Monthly Archives: December 2015

Trump Hotel Chicago Decorates Elevator for Christmas

Trump Hotel Chicago Gingerbread Express elevatorThe Trump Hotel Chicago gets into the Christmas spirit every year by transforming one of its elevators into the Gingerbread Express. Teams of pastry chefs and engineers work for months to bake gingerbread bricks and decorate the elevator that transports guests to the restaurant Sixteen.

The Gingerbread Express is made from 445 pounds of all-purpose flour, 5.5 pounds of cinnamon, 3.25 pounds of ground ginger, 230 pounds of dark corn syrup, 105 pounds of dark brown sugar, 90.5 pounds of molasses, 98 pounds of butter, 50 pounds of chocolate, and 46 pounds of fondant. Workers at the hotel begin baking gingerbread bricks in September. They finish making about 800 5” x 10” gingerbread bricks by November 1 and then decorate them with colored candy sugar, chocolate, and cocoa butter spray.

An engineering team builds a plywood wall inside the elevator to which the gingerbread bricks are glued. They install lights around the window, LED lights for the stained glass gingerbread bricks, and a toy train.

Two weeks before the Gingerbread Express opens, the team begins laying the gingerbread bricks using a method similar to the way bathroom tile is laid. Spacers are placed between the bricks and removed after they dry. Then the cavities are filled with frosting. After the workers have finished laying the gingerbread bricks inside the elevator, employees set to work on the outside of the elevator in the lobby.

It takes the hotel’s pastry team 450 hours to complete the Gingerbread Express. They do the work in addition to their normal duties.

The Gingerbread Express elevator delights both children and adults every holiday season. Visitors to the hotel can ride the elevator through the end of the year.

Riding the elevator is free. The Gingerbread Express is a way for the hotel to raise awareness and donations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The hotel and the Eric Trump Foundation support the hospital and accept donations at the front desk.

Where People Stand in Elevators

where people stand in elevatorsElevators can be awkward places where people tend to avoid eye contact and conversation. People choose where to stand in an elevator based on certain unwritten rules of status and etiquette.

When alone in an elevator, a person can stand anywhere. If there are two people, they tend to stand in opposite corners. If a third person enters the elevator, they form a triangle. With four people, passengers form a square. If a fifth person boards the elevator, that person stands in the middle of the square. If more people enter, they have to find an available place and tend to look down.

Rebekah Rousi, a PhD candidate in cognitive science, studied people’s behavior in elevators in two of the tallest buildings in Adelaide, Australia. She rode the elevators 30 times and found that people tended to stand in specific places based on their gender and age.

Senior men tended to stand at the back of the elevator. Younger men stood in front of them, and women of all ages stood closest to the doors.

Rousi also found differences in where people looked while riding elevators. Men watched monitors and looked in mirrors to see themselves and their fellow passengers. Women looked at monitors and avoided making eye contact. They only looked in the mirrors when they were with other women.

Rousi was unsure how to interpret her findings. She thought that perhaps shy people tended to stand in the front and bolder people stood in the back to look at others.

Professor Babette Renneberg of the Free University of Berlin believes people behave awkwardly in elevators because they do not have the same amount of personal space they are used to having in other situations. She said they want to act in a way that is not threatening or ambiguous and therefore stand as far apart as possible and avoid eye contact.

Family Receives Donated Elevator to Help Disabled Child

donated elevator Caleb HitchcockA family in Calgary, Alberta in Canada has received a donated elevator to help them care for their son at home.

Six-year-old Caleb Hitchcock was born with polymicrogyria, which is caused by an underdeveloped brain. He appeared to be healthy for several months, but he eventually began to have seizures. He was soon having as many as 100 per day.

Caleb has significant physical and mental developmental delays because of his condition. His parents transport him in a wheelchair, but it was difficult to move him from one floor to another in their house. They considered installing a porch or a stair lift, but both were too expensive.

Give a Kid a Lift, a partnership involving Easter Seals Alberta and Canwest Elevator and Lifts, provided the Hitchcocks with an elevator in their home to make it easier to transport Caleb. Before, they had to lift him themselves.

In order to install the elevator, the family’s gas fireplace was removed. The City of Calgary granted permits for the renovation, and Canwest Elevator and Lifts installed an elevator donated by Garaventa Lift. The cost of the elevator and installation was about $50,000.

Canwest holds a fundraiser every March to raise money to donate elevators to people in need. Suppliers donate elevators and parts, and installers donate their time.

The elevator can lift more than its 750-pound capacity. It has also lifted the Hitchcock family’s spirits. They say it will help even more as Caleb grows up. The Hitchcocks are the sixth family to receive a home elevator through the Give a Kid a Lift program.

Schindler Wins Elevator World 2016 Award

Schindler Elevator World Award Great Eagle CentreSchindler has received the Elevator World 2016 “Project of the Year” Award in the elevator modernization category for its work upgrading the elevator system at the Great Eagle Centre in Hong Kong.

The Elevator World awards are meant to honor outstanding achievements in design innovation and special applications of approaches to solve problems or overcome unique challenges. Projects are reviewed based on creativity, challenges they needed to overcome, installation methods and techniques, use of advanced technology, and quality of presentation.

The Great Eagle Centre is an iconic 33-story office and retail building located in the popular Wan Chai commercial district in Hong Kong. The building, which is adjacent to the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, was completed in 1983.

The team from Schindler modernized 14 elevators that had previous generation Aconic controllers and motor-generator sets. They installed new controllers, gearless machines, high-efficiency regenerative gearless drives with Power Factor One (PF1) inverters, and PORT Technology, a modern intelligent transit management system that improves traffic efficiency and gives tenants a smooth riding experience.

The modernization project began in October 2013 and was finished in May 2015. The work caused minimal disruption to the building’s tenants. Schindler’s main challenge was to upgrade the elevators while not affecting overall elevator operations. The company accomplished this through precise planning and close coordination with the customer.

Schindler is honored that its work on the Great Eagle Centre was recognized for the Elevator World award. Jujudhan Jena, the chief executive of Jardine Schindler Group, said it is a testament to Schindler’s dedication to enhancing customer experience and providing premium service.

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