Vertical Transportation Consultant

Marble Arch Place
London, UK

Key Services

The Client

Almacantar and the Portman Estate


The Architect

Rafael Vinoly


The Project

The development consists of an 18-storey residential tower and a further 7-storey consisting of commercial units, complete with retail at the ground floor. The area is enhanced further with the creation of a new public realm for all. A striking art installation around the front commercial building façade gives the whole development a unique look. 


The Brief

D2E were asked to perform Vertical Transportation and Façade Access & Maintenance services from the planning stage of the development. As the development is mixed-use, a range of residential and commercial traffic calculations must be performed to guarantee optimised traffic performance.

In addition to this, D2E had to provide a robust Façade Access design for the client within the building parameters and geometry, ensuring the safest methods of Working at Height are utilised and Hierarchy of Risk design procedures are followed.


The Solution

To ensure the client received maximum residential space to market and sell, efficient planning of the core and additional lifts was needed. D2E’s design allowed the penthouse lift shaft to be placed directly on the lower residential core, giving more space to the penthouse tenant.

Due to the vibration of the central line directly below, acoustic protection of the residential units was needed to ensure tenant satisfaction and comfort. To counteract this, an acoustic break was introduced at the first floor. D2E aided the structural engineer in their assessment of building sway and tolerances to ensure satisfactory performance criteria for the lifts. Tyco pads and strategic breaks in the guide rails were introduced to aid in the dissipation of the vibration.

D2E designed an access system consisting of 2 BMUs to sit on each of the respective towers. This provided the client with a collective protection from of access. The design enabled the BMUs to be hidden when not in use, aiding in the visual design intent of the development.

Working with the artwork designer and fabricator, 3D studies were performed to enable the BMU cradle to access the maximum space around and between the artwork, with a safe access strategy developed to access the remaining façade.

Almancantar’s primary requirement for the lifts was for compliance with the BCO performance targets and to achieve CIBSE design criteria for the residential tenants. The outcome was 3 x 21 Person Passenger Lifts for the commercial blocks and 3 x 13 Person Passenger lifts serving the residential tower. In addition, bespoke 2 x 4500kg  Machine Room Less Vehicle lifts have been designed to fulfil the client brief, noting MRL lifts at this rated load in non-existent. The project, in addition to the main core lifts, is also served by dedicated Goods lifts and Cyle lift serving all the back of house area.


The Outcome

Integral Cradles were selected to manufacture and install the BMUs for the development, with D2E witnessing the factory acceptance tests in September 2018 in Madrid, prior to shipping and installation.

The VT package was tendered to three major suppliers in May 2015. Three comprehensive offers were received back with Otis ultimately being successful.


Portfolio Management

MAPP has been appointed to provide facilities management services for the new build asset. As D2E have a successful existing relationship with MAPP, the asset management of the equipment will fall into the existing portfolio with D2E.

Having the asset under the D2E portfolio enables the client and facilities management company to utilise D2E’s knowledge and experience for the management of in-use assets. This consists of code compliance, effective contractor management, regular equipment auditing and strategic financial management, all with the aim of extending the life of the assets while limiting the downtime.