Cold Slows Elevators – An old saying that we use in the Midwest is, “You’re as slow as molasses.” To put a finer point on it we say, “You’re slower than molasses going up hill.” An even further expanded use for the most turtle like folks is, “You’re slower than molasses going up hill, in a snow storm.” As we all know cold slows everything down. And get this, it turns out cold slows elevators too.
I am not saying that cold weather will reduce the functionality of an existing elevator, although it can happen. Usually you press the button and the elevator will show up as expected. But what I am trying to say is that when adding an elevator to a project, cold weather halts the progress of an elevator installation. This happens in a couple of ways.
Traditional elevators require a site built hoistway. In cold temps building one can be a massive challenge. The challenge is both in poured concrete and cmu block construction.
Concrete definitely is a problem child in the winter for shaft or hoistway construction. Pouring concrete is often halted in the colder climates when temps drop in the US and Canada. If it is done anyway the results are often spotty at best. Darrell Bailey from Morton Building, a firm that specializes in metal buildings said, he has seen people try to pour concrete in bad weather with horrible results. He said, “It will freeze and bust. You just can’t pour on frozen ground,” and “that means you are stuck until things thaw out.”
Sometimes warming the ground with black plastic or concrete blankets can work. But if that fails, additional costs must be expended to redo the work. The other option is to change up the mix of the concrete. A chemical accelerator such as calcium chloride can be used. But that does not mean your cold problems are over. The jobsite pour has to be cured for around a week meaning more blankets or black plastic. In extreme cases heating and hoarding is your only option. If you fail, the structure can heave or have chucks of concrete pop off.
With CMU (concrete blocks), you really shouldn’t proceed in a temperature below 20°F or when the the blocks contain frozen moisture, visible ice, or snow on the surface. That stops a lot of building, especially elevator hoistways. I have personally heard of projects where they pushed the envelope and suffered the consequences when they had to tear down the hoistway and start again.
On the other hand, modular building shakes off cold concerns. The work is completed inside a factory. Bad weather? No problem. You do not need to supply a concrete or CMU block elevator shaft on site. The modular elevator includes the hoistway! It doesn’t matter how cold it is outside, our elevator will be produced on schedule.
The hoistway is not the only problem. One of the worst feeling on earth is when you are turning a wrench in freezing temps and it slips. Ouch! A knuckle buster is bad enough in sunny weather but in the cold? My hands ache just thinking about it. I can have empathy for the elevator installer in cold weather, but that empathy fades a bit when you realize contractually major companies won’t install in cold weather. What?
That’s right, often in the “Job Conditions” section of the contract you signed, you will find language that restricts elevator installation to a comfortable minimum of 55°F (13°C). That’s right, they don’t work in the cold leading many to believe that elevator crews watch the thermometer more than the time clock. If temps drop below the magic number, all you will hear is tires squealing in the parking lot and all you will see is a cloud of dust.
But there is a good reason and they are not being big babies about cold hands. The traditional elevator installation is the problem. For an elevator installation the old-fashioned way the elevator must be working. They ride the elevator up and down while they are cobbling all the pieces together. Because the minimum temp for elevator operation is 55° that is the line between being on the clock or not. If it is below that temp, it can void the warranty.
That doesn’t seem like too big a deal right? Until you look into average temps according to the National Climate Report from NOAA. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin it is only above the 55°F mark five months out of the year. The average annual temp is 47.7° in Wisconsin. Also, surprisingly the average temp in the continental US is a chilly 54.4°. The problem is bigger than you think. This could mean delays as the building must in some cases be largely finished before the elevator crew shows up at all. Good luck getting a job done on time.
A modular elevator is completely installed in a hoistway and in a factory! It can be cold or hot, wet or dry outside and it simply does not matter. Your elevator will be completely installed in the factory. When it arrives at the jobsite, it is not installed so to say, but set in place. The setting process takes about 4 hours at most.
Once power is provided all that is left is to turn the elevator on and set it up. A process that takes a couple days. The reason for the short timeline is that all the components are inside and ready to go. It does not matter if it is a freight elevator or a simple elevator with a small capacity. They are all equally as easy to set and start up in no time.
