve Raghunath introduced panelists and described the webinar pressure on elevator operations. “So, we don’t see much of a series as an endeavor to create opportunities for the elevator problem, other than social distancing will need to be enforced industry to connect and coordinate with colleagues around the in the short term, and that will cause some inconvenience,” he world. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented said. crisis,” she said. “We need to find ways to adapt to the new Changes in Behavior, Design situation. The objective of these webinars is to contemplate The same will be true for retail, Kumaran W.R. said. While he anticipated changes in terms of real estate design, customer projects the number of escalators and elevators to remain the demand, etc.” same over the short term in large, organized retail properties, The session got underway with Ravi seeking panelists’ he added: opinions on how the VT sector will operate during and after the “Shopping centers may have to re-strategize in terms of crisis. For residential buildings, Raj said the key issue is social looking at usage of elevators, as these are interactive pieces of distancing in elevators and elevator lobbies. Other than at peak equipment and not like chillers placed in a corner. We will be times, such as in the mornings and evenings, he doesn’t restricting the number of people, but that will be in the short anticipate much impact. “People will make adjustments as term. We also need to follow social-distancing guidelines and required,” he stated. “There is not much need to alter the enforce enhanced sanitization of elevators and escalators. I design of residential buildings.” don’t see any change in retail design in the near future.” Abichandani observed that VT systems are used to operating Dongre said architects primarily look at in a certain manner. He said: handling capacities and wait intervals “Traditionally, we wanted more and Already, demand for lobby when incorporating elevators. He observed: more people in the lift. We wanted size has gone up in most “How we design buildings to manage more speed and more density per projects. In the near future, densities is going to be important. Going square foot. Now, that has reversed. forward, I see wait intervals having The whole thing has to be changed. We it may increase further. additional emphasis. Rather than looking need to have a plan for the next two at larger elevators, we can look at smaller years and hope we will return to the elevators, because we don’t want to crowd previous arrangements. In the — Mohan Abichandani, them. Analysis runs on the fact that meantime, the challenge faced by us is, director, projects, K. elevator cars are 80% loaded to capacity. A how we can reduce density.” solution could be to have a greater number Jayakumar agreed and said all Raheja Corp. of smaller elevators with fewer involved must prepare themselves for Continued

• Issue 3, Volume 13 •


For residential buildings like Lodha The Park in Mumbai, social distancing is the key issue; image courtesy of Lodha.

destinations. This way, space between passengers will start increasing. In office buildings, staircases are typically used as fire escapes. This can be expanded to non-emergency use. If you use alternate floors, people can walk down. These are some of the ways we are going to be using these spaces in the future.” Ram underlined that social distancing must be managed. In Chandigarh, capital of the northern states of Punjab and Haryana with a population of just over 1 million,[1] many projects range from 15-17 m in height, making social distancing manageable. This isn’t the case in places like Bengaluru, with a population well over 8 million.[2] Ram observed that many people prefer escalators internally between floors, typically at every other floor. Ram said clients including Infosys and K. Raheja Corp. have opted to connect floors with escalators.

Raj shared that during the COVID-19 Unfortunately, we don’t transition in China, he have domestic saw no property owners manufacturers that have investing in recasting existing buildings. “They destination control followed a rotation systems. We are relying system that enabled them to use the same on other countries like office to continue the China and Switzerland. same business, staggering comings and — Jatin Shah, national goings of workers on director, Colliers individual floors,” he said. “This allowed them International to maintain social distancing without additional expenditure.” He predicts a return to normalcy after six to nine months. Abichandani concurred. He said: “I don’t think it would be beneficial to take on more space. Productive people can work from home. I don’t think anybody will be ready to pay more for more space, since everyone wants to reduce expenditures. How we improve existing buildings is going to be the greatest challenge. Touchless entry and touchless elevators are the solution. In India, we have this concept called ‘Jugaad,’ [a nonconventional, frugal innovation often termed a ‘hack’].[3] This is happening in buildings today. People have used toothpicks to push elevator buttons, thereby making them touchless.” Jayakumar opined that companies from all sectors, particularly those in information technology (IT), are looking to cut costs. The focus, he said, will be on how to improve elevator car cleanliness, rather than adding office space. When Ravi asked whether COVID-19 would lead to largercapacity elevators, Raj explained that, in the residential sector, he does not expect a change. Precautionary measures will persist for the next six to nine months. Developers already build a certain amount of redundancy into VT systems. To incorporate larger elevators would mean a capital expenditure for the developer and greater maintenance costs for residents. There may, however, be increased floor space indexes for main lobby areas, he observed. Shah agreed, stating that after approximately six to eight months, elevators will return to previous densities of up to 24 passengers. “In the long run, larger elevators won’t be practical,” Shah said. “Precautions will be in place until a vaccine for COVID-19 is found.” Right now, he said, these precautions include ensuring good airflow in VT systems, properly screening building occupants and — where possible — integrating touchless solutions.

Returning to Normal: Timelines

Residential and Commercial Outlook

Posed by Ravi, the next question was whether panelists see reduced density due to COVID-19 resulting in a greater demand for space. The overall response was that the changes we are witnessing now are temporary, and the situation should revert to normal soon.

Quizzed by Ravi on the possibility of companies developing more commercial projects than residential ones, Dongre said he foresees residential development taking a pause and gaining momentum after some time. “The residential segment’s demand is related to people’s jobs and livelihoods,” he said.


