As cities grow and the size of buildings increases, nothing is more frustrating than walking into a building and not knowing where to go.
We’ve all been there. You walk inside and search high and low for signs that tell you where the elevators or escalators are located.Worse yet is hunting for an elevator only to notice a line in front. When the flow of people inside a building does not work properly, queuing seems to take an eternity.
“If users are unsatisfied with the service, minimum value is gained from having premium transport solutions,” says Marja-Liisa Siikonen, who heads KONE’s People Flow™ Innovations team. “That is why it is fundamentally important for KONE to make sure that the people using the company’s elevators and escalators get from one destination to another in the fastest and most efficient manner possible.”
What’s the building’s use?
Siikonen and her team do traffic calculations for major high-rise projects and train the global KONE team how to do the same for other projects. How people move inside a building is something Siikonen has thought about for a long time. The physicist did her doctorate thesis on the subject.“Elevators take up a lot of building space, which minimizes commercial use of the property.
Buildings with a great deal of traffic, such as office buildings, require twice as many elevators as residential buildings,” she says. Building modernizations also present their own unique challenges. “Suddenly, the function of the building changes dramatically. A building that went from residential to office use means more traffic. All of this has to be factored in when deciding on the best transportation arrangements to be used.”
No news is good news
Doing the traffic calculations starts when the People Flow team receives building drawings from either the country units or straight from the clients. After analyzing the drawings, the team decides the type and amount of devices, depending on the structure, and checks if the products meet the consultant’s requirements. When the analysis is complete, the customer gets a report summarizing the current situation, along with recommendations. The customer is free to choose to use the recommendations or not.
For the People Flow team, job satisfaction comes when people move fluently throughout a structure without putting much thought into how the transportation devices are functioning. “We know we’ve done a good job when we don’t hear back from the customer. No news is good news,” Siikonen muses.
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What is People Flow®?
People Flow means people moving smoothly, safely, comfortably, and without waiting in and between buildings.
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