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Horton and Walker

Walker House and Horton house originally started life as Derby and Sefton House both part of Exchange Buildings, there was an exchange building on the site from 1803, and the building is Grade 2 listed by English Heritage, mainly due to the fact that it was the home to a World War 2 command HQ. It is known as The Western Approaches HQ and mainly responsible for operations connected to the Battle of the Atlantic, the war rooms have been preserved in their original state and are now a museum.

The directors from Knowsley Lifts were very familiar with the building itself as it previously housed the Liverpool Branch of Express Lifts, in an office on the 7th Floor and workshop and stores in the basement, (the basement workshop for some reason still empty, and like the war rooms still frozen in time from 1992 when Express re-located!).

Due to our knowledge of the building we managed to secure the service contract for the building while it was in the hands of the owner during the days of Express’s tenure, when the building was sold for re-development, the first part of the development being Horton House, the main contractor was originally going to follow the advice given by two of the multi-nationals and rip the original 5 lifts out and install their own MRL’s. The Original Lifts were all DC driven and were all original machines circa late 1950’s. We proposed to re-furbish all five lifts, a three car group with 2 x 12 person lifts and a 21 person goods lifts (all 2.5 m/s), and a duplex pair of 12 person lifts also 2.5 m/s, giving the customer  a considerable saving, whilst still maintaining a higher specification offered by the multi-nationals.....  All using open-protocol equipment that allowed the customer to make their own choices over the lifetime of the equipment as to who will be the maintaining company, and allow parts to be freely available.

The refurbishment consisted of changing all major components, Control Panels, Motors, Doors, etc and also refurbishing the lift cars to a high specification as requested by the customer, in frosted glass finish with slate type tiled floors, leaving the customer and end user with an aesthetically pleasing result backed up technically by some of the best equipment available in the market.

The second phase of the project was Walker House was contracted out to Pochin Construction to carry out, again due to the manner in which the project at Horton House was carried out and the customers satisfaction with the end result (and also competitive price offered), we were awarded the contract by Pochin.

Walker House originally had a two car group, a single rear goods lift, and a three car group including a goods lift. The customers remit was to refurbish existing lifts in a similar manner to Horton House, but this time also to rip out the two passenger lifts in the three car group to use the lift shafts as service ducts, leaving only the Goods lift, and refurbishing this to fire-fighting standards.

There were two major differences to Horton House firstly was that one lift of the Duplex pair also needed to be a fire-fighting lift, and also require to be a through car, we achieved this by removing the original lift completely, and the top of the shaft and being able to re-install a complete new lift conforming to all standards. The Second being that due to the main entrance to the building having been relocated and also two lifts being removed for services, more lifts were required to allow for traffic requirements in the building, this was to be done by installing a 4-car group in a self supporting structure that was also provided by ourselves.

Since install of all lifts on site we have received very positive feedback from both Pochin construction and also the property management company responsible for the building, we are proud to still be the maintenance provider at one of the largest and most prestigious sites in Liverpool  and hope to carry on for some years to come.