Commercial Arrangements in “Weird” Elevator Installations

I rarely post about grad school work. Mostly because if I’m doing it, I don’t have a lot of time for anything else. But I’m here taking a break from a paper I’m writing on the commercial and contractual arrangements of an elevator installation. Boring, eh? But there’s a twist. This particular elevator is one that I’ve worked on in a case study earlier this year. In addition to doing the whole up and down thing, this little guy also moves a total of two feet from the front of the hoistway to the back of the hoistway. And this x-plane movement isn’t a nice continuous slope from floor 1 to 9, it only occurs after a completely vertical run of 7 floors. That’s right, we’ve got another Ottawa Peace Tower on our hands. Well, it’s not exactly like the Peace Tower job. This elevator doesn’t really have a reason to move horizontally. The architect put the landing sill of floor 9 two feet into the hoistway… just because. This would be a good opportunity for a tangent on architects and how they can still be the bane of the elevator consultant’s existence, even in times of theory. But I shan’t digress.

So here’s the inclined abomination. The two sets of rails are shown in green, there are two sets of offset roller guides, and a plethora of other engineering issues addressed with which I will not bore you (one of my sections was titled “The Fleet Angle Wrangle”). But that’s the gist.

The Inclined Abomination

Movin' on up (and back)

The safety code and engineering obstacles of the project have been conquered months ago and now it’s to the actual business side of things. This is a bit more complicated than it seems. Who would bid such a thing? Otis. That’s the answer. That’s it. Otis is almost always the one who will be trusted, able, and willing to at least attempt installations like this. The spec might as well be a love letter to Otis. It will go something like this: “Dear Otis, I want a totally impractical elevator installed. Please send my client a bill that will equal the total cost of the building itself. Love, an elevator consultant who has been beaten and held captive by an architect.” Not even mentioning the rail production difficulties, liability, and the fact that the brief ends with “the client has requested that costs be kept low.” HA.

While I love punishing brain cells by developing the critical path methods for impractical vertical transportation installation scenarios, I could think of a few better things to do. Like marketing my awesome new app for elevator inspectors, projectQEI, which you should totally check out and use for all your inspection needs – www.projectqei.com. Wow, would you look at that. At least something useful got done.

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