Lerch Bates Inc. Building Insight

Global Leaders in Technical Consulting for the Building Industry

Lerch Bates Appoints Tim O’Brien Project Manager

O’Brien Manages Automated Logistics Solutions for Great Lakes Region

Tim O'BrienLerch Bates, an international consulting firm for vertical transportation, façade access and materials management, announced Tim O’Brien has joined the company in its Chicago office as project manager.

In his new role, O’Brien provides technical consulting services to architects, building owners and facility operators on material handling systems as well as collaborates on materials management, elevator and façade access consulting services. He manages automated logistics solutions for the healthcare industry as well as for commercial construction projects through the application of various automated material distribution systems. O’Brien also consults on the development of process improvement programs for healthcare facilities through the application of automated solutions.

“Tim O’Brien joins Lerch Bates with extensive healthcare automated logistics experience and as an automated logistics designer,” said Lerch Bates President and CEO Bart Stephan. “His diverse experience in multiple roles will greatly benefit our exceptional logistics team. We are pleased that he joins our Great Lakes Region with the talent and experience needed to advance our firm’s ability to provide unmatched logistics solutions for the healthcare industry.”

Prior to joining Lerch Bates, O’Brien served as an application engineer for Swisslog where he provided consultation, engineering and estimates for the sales and installation of healthcare pneumatic tube systems. He also has worked as an estimator and project engineer for Mortenson Construction, providing detailed estimates and on-site project management for commercial construction.

O’Brien earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Southern Illinois University and an Associate in Arts – Architecture Sample Plan from Harper College in Palatine, Ill.

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.



Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Lerch Bates is an employee owned international consulting services firm with 33 offices throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and India. Founded over 65 years ago, with elevator consulting as its cornerstone, we advise architects, developers, building investors, owners and managers on the design, sustainability and continuous use of a wide spectrum of building systems for any size or type of building.


Baltimore/Washington, D.C.
Global Headquarters
(Littleton, CO)
Los Angeles
New York
Orange County
San Diego
San Francisco

UK Headquarters
(Surrey, United Kingdom)




Did You Know?

Facade Access BMU on the Burj Khalifa

Our clients know.

Our consultants regularly collaborate on different disciplines within the same contract, saving our clients time and money. The same trusted service and expertise, anywhere in the world, on any size of project.

To learn more about our complementary disciplines and find out if you could benefit, please visit www.LerchBates.com, or ask your consultant for more information.

Everybody knows.  Lerch Bates knows elevators.

But not everybody knows, that for 20 years, Lerch Bates has been an industry leader in Facade Access consulting, and Materials Management/Materials Handling consulting.

Lerch Bates 3MH Continues Success in the Middle East

Pictured L to R: Abdulaziz Mohammed Al Malohi (Head Materials Management KFSH&RC), Darren Henkel (3MH Project Manager), Hue Roach (3MH Business Line Leader) and Sulaiman Al-Salamah (Executive Director Logistics Service Division KFSH&RC).

Lerch Bates’ Materials Management/Materials Handling recently concluded a successful trip to Saudi Arabia.

Beginning with King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH&RC), a 1,000 bed medical center in Riyadh KSA, the Lerch Bates 3MH team began the second phase of a campus wide logistic master plan. This second phase is to develop waste management operations for the current and future campus and draft the RFP for the Consolidated Warehouse and Waste Management Centre.

Following their success in Riyadh, Lerch Bates negotiated with Saudi Diyar, one of the premiere architectural firms in Jeddah, to provide campus wide logistic Concept Design and Schematic Tender for the King Abdullah Medical City, which will be located at the entrance to Mecca.



The Tallest Buildings In The World

Lerch Bates is proud to have consulted on many of the tallest buildings in the world.

Kingdom Tower

In the ever-continuing battle of the Super Talls, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects are currently in the design phases of what will be the new tallest building in the world.  Upon completion, The Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia will rise more than 1,000 meters, dwarfing the current World’s Tallest Building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE, by more than 172 meters.  In addition, the Tower will house over 280,000 square meters GFA (gross floor area) and will be paired with a retail mall sized at over 97,000 square meters GFA.

Lerch Bates Inc. has been selected as specialty consultants to work with Smith + Gill Architects to provide Materials Management/Materials Handling and Waste Management services on this globally iconic, world class building.

Photos courtesy of architectism.com




















The “Unit Material” Empire Strikes Back

As consultants, we are expected to be the experts.  So, we spend a fair amount of our time doing research on new products that are on the market.  Honestly, it is amazing to see what is out there in new technology, including, elevators, Automated Guided Vehicles, Tug systems, Pneumatic Tube Systems, Pneumatic Chute Systems, AS/RS Systems (Automatic Storage/Retrieval Systems), and horizontal carousels to name a few.

In the past couple of weeks, we at Lerch Bates have had the opportunity to see some of the new robotic technology on the market for healthcare facilities, and I have to say that it seems we are getting closer to some of the technology portrayed in the sci-fi movies of the 1970s and 1980s.  Think R2-D2.  While we have yet to see a hover craft for unit material delivery in hospitals, we have still seen some pretty exciting technology.

Last week, Lerch Bates saw one such technology in action…the autonomous mobile robot.  These are small transport units available now, that can deliver up to 50 pounds of supplies, mail, samples, etc. These robots are intelligent enough to map an area and store where obstructions may be along a path so that they can travel along the route to get to the destination.  They can even detect people and can navigate around obstructions not on their map.  They are completely independent devices and can be programmed to say specific messages and play specific songs in route or at the destination.  It is almost as if they have been assigned a “personality.” These are definitely an option for anyone looking at possible solutions for small items to be transported via materials handling system, rather than using costly FTE “sneaker power.”  In some cases, these could even be used to relieve unit supply traffic on an existing Pneumatic Tube System.

Lerch Bates strives to continue to keep a strong pulse on the technologies available to give our clients the best options.  In fact, this is one of the best and most interesting parts of our job.  Who knows, maybe hover technology is next?

Healthcare Design Conference (HDC) 2010

Lerch Bates attended the Healthcare Design Conference in November in Las Vegas, with our Materials Management/Materials Handling business line.  In these times, it seems as though attendance at trade shows is waning with the tightening of belts and closer monitoring of overhead expenses.  However, you never would have known that at this show held at the MGM Grand in Vegas.

Even with our struggling economy, it is very reassuring to see a turn out like this.  It means several things:

  • There is healthcare design work happening
  • Architects and designers are still keeping up with their continuing education
  • Architects and designers are still excited about what they are doing
  • New work  and optimism are simmering all of the time

The healthcare design industry seems to remain somewhat strong in these times.  Many attendees passed by the booths with optimism that has not yet been reached in other design disciplines. There were several opportunities to chat with our clients and potential clients about their feelings about the future.

This was great to be able to connect with our clients to see what the future may hold.