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

Already, demand for lobby size has gone up in most projects. In the near future, it may increase further. — Shah “Commercial demand will remain; it may dip a bit but will soon revive.” Responding to the possibility of buildings going horizontal, Ram said he feels this could happen only in B- and C-grade cities if more The number of passengers on shopping center escalators will be restricted; photo by Albrecht Fietz viruses happen. When Ravi brought up from Pixabay. increased demand for escalators in these On the issue of floor space efficiency, Shah responded that cities, Kumaran W.R. pointed out that information-technology the question of how spaces are utilized is always asked of companies have set up campuses served by escalators in many architects. He observed: tier-2 and -3 cities. “It depends on demand,” he said. “Already, demand for lobby size has gone up in most projects. “Residential is not going to see any change. In a typical retail In the near future, it may increase further. The sizing of elevator floorplate, the zone close to the shopping outlets is where lobbies is done per usage. The COVID-19 crisis is not going to maximum demand happens, so we may need to reposition continue for eternity. There is a short-term gap, and, with those units. The level of sanitization will be important.” reduced population entering, it is not much of a challenge. Any Regarding Ravi’s query about possible stress on pricing and retrofit at a later date is not going to be possible. Tomorrow, a whether imports could be replaced by locally sourced new tenant may arrive and require a larger density, so one has equipment, Abichandani responded: to plan accordingly.” “I would definitely go for ‘Make in India,’ but that’s not 100% Raj said that in commercial spaces, the emphasis for the next possible now. Fifty to sixty percent of our components come several years will be on functionality and future readiness like from China or other countries. After a few years, when we make automation, smart offices and smart building concepts. more components locally, we can take another look. Once the Ravi then brought up questions on touchless elevator lockdown is over, this can be given impetus.” technology. According to Abichandani: In a similar vein, Jayakumar underlined that India is “The main question at the moment is managing buildings transitioning from a developing to developed economy. The with existing systems without spending money, then migrating “Make in India” initiative will find takers if there are quality to touchless. Touchless will be the future for new buildings. For products, he pointed out. existing properties, any small change in control or electric On the possibility of malls changing post COVID-19, Kumaran panels to make the system touchless is going to incur a cost. We W.R. opined that organized retail is at a very low percentage in don’t know how the market is going to behave once the India. “There is a lot of catching up to do for India,” he said. lockdown is over. If we have to go touchless, people have to “The way it is going to change is that we must look at it as an come up with innovative ideas. Lift manufacturers have to opportunity. People have already started discussing strategies.” introduce technology that is economical. Then, developers will The “new normal” will involve social distancing, touchless definitely adopt it.” solutions and increased cleanliness. Kumaran W.R. opined that touchless technology is wide-

Cutting Back on Frills? Ravi then posed the question of project specifications and cutting down on frills. Will elevators be one of the major amenities to go? Perhaps not, but Ram said common areas will see considerable impact. “Now, when I enter the lift, we make a queue,” Ram said. Allowing 40 people to stand in the lift lobby is not recommended with COVID-19, so the size of common areas may have to increase, he said. Dongre was of the same opinion. “The common areas, the way we group people together, will change,” he stated.

ranging. App-based systems, for example, have evolved and are necessity-based. He does not foresee touchless technology being used widely in retail. On how affordable it would be to go touchless, Raj shared that, in existing buildings, lease terms of two to three years are fixed, and tenants may ask for a reduction with the COVID-19 crisis. So, there is not much impetus for incorporating touchless but new build-to-suit properties will likely incorporate touchless panels. In multi-tenanted spaces, it will take time for Continued

• Issue 3, Volume 13 •


Blue skies over mid- and high-rise buildings in Bengaluru; photo by Irfan Sheriff from Pixabay

the technology to become viable in terms of both supply and servicing. Regarding this technology, Shah said: “If lift manufacturers embrace the innovation and navigate all the options, this technology is going to be in demand. Unfortunately, we don’t have domestic manufacturers that have destination control systems. We are relying on other countries like China and Switzerland. We need to consider cost and benefit. In overall construction cost, elevators account for just 2-3%. What impact is touchless or any other technology going to have on the total cost? Within the overall budget, it may be limited. We need to look forward to embracing this technology and be ready for it.” Shah drew attention to upcoming challenges like demand and shortage of labor, the need for new technologies, indigenization and investing in multiple locations for elevator manufacturing. Apart from addressing innovations, the usage of elevators could be monitored by leveraging the Internet of Things to determine the impact on design, speed and number of elevators. Finally, Raghunath posed the most critical question: “When do you think the industry will bounce back?” Raj responded that “the timeline is difficult to predict.” It will depend, he said, on the extent and duration of the pandemic. Since it is a discretionary expenditure, residential property will take a


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

backseat to other priorities. Once the pandemic ebbs, the affordable segment will see a revival immediately, while the luxury segment will take time, he said. A gated, mixed-use development that has all one needs within a relatively small distance will be a big draw. In 2021-2022, Raj projects, the market should bounce back much stronger. Referring to when the industry will bounce back as the “million-dollar question,” Abichandani agreed with Raj’s 2021-2022 projection. “It will happen when we have the vaccine and people have confidence in shaking hands and not getting coronavirus,” he said. The session concluded with Raghunath thanking the panelists for sharing relevant insights that would enable better understanding and cooperation between the real estate and VT industries, thereby facilitating a speedier recovery postCOVID-19.


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Returning After Crisis Richie Lobert (RL), director, LML Lift Consultants, shares workplace-reentry strategies in the COVID-19 era with your author (SSP). by Sheetal Shelar Patil

(l-r) Dean Morgan and Richie Lobert

SSP: Which workplace-reentry strategies does LML recommend, and are they relevant in India? RL: As COVID-19 restrictions ease, a number of workplacereentry strategies for lifts, escalators and moving walks can be implemented to help limit the spread of the virus. We consider these strategies relevant in any country. Additional cleaning and disinfection at appropriate intervals, in accordance with government guidelines, are recommended. These include cleaning lift and landing buttons and car operating panels, and escalator/moving walk handrails; installing disposable coverings on lift panels in cars, on screens and landing buttons; and installing hand-sanitizer stations in lobbies near escalators/ moving walks and other key areas. Additional measures include assigning staff to monitor passenger flow and prevent people from clustering, and providing personal protective equipment like gloves, personal hand sanitizers and face masks. On escalators and moving walks, installing antibacterial ultraviolet sanitation systems, signage and marking steps/pallets to indicate a minimum distance of 1.5 m (per Australian government guidelines; this may vary in other countries) is advisable. Companies may implement staggered start/ finish work times to reduce lift traffic during peak periods. Other measures include: ♦ Rotating in-office/remote work schedules to reduce building populations ♦ Reducing the number of passengers in lifts ♦ Programming destination-dispatch systems to allocate fewer passengers per car