So why use any other method than the MEM modular elevator system? We wonder that too. If you are tired of the excuses and delays it is time to contact us for questions and pricing. We will even schedule a live virtual tour of our manufacturing facility at your convenience. Just click the link below.
Easy cab construction makes quality MEM elevators possible. With old-fashioned traditional elevators, the cab is built like a ship in a bottle. In a dark, cramped hoistway one piece of the cab at a time is hand carried into the shaft. It is then assembled. This can lead to significant issues. Fit and cab quality suffer, not to mention all the on-site storage required and the increased possibility injuries. This old method makes very little sense.
The example photo below shows a better way. You can see four elevator cabs in the assembly process. There is plenty of light and plenty of room. We use jigs and templates to make sure that the fit is perfect and overhead cranes are used for any heavy parts. Also, our experienced and approved technicians and inspectors have access all the way around the cab. This means higher quality.
With the task of assembling the cab moved to the factory floor, your job-site remains clutter free of materials, tools and packaging associated with the elevator. Because of that, tripping hazards are removed making a your work area safer. And work is not held up in the site areas normally set aside for storage of all the crates of elevator parts and tools.
As you can see in the photo above whether you need one, a dozen or more low and mid-rise elevators, we can have the elevator cabs ready to be inserted in our factory. The elevators and hoistways can be mass produced for replicated design/build projects spaced months, or even years apart. Additionally, banked or duplexed elevators are a snap to deliver. We can also produce multiple elevators for larger projects. It is easy for us in the factory setting to complete the elevator or elevators you need and have them shipped for placement.
How do we make it so easy? The process begins with placing an order, approval of drawings and then factory production begins based upon when you want the elevator delivered. The elevator fits your time schedule. This is a big change from the old way elevator were built on-site where the elevator company controlled your process and timeline.
Once scheduled we simultaneously build the hoistway and the elevator cab on two separate tracks. At the end of the assembly process the cab is inserted. Then final wiring, inspection and testing is completed, it is shrink- wrapped and loaded on a flatbed truck for delivery. It really is that easy.
We have more experience than any other modular elevator producer manufacturing over 400 elevators and have dozens of years experience in the trades. Our elevators are as easy as one, two, three.
Finally, if our system seems to make more sense than the way elevators are currently installed, contact us for a Fast Track budget number by clicking the button below. You will learn how MEM is the best elevator for any low or mid-rise job. Quality elevators taking you to a higher level.
MEM Parking Garage Solution – Do you prefer aspirin? Tylenol? Advil? A caustic combination of all three? Imagine if you could avoid your headache as an architect or general contractor by not having to worry about the elevator in your project. That solution to your headache is available. And that solution can mean less materials, more parking space and fewer trades to coordinate. Imagine the stress and pressure relief when the elevator unit arrives when you want, fully installed! It is set in a total of four hours and totally off the critical path. It is not a dream.
Placed in hours you can have a Modular Elevator Manufacturing high-quality commercial elevator delivered to your site. All that is left for you to do is the exterior of the hoistway in any construction material you want. See the project below. It is a five-stop parking garage elevator, delivered complete. The durable commercial quality stainless-steel elevator car, was already inside. All the wiring – done, and doors, rails and even the pit ladder precision placed in the factory and it took less than four hours to set.
And this particular elevator came in two sections due to the total travel height. A crane placed the first section. The second followed right behind, easily bolted on top. They match perfectly as the manufacturing process assures the two sections will line up exactly right every time.
The hoistway is perfect, made with steel in a factory. There is no bowing, heaving or contracting like hoistways constructed of block or concrete. It also means that the rails are perfectly aligned. That produces the smooth quality ride you and your customers deserve.
MEM has the perfect solution for your parking garage project. That is especially true if you have designs or plans for several parking garages. Just spec us in and save time and money. Similarly, we can provide elevators for the entire project with solutions for any low or mid-rise application. So before another trip to the medicine cabinet, we’ve got you covered, whether the elevator is placed on the interior or exterior of any building, new or retrofit construction.
We have placed over 400 elevators and have over 20 years experience in making elevators as easy as one, two, three.
Finally, for your parking garage solution and a Fast Track budget number just click the button below. You will learn how MEM is the best elevator for any low or mid-rise project. Quality elevators taking you to a higher level.
