A simple elevator button panel from phoenix modular elevator.

All Eyes Are On Your Fixtures

interior-elevoatr-car
A clean professional look is often warranted.

In a CNN online article about boutique hotels, the focus was on impressive finishes and features of various boutique hotels around the world. The story highlighted several pieces that made up the architectural design and set the hotels apart, enhanced the experience and told visitors exactly what the hotel is all about.

For instance, in the article it shows the lobby of the Hotel Vagabond in Singapore. It is outfitted with several imposing pieces, including a golden elephant “hoisting” up the main elevator. The work was designed by artist Franck Le Ray and his artistic ability certainly added a unique touch to the lobby. It gives the visitor’s eye plenty of opportunities to remain busy while waiting patiently for the elevator. Beyond that, it lets you know precisely where you are, in a unique place that is fun and exciting. Cladding the hoistway with the impressive sculpture was certainly a departure from the ordinary, but the lesson learned should go deeper.

The lesson is not about putting a massive pachyderm in your lobby at all, but instead forces the question “What message do the elevator fixtures, hall calls, car interior and hoistway finishes say about the building you are in?” Most likely, if you are reading this blog post, you are not in a Singapore hotel, but that should not prohibit you from thinking about the message your elevators give to visitors. It is important because the one place that you know for sure people will look in your building, beyond almost anywhere else, is the elevator and its fixtures.

Think about it. You go through the lobby with your eyes darting all over the place. You are taking in the visual cues from the front desk to the lobby furniture, but then all that visual stimulus stops when you press the elevator button.  You look down at the button, give it a gentle poke and your eyes move immediately to the floor indicator. Unless interrupted, it generally stays there until the elevator arrives. You then walk into the elevator car, taking in the look and feel, and again your eyes shift to the floor indicator light. That’s a lot of time and opportunity to tell people about your organization by the look of the car and the fixtures. Sometimes the elevator conveys a professional feel with a clean, simple, efficient buttons and displays. Other times, something more important is warranted.

The same is true with the hoistway. If the elevator is on the outside of the building, it should enhance or at least work with the architectural vision of the building. If the elevator is a free standing element of the lobby, it has to be carefully integrated with the interior design.

Fortunately, if you are thinking about a new elevator, Phoenix Modular Elevator has a solution that is right for you. We have flexibility to make architectural design easy with a hoistway that can be clad in any material you need, even a golden elephant. Also, the interior of the elevator car can be custom made, from standard laminates, stainless steel to unique coverings such as barnwood or any combination of the three.  The fixtures can also be any style or type available, from an old fashioned look to modern. This will help your architect design the impact you are looking for.

From simple, off-the-shelf elevators to one of a kind masterpieces, we can accomplish anything you desire. Your building lobby may not need a golden elephant, but never let limited options prevent you from that if it is your dream.

The fastest installing elevator begins with a quick quote.
To get an elevator start here with a quick quote!

 

cali-3

Lightening the Architectural Load

california-architectBeing an architect is one of the most demanding occupations in existence.  Years of study, combined with formal training and on the job experience, is required. Added to the mix is the pressure of perfection coupled with a demand for creativity. Sometimes there seems like very few ways for architects to escape the woes, stresses and strains of the occupation they have chosen when working on a project.

One solution to lighten this load is to consider modular construction for some project building components. Oftentimes, modular solutions are easily incorporated into drawings and plans with drag and drop capabilities. Modular elevators fall into this category, as they provide a fast, simple solution for vertical transportation, as well as a flexible hoistway  and car design.

claifornia-architect-2In this picture of a medical center in California, the focus is on the elevator hoistway’s exterior design. It is clad with architectural metal wall panels that give it a professional, cutting edge look that matches the rest of the building perfectly. The hoistway was able to easily fit within the architect’s vision, one which allows the elevator to enhance, rather than disrupt, the building design.

In addition, there is flexibility in placement. Modular elevators can be placed on the exterior or interior of a building or even be free-standing in an atrium. The possibilities are truly endless.

To make placement of the elevator as painless as possible, most modular component companies provide drawings that can easily be placed into project drawings. This was true in the example project. Not only was the architect able to drag and drop the hoistway details into the project plans, but the machine room drawings were also available.

While the job of an architect is filled with angst, tests, demands and pains not associated with many other occupations, there are some technologies that help lighten that burden just a little bit.

