Not Just a Quick Fix
thyssenkrupp Elevator’s modernization of nine elevators for UHealth Tower at the University of Miami Hospital may have been speedy, but none of it was done halfway.
This elevator modernization at UHealth Tower (part of the University of Miami’s Health System), performed by thyssenkrupp Elevator between February 25 and September 16, 2019, involved the modernization of nine elevators at a busy hospital in Miami.
Work on eight elevators (four passenger and four service) was expedited due to hospital constraints, timelines and minimizing downtime for staff and patients, as well as the hospital’s understanding the building is severely under-elevatored. The last elevator, a Hollister-Whitney (HW) basement set traction machine, was completed after the modernization of the eight main hospital elevators.
Crews worked seven days a week to minimize downtime at the busy hospital. thyssenkrupp Elevator’s AGILE smart system was installed on four of the passenger elevators to improve traffic flow. Other new equipment installed included controllers (thyssenkrupp Elevator TAC-32T), machines (Imperial Electric and HW), governors (HW), rollers (ELSCO), door equipment and hall fixtures (thyssenkrupp Elevator), car and hall fixtures (MAD Elevator Inc.), and car doors (Tellos-Avelos of Miami). Other component suppliers were Draka, Eddie Kane Steel, Fastenal, SEES Inc., Grainger and Wurtec. VDA Elevator Consulting consulted on the job.
Detailed coordination included three overnight crane picks, which shut down the only loading dock to the hospital, so time was of the essence. Multiple meetings were held with hospital staff to ensure timeframes for the loading dock shutdown were adhered to so there would be no disruption of hospital operations. Weekly project meetings to review progress, scheduling, testing, material movement, etc. were held and helped us achieve the customer’s strict timeline, which saw two elevators turned over approximately every seven weeks. Additionally, elevators were not allowed to be down for any lengthy duration. This mandated an all-hands-on-deck approach to complete the work quickly and safely.
Another of the hospital’s biggest concerns was moving patients and visitors to their destinations as quickly as possible. According to data gained via thyssenkrupp Elevator’s MAX, the hospital elevators were running approximately 10 times as much as the national average for that type of building. The solution to this heavy usage included installing AGILE, which encompasses destination controls, design and management centers, and security access, on the main passenger elevators.
thyssenkrupp Elevator expedited the project to shorten lead times and get materials in-house. Multiple teams then began working at the site seven days a week. Crane mobilizations required full use of the hospital’s entire loading dock, requiring thyssenkrupp Elevator to do crane picks in the off-hours to ensure as little disruption to the hospital as possible.
AGILE was turned on for public use once the modernization was complete. As there is always a learning curve with the new systems, thyssenkrupp Elevator created a presentation for the staff on using AGILE. Multiple presentations were conducted with key hospital leadership personnel. This was critical to ensuring they fully understood the importance of the system and how it changed the operation of their elevator systems. The leaders then trickled this information down throughout the hospital’s staff.
Handout cards in multiple languages to be provided at check-in were also created for guests. This helped ensure new guests they knew how to interact with the elevator system. The same information was also accessible on the touchscreens inside each elevator to remind passengers of the proper way to get to their destinations as quickly as possible.
Beyond essential marketing tools, thyssenkrupp Elevator brought in top leaders from its Service and Modernization lines of business for two weeks for a soft launch of the AGILE Destination Dispatch system. Those team members were available on the main levels of the hospital where most of the building’s traffic flow is to help assist staff members, patients and visitors. After the soft launch, thyssenkrupp Elevator began its transition for handover.