There are many positive signs that Australia is beginning to get on top of the coronavirus, but life as we know it may never be the same.
Only too aware of the profound impact our surroundings have on our health and wellbeing, those whose job it is to design our modern living spaces have already begun changing the way high rise living looks as a result of the pandemic.
This has been brought about largely because of a Journal of Hospital Infection report which stated that coronavirus can survive up to nine days on glass and metal surfaces, and that other pathogens can survive over 28 days.
Chief among these changes is the design of apartment towers which, acting on what it suspects will be sensitivity to hygiene in everyday life, limits strata resident interaction in common areas and among shared facilities.
Among the first to incorporate these concerns was architecture firm Elenberg Fraser, which has designed a new 21-storey development in Melbourne’s Domain precinct that only fresh air flows through the building’s common areas, rather than germ-carrying recirculating air.
Set for completion in 2022, the new space also boasts what is believed to be an Australian-first, by offering a direct-to-residence lift for residents.
Summonised via an app on your smart phone or via a button in your apartment, the technology makes corridors redundant and means that residents never need to touch any shared surface or share the elevator space with others.
Having already witnessed pre-COVID interest grow for bespoke lift buttons, elevator manufacturers have been quick to ensure their offerings include applications that enable hygienic operation.
Otis’s version of this new form of connected technologies is what it calls its eCall Smartphone App. The app connects automatically with any of Otis’s Gen 2 lift systems, using either the user’s cell phone network or the building’s Wi-Fi. Once the connection is made, residents drag and drop their starting location to the floor of their choice and the lift is called.
In addition to an anti-nuisance feature limiting the rapid succession of calls to three every five minutes, the app is able to be used across numerous different sites, providing each has its own registration. There is also an option to lengthen door opening times.
Schaefer’s contact-free lift calling app is appropriately titled Liftboy. Able to be used in either manual or automatic mode, regularly used floors and lifts can be added into a favourites profile so that residents are automatically called to the detected floor or the pre-set floor, a move which is activated when you enter the elevator, eliminating lengthy waiting times.
Because this app works independently of the controller, this system allows for retrofitting of existing building’s lift systems.
As with the other large manufacturers, Kone also has a smart phone application available that can make personalised elevator calls quickly, efficiently and hygienically.
Dubbed RemoteCall, the Kone system can be operated on both iOS iPhone and Android operating systems, and allows users to place a call from anywhere in the strata complex at any time.
As with competitor software, this innovative app allows favourite or frequently used routes to be saved for quick selection. However, Kone’s system also allows for three different call types to be pre-programmed – normal destination, priority and accessibility.
Should you have any queries regarding the operation of your building’s elevators, please contact your Community Manager.