Major Lift Modernisation
EMPRESS STATE BUILDING
Many of London skyscrapers and high-rise buildings we see today all date back to the 1960s and 70s, and have undergone several refurbishment programmes since their original construction.
One of these older high-rise buildings, standing at 117.3meters with 32 floors and 12 passenger lifts, is West London’s Empress State Building, currently occupied by the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London. The Empress State Building, originally constructed in the early 60s, has gained iconic landmark status and underwent a major refurbishment programme in 2003.
Over the years, the 12 passenger and three firefighting gearless traction lifts have performed reliably until recently when various ride quality issues arose.
Appointed by Empress State’s building management team, following a successful tendering process in February 2020, Liftec was awarded a 3-phase modernisation contract which has recently been completed. The major modernisation work related to two groups of 6 lifts and three firefighting lifts.
The two 6-lift groups serve different floors in the building, with one group serving the low-rise floors (G, 1-14) and the other for high-rise (G, 14-27). Empress State’s firefighting lifts serve all floors.
As part of this full back-to-lift shaft guides modernisation project, Liftec engineers used specialist thermal lance cutting equipment to carefully remove the lifts’ existing machinery. With this undertaken, we installed new Thames Valley Controls lift controllers, Wittur slings and new lift cars, Wittur gearless machines and Wittur Pegasus doors.
To enhance the lifts’ operation and support the building’s traffic, our modernisation engineers added hall call destination and increased the car speed to 5m/s for the high-rise lift group and 3.5m/s for the low-rise group.
Despite the COVID-19 delays, the project was completed within budget and all the lifts are in full service, following mandatory lift safety testing requirements.