With the impressive Shanghai International Finance Center contract in its pocket, KONE took a step forward in the high-rise building market in China.
“This project is a landmark for KONE, a milestone for Shanghai, and a flagship for our customer Sun Hung Kai Properties,” says Ari Lehtoranta, KONE’s Executive Vice President responsible for Major Projects. The distinguished high-rise commercial complex project promises a new and prosperous era for KONE in the country’s vast high-rise market. The Shanghai International Finance Center represents a momentous turning point for the major Hong Kong development company, too. “We put our biggest resources into this project and recruited the best international players,” says Dr. Kwok Wing Kwong, M&E project manager at Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHK), explaining the importance of the project for this major Hong Kong development company. SHK has few previous projects in mainland China, so IFC, located in the second most important city and the number one financial hub of China, represents a momentous turning point for them. “In international projects like this one, we use the best international suppliers. KONE is one of the main suppliers,” says Dr. Kwok, speaking on the authority of 26 years in the construction business and long-term familiarity with KONE.KONE did not come to the bidding contest as the frontrunner. The key to closing the gap and winning the elevator contract was a top-down approach and a specially-focused effort. “Our whole team made the decision to go after this project and committed to it in all areas – quality, service, flexibility and after-sales. The project’s steering group met once a month and visited the project site regularly,” adds Lehtoranta.
Conquering challengesThe project was challenging and memorable in many ways. For example, KONE’s first double-deck elevators in China were installed. Due to the developer’s short deadline, a task that would normally take four to five months had to be completed in two. Nevertheless, the KONE team delivered before its target date. “The KONE team responded promptly and efficiently to any complications at the site,” says Dr. Kwok. To show their satisfaction, the developer even recognized KONE’s performance with a bonus. KONE’s quality director in China, Lei Yuan, oversaw the project implementation at the site. He says KONE’s global nature – materializing as support from the top management, R&D and other departments of KONE – proved a crucial success factor in this project.
Talk of the townAlready about half of the world’s tallest buildings are in China and the trend continues. Even second and third-tier cities are beginning to develop high-rise buildings.Until the IFC contract was signed in 2007, KONE had been known primarily for its residential projects in China. Now it’s a different story. KONE will make use of the teachings of the IFC project in its other projects and is taking potential customers to visit the site. “We built great project management practices that we are still using. This is something our customers will greatly benefit from in future projects,” says Lehtoranta. “Everybody is saying that this is an unbelievable project. Many say that with projects like these, it’s just a matter of time for KONE to become the leader in the market.”
Shanghai IFC in a nutshell
• Mixed-use complex with offices, hotels and a high-end shopping mall• 3 buildings: 260, 250 and 85 meters high• 95 elevators: 4 KONE double-deck elevators, 81 KONE MiniSpace™ elevators, 10 KONE MonoSpace® elevators• Maximum speed of elevators: 8 m/s• Maximum travel distance of elevators: 250 meters• Construction: Tower 1 – Completed in 2009, Tower 2 – Estimated for 2011• Architect: Pelli Clarke, Pelli Architects Properties Limited
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