♦ Where speed gates are integrated, increasing walkingdistance times and adjusting lift allocation numbers ♦ Separating stairways for either upward or downward movement SSP: As a vertical-transportation (VT) consultant, which challenges do you face in coming up with innovative solutions and reimagining usage procedures quickly in the unanticipated crisis? RL: Like many organizations, LML has much of its team working remotely. We’ve had many Zoom-based collaborations to look at ideas that may assist in limiting the spread of COVID-19 while using VT. As VT consultants, we feel responsible for coming up with ideas and investigating technologies available to assist our industry during these unprecedented times. To promote social distancing, we conceived and manufactured decals that have been installed in retail and office buildings. In some Australian passenger rail network stations, we installed gesture-controlled elevator call buttons. These buttons are easily retrofitted. To use them, simply swing your hand upward in front of the device to place an “up” call or downwards to place a “down” call. In the case of a two-stop lift, a common configuration in railway stations, a gesture call device is also fitted inside, making the entire process touchless and, therefore, a worthwhile consideration as part of any reentry strategy. For properties with more floors, we tested a voice calling unit (VCU) to use inside the car to register the destination floor.

The LML team outside their Melbourne headquarters


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •


About LML and Its Directors LML Lift Consultants was established in Melbourne, Australia, in 2013 by directors Richie Lobert and Dean Morgan. They have since expanded their team and, through offices in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, offer services throughout Australia and New Zealand. With more than 38 years’ experience in the VT industry, Morgan has worked for major global lift companies including Otis and Schindler. Lobert has a strong track record in delivering projects with a focus on the benefits delivered through new technologies. He has more than 25 years’ experience in a range of VT disciplines, including field technical support, sales and management with KONE, Otis and Schindler.

Examples of social-distancing decals LML conceived and manufactured for VT equipment

The VCU has a high voice-recognition rate and can work offline. We installed this technology for one of our national clients. Interestingly, with such a reduction in building populations in recent times, we have also had a number of clients implementing our independent equipment audits, taking advantage of lifts being less active. SSP: With social distancing becoming mandated and safety during elevator use having utmost priority, to what extent is the role of a VT consultant becoming more significant postpandemic? RL: We see the significance of VT consultants increasing after the crisis. As independent advisors to the industry, we have always considered it our role to keep clients aware of any relevant industry news or new technologies. This includes COVID-19 technologies and strategies post-pandemic. Going forward, we will likely see VCUs and gesture-controlled call buttons included in technical specifications. SSP: Do you see any scope for changes in the way lobby areas and VT are positioned within buildings and operated with advanced technologies? RL: We expect to see far more touchless technology incorporated into new buildings, including things such as Bluetooth apps, voice activation, remote call allocation, integration of speed gates with lifts, destination control systems (DCS), and facial and voice recognition.

SSP: Social distancing is expected to increase waiting time for elevators. How can this be managed effectively? RL: A recently announced social-distancing requirement in Australia for 4 m2 of space per person in lifts was reversed by Safe Work Australia. After it was announced, the requirement was viewed as creating havoc for office workers and was abandoned after pressure from landlords and property owners. The rule likely would have created major chokepoints for the returning workforce, potentially adding hours to trips. SSP: Which aspects are considered in VT modernizations, especially in the COVID-19 scenario? RL: In addition to touchless technology, it is also likely that many more modernization projects will be undertaken outside of normal business hours to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Lift contractors should practice good hygiene, use adequate PPE and practice good social distancing. Properties should also implement adequate cleaning and disinfecting regimes like those mentioned above. SSP: What is the scope for modernizing elevator lobbies in synchronization with elevators to reduce the pressure on VT? RL: This could include adding stairwells or escalators to assist traffic flow and reduce pressure on elevators, as well as the technologies mentioned above (Bluetooth, DCS). SSP: What are your views on the Indian elevator market? Which technology would be more suitable, useful or recommended, given its population? RL: The obvious consideration would be DCS technology to improve efficiency, subject to the results of traffic studies. To reduce interfloor traffic, another consideration may be to install internal stairwells, allowing lift systems to operate more efficiently.

• Issue 3, Volume 13 •



The Move, Hamstede’s first student-living project, is taking shape in Pune.



Hamstede Living Chief Projects Officer Suraj Bhatt (SB) explains the intricacies of the student-housing and coliving segments to your author (SSP).

by Sheetal Shelar Patil SSP: What has been the overall response to the student housing and coliving segments, and what is the outlook for these niche real estate categories? SB: In India’s major educational hubs, there is a big supplyand-demand imbalance in student housing. Few operators offer high-quality, international student accommodations to Generation Z customers. At the moment, this space is served by very few Indian companies. Hamstede Living Pvt. Ltd., with its brand, The Move, plans to meet this demand with its first student-living space in Pune. The facility is planned to rival any international one and set a standard for future purpose-built student housing (PBSH) properties. The coliving market in India has seen more traction in the past few years. Now, many brands operate in this domain. However, with the projection of 7 million migrant millennials