The fastest installing elevator begins with a quick quote.
To get an elevator start here with a quick quote!
cranes-installed-sm

New Location – Get an Invite to the Grand Opening and Tour

Usually, this blog is all about the application and use of modular elevators as a fast, easy solution for multi-story structures.  However, every once in awhile, you have to blow your own horn. So here we go! As of January 1, 2017, Phoenix Modular Elevator has a brand new location!

 

last-truck-leavingAs most of you that follow our Facebook page or Twitter account  know, we have been working over the past several months to upgrade our capabilities through an improved production facility, and it has finally taken place.

For nearly 20 years, we have been assembling modular elevators out of an old shoe factory in the middle of Mt. Vernon, Illinois. While historic, this building was far from ideal. It was a multi-story structure with various components of a completed quality elevator built in several locations throughout the building. It was old and drafty to say the least, and a real pain for those that delivered our elevators across the US and Canada. Backing into our depot from a narrow city street was more than an inconvenience, it was a struggle. Also, the old plant limited our volume because of the size of our factory floor.

Our new 25,000 square foot factory is twice as large as our old building, which not only gives us more room to work, but also provides a more efficient production layout. All production will take place on one floor, meaning no more shuffling of hoistways and elevator cabs up and down floors. Completing multi-tower elevators will be easier and will also allow us to mass produce elevators faster for customers that want a large quantity of elevators delivered at the same time.

 

eterior-new-plantThe new location is located in a recently opened industrial park at 4800 Phoenix Drive, still in Mt Vernon, Illinois. It is right at the crossroads of Interstates 57 and 64, making delivery to both coasts and Canada easier.

While we are already up and running, we will be hosting a grand opening and factory tour in the Spring when the weather is a bit better. During the tour, we will be demonstrating how we make modular elevators and what makes them safe and fast to install. We will have personnel available to answer any of your questions regarding elevators and what makes modular elevators the best solution for most building projects. We want you to come and celebrate with us. Click the link below to get your invitation.

Click Here!!!! if you want to get an invitation!

first-pres-2

How a Church Tackles Stairs

churchRev. Stan Martin and Elder Roy Aarons had a problem at the First Presbyterian Church in Centralia, Illinois: 14 concrete steps. Those 14 steps lead into the sanctuary and make it difficult and, in some cases, impossible for older members and visitors to take part in services and events regularly offered by the church.  As a very active part of the community it serves, the church knew a permanent solution was needed to solve the stair issue.

However, possible fixes were limited, as the church is a historic building. The congregation was founded before the Civil War in 1856 and the current building had the cornerstone laid sometime in the 1919. Defacing a historic, nearly 100 year old building in the middle of Centralia wasn’t a viable alternative.

first-pres-2Another problem was the many narrow stairways throughout the inside of the church. They simply could not accommodate stair lifts, and the church leaders felt that the stigma that comes with stair lifts would cause people to avoid them. The church did have an external chair lift, but parts became increasingly difficult to find, repairs became more frequent, and the church felt it was necessary to post a person to help with operation. These factors were getting in the way of consistently using the lift. A ramp to the front door was also considered but ruled out as a viable option. To comply with code requirements, Elder Aarons estimated that the ramp would have to “circle the building” to follow all the rules. Not only would that be an inconvenience, but it would also detract from the overall look of the building.

The solution to the problem was Phoenix Modular Elevator. PME was able to provide a 2000 lb capacity, ADA/wheelchair approved, commercial-quality elevator to meet the needs of the church. The elevator complies with all applicable codes and will be safe for operation for those that are wheelchair bound or unable to navigate the steps. The elevator buttons will be at the proper height and they will not have to provide extra help for operation. Rev. Martin hopes that the elevator will allow wider access to the church: “There are people in our community that do not attend church because of steps. The elevator will make us accessible for anyone.” The elevator will ensure there is little interruption to their weekly schedule of services, meetings and Bible study, as anyone who wants to attend will now have full access.

The elevator will have the ground floor entrance facing the parking lot and it will reach two levels within the church. One will access the lower level, where classrooms and a fellowship area are located, while the other stop will access the second floor, reserved for additional classrooms, sanctuary and the church office. The elevator will be set exterior to the church, and the completed hoistway will be clad in brick to match the rest of the church so as not to detract from the look of the historic building.

Once the elevator pit is poured and openings for the stops are made, the elevator will be craned into place and be fully functioning in less than a week, ready for state inspection. To help keep costs low and within the church’s budget, an existing room in the basement will be converted into the machine room that will house the controller, hydraulic pump and tank.

