The new Salesforce Tower in San Francisco is much more than a prestige project for the Schindler crew.
Installing 34 elevators in the second-highest skyscraper on the U.S.’s West coast was no standard undertaking. San Francisco’s new landmark gave Schindler the opportunity to showcase its technological expertise.
’This was the first time in my 37-year career that the elevators were not a cause of contention,’ says Danny Murtagh, Vice President of Engineering at Boston Properties, which owns the high-rise building in the city center. ‘Schindler delivered ahead of schedule and more than exceeded our requirements.’ All the elevators are equipped with ‘Schindler Ahead.’
’There is every chance this will be the tallest building in the city for the next 50 years – and that required maximum effort on our part,’ says Brian Cave, Schindler San Francisco General Manager. Calling on specialists from across North America, he put together a 50 person-strong highly motivated team. ‘We’ve grown into a real family,’ Cave explains.
A particular challenge was the high risk of earthquakes in the region. Fortunately, when constructing the 326-meter tower, Boston Properties secured its foundations in the rock at a depth of almost 100 meters. Schindler also equipped it with sensors that will shut down the building’s elevators if they detect an earthquake of more than 3 on the Richter scale.
The last severe earthquake that struck back in October 1989 reached 6.9 on the Richter scale, with moderate aftershocks. Today, this would cause the elevators in the Salesforce Tower to temporarily stop operating. Boston Properties is convinced that it chose the right partner. ‘Schindler delivered a really attractive system,’ says Murtagh.
The tower also sets new environmental standards. It uses 35% less energy than the strictest standards and is equipped with a waste water treatment plan that should save 29.6 million liters of water each year. This is the largest treatment plant of its kind to be installed in any skyscraper in the US. The building is supplied with 100% renewable energy and is heated and ventilated using an underground distribution network. This also allows the building’s cooling systems to operate without additional energy and reduces energy costs by 50%.
Brian Cave is now writing the next chapter of Schindler’s success story in San Francisco. In the neighboring Park Tower, Schindler has installed the first ever fireproof elevators that can be used for evacuation purposes in the event of a fire. ‘This represents a win-win situation from a user safety and commercial perspective, since one less stairway is needed in the building – allowing for more office space.’ Cave believes that skyscrapers around the world will be equipped with fireproof elevators in future. The installation has already been trialed successfully in San Francisco.