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Yes, you read that right. I assert we will need to miniaturize our products’ burden on buildings while having bigger experiences and faster delivery times which requires stronger materials. 

Remember Ironman’s super-cool digital screens inside his ocean-side lair? Well today, thyssenkrupp announced that our service technicians will use HoloLens technology in its elevator service operations worldwide.

There is no getting around it. If your building is two stories or hundreds of feet, you are going to need an elevator. You have to meet the American Disabilities Act codes but what you don’t need is a complicated elevator system to travel just a few feet.

The term “smart city” can be open to interpretation. Here are a few prerequisites established a few years ago.  A smart city uses technologies to be more intelligent and efficient when using resources.

thyssenkrupp is currently putting the finishing touches on the installation of 30 elevators and 2 escalators that will serve 52 floors at River Point, a new office tower located on a prime piece of property overlooking the Chicago River.


The old adage that you can’t manage what you can’t measure is true.  We managed to save over $140,000 in energy costs and conserve 1,200 megawatt hours of energy use last year in our 700,000 square-foot Tennessee elevator factory in just one year, by getting a clearer view of our processes.

The saving was brought about with the installation of a smart building management system in our factory that helped us achieve a LEED Gold certification last year. As we continually push towards reaching our company’s sustainability goals, using these systems give us a clear view of the energy we use so we can make changes to improve. This building management system gives us a real-time view of all our building systems and helps us reduce our energy use and plan our schedule of manufacturing with energy savings in mind.

The automated building management system we use effectively reduces operating costs in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling. Now HVAC units can be controlled by an occupancy schedule. This means when no one is in the factory, the automated building system shuts off the necessary units to create more energy savings. The HVAC systems are also now equipped with economizers. An economizer does just what it sounds like it should do – economizes to save on cooling costs which means that when the outside air is cool enough, these units utilize that air to cool the factory. In addition to financial savings, the building automation management system provides a completely balanced system which improves the overall comfort of factory employees.  Improvements and upgrades were also made to the factory’s plumbing fixtures, lighting, waste management system and roofing. Along with the building changes, we added 28 new electric forklifts that are environmentally friendly as they rely on batteries and produce no exhaust emissions.

As I shared this success with my colleagues this week at the Department of Energy’s Better Building Summit in Washington, DC, I pointed out that this too is transparency. We often use the term transparency these days to solely refer to the materials that make up the products we create. We take the steps to reveal what’s in the materials we use to be “transparent.” Why? In part to safeguard our environment and so our customers can make educations decision about whether to use our products in their buildings. But transparency is also critical to all aspects of our building’s sustainability including water and energy use.

We continue to look for more ways to meter and get a more transparent view of our energy usage as well as what’s in our materials. The more we learn the better we can become.   

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