Modernise your elevators for a competitive edge
Australia has experienced significant growth in the number of new commercial office buildings in our cities in recent years. As part of these developments, the latest state-of-the-art elevator systems have been installed. These systems are moving people more efficiently than ever before and providing building owners with a vastly improved environmental footprint.
The elevators are also providing new buildings with a point of difference over existing buildings that haven’t yet upgraded their systems through a modernisation project.
Building owners need to be aware that when retaining and attracting tenants, a modern, state-of-the-art elevator system may be a deciding factor in a leasing decision.
To compete with new buildings that are entering the market, it is crucial that existing buildings keep pace with the latest vertical transportation solutions that are being offered.
Typically, the major objective for commercial buildings is to attract and retain tenants. Implementing the latest vertical transportation solutions is a key way to reposition an existing building to achieve this.
Assess your equipment
For building owners considering a modernisation project, but unsure whether they should commit to the investment or not, the first step to take is to consult their service provider about the process and the possible outcomes.
Your service provider will undertake an assessment on how your building currently performs under Property Council of Australia (PCA) guidelines, and then outline how it will perform if a next generation system is installed.
By undertaking this assessment, property owners may find that their building is capable of moving up to a higher building grade under PCA guidelines, enhancing the structure’s ability to attract and retain tenants.
The assessment will also highlight if it is possible for the building to lift its NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) or Green Star rating by improving how it uses energy. For example, the implementation of a modern power drive system will improve energy usage substantially, and potentially enhance its performance under these reputable ratings systems.
Investing in modernisation
If an investment decision is made, owners should then ensure that their service provider is taking a complete life cycle approach to the modernisation project. This means that the service provider is involved in every step of the process, from design through to commissioning.
Implementation and commissioning are critical parts of the project life cycle. They set the foundation for the system’s future sustainability and reliability, as well as its ability to operate optimally over the long term and to a client’s satisfaction.
A correctly resourced implementation plan is fundamental to a successful transition from modernisation through to commissioning,
tenant occupancy and defects liability. It is imperative that the service provider and key stakeholders develop an implementation plan that ensures the systems are operating as expected and that users are trained in their use.
A basic modernisation concept is subdivided into separate individual steps with clear boundaries. This allows building owners to plan the scope of the modernisation phases and their chronological sequence in advance, which suits project scheduling and financial planning.
The phases may involve replacing elements, such as the old control system with a new conventional or state-of-the-art destination-dispatch system, the obsolete drive system with the latest ecological technology, or the direct current motor with a more efficient AC motor.
The key stakeholders involved in the process include: building/facility manager, occupants, visitors, security and the concierge/reception.
Enhanced user control
Once a building owner makes the decision to modernise its elevator systems the benefits are generally numerous.
The latest destination control systems now being implemented have developed significantly over past generations. In particular, they have enhanced the mobility of building inhabitants, enable the service to become more personalised and play a greater role in controlling access within buildings.
Behind the latest solutions there will be a powerful software system that uses information to guide and transport people quickly and safely to their individual destinations, communicating with them via the device.
These systems, such as Schindler Lifts’ PORT Technology, serve as a portal to communicate with building occupants. They provide a range of command and communication functions that provide continuous service.
A console to control the system will usually be mounted to the wall or installed with a freestanding pedestal to provide easy access for users and facility managers.
Improved environmental performance is another key benefit of an elevator modernisation project.
New technologies aim to meet today’s environmental challenges by better managing trips made by elevators, so that passengers are transported in the most efficient way possible.
The latest equipment is also designed to use a reduced level of power consistent with the features they can now offer.
For example, all of the elevators in a building have traditionally been in operation during off-peak times, meaning they will do many trips to transport few passengers.
Modern elevator technology avoids this low-efficiency outcome by allowing for average acceptable waiting times to be defined for specific buildings.
Modern AC drives are now available with technology that delivers significant energy savings. During light elevator loads on ascent or heavy loads on descent, the latest drive systems even regenerate the energy back into the building’s electric system, where it can be used to power the lighting, air-conditioning or other equipment.
Since the drives generate less heat, additional energy savings are achieved through reductions in machine room cooling requirements.
Today, it is standard for manufacturers to design all new products with a better ecological performance than their predecessors. By applying innovative energy-saving technology as part of a modernisation project, a building owner can markedly reduce the energy costs of a building’s elevator system.
Introducing PORT Technology
Elevator systems for commercial buildings are being taken to the next level with their Personal Occupant Requirement Terminal (PORT) Technology.
The PORT Technology is an intelligent transit management elevator system, which features energy-saving ‘smart transport’ capabilities and can be programmed to analyse, predict or meet individual passenger needs.
It can be installed in any new or existing building, be it a high-rise skyscraper, office tower, hotel or education building. PORT Technology offers the following benefits:
● mobility solutions: from predictive call entry to touch-less operation
● personalised service: PORT Technology allows for individual profiles, which provide flexibility and a unique personal service, and
● access control: PORT Technology plays a significant role in managing and controlling technology.
For more information about PORT Technology, contact Schindler Lifts Australia’s call centre on 131 874. Written by Peter Foster, national sales manager – Modernisation at Schindler Lifts Australia.