The completed unit will be installed sometime in November and the public is invited to see an elevator lifted by crane and dropped into place. It is a faster, easier way to meet the needs of not only this church, but any church looking for a way to improve accessibility and tackle the problem of stairs.

center-grove

Phoenix Modular Elevator Scores a Touchdown

centergroveCenter Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana, wanted to make a big splash for their home opener. To do so, they planned to debut the Ray Skillman Stadium, a brand new, state of the art football and track facility that was to be a point of pride for the high school and community.

The problem? As kickoff loomed near for the Center Grove Trojans, one piece of the plan was still needed: the elevator. This was a crucial piece of the project, as the elevator was required for access to the two-story press box. A stick-built elevator was not a viable alternative, as building the hoistway from the ground up and installing the necessary elevator components would have takes months to complete. A faster solution was needed.

Phoenix Modular Elevator was that solution. The elevator was completed on time as an important part of a stunning project that included a new field, stands, additional buildings and a two-story press box. With less than a week before the opening kickoff, Phoenix Modular Elevator was able to ship the elevator, where it was quickly craned into place and installed in time for the big home opener.

The elevator installed at Center Grove had a 68′ hoistway with a modular machine room and an ADA and stretcher-compliant elevator car with 3500 lb capacity. The elevator also had three stops, one at ground level and one stop each for the two-story press box. Total travel was just under a total of 48′. The elevator was propelled by a two-stage in-ground hydraulic jack, chosen for its cost effectiveness and ability to move the unit smoothly and quickly to the top of the press box.

The key to the fast completion of this and other projects is the difference between a stick-built elevator and a Phoenix modular elevator. A stick-built elevator of equal height and distance of travel would have taken months to complete, as the hoistway would have to be built onsite and then the elevator components would have to be installed in the vertical hoistway. The Phoenix solution allows modular elevators to be manufactured horizontally in a factory, where onsite job conditions and weather aren’t a factor.

Phoenix Modular Elevator is used to a making elevators easy and quickly to meet the needs of clients in a time schedule pinch, and we are happy to report the Center Grove project was no exception.

 

 

Fixed Morthland Roof

The Challenge – Retrofit

The Challenge

Retrofit elevator projects are common for Phoenix Modular Elevator. However, the challenge in this case was to build and install a durable retrofit custom elevator in the middle of an existing five-story building quickly.

Fixed Morthland Install
The purpose of the elevator was to increase accessibility for students, faculty, staff and visitors to Morthland College. It was very important for college that the project to be completed as fast as possible so there would be minimal interruption between semesters and at a reasonable cost.
Also, durability was a major concern. As the elevator would be open to the public, including to students it had to be tough. With full access granted to everyone use would be high during semesters so it had to be ready to take the rigors of a lot of use.

The Solution

The Phoenix Modular Elevator team met with the Morthland personnel and discussed the goals and needs of the project. They then went to work with the goals in mind to produce the solution they needed.

Fixed Morthland TurnLike most projects the Morthland elevator was created with a frame of durable 4×4 inch steel beams. Once the frame was welded, aligned, squared and plumbed, it was covered in fire-rated drywall. What makes Phoenix Modular Elevator so unique is that the elevator is constructed horizontally and the hoistway can be rotated so the entire project can be worked on safely.

The elevator doors and frames were then put in place and the internal workings of the elevator were installed and aligned. This means that the guide rails will be set up properly as they are easily accessed for inspection during the build. Unlike the out of date method of building a hoistway on a job site and then putting all the parts together from the inside vertically, we build ours to be easily rotated. One of the final steps is the insertion of the elevator car, final wiring, testing and inspection.

Of course prior to the final placement a pit area needed to be prepped. For this particular project a single in-ground hydraulic jack was used. When the pit floor was poured anchor Fixed Morthland Jackbars were placed in the corners for the completed elevator and hoistway and a hole was left in the middle of the pit for drilling the in-ground jack hole. The hole was drilled, lined and the jack was put into place. The lining of the hole is crucial as it protects against possible future leaks of hydraulic fluid. Once all the preparation was completed, the entire finished elevator was lowered down the hoistway through the roof into the pit.