Speedy Multifamily Elevator Solution. One of the ways that young Americans have influenced the construction industry is that lately they have been prone to delay home purchases. This can be attributed to many factors including high prices for home ownership, a lack of the needed down payment and a delay in marriage and family. So, when they do leave their parent’s basement, generally they are renting in large numbers and not looking for the white picket fence.
The result is in many medium and large municipalities there is a predictable shortage of rental units and ultimately price inflation. Hence the multifamily building boom.
Governing.com demonstrates this through statistical data. They report that between the year 2000 and April of 2019 there was, “a median increase in the renter population of 31 percent…Over the same period, the number of owner-occupied dwellings also rose, but only by a median of 7 percent.”
That means building multifamily units is needed and needed fast. That need is further demonstrated by the recent number of multifamily unit starts as the market moves to fill demand.
According to Dodge Data & Analytics residential starts as a category only increased by 2% in July of 2020. That sounds pretty bad for business until you dive more into the numbers. Of those new starts multifamily units increased by a whopping 11%, while single family units (homes) showed an overall decline. Multifamily units are booming even in a tough Covid filled economy.
The above statements and stats are known in the industry, so what is the big deal? The big deal is that in a competitive market, speed to that market becomes extremely important. You want to be building on the upswing and not at the top when units get tough to fill. So any edge you can find to decrease the time of project completion the better. That speed is crucial as the fight to fill the void in housing becomes a race. The race will either be won or lost by various builders and design build firms.
Keep in mind that the race now includes not just general apartment complexes or condominiums. They are also a wide range of market specific dwelling spaces. Subcategories such as senior living, low income or non-traditional mixed use building projects are on an upward trajectory.
One of the time saving mechanisms was addressed on a conference call I attended with design build industry leaders. We were discussing the concept and current acceptance of modular as the solution to the speed of delivery dilemma. A participant, Patrick Kennedy of Panoramic Interests downplayed the diversification of the market, and maintained the time to build could be significantly reduced if they stuck to three types of building plans that could easily fit burgeoning subcategories. He said they have three plans, “Hamburger, cheese burger and deluxe.”
Depending on who, why and where the units were to be built, the basic plans all fell into those three types of designs. Then depending on what specifically was requested, the spaces use could be altered, just not the overall plans. That kind of consolidation of offerings is very wise and makes perfect sense when building faster and more efficiently is a priority as it is today. Faster is better and they found a great way to speed things up. But that example is not the only edge available.
In car racing whether it is NASCAR, Formula 1 or a soapbox derby speed is important. But, it is the small things that are done, sometimes months before we hear, “Drivers start your engines!” that are key. To create the success and speed on the track a lot must happen, as a simple turn of a bolt on the chassis setup could be the difference between the checked flag and as Dale Earnhardt would say being the “first loser”.
So if finishing a building project quickly is important (and we all know that it is) then finding even small ways to speed up the building process is crucial. Using simplified plans, as discussed, is one way to achieve that speed. But so is placing in those plans a time saving modular elevator. One of the biggest complaints we hear about the elevator industry is that with traditional installation the whole project becomes bogged down. It is slow and laborious. But, what if all of that installation can take place in a factory, rain or shine and the elevator can be delivered and fully installed in a day or less, on the day of your choosing? That is a game changer.
Reality Check It is also a reality and not some fiction or dream of the future. So now it is time for a “reality check” in the form of a few questions:
So here’s the thing with the speedy multifamily elevator solution. If you are honest you can see the time and financial benefits of a quality, commercial modular elevator. And honestly chances are your competitors already have seen the benefits. We know this because as the multifamily market continues to heat up, we have doubled our sales and had to double our factory space and capacity to keep up.
If you would like to have a discussion just call us or email and ask anything you want. We will always be straightforward and honest as we have been in the modular elevator business longer than anyone else, with more experience and have a record of integrity and quality. We have installed five times more elevators than all of our competitors combined.
So, if you have project in mind just click the Fast Track button below. Just a few questions and we can have a thumbnail quote to you in a day. The opportunity is there for the checkered flag; take it with the help of Modular Elevator Manufacturing and a speedy multifamily elevator solution.
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