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Lerch Bates Selected to Consult on Wilshire Grand Project

$1 Billion Mixed-Use Tower Will Be the Tallest Building on the West Coast

Wilshire GrandLerch Bates, an international consulting firm for vertical transportation, façade access and materials management, has been selected by architecture firm AC Martin to design the façade access system for Wilshire Grand, a $1 billion 73-story skyscraper that will be built in downtown Los Angeles, Calif.

The exterior maintenance systems designed by Lerch Bates for Wilshire Grand will enable safe and efficient access to all of the skyscraper’s exterior façades for building maintenance. Lerch Bates has provided façade access designs for other landmark buildings throughout Los Angeles including the U.S. Bank Tower, Disney Concert Hall and Getty Center.

“Wilshire Grand is arguably one of the most exciting high-rise projects going on right now in North America,” said Jeff Marsh, Lerch Bates’ director of business development. “Lerch Bates is recognized around the world as the most innovative designer of exterior maintenance equipment. Our façade access designs ensure the highest degree of equipment effectiveness and are made to be compatible with the artistic high-rise towers that are being developed today. Wilshire Grand is one of those projects that will not only be a challenge for us but will be a welcomed addition to our extensive list of skyscrapers around the globe that features façade access equipment designed by Lerch Bates.”

Being developed by Korean Air Lines Co., Wilshire Grand will be the tallest building west of Chicago when it is expected to be completed in early 2017. The glass-clad tower, to be constructed in the city’s financial district and just blocks from the bourgeoning entertainment district that is anchored by the Staples Center and L.A. Live, will include a four-star hotel as well as 400,000 square feet of office and 45,100 square feet of retail space. The 73-story Wilshire Grand will feature a soaring spire that will raise the total height of the skyscraper to 1,100 square feet, rising 82 feet higher than the 1,018-feet U.S. Bank Tower, completed in 1989 and is the tallest building on the West Coast and the 10th tallest in the United States. Construction of Wilshire Grand is slated to begin later this year at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street, former site of the Wilshire Grand hotel that closed in 2011 and is currently being demolished.

A much anticipated updated design of the skyscraper was unveiled on Feb. 7 by AC Martin, a Los Angeles based family owned architecture firm that has designed many landmarks throughout the city including Los Angeles City Hall in the 1920s. The hotel, with a yet to be announced four-star operator, will occupy the upper floors of the Wilshire Grand. Hotel guests will travel by high-speed elevators up to the sky lobby located on the 70th floor to check into their rooms, a high-rise design that is unique in the City of Angels. The 71st floor will feature a restaurant and the top floor of the tower will showcase an infinity swimming pool and a recreation area. The first three floors of Wilshire Grand will include restaurants and shops and the next 30 floors will house leased office space.

In lieu of a typical downtown Los Angeles skyscraper that has a flat roof dominated by a helicopter landing pad, Wilshire Grand’s will feature a beautiful 100-feet tall glass pediment. The project is expected to create more than 11,000 construction jobs and contribute $80 million in tax revenue during its development and 1,700 permanent jobs and $16 million in annual revenue when completed. AC Martin has designed the building to meet U.S. Green Building Council LEED® certification standards. Turner Construction Company will oversee the construction of Wilshire Grand and Cushman & Wakefield has been chosen as the leasing agent.

“Lerch Bates is the recognized around the world as the premier façade access consulting firm,” added Marsh. “Celebrating more than 65 years in the industry, we have consulted on the construction of many of the world’s tallest buildings including the 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa in Dubai, 1,667-foot Taipei 101 in Taipei and 1,483-foot Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Being selected to give our unique expertise to the building of World One is truly an honor and a challenge that we are ready to tackle.”

Lerch Bates Joins Team Constructing Saudi Arabia’s New Tallest Commercial Skyscraper

Capital Market Authority Tower is Focal Project of New King Abdullah Financial

Lerch Bates, an international consulting firm for vertical transportation, façade access and materials management, was selected by renowned architecture firm HOK and leading architectural and engineering consultancy firm Omrania & Associates to join the team constructing the prestigious Capital Market Authority (“CMA”) tower in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Lerch Bates is providing vertical transportation, façade access and materials management expertise during the construction of the future tallest commercial tower in the Middle East. The firm is the oldest and largest vertical transportation consulting firm in the world and has set the international standard for elevator consulting. The CMA tower will be served by two double-deck sky lobbies and will include 11 double deck shuttle cars, 17 twins (an elevator system equipped with two separate traction drives that allows two cars to travel on the same set of rails, one above the other), 12 escalators and 12 additional elevators including service units.

Throughout its 65-year history, Lerch Bates has built a reputation as a worldwide leader in advising on façade access and materials management/material handling. Lerch Bates has consulted on the façade access systems, permanent equipment and rigs utilized for servicing exterior façades including window washing, of many of the world’s tallest buildings including the 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 1,667-foot Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan, the 1,483-foot Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the 1,476-foot Nanjing Greenland Financial Center in Nanjing, China.

