Working Through The Pandemic

Jeff Frank, Vice President of Preconstruction, Tutor Perini Building Corp

Working Through The Pandemic

Influence of Technology on the Elevator and Escalator Industry

Logan Joseph,Director, Information Technology,John Deere

Influence of Technology on the Elevator and Escalator Industry

How Innovative Elevator and Escalator Design Contributes to the Pandemic's Recovery

Construction Tech Review | Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Vertical transportation became a prominent area of concern during the coronavirus pandemic as a means of safely returning to buildings.

FREMONT, CA: If 2020 taught people anything, it was that change is inevitable and that they should be prepared for the unexpected. The year saw numerous developments in practically every facet of our everyday life. Without a doubt, the vertical transportation business was not immune to those changes. The pandemic's global scope cast a spotlight on vertical transportation. Elevators and escalators were the focus of discussions on their recovery and reintroduction into buildings due to their critical role.

The construction industry has always been forward-thinking, addressing particular challenges and driving innovation in the locations where people spend most of their time. This is especially true for vertical mobility, as billions of people would be unable to move in and through those spaces daily without adequately operating technology. It takes years to develop new code-compliant technology in an industry that designs and maintains equipment according to the most stringent safety standards. This demonstrates the critical nature of foresight.

Practicable innovations

Not all emerging technologies are confined to equipment. Several jurisdictions adapted to conducting inspections virtually using video technology with the significant movement of millions of Americans to remote employment. Efforts in this area will streamline the facility inspection process. Meetings and frequent inspections have been conducted satisfactorily and are planned to continue after COVID-19.

This year has added new levels of complexity for facility managers — navigating the ever-changing requirements and guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, managing for the unknown, and arming occupants with the best sanitization and safety available. Elevator service companies can provide expertise on the technology and processes that will best address a building's challenges and opportunities in light of changing traffic patterns, accessibility requirements, and more.

Elevator and escalator developments that reduce disease risk and boost efficiency were a significant priority. While many of these technologies were not developed in response to COVID-19, they will aid in maximizing the safety of individuals within buildings during the pandemic recovery process. Just as grocery delivery services were not developed in response to a worldwide pandemic, touchless elevator call buttons, destination dispatching systems, or ultraviolet light sanitization capabilities were not developed in response to a global pandemic. Initially developed for ease, efficiency, or luxury, these technologies are critical for rehabilitation and reestablishing normalcy. They will prioritize safety while maximizing efficiency.

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