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

needing professionally managed space by 2023, a huge gap must be filled. High-quality coliving options have yet to make their presence felt countrywide. Bangalore has seen the most action, but other major cities, like Pune, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Gurgaon, have yet to see such products. With information-technology (IT) companies now promoting working from home (WFH), conventional providers of paying guest (PG) accommodations will be unable to provide the needed atmosphere for productive WFH. Coliving, with reliable internet, hygienic food on the premises, power backup, safety and security, will become necessities. In opting for coliving, an employee is assured to spend their WFH time productively. Employers are also assured their employees do not compromise on the safety, security and hygiene their office facilities used to provide. Large corporations may offer premium coliving

facilities as an employee perk. While COVID-19 has brought many challenges, it is also an opportunity for branded student housing and coliving facilities to establish themselves as safe cocoons in trying times. SSP: What are the key market drivers and decision influencers for these categories? What impact has COVID-19 had on them? SB: Proximity to one’s place of work is an important factor that influences the choice between student housing or coliving. Rent affordability is always an important factor. Research shows a customer is willing to pay at least 15% more for good coliving space. In cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi, that can be up to 30%. In Bangalore and Delhi, average salaries are higher, and the desire for quality living is greater. Post-COVID-19, with an unclear economic scenario and loss of jobs, the rental potential of these cities has and will come under stress. There will be a call for more conservative rent underwriting. When juxtaposed against

operating cost, this leads to stress on yields. However, once COVID-19 risks settle down and a vaccine becomes available, the sector will see a very strong bounceback. SSP: Why is it important to have organized options for sustainable community living? SB: The current student-housing and coliving market is dominated by PG accommodations that offer an occupant little besides an enclosed space. Millennials and members of Generation Z are the target customers for coliving and student housing, respectively. Both customer bases have a higher living standard than the general public. Generation Z is focused on brands that reflect their values and the fact they do not want the hassles of managing a house. Organized options fill the gap. A professionally managed, organized player will provide in-house laundry, generous internet bandwidth, power backup, hygienic cafeterias and kitchens, fitness areas, breakout spaces and social events. Residents do not deal with




Reception areas and elevators will be arranged with social distancing in mind.

• Issue 3, Volume 13 •


Reading lounge


Spaces are designed with Millennials and Generation Z in mind.

Reception area


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

Fitness center


• Issue 3, Volume 13 •


About Suraj Bhatt Hamstede Living Chief Projects Officer Suraj Bhatt has deep roots in the hospitality industry in India and beyond. He has performed due diligence on properties and facilitated the acquisition of many hotels in Australia and Europe. Prior to joining Hamstede Living, Bhatt was head of project management at InterGlobe Hotels. He played a key role in developing numerous hotels, including those under the Pullman, ibis and Novotel brands. Bhatt was part of the mergers-andacquisitions team that acquired the K+K Hotels group, consisting of 10 hotels spanning Europe’s most popular destinations.[1]

the hassle of water and electricity bills and enjoy an unlimited potential for networking. Technology will play a very important role in such facilities. Most organized players have in-house apps that provide seamless interaction with property managers. This helps fast-track answers to questions and enhances a hassle-free experience. It is important to understand how coliving is different from traditional PG space. Coliving provides curated spaces designed for community living, which has a tremendous impact on the social and mental wellbeing of occupants. SSP: What is the unique selling proposition of Hamstede’s offerings? SB: We have been focused on living up to the concept of community living and not compromising on common spaces in exchange for more room (hence more revenue). An important aspect of PBSH and coliving is it is very close to being a part of the service or hospitality industry. The occupant must experience community living to understand how coliving is different from branded, PG accommodations. Besides comfortable rooms, we design spaces to uplift occupants’ well-being and provide them with sufficient curated spaces to live, work, network, relax and move up in life. SSP: What are the significance and details of the elevators and escalators at Hamstede projects? SB: To create nice facilities, the size of the property has to be large. Hence, vertical transportation becomes a very important factor for efficient occupant circulation. Almost all our properties will have elevators as the central spine around which people will circulate. Hamstede is very particular about: ♦ Accessibility ♦ Fire and life-safety systems ♦ Elevator speed ♦ Elevator fire operation protocols ♦ Elevator integration with public-address and fire-alarm systems


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

Such considerations are not a challenge in build-to-suit properties. But, in some conversion properties, achieving the right elevator size becomes a challenge and needs careful consideration. We are also exploring options for access control to elevators that can lend itself to floor separation. Some coliving and student housing facilities will require boys’ and girls’ floors to be separate, so access needs to be controlled. As a COVID-19 mitigation measure, non-contact elevator panels are becoming a necessity. Bluetooth commands and holographic (instead of standard) call buttons are being evaluated. Maintenance of elevators is very important. The apartment maintenance company (AMC) is also a part of operational cost. Thus, it’s prudent to keep AMC and maintenance in mind when selecting elevators. SSP: What are the challenges and rewards of providing touchless or hands-free access using apps, barcode scanners, rotating doors and other such measures? SB: We do not see much challenge in providing touchless or hands-free building access. From day one, Hamstede has designed and planned properties with access controls in mind. Rotating doors, however, should be seen through the lens of whether a property is PBSH or coliving. Student housing can have significant student movement in and out of the property at particular times of day. In very large facilities, this may impede egress and ingress and create queues. This problem can be mitigated, if the budget allows, by having more rotating doors and turnstiles. It is very important to choose the right kind and number of access-control and management solutions by understanding the volume of traffic entering and exiting the property at any given time. Regarding touchless technology, its time has arrived due to COVID-19. We foresee it becoming part of the new normal. SSP: Do you see any changes in the way lobby areas, elevators and escalators are positioned and operated with advanced technology? SB: If there is a time to adopt touchless technology in elevators and escalators, it is now. We will see almost all elevators and lobby call buttons now having a touchless option and commands being managed by Bluetooth/holographic projection buttons/infrared activation. This also makes this space very interesting. The speed at which this technology is developing in the elevator space is worth emulating. SSP: Social distancing is a key aspect of curbing virus spread, but it increases wait time for elevators. How can this be managed effectively? SB: Unfortunately, with the number of elevators being constant, most users will experience increased wait times. Increased use of stairs may slightly balance this load. Operationally, properties will stagger timing to control crowd movement. For coliving and student-housing facilities, cafeteria times will be staggered and planned by floor, keeping elevator use in mind. After a vaccine is found and the world moves away from COVID-19, normalcy may resume, but touchless technology is here to stay.


