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Jim Fortune
Founder, Fortune Consultants, Colorado
“Emergency Building Evacuations via Elevators”

Since the Las Vegas MGM Grand fire in 1973, most building codes were changed to follow the Phase 1 Firefighters’ return features during an emergency. After 9-11 it became apparent that in buildings over 100 stories, it is impractical to evacuate via emergency stairs alone or exiting occupants vacate go to a refuge floor and wait as also many elderly, handicapped, or non-ambulatory persons cannot navigate the exiting maze. Also, there is a serious conflict in emergency stair use.
This presentation introduces the World’s first elevator evacuation ‘Lifeboat’ operation, as installed in the Burj Dubai Tower. It also discuss the Chapter 30 implications of the new I.B.C. 2009 Building Code.



JAMES W. FORTUNE is the President/Principal of Fortune Consultants, Ltd. (FCL)
Elevator Consulting and has put in 40 years in the elevator industry. Educated in Architecture from
Pasadena and University of Southern California. Then did BS Industrial Technology and MBA from
University of Denver. Career Positions starting with Westinghouse Electric (Elevator) Company, then was
the President and later Chairman/Principal of Lerch Bates & Asso. Elevator Consulting office. Along with
Rajahvenkatraman he has established a leading consultancy office in the Middle East doing many important
projects and now working into the Indian segment. Notable Projects include: 125, 150 floors plus Towers, #1 Dubai (under design); 162 floors, Burj Dubai Tower, Dubai, New World’s Tallest Tower (completed); Incheon 151 Tower; Korea, 97 Story- Trump Tower, Chicago; 110 floors Lotte, Korea (under design); 101 floors Taipei Financial Center (completed) World’s Fastest Elevators; 92 Story (420m) Hong Kong Station; 115 Story Ritz Carlton Hotel; Incheon International Airport, Korea; among many others.

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