Category Archives: Architects

People Get Hurt – Keep Up With Elevator Technology

Disappointingly, Luddites often rule the day. People want to protect their pocketbooks and themselves, so they reject any technology that is a perceived threat, even if not a true threat. This is despite technology being available that can make life better for almost all people in the community and even for themselves. That is exactly where Boston is in the world of elevators, and it is inconveniencing and even possibly hurting some of its citizens. In a recent boston.com article, it detailed the compelling story of Erin Murphy. Recently she had to fight torrential rain and exhaustion in her wheelchair because the elevator on the platform she needed to use for public transportation was closed. Not only that, the elevator in question has been shutdown since April….of 2018! And even more astounding, the new elevator will not be completed until 2020, and that date is a guesstimate!

The alternatives for Murphy seem limited and all of them would cost her more time, money and worry about getting to where she needs to be on time. But, the alternatives for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) are not as limited because with technology, such as modular construction, there is no reason why replacing an old elevator should take longer than a few weeks, not years.

As a matter of fact, a Phoenix Modular Elevator (PME) was installed in a Boston school just a few years ago in less than eight weeks from the time of the order. The project literally went from drawings to actually being approved for use that quickly. PME prides itself on faster, safer and higher quality. So when we read about a person being so burdened by lack of access, it kind of makes our blood boil. There is no reason in this day and age for people to be so inconvenienced for so long.

But currently in the Bay State, there is active opposition to a different and better way to vertically move people from one floor to another. Despite the fact that modular would free up more time for elevator mechanics to make sure that current elevators are up and running, they still are vehemently opposed to a better way.

Utilizing modular elevators would allow for faster installation and set up of commercial-quality elevators in retrofit or new construction applications. They can even come with modular machine rooms to make the startup even faster. Their unfounded fear is that better technology will keep people from working as modular elevators go in so much faster and easier than stick-built. But, in actuality, the improved technology would free up more man-hours for service and upkeep, something that is sorely needed in Boston. Just check out this report from CBS Boston about the current state of the elevator industry that sports a backlog of 4,500 elevators operating without a valid license. Apparently, the state can’t keep up and neither can those tasked with fixing what the inspectors find.

Think about that next time you step into an elevator in Boston.

This backlog is a long-standing problem. For years, the state has been having trouble keeping up and it is no wonder with so many mechanics installing new elevators, as this leads to less time maintaining existing ones. It is shocking that only a handful of people opposing a faster installing elevator system can control the mobility and safety of everyone in the state, especially considering they could help correct the problem. Unfortunately, they refuse to even consider different alternatives as an option.

So who are they protecting by their backward views? Really, the answer is no one. Right now and in the foreseeable future, everyone the elevator business is extremely busy and business is booming. Also, the modular alternative such as Phoenix Modular Elevator is safer for the very people that those opposing them intend to help, elevator mechanics.

Modular elevators are built in a factory setting and use machinery to do all of the traditional heavy lifting. No more backbreaking rails to lug, motors to hoist or cabs to build in extremely cramped quarters. That means elevator mechanics are injured less and can then do the tasks beyond the grunt work to keep people safe. But, those opposed to modular elevators don’t seem to care about the working conditions of elevator mechanics that get strained backs, pulled muscles or worse. There are also no open hoistway hatches or doors for mechanics or other construction workers to fall through. Modular makes the entire jobsite safer and just makes sense.

Lastly, Massachusetts is the only state that has outright rejected this technology. Early on, they were accepting and we have several units already installed in the state, but the Luddites prevailed, at least for the time being. They are unlike the rest of the United States and Canada where you can find modular elevators from New York City to Los Angeles, British Columbia to Florida. We have great union and non-union elevator contractors that install our modular elevators everyday and we are looking to add more…even in Boston.

Built in One Piece for Quality

One of the most common questions we get at Phoenix Modular Elevator is, “How high can you go?” The assumption is that modular elevators have limits; maybe two or three stops at the most. The answer, however, may surprise you. Currently, we have a project that has a total 15 floors and there are more mid-rise projects in the production pipeline.

But there are some limits to be considered, and that would be the total length of our production floor in our factory. Currently, that equates to a lot of elevator; we can produce a pre-installed elevator in a hoistway over 450 feet long or tall, depending on your perspective. This is because due to ever-increasing demand for mid-rise elevators, our factory floor was recently doubled in length.

It depends on your perspective because we build our hoistways horizontally and then pre-install all of the elevator equipment while it remains horizontal. When finished, it is even trucked horizontally in 50-55 foot sections to the job site and is finally vertical when craned into place and ready for a technician to set it up.

So I am sure you are wondering, if it is delivered in sections or towers, why does the total length of the factory floor make a difference?

The answer is, we pride ourselves on our quality. The hoistway and rails are always perfectly plumb, perfectly square and perfectly level in every job we complete, even when the job calls for four towers or more, and that helps ensure quality is strictly adhered to.

The only way to ensure perfection is to build the hoistway together in one long piece with the sections pinned and bolted together until the elevator is ready to be shipped. Once the elevator car, wiring and assembly is complete, we simply unbolt the sections, shrink wrap them individually and load them one at a time on the trucks. They are then shipped as you need them or all at one time, depending on your construction schedule.

