Elevar has been working with Kroger on space planning and workforce re-organizations to their numerous corporate offices. As a result of the shift in workplace environments due to COVID19, we were hired in 2020 to perform a comprehensive and complex master plan which reflected the company’s short-term requirements to allow for long-term flexibility. Kroger’s corporate employees had to quickly adjust to a remote working environment while executives had to expeditiously manage a new culture of collaboration and communication in a remote working landscape. Kroger was seeking a team who could provide visioning and strategy leadership for what to do with their current space. Their goal was to hire a partner that would analyze the current space and guide them through best practices for implementation of the workspace changes.
Our planning work with Kroger resulted in the renovations of several of their corporate offices, to include Plaza II in Blue Ash, OH. The two-story office building, constructed in 1980, functioned without an elevator until recent workplace re-organizations prioritized the need. Previous renovation projects attempted to incorporate traditional interior core construction, but the loss of usable area and negative impact to the schedule and budget eliminated it each time. In order to keep the project on schedule and align with budget, our team designed a new, prefabricated hydraulic elevator situated on the exterior of the building near the main entrance.
While prefab modular elevators are not a new concept, they are rarely considered. Early in the project, we collaborated with the client and general contractor to determine this as the best solution to this design challenge. Our modular solution enhanced the front façade by positioning the new hydraulic elevator tower on the exterior of the building which took advantage of existing glazed openings and connectivity to the structure.
The installation of the prefabricated modular elevator and exterior shaft, both of which are manufactured simultaneously in a factory, were trucked on site in one large shipment. The Kroger KPII elevator was manufactured by Phoenix Modular Elevator. Our structural engineers designed the concrete foundation and pit that received the steel shaft and cab assembly. This design solution is more cost-effective for the client and can be completed on a faster schedule than a traditional masonry elevator shaft.
When the shaft and cab arrived on site, a crane was used to hoist them into place in the already constructed concrete pit. The cab arrived already in place within the shaft. The installation contractor, Peak Elevator, spent a couple weeks post-installation to make final connections and to ensure safe and effective operation. The exterior insulation finishing system (EIFS) and roofing was then completed for final building tie-ins by the general contractor, Overberg Construction, who was also responsible for overall coordination of the project.
We know that our clients want a greater value for the investments they make in their facilities. In each project, our design team strives to see what others do not see. By analyzing all possible options, we find creative solutions for our clients’ design challenges.