Our new elevator project started in early 2013 when it was brought to the attention to the board of directors’ attention that a third elevator was need in Mathew Hall, Independent Living. The primary use of the third elevator is to help elevate (pun intended) the level of safety for the residents. It will be used for ambulances, movers, electric scooters, and staff equipment. It could also be used for quicker evacuation of the building should the situation arise, if the situation dictated it. When the elevator is not being used by the movers, it could be used by the residents.
The journey to get the project started was a long one with many channels to go through. First a conceptual budget was needed so the board of directors could give their initial approval on the concept. Then approval from the city of Venice was needed to see if we could move forward with the project. Once the city approved the concept of the project, we were able to get to work! We interviewed several architectural firms, and with great confidence selected Jim Solar to come up with the design. We also selected Dunn Enterprises who not only have the construction experience for a job like this but who also have a long, good standing history with Village On The Isle. Bill Dunn has been partnering with Village on construction projects for the past 11 years. When you consider those two factors alone, we had complete confidence that his company would handle this project with the utmost professionalism and care.
With the architect and builder selected, it was time to design the elevator. First the type and manufacturer of the actual elevator had to be chosen so the shaft and adjoining area could be designed. Otis elevator was selected as the company to supply and install the elevator. Now that this was done, plans were drawn up, building proposals were submitted and accepted, and then the final plans were submitted to the city for their approval. Once the city approved the plans, permits were obtained and construction started in early November of 2013.
Just as most big projects, there are always a few issues to deal with, and on the first day of construction ours was no exception to the rule. The contractors ran into a few major problems with some underground surprises, but the project superintendent, Frank Mang, tackled them with his expertise and enthusiasm. His motto is, “There are no problems, just opportunities for solutions.” After the initial, first few major “opportunities” the project has been running smoothly.
The elevator that Village chose is the Otis Elevator Gen2, which has many unique features. First, it uses a traction belt instead of a cable, which is much easier to install and avoids the complications of having to install a 70 FT prism that a cable design would call for. Otis designed a system that employs flat polyurethane-coated steel belts that replace the heavy, woven steel cables which have been the industry standard since the late 19th century. The belts are approximately 3 mm (0.1 inch) thick and allow for a smaller sheave than conventional elevators. With the coated steel belts, it will give you a smoother and quieter ride. The elevator has a unique safety feature that uses a Pulse system which monitors the condition of the belt and alerts when a tear or damage occurs.
The Gen2 also uses Green technology because the design of the elevator has a motor that uses 50 to 75% less energy. It also uses LED lighting in the interior and has a sleep mode when the elevator is not in use, shutting down the lights and interior fan.
In keeping with the Green technology theme, Village also incorporated LED light fixtures to be installed in the landings of each floor. We also decided the old PTAC air conditioners will be replaced with a new mini split system. The new system will use one fifth of the power than the older units.
As you can tell, we are all looking forward to the completion of the new elevator project which is scheduled to be complete by early May! Come by and see the progress and stay tuned for the many more projects we have in store at our Venice retirement community!