[1] “K+K Sells European Portfolio to Highgate Hotels/Goldman Sachs Joint Venture,” Europe Real Estate, October 27, 2015.


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Team Touchless Omega is a pioneer in non-contact elevator calls and advocates for the “Make in India” initiative. by Sheetal Shelar Patil The father-and-son team of Kumar Desai, managing director, and Sameep Desai, CEO, leads Omega Elevators, an Ahmedabad-based manufacturer of elevator and escalator systems. Your author (SSP) posed questions to the Omega team (OE) on making elevators contactless and other initiatives. SSP: How do you see the process of making existing and new elevators contactless being implemented? What are the key challenges and opportunities? OE: Existing elevators can be made contactless easily, without any modifications/civil works, by simply integrating mobile technology with the existing elevator system. In new elevators, we can also have contactless buttons installed. These will operate at a distance of 20-50 mm, making the elevator operation totally touch-free. Yet, a long-term benefit is possible only when such technologies are adopted widely as a hygiene factor, regardless of the pandemic. SSP: Do you see developers opting for larger-capacity elevators or increasing the number of elevators in new projects due to social distancing norms as a result of COVID-19? OE: We have always advocated that a service elevator capable of transporting a stretcher be provided in every building, notwithstanding the current scenario. However, with operating pressure on developers, it is unlikely that they would opt for larger-capacity elevators or increase the number of elevators for new projects due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, an increase in the speed of elevators would cater to this aspect of social distancing. SSP: How should the ideal elevator requirement for a particular project be calculated in the present scenario? What are the parameters or processes followed by Omega?

(l-r) Kumar and Sameep Desai


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

OE: We have a time-study traffic analysis system on which the elevator requirement can be addressed. However, most of the time, we get this requirement from the architects and developers themselves. We also have a smart elevator Internet of Things (IoT)-based system that shows results based on dynamic data from lifts installed in the past. Hence, we would know the number of trips taken by the elevator between specific floors for specific days and times (weekdays and weekends, and peak hours and non-peak hours). We would also know the number of times the lobby operating panel and car operating panel buttons are pressed. We use this historical data to advise our clients on the size, speed and number of elevators that would suffice for their projects. SSP: How do you see the demand for elevators at different locations and in various market segments? Do you see more high rises coming up? OE: Land is and always will be a scarce commodity and, with the ever-increasing population, high rises are going to continue to increase. We also see more developments coming up in tier-2 and -3 cities.

Company Profile

For the past 35 years, Omega Elevators has manufactured vertical transportation in the form of lifts, escalators and parking solutions, with a global footprint. Omega exports lifts to the U.K., Germany, Sweden, Dubai, Uganda, Tanzania and Nairobi. Omega’s manufacturing facility and registered office are based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and the company has service centers and installations across major cities in India and abroad. Also, in line with “Make in India,” Omega is manufacturing 95% of its elevator/lifts components under one roof with modern equipment. Omega is working or has worked with government/ public-sector organizations including CPWD, NTPC, GAIL, ONGC, NHPC, BHEL, AAI, ISRO, BARC, RDSO, RITES, Indian Railway, PWD, AIR, AWHO, GHB, RHB, WBHB, HWPK, SBI, BSNL, SAIL, RBI, Kolkata Metro, NID, IIM Ahmedabad, Indian Oil, SSNNL, Rashtrapati Bhawan, and Bihar Vidhansabha & Secretariat Complex. It has also worked with corporate organizations, including Larsen & Toubro, Reliance, TATA Housing, LODHA Group, Zydus Cadila, H.N. Safal, B. Safal, Ganesh Housing, VOITH, DEEP Group, Embassy Group, JINDAL Power, BAPS, City Gold, India Bulls Real Estate, U.N Mehta Cardiology Institute, Matoshree Infrastructure, Swiss Care, PHOENIX, ACME Group and Simplex Projects.


Omega factory and test-tower facility in Ahmedabad

SSP: How has the Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA) impacted the demand for elevators in India, and to what extent are developers now paying greater attention to this aspect? OE: RERA is a great comfort for the end customers, and it will pave the way for organized players in the market. SSP: What are the challenges involved in modernizing or refurbishing elevators? Do you see this market growing faster, post-COVID-19? OE: Modernizing will be an area of focus post-COVID-19. There will be many unorganized players trying to get modernization jobs at cheaper rates. The end customer should be diligent and not compromise on safety aspects for discounted prices. Omega has worked with several reputable developers in Mumbai, like Nahar, Raheja, Lodha, etc. Completion of Lodha “The Park” for 79 floors and 5 m/s was special for us. SSP: What are your expectations from the government with regards to giving concessions, incentives or changes in policies to boost the real estate sector? OE: The construction industry will face an acute shortage of manpower for the next six months. The government should provide incentives and concessions to products that can introduce improvements in construction, like providing soft loans for procurement of such equipment that will not only provide better quality, but also help reduce the cost of the project by quickening it. SSP: What is Omega’s unique selling proposition? OE: Our biggest differentiator is that we manufacture all our products under one roof and do not deal with contract-based

installation. This gives us an advantage in timely delivery and timely installation. Secondly, we keep innovating and pioneering such concepts as touch-free elevator call systems and disinfection of elevator cabins with UV-C light. Thirdly — and, most importantly — we have systems in place for predictive and preventive maintenance, including smart elevator IoT-based monitoring in an effort to set a different standard of service. A breakdown complaint may very well be solved before the customer even realizes there was a breakdown.

