Tag Archives: Installation

Construction Puzzle Elevator Modular

Piecing it all together

Puzzle FinalBy Russ Ward

My mother loved doing jigsaw puzzles. The more difficult the better, as far as she was concerned. These puzzles became family projects that we all worked on, especially in the winter while we were cooped up in the house on snowy days.

My mom was no novice of puzzle completion and had a strictly adhered to plan in putting them together that made a lot of sense: start with turning all of the pieces to the picture side and then find all of the corners. From there, the rest of the edge pieces were found and put into to place, making an outline of the picture. The rest of the puzzle, one piece at a time, would then follow.

Construction, especially with modular components, is its own kind of puzzle with an organized order to increase the productivity and speed of the project. Especially in today’s competitive real estate market, companies are searching for ways to increase their rate of return by shortening the construction schedule or to simply complete the puzzle faster. To help with this effort, many builders are now utilizing more offsite manufacturers than ever before in the hopes of increasing turnaround time on their projects. In other words, the quicker the building is occupant ready, the faster the owner or developer can start recouping their investment.

Modular elevators, as a piece of this construction puzzle, can help to get the process completed faster because they are so easy to install. Also, unlike several other elements of a building process that are reliant on each other, Phoenix Modular elevators can have flexibility in timing of placement. The alternative to modular elevators, a traditional stick-built, can cause the remainder of the building project to grind to a halt, leaving builders waiting for one, singular piece of the puzzle to be put into place before anything else can get done.  Then, the well rehearsed and thought out plan starts to fall apart. My mom would not be happy.

The common installation timeline for stick-built elevators is approximately one month for a simple, two-stop model. However, when figuring in the hoistway construction, lost or back ordered parts, and bad weather, that timeline is often increased to several months largely due to factors beyond the control of the general contractor. Ultimately, even the easiest elevator project for a stick-built has a usual timeline of six to eight months, if not more. According to Allison Allgaier, President of Phoenix Modular Elevator, it is not unusual for weeks to turn into months when a stick-built option is selected, especially for modular building projects: “We receive dozens of calls from general contractors or design build companies that wished they had called us for a job. It is especially true when the entire project is being held up for six months plus because of the elevator.”

The only solution is a quality, commercial modular elevator.

A prefabricated or modular elevator is a completed hoistway with the elevator car inserted, wired, and ready to be installed. It arrives at the job-site on a flatbed truck, gets craned into place, and, in less than a week, it is fully functional. With a modular elevator not slowing the process, a development can be completed and filled faster. In traditional construction, weather conditions, material availability, and coordinating with other trades on-site can negatively affect the elevator installation timeline. A modular elevator, however, is built inside a factory and is not affected by rain or snow. Also, cold temperatures often stop block-wall hoistways from completion, but this does not slow down the manufacturing process or installation of a modular elevator.

This would make my mom proud, as a well-organized project and use of a prefabricated elevator can trim up to six months off the overall timeline of a multi-story project. There’s no doubt that eliminating six months of fixed costs and overhead from a project’s budget could translate into hefty savings and produce a faster return on investment.

Finding this corner piece and putting it in place is the best way to start.

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Snake Bit – Fear and the Elevator Business

curie_lab_photoby Russ Ward

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” – Marie Curie

Fear is one of the most powerful emotions, as it can create anxiety, foster poor decision making and even immobilize the victim. I, for instance, suffer from ophidiophobia, or fear of snakes. It really is beyond just being scared of them or a simple dislike. It is a deep hatred, and when it comes to snakes, my judgement is indeed clouded.  For instance, I live in a rural area and so you hear tall tales of the scaly creatures ending up in everything, including toilets and car dashboards. When my mind drifts, it tends to drift towards a myriad of “What if’s?” What if a snake gets in the bathroom? What if a snake is in my car? What if I see one in my yard? This has led me to keep a garden hoe within arms reach of my front door, just in case.  I check my car thoroughly each morning before hopping in, and I tend to hover more than relax, if you know what I mean.

Now I can tell you, as a relatively sane man (depending on who you ask), this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  These slithering creatures are a helpful and beneficial part of the ecosystem, keeping disease carrying rodents and insects in check. They are an all important element of the circle of life. However, I can tell you the happiest part of that circle for me was when I saw a snake snatched up from the ground by a Red Tail Hawk and carried off into the distance. As that glorious bird of prey slowly drifted towards the sunset, a tear literally formed in my eye as gratitude for that hawk’s actions swelled my heart. But nevertheless, my disdain for all thing snake is still irrational.

Another common fear, especially in business, is the fear of the unknown. This can sometimes be a great guard against poor choices and force a deeper look when one is needed, but it can also be a blind spot for business if rejecting something out of hand is the standard instead of the exception. Some folks in the elevator industry have exhibited this kind of fear when it comes to the modular industry.  The concept is rejected out-of-hand without proper research or deeper analysis. For instance, many elevator installers are unaware that the bulk of the work of installing a modular elevator is the very same work performed on every installation and that modular elevators are designed to make the installation go fast and as headache-free as possible.

They are also designed to be installed quickly, so with a modular elevator, you won’t have tons of man-hours tied up in hanging rails or building a cab. Both of those items are checked off the to-do list as they come pre-installed in a hoistway. A hoistway, by the way, that is designed to meet all the building codes, including those for earthquakes and hurricanes for every jurisdiction in the US and Canada. This means a faster installation that takes only days can be placed conveniently into an already busy schedule. And as we all know, more installations mean the more opportunities for maintenance contracts.

Getting past fear is a difficult chore, but the benefits outweigh the risks; of course, unless you are talking about snakes.

If you want to do a bit more research, here are a couple of short videos  and a personal testimony that demonstrate how easy the installation process is. The testimonial is a Phoenix Modular Elevator customer regarding their first-hand experience with the time and ease of the getting the elevator they wanted installed. If you would like to be considered to be an installer for projects, click here.  We install across the United States and Canada.

Marie Curie was right, “Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

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