Onward and upward

The pull of the global urban magnet is drawing the workforce toward the heart of big cities. This means building upward instead of outward. Read on to see how intelligent solutions are transforming the traditional office building in Mexico City.

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Text: Tim Bird

Mexican developers are busy building public transport networks, schools, hospitals, malls and other services within urban districts, rather than on its peripheries. Vertical construction is the name of the game in the Mexican capital and in cities like Monterrey, Guadalajara, Tijuana and Chihuahua.

The up-and-coming trend lies in the office space segment, though. Coldwell Banker Commercial has estimated that between 2016 and 2020, about 500,000 square meters will be added annually to the national total.

“Office space in the capital can be categorized into 10 main corridors for major projects,” says Alicia Bandala, managing director of KONE Mexico. “A related trend has been the growth of smaller office buildings on secondary streets within main office corridors, usually offering less than 20,000 square meters each. At the beginning of 2017, some 54% of 39 office blocks under construction in Mexico City were smaller units.”

Maximizing space

Torre Anseli in the Avenida Revolución is representative of the steadily growing Mexican office space market. It is a new office building where we were called upon to provide optimal vertical transportation without sacrificing maximum rentable space.

To aid people flow in these buildings, while maximizing rentable space, we teamed up with first-adaptor developers to produce high-tech solutions for vertical transportation in their buildings. Torre Anseli, for instance will be the first building in Mexico City to have our innovative double-deck elevators installed. This coupled with People Flow Intelligence solutions will provide tenants with easy, smooth transit in the building.

“The turnstiles and card readers match in a minimalistic and elegant style that provides visual comfort and a safe, enjoyable user experience,” says Bandala. “And a cherry on the top of the cake is the fact that users with special permits can be provided with remote call access through their mobile phones, so they can request an elevator even as they enter the facility.”

Our people flow solutions help optimize traffic, reducing the size and number of elevators needed in a building, and they’re seamlessly integrated with existing systems to provide maximum security while ensuring smooth people flow.

Tailor-made solutions

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“Elevators in this building are customized pieces of equipment that are not from a standardized catalogue. Each one has to be designed carefully and adapted to the demands of the architect and the engineer’s projects,” points out Bandala.

Which is why we were involved from the very start of the project as both a consultant and an advisor, supporting the customer’s executives in their decision making while providing attractive solutions. Our proven ability to provide solutions in landmark projects across the world gives customers the reassurance that they are in good hands, notes Bandala.

The customer agrees. “Torre Anseli is an iconic project for Mexico,” says Carlos Salame of the CINSA construction group that developed the project. “It is the first building with a complete set of KONE Access solutions. It has increased our rentable area to our satisfaction.”

If the feedback from the customer in this case is anything to go by, we are definitely in for the long haul in Mexico.

“We have clearly demonstrated our status and experience in important and complex projects such as Arcos Bosques I and II, Plaza Carso, and Pabellon M. And we have some other very interesting projects coming soon in Mexico City, in which we are delivering the best People Flow experience, including Torre Manacar, Torre Reforma 509 and Torre Latitud,” emphasizes Bandala.

The real estate market in Mexico looks bright in the coming years, with many old buildings offering opportunities for redevelopment. In turn, we too are prepared for increased digitalization of maintenance services, including offering customers predictive maintenance solutions.

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