When they arrive at the site, the first section goes into the pit and is properly set. Then, the subsequent towers are lowered into place and bolted together. They fit hand in glove because they were built that way, all connected.

So why does this matter? Because ultimately, a smooth-riding elevator needs to have perfection. The rails need to be in alignment, with no rough joints or bumps. I am sure you have been in an elevator that rattles, shakes or shimmies. Instead of a nice quiet cab ride, it sounds more like a freight train hitting a bump on the tracks. That is usually because the rails were not placed properly or they have slipped in the clips that hold them in place. You will never have a problem like that with our modular elevators because they are carefully put into place and welded in the factory. Perfect every time can mean a better ride over the life of the elevator.

So how high can we go? Almost any height with unsurpassed quality.

Definition and Benefits of Modular

Pleasant PrairieWhen it comes to blogging, usually you use stories or anecdotes to get your point across. It tends to stick better with the reader if they can identify with the examples given.  People tend to engage and respond more favorably if they can feel a connection. But, sometimes you have to just state the facts and tell people point by point what you are trying to say.  That is the case with this blog post. No fluff, no mother-in-law stories, no tragic tales of elevator builds gone wrong or funny anecdotes;  just the truth about modular building and why it is the fastest-growing and best way to build any project. Get the straight story on modular here!! 
  
If you would like to find out more about modular building or have an elevator project you would like a quote for, click the button below.

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Quality Craftsman – Modular Building

Working woodOne of the knocks that seems to never go away when discussing modular construction is that a modular building is always cookie cutter, the same boring products cut out of the same boring mold. In some people’s thinking, because there is consistency in manufacturing, quality craftsmanship seems to be elusive or nonexistent.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

As a matter of fact, the opposite is true. Let’s start with the fact that if a building is manufactured, not built one block or stick at a time, overall quality is higher and construction is faster. There are no weather delays nor delays due to one trade waiting on another. With modular, a four-story hotel can be ready to open six months after the foundation is poured. A similar stick-built can take a year to 16 months or longer. Efficiency is bumped up and costly mistakes are reduced with modular construction. There is less waste due to planned manufacturing.

Find out about our quality here!!! 

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Don’t Suffer Buyer’s Remorse

Empty WalletRecently, we got an all-too-familiar email when following up on an apartment complex bid we had put together on an elevator project. We had been asked to provide a bid for a new project, and about a year had passed since the project had been awarded.  We were not the vertical transportation solution chosen. However, this type of email exchange is something that has become very common for us as the prospective customer checks their wallet at the end of the project and finds out it is empty.

In answering our question about how the project was going, the customer responded, “As you know, the contractor went with a conventional unit, which on the surface is cheaper.  However, if all the costs were included, I’m sure we picked the wrong one. Anyway, I like what you are doing and will look forward to working with you in the near future.”

Find out how to count the whole costs here! 

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Weather Halts Construction – But Not Modular

20160105_143405We rarely re-post stuff from our other blog  Elevator Schmelevator however it seems like great info for this blog as well. Enjoy!

We have all seen the headlines: The winter weather this year, and nearly every year, puts a damper on the construction industry and new elevator installation. Work vehicles get stuck in the snow, batteries are drained dead in equipment, and materials often have a negative reaction to sub-zero temperatures. If you are having a new stick built elevator installed, it is important to know about these delays.

Modular elevators are the solution to the weather problems. Click here for the article! 

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Factory Built Elevator- Early Planning Makes for Easier Planning

MBI WOM 2There is no doubt that modular elevators are the future for almost any building application, from modular buildings to traditional projects and from low to medium rise and beyond. Everyone knows that modular elevators are simply safer, faster, and smarter.

But they are also easier for everyone involved in the process. Designers, architects, builders, and elevator installers are all helped by the overall concept and tremendous flexibility provided with modular.  However, there is one thing you can do in the earliest phases of construction that can make converting to the modular solution even easier:  consider a modular elevator solution as early in the process as possible.

This is not to say that you can’t consider modular at anytime during the project from design to completion. You can certainly decide on modular late in the game and we are more than willing to help.  We have even been asked to provide a modular elevator solution after a building has been completed. The customer simply got tired of waiting for the stick-built elevator company to show up and get the job done. Turns out, in most cases we can design, engineer, manufacture, ship, and install a quality commercial elevator in less time than a traditional elevator company orders and receives all its components.

Click here for the whole story.

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Cold Hands Means Elevator Delays

elevator installation is easy and fast. Fastest elevator installation.
Cold gray skies in Canada would have stopped a stick built elevator. Not true with modular.

No one wants to work in cold conditions. Turning a wrench in sub-zero temperatures isn’t really a problem on it’s own, but it is a problem when the wrench slips and you find yourself busting your knuckles. Something about cold weather makes hitting your hands feel worse than if the slip occurs on sunny, warm days. So, no one should be blamed for not wanting to work in cold weather. For the major elevator companies, working with cold hands is more than just a thing they hate, it is a thing they won’t deal with at all. In the “Job Conditions” clause of most major elevator purchase contracts you will find language that restricts elevator installation to a comfortable minimum of 55°F (13°C).

Click here for details and how Phoenix Modular Elevator can be a solution! Or click the button below for a quote.

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