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Elevators are devices that move people and goods vertically within a dedicated shaft that connects the floors of a building. They became commonplace in the 1850s as steel and iron structural frames allowed taller construction; however it was Elisha Otis’s safety mechanism that prevented the car from falling that made elevators popular. In almost all modern multi-floor buildings, elevators are required to provide universal access.

1) Types of lifts

  • Lifts and elevators have become an essential part of everyday life, particularly for those who work or live in high-rise buildings. There are many different types of lift which can be used in different applications, serving different purposes.

i) Passenger lifts

  • These are the main means of transportation installed in high-rise buildings, hospitals, offices, commercial complex, apartments, hotels etc.
  • In these lifts generally the centre opening doors are recommended.
  • These are categorised into various types depending on the load carrying capacity and the rated speed.

ii) Freight (goods) lifts

  • These are the lifts for the use of vertical transportation materials & goods. Goods lifts with speed of 0.25 to 1m/s are available in loads varying from 500 kg to 5000kg.
  • The more the capacity the lesser is the speed recommended.
  • For the installation of such lifts the following factors should be considered.
  1. Size and weight of materials to be transported.
  2. The method of handling.
  3. The building characteristics.

iii) Hospital lifts

  • These the necessity in hospitals, nursing homes & polyclinics as they carry stretcher and other bulky hospital equipment easily from one floor to another.
  • Speed of 0.5 m/s is recommended for small hospital. 1m/s may be desirable for in long travel cases and even up to 1.5 m/s in case high rise hospitals.
  • Two speed sliding doors are recommended with automatic closing/opening device and micro levelling.
  • The lift shaft shall be situated as near as possible to wards and operation theatre for which they are meant.

iv) Service lifts (Dumb waiters)

  • These is slow speed mini lift to handle only material for vertical transportation from 100 to 250 kg with speed varying from 0.25 to 0.5 m/s.
  • The control system depends upon the number of floors to be served.
  • There can be two types of control system, the call and send and multi-button controls systems.

v) Capsule lifts

  • These are placed in places where elevator has to be installed for elevation and for observation purpose.

vi) Hydraulic lifts

  • In these types of lifts the motion is obtained from liquid under pressure.
  • It may use water or oil.
  • Features – Given below.
  1. it does not require a machine room, even 50 sq. ft. area can suffice.
  2. The lift is ideal in low rise buildings where moderate speed and smooth acceleration is preferred. Speed ranges from 0.1m/s to 1 m/s and max. travel is limited to 12m.
  3. It is most preferred solution in old buildings where no provision is taken for lifts.

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