Omega Elevators: Quick Facts ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Customer base of 35,000-plus 45,000-plus operational elevators 45 branches in India and abroad R&D facilities for vertical transportation 100% quality inspection and testing of all components 1,850-plus employees Prompt and satisfactory aftersales service ISO 9001:2015 and 45001:2018 certified A Star Status Holder Export House Registered with major government and public-sector undertaking companies ♦ Introduced the Smart Elevator LMS lift monitoring system, which watches over the functioning of the elevator 24/7, a touch-free elevator call system and a UV-C disinfection system

• Issue 3, Volume 13 •



Era of Change An expert discusses the effects of COVID-19 on the real estate and VT industries. by Yash Pandya Anil Dwivedi (AD), director, project management (mid-India) at Colliers International India, discussed anticipated high-rise trends in India with your author (YP). He considered how the COVID-19 pandemic could directly impact verticaltransportation (VT) requirements in residential and office buildings. YP: How wide a reach does this situation have? AD: The COVID-19 pandemic and resultant national lockdown have created ripples across all segments of life, business and industry in the country. It has brought our lives to a grinding halt, pushing us to rethink how we plan and build both interior spaces and high-rise buildings, both residential and office. In a post-COVID-19 era, public attitudes about health and building design seem bound to undergo a radical change. YP: How have work habits changed? AD: COVID-19 has transformed how we work around the world, ushering in telecommuting, distance learning and virtual events. With the rise of both self-imposed and mandated social distancing, we have seen a global turn toward remote work. In the past three months, our working culture has changed to a great extent. “Working from home” has become the need of the hour and the new normal. Companies have already started thinking about reducing desks and chairs and, in turn, office space. Multinational corporations like Google have started issuing separate funds to employees so they can establish the proper infrastructure to work from home. More attention will also be given to the arrangement of the home workplace. Spatial organization will change, with the home office no longer a desk with an office chair tucked into a corner of the living room or under the stairs. Now, it will be a completely separate room with large windows, blackout curtains and comfortable furniture. It will be technically equipped, well-illuminated and insulated from sound. YP: What new considerations will go into high-rise construction? AD: High-rise, densely populated residential and commercial buildings were designed to hold as many people as possible. Post-COVID, more importance will be given to a building’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. Air quality will be improved by installing higher-quality filters, and humidity levels will be adjusted. YP: What will architects, as well as building owners and managers, do to combat virus transmission? AD: More importance will be given to open and green areas. There will be a reduction of high-touch surfaces in buildings by installing voice- or motion-activated interfaces in elevators and


ELEVATOR WORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

In the future, there will be an increased focus on pandemicresistant building design.

other high-touch areas. Low-tech solutions, such as installing hand-washing stations outside all elevators and other hightouch areas, and engaging in social distancing practices, will be the norm. In the future, there will be an increased focus on pandemic-resistant building design. On the macro level, tier-2 and -3 cities will be made more walkable. They will strive for self-sufficiency, with all required amenities like hospitals, schools and supermarkets within the neighborhood. This will discourage people from traveling long distances to larger metro areas. YP: How will urban office space change? AD: Office space design will see a paradigm shift. Cramming into lifts and coworking spaces will be a distant memory. There will be a reversal in design to accommodate a minimum area per person in offices, and, to minimize overcrowding, a reduction in the maximum occupancy of lifts and lobbies. Contactless pathways will be designed so employees will rarely have to touch a surface to navigate the building. Lifts can be called from a smartphone, negating the need to press buttons, while office doors will open automatically using motion sensors and facial recognition. YP: Could the era of tall and supertall towers be coming to an end? AD: Inevitably, this situation could have an effect on the skyline. High-rise buildings will become more expensive to build and be less efficient. That could reduce the economic desirability for developers to build tall and supertall structures. YP: What does the future hold for elevators? AD: Elevators are the backbone that allowed high-rise buildings to become taller and more complex, making them highly efficient. Elevators have evolved over the centuries, from the first successful passenger lift ride in Manhattan in the 1800s to the installation of high-speed, high-capacity lifts. Roughly 18 million elevators are now running around the world. Without elevators, there would be no tall buildings. Post COVID-19, elevators will become one of many other spaces to incorporate social policing. As millions of people grapple with the health risks of “going up,” they are using


items like toothpicks, lighters and car keys to avoid contact with buttons. Under social-distancing guidelines, the maximum occupancy of a large, 21-person elevator car might be only four people. That’s a huge reduction in capacity. YP: How can capacity and distancing be controlled? AD: In a world where automation and optimization are prized, staff will be required to control the flow of passengers into elevator lobbies. Space utilization and the impact it will have on existing buildings will need to be rethought based on the new “acceptable personal space allowance” that VT design will have to accommodate. With advances in smart-building and smartphone technology, there will be a move to incorporate sensors/keyrings into security systems in residential buildings, which enables the system to understand when a resident is approaching and send an elevator to that level. Stairs may become a more prominent consideration. Per industry standards, if people work on the first floor of a building, 90% of them will walk up. On the second floor, it drops to 50%, and on the third, 25%. Above that, it’s elevator-only traffic. For tenants visiting multiple levels in commercial buildings, convenient-access stairs should be encouraged for their individual floors. Moving walks can be added, and better, more efficient design of lobby areas with easy access to VT should be planned. To be practical in terms of building larger buildings, the total elevator core area must be as small as possible. A fine balance between taking up space and achieving the highest level of elevator performance must be met. In very large buildings, double-deck elevators to increase capacity without taking up extra space will be considered. Future buildings will be designed to accommodate fewer people in the same footprint, with larger elevator cars to provide increased personal space. YP: What are your final thoughts? AD: The coronavirus has reminded us that, if we pay attention, we can see many challenges coming. After this crisis is over, we cannot let everything return to its prior state. We need to radically rethink our revenue and infrastructural processes for the future. This is an opportunity to reflect on the changing nature of work, what it means for traditional offices and how a new working world will translate to new, livable spaces. We need to be proactive — not reactive — and need to learn from this tragedy and find the silver lining.

In very large buildings, doubledeck elevators to increase capacity without taking up extra space will be considered.

