Tag Archives: Phoenix Modular Elevator

World of Modular Take-A-Ways

By John Hefner

Once again, I take the reigns of the most exciting, entertaining, and generally informative blog in the world (you’re welcome, Russ Ward!), the Phoenix Modular Elevator blog!! I was excited to attend the World of Modular convention from March 15-18 in fabulous Las Vegas!

I went out to represent our company, but learned a wealth of information about how modular is changing the industry. Did you know that modular is solving housing problems caused by expanding populations, natural disaster, or timeline crunches?Through a series of breakout sessions, we learned how people around the globe are using modular in crazy situations, such as in Alaska to house most of the population of a town. In Korea, where space is at a premium, it’s hard to build traditionally because it has to be done fast so the town can resume normal function. My personal favorite was an MRI facility that can be packed up and taken where needed while a facility is updating their MRI equipment.

Two of the big announcements made at the show came in the breakout sessions. One is that shipping containers are now going to be a part of the International Building Code, which will make passing inspections easier. The other was that Mariott International announced that they were going to give incentives for their owners of hotels to use modular components so that they can build hotels faster!

But the gem of the show is the awards banquet, where we all don our dress clothes, have a fancy dinner, and look at some of the best the industry has to offer. For a person just being exposed to the industry and, I’ll admit, previous misconceptions that modular means a glorified trailer, I was stunned by some of the buildings on display: houses that any family would be glad to call home; huge, movable complexes where pipeline and factory workers can rest between shifts when they are away from home; doctors offices and storefronts that were put up quickly so that they could start plying their wares and trade.

The most exciting part was when two projects that, up till that moment were a sheet on the project board, won awards! Congratulations Axis Construction who won Best of Show Permanent Facility over 10,000 sq. ft. with the Vanderbilt Family Health Clinic! It featured two of our elevators.

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Also recognized in the Relocatable Modular Education under 10,000 sq feet category was Aries Building Systems for their BelovED Community Charter School. P.S. Our elevator and machine room is front and center!

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Congratulations to all the winners representing the best of the modular industry and we look forward to working with you all in the future!! I know I’m looking forward to seeing even more of our projects next year!


Adding on to the Phoenix Modular Elevator Legacy

The calendar has lost its final page and now it is 2019. As is the nature of humanity, we cannot resist the temptation to look back at 2018 and take a peak at the near future for Phoenix Modular Elevator; it was an undeniable success. Demand was way up and production continued to steadily climb. One trend that we identified was the growing market demand for taller modular elevators. As familiarity and acceptance continues to grow among architects, developers and builders, we continue to grow across the continent. The result is that hoistways that were once considered out of reach for us are now the largest requests we receive. We are certainly a far cry from where we were when we started some 20 years ago in an old shoe factory.

In that old factory, when Phoenix Modular Elevator first opened its doors, it was the best two and three stop elevator solution available to bring a building up to code for the Americans with Disabilities Act. The elevators were easily manufactured and swung into place faster than any conventional elevator could be, making the upgrade in accessibility easy and fast. Hence our slogan, “We make elevators easy!” But soon, it was discovered that new traditional construction, modular construction and large retrofit projects were a great fit as well. As a result, ever increasing floor travels became a larger part of the business.

Soon it was four to seven story buildings that were in our wheelhouse. Sure, we still produced lots of commercial-quality two-story models faster and safer than conventional elevators, but the mid-rise elevators we produced kept getting taller and taller. And that was when we knew a new home with more breathing room would be needed. In 2017, planing and construction began and by 2018, the factory was complete. We moved into  the brand new manufacturing center, still centrally located for all of North America in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Turns out, when you ship elevators from the Alaska Ice Road to Prince Edward Island, Florida to California and all points in between, being on two major interstate highways is a good idea.  

The new digs allowed for a less crowded factory floor to easily accommodate those larger hoistways; because in our world, when we say taller and taller, we really mean longer and longer, as our elevators are built horizontally. Any shaft that is over 50+ feet will mean multiple, stackable towers as our process entails building the hoistways with all the elevator components already inside. These stackable hoistways are a point of pride for us because they are always level, square and plumb to perfection due to our process and high-skilled laborers. So, when we have multi-piece elevator hoistways, the pieces are produced all lined up and connected so they are perfect every time. This meant more floor space was needed, especially when you get to four or more towers for one project.

Ultimately, due to the ever-increasing requests for seven to 22 floor elevators, we had to expand again. Fortunately, we planned for the future with a site and factory that was easily increased in size and our success permitted us to double our factory floor with an addition that will be ready by March 1, 2019. We are continuing to build and to grow but not just physically. Our capacity has also increased with additional professional staff in engineering, sales and logistics. This allows for more volume with the same customer service. We can continue to help you choose the best elevator for your application, produce drawings quickly and make sure it is shipped on time as requested.  Phoenix Modular Elevator experienced a fantastic 2018 and we are positioned to expand even more for a prosperous 2019.  

Three Stooges to PME – History of Modular Elevators

6a00d8341c5fc853ef01348883d390970c-450wiModular buildings have been around longer than you think. In the United States, Sears started offering their version of modular in the form of self-contained kits in 1908. These are often claimed as “modular” but in reality, they were an all inclusive truck loads of parts and boards pre-cut for specifically purchased plans.

This unique style of home building is forever immortalized by the Three Stooges in “The Sit Downers” where the Stooges attempt to build one of these homes for their new brides (be patient the home arrives 7 minutes in). Larry sums up the Stooge’s problems with the pre-cut lumber when he exclaims, “There’s nothing ready cut about these houses every board is too long.” So much for Sears’ foray into modular. Get the rest of the history here. 

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Tough Love – Time for Elevator Biz to Grow Up

Button PushWe all have that moment when we need to hear the truth: to ignore it means growth will cease and improvements halt.  When it comes to elevators, that time for truth is now and so we need to dish out some tough love. Often times we associate “tough love” with teen angst and pimply, overwrought middle-school students, but as it applies to our industry as well as the elevator business, it is at a crossroad. As an industry, vertical transportation sits astride two differing paths and it is time for a sober conversation, not hyperbole and not blind to truth.

That crossroad is between the old fashioned stick-built method of elevators or the more modern modular elevators and whether modular ultimately makes sense for all low to mid-rise elevator applications. Should modular elevators be the first choice? Get the answer here!

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Awards Continue for Phoenix Modular Elevator

S-Figueroa-6Phoenix Modular Elevator was honored as an affiliate to the Award of Distinction with partner Silver Creek Industries at the annual World of Modular Conference held in Hollywood, Florida in March of this year. The World of Modular event is sponsored by the Modular Building Institute.

Awards of Distinction are the modular building industry’s premier awards program, recognizing design excellence in structures built using prefabricated systems. This is the second year in a row that Phoenix Modular Elevator has walked away with hardware as a recognition of the product and use.

The award winning project, KIPP Academy, is a three-story, 27,429 square-foot structure which houses an entire charter school campus and related functional spaces. The building contains 18 classrooms, a kitchen, multipurpose space, administrative spaces, interior corridors, and an interior elevator provided by Phoenix Modular Elevator. The building exterior features plaster with a bright color palette and aluminum glazing systems. The finished building reflects the coordinated efforts of all team members to provide a design-focused experience. Due to the complexity and scope of the project, the ability to perform the work in a factory environment provided the opportunity for significant cost reductions and increased quality control measures.

Read the whole article here. 

 

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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…Find out how modular can help with the puzzle of construction projects.

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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!

The fastest installing elevator begins with a quick quote.
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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.

The fastest installing elevator begins with a quick quote.
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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.

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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.

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

 

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.

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