From the Ground Floor Up

July 1, 2003
Maximizing Building Performance Through Environmental Strategies - PRODUCTS
“The world is a place of limits. Limited space. Limited resources. As worldwide needs and demands expand, new ways must be found to more efficiently use what’s available,” says Tom Hubbell, assistant vice president of marketing for KONE Inc. ( for U.S. operations, which are headquartered in Moline, IL.In 1996, Helsinki-based KONE Inc. introduced a new elevator design, notes Hubbell. It has proven to be a favorite among owners, builders, and building designers, trying to reduce the impact their facilities have on the environment. The MonoSpace® elevator saves space, energy, and oil – three elements that have long-term impact on reducing building costs and environmental concerns.“It’s estimated that the energy saved annually by the installations could operate a city of 40,000 people, and the space saved globally represents the equivalent of 50,000 offices,” adds Hubbell.When unveiled in Europe, the MonoSpace was the first elevator on the market that required only a small space, instead of a separate machine room above the shaft to house the lifting machinery. Thus, the machine-room-less elevator was born. KONE created the innovative and quiet EcoDisc®, a hoisting machine that mounts off the car rail inside the elevator shaft, allowing more design freedom. MonoSpace also means lower construction costs, a reduction in the need for building supplies, and the ability to offer more leaseable space to generate additional income. The EcoDisc hoisting machine uses a permanent magnet synchronous motor that consumes less power and produces less heat (reducing the need for air-conditioning) when compared to traditional geared or hydraulic elevator systems. The reduced starting current drawn by the EcoDisc also allows the use of significantly smaller mainline electrical feeder sizes and smaller emergency generators. Energy cost savings are up to 40 percent when compared to geared elevators, and up to 60 percent when compared to hydraulic power units.Because MonoSpace has fewer moving parts, it has a longer life-cycle and needs fewer replacement parts over the years, saving additional resources in the parts manufacturing process.The MonoSpace has a maximum travel of 230 feet. For taller buildings (up to 360 feet of travel), KONE markets the EcoSystem MR elevator, which uses the same EcoDisc hoisting technology contained in a machine room less than half the size of those that serve traditional traction elevators.

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