About Anil Dwivedi Anil Dwivedi is an experienced real estate professional with nearly 30 years’ experience in India. He has managed projects across all asset classes from start to finish. Over three decades in the industry, he has led teams that delivered more than 30 million ft2 in sectors such as residential, commercial, hotels, institutions, retail, mixed-use and industrial.

Better, more efficient design of lobby areas with easy access to VT should be planned.

• Issue 3, Volume 13 •



Pandemic Drives Demand Otis India’s recent initiatives to manage new challenges are discussed. by Sebi Joseph As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times, we are seeing customers seek solutions driven by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Touchless technologies are especially attractive options in this environment. One example of touchless technology is the Otis eCall™ app. The app enables passengers to use their cell phones as their personal elevator call buttons and call an eCall-equipped elevator when approaching it. This helps minimize use of public-access elevator buttons. The app also gives building managers the flexibility to provide easy access for passengers. Additionally, a Bluetooth-enabled version of eCall is being rolled out. This is designed to offer passengers a more seamless experience within their respective buildings. Beyond eCall, Otis offers its CompassPlus® destinationdispatch system. Instead of using standard hall-call buttons, passengers enter their specific floors in the Compass fixture. The system assigns passengers traveling to nearby floors to the same car. This minimizes the number of stops per trip, reduces car crowding and decreases travel times. CompassPlus can limit the number of passengers assigned to each elevator, allow for automatic operation to predefined floors and can be used with eCall. The industry has been racing to adopt Internet of Things (IoT) technology. And, it seems that emerging from COVID-19 is only going to accelerate this digital transformation. Our ONE™ promotes proactive and remote service that can, in turn, help reduce the number of in-person service calls. The company’s latest remote-monitoring solution uses IoT technology to provide real-time transparent information, proactive communication in the event of an issue and help in preventing shutdowns with predictive insights. In addition to our touch-free technology offering, we also offer elevator and escalator purification products and services for customers. Examples include: ♦ Elevator purification fans: Elevators can be retrofitted with fan technology that can inactivate microorganisms and filter dust within cabs. The fan integrates an ion generator and ultraviolet (UV) lamp to kill germs and filter dust within the cab. ♦ Handrail sanitizers for escalators: Fitted on handrails, the module is designed to remove germs using UV light. We also have seen customers interested in automatic-door options, as they eliminate the need to open and close doors manually and promote lessened physical touch. Bolstered by the pandemic, we also expect to see customers turn to energysaving and energy-efficient technologies like Gen2.


ELEVATORWORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

Otis India offers a Gen2 modernization package, MOD. This is a green modernization package for the Indian elevator market based on the technology of Otis’ flagship product, Gen2. Apart from upgrading the elevator, the new Gen2 MOD package will bring elevators in need of renovation up-to-date with safety, comfort and environmental standards, as well as enhance the passenger experience. MOD employs a smart-retention program in which reusable parts from the older system are retained in the new one. This further aids in minimal interference with the structural part of the building, reduces downtime and minimizes inconvenience to residents.

Elevator and lobby in rose gold

Otis’ Aura package

Sebi Joseph is the president of Otis India.


Clean, Contactless Products sanitize touchpoints or make vertical transportation completely touch-free.

Escalator Handrail Sterilization System

New Modular Elevator Line

U.K.-based Aseptic Ltd.’s ClearWin is a self-powered escalator/ moving-walk handrail sterilizer. Intended to sanitize a variety of pathogenic bacteria and viruses users may leave on the handrails after using them, the product is said to eliminate

Schindler launched its new modular elevator generation in June. The models, Schindler 1000, Schindler 3000 and Schindler 5000, include lower CO2 emissions, “touchless technology, advanced connectivity and additional digital services,” the company added. Its goals are to provide a more seamless and interactive user experience and improve the way elevators look and feel, while giving architects increased design freedom and providing building owners with real-time performance tracking, adaptive maintenance and touchless transit management with Schindler PORT. Common existing touchless solutions, such as gesture-controlled landing operating panels and an interface that allows users to remotely interact with the operating panel with the myPORT smartphone app, are included. The 1000 is for low- to mid-rise residential buildings, the 3000 is for flexibility for use in a wide range of buildings, and the 5000 is for faster handling times for higher passenger volumes with a focus on ride quality. Schindler has begun releasing the systems globally, starting with Asia and Europe.

99.99% of harmful surface germs by utilizing UV-C wavelengths. It fits on the vertical end of a unit’s handrail to offer continuous disinfection. Features include the ability to install it while the escalator/moving walk is running, light weight, no passenger slowdown and a lamp life estimated at 10,000 hr.

“The elevator can now easily be used as an infotainment platform,” according to Schindler.

They are already available in Australia, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Continued

• Issue 3, Volume 13 •



Handrail Sanitization

Schindler India has introduced Schindler Handrail Sanitization Solutions to provide hygiene protection for passengers via continuous and automatic surface disinfection of bacteria, parasites and viruses. Its Handrail Ultra UV device is designed to disinfect escalator and moving walk handrails. “Helping prevent the spread of viruses and providing safe travel for passengers,” Schindler says, it can be added to both new and existing installations. Its germicidal UV-C LED light irradiates the handrails at only 15 mm, which the company says ensures bacteria and viruses are killed. The device is installed inside the escalator or moving walk. It utilizes the circular

motion of the handrails to automatically disinfect them as they circulate. Ashok Ramachandran, president, Schindler India & South Asia, said: “Our nation is fighting back in every way possible, and we believe, that in trying times like these, every bit counts. We are actively monitoring the situation and taking all the necessary measures to ensure everybody is safe and healthy, as safety matters the most. Our step to develop handrail sanitization solutions is part of our endeavor to provide user-friendly solutions to our customers, while keeping their health and safety the highest priority.”

The Ultra UV PRO includes a second UV-C device to improve disinfection efficiency.

