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The holiday shopping season is now here and although gift ideas and savings are on everyone’s mind, the increase in foot traffic in malls and stores raises safety concerns around the use of vertical transportation.

To help ensure a safe and comfortable ride for you and your family, KONE has developed this infographic to provide you with some escalator riding tips for the holiday season. Happy Holidays!

Click on the graphic to download the PDF version.



Matt Pike
Customer Based Risk Manager
KONE Americas

Click here for full image

Click here for full image

As we near the height of hurricane season and remember the devastation of Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago, building managers must understand what’s at risk if they don’t take the necessary safety precautions with their elevators. If your building is in the hurricane danger zone along the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf region, you don’t want to put passengers in unnecessary danger in your elevators in the event of a natural disaster. On top of that, taking precautionary care of elevators can prevent significant damage and avoid costly repairs.

At KONE, we care deeply about the safety of our technicians and buildings tenants, and as a result have created a before, during and after safety checklist (above) to follow in preparation for a hurricane. Remember, when in doubt, reach out to your elevator technician or service provider for an evaluation when you’re getting your building up and running after a natural disaster.


11891452_800560430059794_661302405684816927_oFighting local and global hunger? It CAN be done.

KONE Americas is doing its part by sponsoring this year’s Canstruction Chicago. We are excited to be a part of this year’s event to support a great cause and give back to the local community!

The Canstruction design and build competition is a unique event that helps bring awareness to the issue of global hunger. With chapters in 17 different countries, Canstruction hosts numerous events each year. This year was Chicago’s 9th annual competition hosted by Canstruction, Inc. and The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago. The event benefits the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which serves more than 800,000 people each year.

Twenty teams from Chicago area architecture, construction and engineering firms were on hand for Build Night, which started at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12. Teams had just 12 hours to build structures created entirely out of canned goods.

Individual structures used thousands of cans each. Kung-fu-CANda (pictured below), used 6,259 cans, which is equivalent to 16,122 servings of food.

This year’s 21 structures used a total of over 125,000 pieces of shelf stable food. They also show off some unique and creative designs, like Closing the Book on Hunger, Chicago’s Canley Cup, a giant Chicago style pizza, and an inCANdescent light bulb (pictured above).

11873710_800560526726451_1842390716292112553_nCongratulations to all the teams on your hard work and awesome can structures!

The Canstruction exhibit is open for public viewing at the Merchandise Mart until Decanstruction on Sept. 8, with an Awards Gala to be hosted Sept. 3.

See more of the Build Night images on the Canstruction Facebook page or watch a
time lapse of Build Night here.

Thoughts and Reaction to the Chicago Forum on Global Cities

larry-wash_175x262Last week, the Chicago Forum on Global Cities assembled an impressive cast of current and former diplomats, architects and non-profit and private-sector leaders to discuss important issues that are impacting global cities and how these cities will continue to impact the world. Although I was unable to attend the forum, I was able to catch a few of the fascinating panel discussions online. Two sessions specifically stand out to me both for their dialogue and the immediate role KONE is playing in both issues. The sessions were: “Reimagining Urban Infrastructure,” and “Designing Environmentally Sustainable Cities.”

Reimagining Urban Infrastructure

As mentioned in the panel discussion, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and that’s expected to increase to more than two-thirds by 2050. As the name of the panel notes, this rise in population and demand for city living is pushing architects and engineers to reimagine the development of new and existing buildings to handle many new factors. Retrofitting aging and outdated infrastructure is also a key issue on the minds of architects and city planners.

The answer to these concerns, to me, is innovation.

“As new technologies develop, the opportunity to think about infrastructure differently in terms of sustainability and resilience, is profound,” said Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, during the panel.

At KONE, this sentiment could not ring more true, from our KONE EcoDisc innovation in 1990 to our creation of the first machine room-less (MRL) elevator in 1996, to KONE UltraRope in 2013. We thrive on challenges and are in the trenches when it comes to developing innovations for managing the flow of people within buildings, including those that are already standing.

Currently, more than one-third of the world’s elevators are more than 20 years old. Though we currently service more than 1 million elevators across the globe, modernizations and retrofitting also represent a large portion of our business. KONE is able to replace antiquated machine-room elevators with an MRL elevator, which can save money in the long run by reducing maintenance and energy cost.

Designing Environmentally Sustainable Cities

Although populations of cities continue to grow, the entire surface area of cities represent less than 2 percent of the earth’s surface, but consume 78 percent of the world’s energy. As mentioned on the panel, though large contributors to stress on the environment and the health of the people residing within them, global cities also have the power to identify and implement solutions and innovations for sustainable development.

“It’s the combination of reengineering major systems but also design that have the power to be funded by individuals and cities [to address sustainability and environmental issues],” said Jeanne Gang, Founder and Principal of Studio Gang Architects, said on the panel discussion.

We share this same sentiment with Jeanne and strive to make sustainability a constant throughout all of our business practices. As a company we’ve created the KONE Environmental Excellence Program which holistically looks to address sustainability through five key initiatives including:

  1. Increasing eco-efficiency of our solutions
  2. Minimizing our carbon footprint
  3. Fulfilling ISO 14001 and green building requirements
  4. Developing environmental excellence programs with our suppliers
  5. Gaining recognition as the most eco-efficient company in our industry

We’re proud to say that our efforts in these five categories resulted in KONE being named the 12th greenest company by Newsweek last year.

Overall, the Chicago Forum on Global Cities represented an important compilation of brilliant minds, discussing important issues as they relate to the many of us that reside in and around global cities and companies like ours that play a direct role in the future of these cities.

I encourage you to check out some of the sessions here.

Larry Wash
Executive Vice President
KONE Americas

What better way to celebrate People Flow Day than by looking at people flow quality itself. A key conclusion that was made during People Flow Day 2014 was that end users link the overall quality of the building to the quality of their experience, and their experiences have diverse requirements. So what do end users want in effective people flow?

Visitor elevators in the lobby of Al Zahra hospital

Visitor elevators in the lobby of Al Zahra hospital

The availability of elevators, escalators, and doors are the main indicator of good people flow, and something users look for in a quality building. By having more elevators, people have shortened wait times. In addition to this, proper solutions are required to assist users during up peak traffic, including larger automatic doors that help with congestion.

Effective signage and the proper separation of goods and people are some of the main concerns for implementing successful people flow in many of the buildings our teams studied. Better guidance for building users means they can navigate within buildings more effectively. In line with this, our teams found that building users have an interest in access control systems and applications, like touch screens, and how these can be integrated into modern buildings in the future.

For buildings like Dubai’s Al Zahra hospital, a faultless people flow experience includes considerations like easy access and way finding and the seamless separation of staff, patients and visitors. These all contribute to the premier healthcare facility providing a quality experience for all of its patrons.

Overall, our People Flow Day 2014 study gave us a look at the perspective of the end user and customer across product, service, and people flow quality and the roles of these across different building types. By placing the focus on quality, we were able to discover what high quality truly means to the customer and building user, and we will continue to use these valuable findings to improve KONE’s strategy for years to come.

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