“Lerch Bates is honored to provide the consulting of its three core competencies, vertical transportation, façade access and materials management, on the construction of Saudi Arabia’s new tallest commercial skyscraper,” said Jeff Marsh, Lerch Bates’ director of business development. “The tower will provide many firsts for the kingdom including the first building in the country to utilize a twin elevator system, the first superstructure to be LEED Gold Certified and the first to use triple-pane, utilized glazing on its façade. We are very excited to join the team constructing this new landmark in Riyadh.”

The 76-story 1,263-feet tall skyscraper will eclipse Saudi Arabia’s current tallest commercial building, the landmark 991-foot Kingdom Centre, and is expected to be complete in 2014. The CMA tower will be the focal point of the King Abdullah Financial District (“KAFD”), an unprecedented development that consists of dozens of towers and will transform the kingdom into a major hub for Middle Eastern business.  KAFD will host the headquarters of the Capital Market Authority, Tadawul, the kingdom’s stock exchange, banks, financial institutions and other service providers such as accountants, auditors, lawyers, analysts, rating agencies, consultants and IT providers.

Saudi Arabia’s Capital Marketing Authority, the government organization responsible for regulating the kingdom’s capital markets, will occupy the top three floors of the CMA tower (300,000 square feet). The 1.98-million square feet skyscraper also will house a 45-seat auditorium, dining areas and leisure facilities featuring a modern fitness center and luxurious swimming pool.

When completed, the CMA tower is expected to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (“LEED”) Gold Certified by the Green Building Council. The slim tower’s vertical transportation units will generate electricity from lift-car inertia during downward breaking. The structural transparency of the skyscraper will create internal openness and access to natural light within the floors.

To mitigate the region’s intense sunlight and heat, CMA will feature a high performance solar control system that includes an external layer of fins, gantries and perforated panels that will provide shade and amplify the thermal efficiency of the triple-pane, unitized glazing. The shading devices will minimize solar gain and internal cooling demands, reducing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (“HVAC”) requirements. The CMA tower’s internal heat gains will be minimized by eliminating copper wire-based distribution systems for data and security.

The revolutionary design will utilize wireless communications, air blown fiber optics and converged network technologies, merging voice, data and video networks to reduce costs, centralize management and boost productivity.

Did You Know?



Did You Know?

Our newest Lerch Bates office is located in the heart of Shanghai in the People’s Republic of China at the center of the world’s most exciting and dynamic architectural high-rise design community. This office is working on some of the most iconic and unique tall, super tall, and mega tall towers throughout Asia.

The Lerch Bates (China) Limited office provides complete design consulting services for all of our business lines—Vertical Transportation, Façade Access and Materials Management / Materials Handling— and works with some of the world’s foremost architects in Asia.

The Lerch Bates approach provides continuity of design services and project coordination with our client’s design teams in the United States, Europe, Asia, and through Local Design Institutes in China. The extensive international experience of our Shanghai consulting team results in our consultants being well versed in the code and cultural issues of each market throughout Asia Pacific. Our direct relationships with all of the China domestic Original Equipment (OEM ) manufacturers at each of the factories, as well as relationships with the engineering departments of all of the major elevator and façade access equipment suppliers, result in design solutions that directly reflect the specific equipment and capabilities available within the China domestic market as well as major European and Japanese factories.



Jay A. Popp Joins the Chicago Committee on High Rise Buildings

CCHRB Is Recognized as the First Organization in the World to Specifically Advance the Knowledge of High-Rise Buildings

Lerch Bates, an international consulting firm for vertical transportation, façade access and materials management, announced that industry veteran Jay A. Popp has been selected as a committee member of the Chicago Committee on High Rise Buildings (CCHRB). CCHRB is a not-for-profit organization founded to investigate problems or enhancements, support research and disseminate information for economic design, construction, operation and rehabilitation of high-rise buildings.

Lerch Bates Executive Vice President, International, Jay A. Popp began working for the firm in 1977. His extensive experience in elevator consulting has included roles in engineering, architectural coordination and consulting on projects throughout the world. Jay has extensive experience in tall, supertall and megatall buildings, mixed-use projects and with dozens of stadiums and arenas. He is currently involved with major supertall projects throughout China, Asia, Russia, Turkey and the Middle East. He is currently an active member of the ASME A 17.1 International Standards Code Committee and National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII) and is the sitting president of the International Association of Elevator Consultants (IAEC).

“I am so pleased to have been chosen as a committee member of The Chicago Committee on High Rise Buildings,” said Popp. “As buildings around the globe grow taller and taller, it is imperative that research as well as our knowledge of all aspects of safety and design are disseminated internationally to those involved in the building industry.”

CCHRB consists of about 80 members including architects, engineers (structural, geo-technical, M/P/FP/E and others), specialty consultants (elevator, acoustics, fire protection/life safety, cladding and others), building owners, building managers, general contractors, specialty contractors, representatives of professional organizations and members of the legal profession. CCHRB was formally established in 1970, reportedly making it the first organization in the world to specifically advance the knowledge of high-rise buildings.