“Sparshless” Panels

Techmax Solutions has launched Sparshless, a touch-free lift panel designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The exterior unit can be installed near the existing elevator unit’s lobby operating panel. To call the elevator, the user waves a hand below the Sparshless (a name formed from the Hindi word “sparsh,” meaning “touch”) hall unit. The Sparshless caroperating panel (COP) can be installed near the elevator’s existing inside panel. Here, the user simply points a finger from a distance of 15-20 mm. Sparshless does not interfere with the existing elevator panels, which continue to be operational by the regular touch method. The company said it is compatible with any elevator and available in 14-, eight- and four-button touchless COPs.


ELEVATORWORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •


Touchless Solutions

Pune-based Inditech Electrosystems Pvt. Ltd. manufactures electronics solutions for OEMs. It has three new pandemic-related products: 1) Universal Touchless Pads is a patented technology that features call activation from 20 mm away, false-callcancellation technology, auto-standby mode, and no impact from humidity and temperature. It has support for up to 100 stops. 2) QR Code System for Lifts supports up to 128 floors, has touchless operation, works in simplex and duplex mode, and has various reporting systems and cloudbased operating. 3) Mobile App for Home Lifts is proposed for home lifts up to 5 floors and works on secure Wi-Fi.

Sample screen of Nexa’s NEeRP software

Updated ERP Application

Nexa Software has unveiled its newest version of Nexa Elevator ERP (NEeRP), a web-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) application designed to help elevator companies carry out their day-to-day flow of activities. Umesh Joshi, managing partner and director of business development at Pune-based Nexa, said the new version’s “user-friendly [interface] enhances minimum input, maximum output technologies,” offering centralized control of resources and business. Its automation feature, he said, saves time and manual work with online quotation generating. A mobile NEeRP app will soon be available, he said, to manage the service/ maintenance module of the business. It will allow companies to add lifts for service, employee details and work assignments, and it generates various reports to track work, both completed and scheduled. These functions, Joshi said, will help elevator companies better manage employees, saving time and other resources. In addition, images can be attached to files to help track the status of lifts. Future versions of NEeRP will bring new functionalities and features, Joshi said, including integration of the NEeRP software with the mobile app. Continued


Sanitizing Solutions

thyssenkrupp Elevator (India) has launched elevator and escalator sanitizing solutions. These include an air-purification solution, an infrared thermal camera and an aerosol disinfectant solution. Manish Mehan, CEO, thyssenkrupp Elevator India, added: “We are also developing various. . . touchless elevator calling solutions, such as a proximity-sensor-based solution, QR-codebased solution and Bluetooth-based solution. By developing these multiple solutions, we are trying to cater to the diverse requirements of our customers. “Our ultraviolet (UV) disinfection and nano-photocatalysttechnology-based air-purification solution eliminates up to

99.99% of airborne pathogens. This option is available for most of our cabins as a straightforward upgrade of existing airconditioning circuits or as a quick-to-install independent air-purification system. One of our cabin wellness solutions is an unobtrusive infrared thermal camera, which monitors each passenger’s body temperature as they enter the cabin. This triggers alerts that can also enable building management to track and notify passengers who may be unwell. Additionally, our aerosol disinfectant dispenser can be programmed to operate during working hours to sanitize the elevator cabin. By regularly delivering a safe antiviral and antibacterial spray, a clean and secure environment for passengers can be maintained at all times.”

A high-intensity UV sanitizing unit automatically sanitizes the entire handrail each time it passes by.

Contactless Call Booking

Johnson Lifts has introduced EyeRIS, a smartphone app that allows users to call a lift and ride to their destinations without touching the lift’s buttons. Executive Director V. Jagannathan, noting the current focus on public health, said EyeRIS “allows for users to have a contactless lift usage experience, crucial in these times when COVID-19 is forcing us to look at our lives differently.” Once the app is installed, it connects users’ smartphones to the lift system via QR code technology, and the users operate the lift by tapping the buttons on the phone’s screen. The user need only indicate “Present Floor” and “Destination Floor.” When the lift arrives, the user steps into the car and is automatically taken to the destination floor.


ELEVATORWORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •




Unlike other solutions, don’t waste your time in scanning the code to operate the lift.

No need to have Internet Connection Again...! Time is precious. Why do you need Internet to operate the lift ?

Just take out your Mobile as you approach the lift and operate it ! Your existing elevators can be easily converted to touch-less

“One Stop Solution for Lift Manufacturers” 9881465792

• Issue 3, Volume 13 •


SOURCE DIRECTORY This section serves as a resource for the industry and consists of current Elevator World India advertisers and their website or email addresses. For detailed information on each company, please visit Contact Anitha Raghunath at or T. Bruce MacKinnon at for more information.




JUPITER Website:



APSON INC. Website:












Advertisers Index AFAG Messen und Ausstellungen...........................................................5 ARKEL ELECTRONIC INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED....................................9 Bharat Bijlee Ltd...............................................................................................21 Blain Hydraulics GmbH...............................................................................11 Canny Group Co., Ltd...................................................................................57 Gefran Drives and Motion S.R.L.............................................................25 Inova Automation Pvt Ltd............................................................. Cover 3 Inoxcolorz Pvt Ltd..............................................................................................1 Johnson Lifts Pvt Ltd........................................................................ Cover 2 Jupiter Enterprises.........................................................................................33 Marazzi (Jiangsu) Elevator Guide Rails Co., Ltd............................61 Montanari Giulio & C. Srl............................................................................29 Monteferro India Guiderails and Elevator Parts Pvt...................67 Omega Elevators – India................................................................ Cover 4 Physical Measurement Technologies.................................................39 Sharp Engineers..............................................................................................47 Sicor Engineering India Pvt Limited.......................................................7 Tectronics Engineers.....................................................................................19 Virgo Communications & Exhibitions Pvt. Ltd..............................85 WITTUR Elevator Components India Pvt. Ltd................................77 Ziehl-Abegg SE................................................................................................15


ELEVATORWORLD India • 3rd Quarter 2020 •

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