This project was completed quickly as requested. From the time we received the approved plans the elevator was built in our factory in less than eight weeks, then transported to the main building on campus and install in less than one week.  Phoenix Modular Elevator has the shortest lead time of any commercial grade elevator. Also, the design was durable and we were able to complete the project under budget.

Groundbreaking 1

Groundbreaking Success

Groundbreaking 1

The groundbreaking was a tremendous success! We were joined by dignitaries from the Jefferson County Development Corporation, Wohltman Construction, Jefferson County Board, the city of Mt. Vernon, US Representative Mike Bost’s office and Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. The heavy equipment is already moving dirt and we should be in our new location by mid December.

Phoenix Modular Elevator president Allison Allgaier said a few words about how modular elevators work and why they are the best alternative for new, modular and retrofit projects. She also thanked all those that have played a part in the new building.

Groundbreaking 9

Phoenix Modular Elevator is the first occupants of the new industrial park in Mt Vernon, Illinois and soon the field behind her will have a brand new manufacturing facility that will double the size of the current factory and be more efficient.

A big thank you to all those that made this project possible.

 

New Facility 1

Phoenix Modular Ground Breaking Announced

New Facility 1

Phoenix Modular Elevator (PME) is set to break ground on their new production facility in Mt. Vernon, Illinois on August 24, 2016 at 11:30AM.  Phoenix Modular Elevator and dignitaries representing the city, Jefferson County Development Corporation and Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce will be on hand to officially begin the project. This means that the first tenant of the new industrial park is ready to begin construction.

The new 25,000 square foot manufacturing plant and ground breaking will be located in Mt. Vernon, south of Highway 15 and west of Interstate 64, at the end of a temporary road that has been constructed for the project off of Davidson Avenue to the west.

Phoenix Modular Elevator has outgrown their current location in an old shoe factory. The new manufacturing site will increase productivity and efficiency by being larger and keeping all of the production on one level. In the current location, manufacturing is in several separate areas and on two different floors. The new larger location and design of the plant will allow the assembly and manufacturing area to be more organized and to flow more smoothly.

PME is an elevator manufacturer that produces high-quality, commercial modular elevators. A modular elevator is comprised of a steel hoistway with the elevator car and components completely pre-wired and installed inside. They are manufactured horizontally, trucked to jobsites, craned into place and installed in less than a week. This makes PME elevators the fastest installing elevator available. The units are found across the United States and Canada and used in schools, medical facilities, universities, hotels, stadiums, amusement parks, office buildings, government buildings and churches. Phoenix Modular Elevator has been constructing modular elevators since 1995.

Office Spaces wants a Phoenix Modular Elevator.

Nationally Televised Program to Feature Phoenix Modular Elevator

office-spacesMt. Vernon, IL/August 4, 2016 – A nationally broadcast television program will feature Phoenix Modular Elevator (PME). Television producers for Office Spaces™, a program on Lifetime® Television and airing  on Fox Business channel, contacted the Mount Vernon, Illinois, company. They made arrangements for videotaping the production and placement of one of their modular elevators.

The producers were looking for an elevator product to be featured in a current building project that would install quickly and meet the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations. Production and installation will begin filming in late summer or early fall and will be broadcast near the end of the year.

Office Spaces is solutions oriented and reveals the step-by-step transformation of an office space.  The program features various products and services used in the transformation and illustrate how they fit in as part of a major renovation of an office building. It is hosted by combined-fox-lifetime-smallKalyn Rothaus, a commercial interior designer for the building project, as well as the project manager.

Kalyn and her team have already transformed much of the interior of the building project; however, transportation to the second floor was still needed – until she found Phoenix. “I am excited to be working with PME for Season Two of Office Spaces! My design challenge is to create ease of access to the second level for all employees with a cost effective solution. When I came across PME, I knew that they had exactly what I was looking for. I am excited to learn more about modular elevators and have my client benefit from a modular solution!”

PME is thrilled to be one of the featured brands for this renovation and looks forward to showing viewers how modular elevators are the safest, easiest and most cost-effective solution for vertical transportation needs.

PME is a Mt. Vernon, Illinois, elevator manufacturer that produces high-quality, commercial modular elevators that are comprised of a steel hoistway with the elevator car and components completely pre-wired and installed inside. This makes PME elevators the fastest installing elevator available. The units are found across the United States and Canada and used in schools, universities, hotels, stadiums, amusement parks, office buildings, government buildings and churches. Phoenix Modular Elevator has been constructing modular elevators since 1995.