When Basis Independent School was being built in Brooklyn, New York they considered everything from what curriculum to teach to the floor plan of the new building. But, when it came to assisting with mobility it was Phoenix Modular Elevator (PME) from southern Illinois that was the solution. The modular elevator has now been officially approved and is ready for use.
The challenge was to provide a durable elevator that was ecologically sound while minimizing the footprint for the seven story structure. The answer was a high quality, Phoenix Modular Elevator that had no bulky machine room that would normally take up more space. This specific type of elevator is called a machine roomless or MRL elevator. The machine that moves the elevator car resides at the top of the shaft or hoistway instead of in a complete room accessed from the rooftop. This is possible because the machine is smaller and more efficient than in a traditional traction elevator design.
Also, studies have found that MRL elevators consume less energy than traction elevators and they do not use hydraulic oil that can spill or leak. A study from VTT, Technical Research Centre concluded that an MRL can consume approximately half the energy of a traction elevator and about one third of the energy of typical hydraulic machine.
Durability was not a challenge for PME. They have become school elevator experts with nearly 300 elevators installed in California schools alone. The result is a design that takes into consideration wear and tear that a school elevator will encounter.
The elevator consists of a prefabricated fire-rated shaft with all the elevator components installed and wired in the factory. They are manufactured horizontally with greater quality controls, faster production and installation time and at a lower overall cost. The old way of building an elevator is to build the shaft on a job site vertically, then assemble the numerous components inside the vertical shaft in less than optimal conditions. This dated method is less safe and requires more time to build, slowing up construction and increasing costs.
A Phoenix Modular Elevator is built to exact specifications and then shipped on a truck and hoisted into place at the job site. Because Basis Independent was a seven stop elevator it was shipped on three trucks, in three sections and then each section was hoisted into place and bolted to the one below.
When Clarence Bergen of Urban Life Pools and Hot Tubs had a vision for a new facility in Steinbach Manitoba, it included a glass elevator that would be in the center of the showroom. To accomplish that dream he began where most people in the market for an elevator would, by calling big elevator companies. Unfortunately his experience, like so many others, consisted of leaving messages, not getting returned phone calls and leaving his questions unanswered.
Bergen said, “I was getting nowhere and wasting time. I could tell by their attitude that they didn’t have time for me or my project.”
He then called Phoenix Modular Elevator (PME) in Illinois and with their help he began to start piecing together the project that he had in mind. First, the elevator would be in the center of the building and needed to be self-supporting. Second, it had to be cost effective. Dreams don’t have a price tag, but the $200,000 number being kicked around by big elevator companies was a bit much even for a dream. Lastly, he wanted a glass elevator to match the design of the rest of the building.
He knew right away that PME was different. They answered the phone every time, and they were friendly, professional and responsive. They were willing to discuss the project Clarence had in mind and how they could work together to make the dream a reality. Freestanding structure? Check. Phoenix Modular Elevators are designed to be self-supporting. Cost effective? Check. The outlandish $200,000 price tag to seem like an amount big elevator companies used to discourage his plans. PME’s numbers worked much better. Glass elevator? Check. It was not only doable but, PME worked with Clarence to meet all of his unique specs for the job.
It may seem odd that an Illinois company would be providing Canadians with elevators, however the unique approach used to build and install them, makes PME elevators a perfect match for any project. Whether they are specialized glass elevators or not, PME elevators begin with heavy 4X4 inch, tube steel columns and beams that make up the frame.
The elevator is constructed horizontally with greater quality controls, faster production and installation time at a lower overall cost.The glass elevator hoistway was left uncovered or “naked” where most elevators PME produces are covered in fire-rated material. Then non-proprietary components, including the car, are installed and wired in the factory. The old way of building an elevator is to build the shaft on a job site vertically, then assemble the numerous components inside the vertical shaft in less than optimal conditions. That process takes months and means a dangerous working environment in the cold, snow and rain, causing construction delays. This dated method is less safe, more confined, and requires more time to build, slowing construction projects and increasing costs.
A Phoenix Modular Elevator is built to exact specifications in a factory setting, then shipped on a truck to the location and hoisted into place at the job site, requiring only a few days of final installation work before it is ready for inspection.
PME president Allison Allgaier is looking forward to more projects in Canada and said, “Phoenix Modular Elevators are approved for the Canadian market and we are sending more and more north. They are safe, high quality, commercial grade and factory built means constant controls and inspections.” She went onto say, you can find PME elevators installed across the United States and Canada in hotels, stadiums, office buildings, theme parks, government buildings and churches as well as schools.
Recently Phoenix had two other elevators approved for use in Manitoba at Manitoba Hydro north of Gillam. The Urban Life project is the third in the past two months and owner Clarence Bergen is pleased with the project, “This elevator was easy to install, rides great and the project was completed in no time. I am proud of the job and how it looks.”
Phoenix Modular Elevator is a Mount Vernon, Illinois business and has been constructing modular elevators since 1995.
When producing your very first post you are under a lot of pressure. Let’s face it, you have spent sometimes hours on coming up with a catchy name and working on the look, but now you have to put in writing what are the real goals of the blog. If your blog has no purpose and no real goals, no matter how catchy the name or slick the look no one will waste their time reading it. That is where the pressure comes from.
So with that said, here is the skinny of Easy Up.
First, we are the official blog for Phoenix Modular Elevator; the creation of the collective minds of our company. At Phoenix we say that “We make elevators easy” and this blog has the same goal. We are hoping to inform and educate you about a superior product for vertical transportation in many buildings, both new and existing. We’ll do this by sharing case studies, walking you through choosing the right elevator for your building, providing detailed information on incorporating a modular elevator into your building design, and posting loads of nuts and bolts how-to’s for the general contractors and elevator contractors who will install them.
We feel that our high quality, modular elevators are not just a solution, but the solution and every builder, architect, building owner, contractor and modular builder should take a serious look at what we provide. We also are all about de-shrouding the mysteries of elevators so that you can become as expert as you choose.
We take our product and your project seriously, but not ourselves, so we’ll aim to be helpful without being preachy as we help you think differently about the biggest moving apparatus in a multi-level building.
Lastly, we want to hear from you! Please comment positively or negatively on our posts, give your opinion and ask questions. Your question just might become the subject of our next blog post.