Life as we know it, would be impossible without the elevator. The elevator is Integral to accessing otherwise impossible parts of a building, elevators make this happen. In this blog post we will discuss the role of elevators and lifts in tall building design.

Elevators have a wide range of applications but their basic specifications remain the same across many industries. Commercial and residential elevators can be designed as you like. Determining the car capacity and which type of elevator hoist mechanism to use is best left to the manufacturer. This gives the architect an opportunity to explore design options for hall entrance, cab interior, and user interface controls

The Elevator Drive Systems

Gearless Traction: Gearless traction systems use woven steel cables and counterweights to turn the hoisting sheave. With the ability to achieve very high speeds, these systems are common in high rise buildings.

Geared Traction: Geared traction systems use a worm-and-gear-type reduction unit to turn the drive sheave. These systems are slower than gearless systems but require a less robust motor.

Machine-Room-less: Machine-room-less systems can be either traction or hydraulic. The difference is that they feature much more compact drive sheaves and do not require a machine room to support the elevator.

Hydraulic: Usually used for buildings only up to six stories high, hydraulic systems do not require large overhead hoisting systems like geared and gearless systems. Instead, they are lifted by a piston below.

Elevator Dimensions

The following dimensions are details that architects should know, so they can tell the manufacturers the parameters of their building design.

Maximum Travel Distance: Knowing the total vertical distance that the elevator must travel helps manufacturers determine the correct type of system to employ. Hydraulic systems, are usually used for low rise buildings and traction systems are usually for high rise buildings

Minimum Floor Height: This dimension represents the landing-to-landing distance, which will help manufacturers program the elevator’s movement control and identify any limitations on the car’s size.

Hoistway Dimensions: If the shaft structure is already in place, provide the manufacturer with the width, depth, and height of the hoistway. If not, and you are building from scratch, it is easiest to plan the structure so that it can accommodate a standard system.

Entrance Dimensions: The width, height and depth of the entrance will depend on the application of the elevator. For example, hospital elevator entrances are generally 4 to 5-feet wide and 7-feet tall to accommodate any medical equipment. Talk to your manufacturer about what the best entrance dimensions are for your typology and usages.

Car Dimensions: The car dimensions depend on the application and the desired capacity, in addition to the landing-to-landing distance. For example, passenger elevators can range from 6 to 7-feet wide and 4 to 9-feet deep, representing a load capacity range of 2,000 to 5,000-pounds.

The Elevator Aesthetics

Door Type: Elevator doors may be one, two or three,  panels. In addition, doors may be single-slide from left to right or center-opening.

Jamb: The jamb refers to the sides of the entranceway, constituting the depth between the hallway and the car interior. The jamb can be different shapes, including squares, splayed and bullnose. 

Interior Cab Design: Floor, wall and ceiling panels are available in a wide array of materials and styles including stainless steel, metallic laminate, colored laminate, wood laminate, wood, glass, enamel, vinyl, carpet and stone.

The car operating panel (COP): The COP is the navigational panel within the car. It can be customized with countless materials, finishes, button styles, and even LCD displays.

Elevator Performance

Speed: Gearless traction elevators can achieve speeds anywhere from 500-feet to 2,000-feet per minute, geared systems up to 500-feet per minute and hydraulic up to 200-feet per minute. Maximum travel distance can also influence the chosen speed of an elevator system, since 30 seconds is considered to be the maximum travel time between the bottom and top floors of any single building.

Capacity: Passenger elevators generally have capacities ranging from 1,000 to 6,000-pounds while freight elevators are classified by their load capabilities, and can handle up to 20,000-pounds.

Energy Consumption: On average, elevators consume about 5% of a building’s overall electricity. Hydraulic units in low-rise buildings generally prove less efficient than traction elevators in mid to high-rise buildings. Energy saving methods such as intelligent software packages that respond to elevator traffic, green materials, and efficient lighting can significantly reduce the system’s energy use.

Fire: It is important to state where your building is located so that manufacturers can ensure the elevator packages will meet local fire codes. Some elevators, for example, will have completely fire resistant doors.

About Day Elevator & Lift, A KLEEMANN Company

Day Elevator & Lift was founded in 1992 with a team of qualified and experienced staff. We provide our customers with top quality technology-driven accessibility products and solutions. Our products and solutions can be used  for both residential and commercial purposes with ADA Compliance.

We recently joined forces with KLEEMANN and are now able to offer a wider range products. KLEEMANN has an established global presence in over 100 countries and stands out for having the widest product range in the world. The alliance of Day Elevator & Lift and KLEEMANN unites the two companies’ shared vision of growth through a people-centric approach.

To learn more about Day Elevator & Lift feel free to give us a call at 516-486-5438 or fill out our contact form.