If you own or operate a large building, there are many things to consider when it comes to maintenance. Most people tend to focus on the small things, ensuring that the day-to-day operation of the building is cared for properly. From time to time, however, it may become necessary to upgrade an item that will be both convenient and perhaps even add some safety features as well. One of the options that may be considered is upgrading the elevator.
More than likely, you have some type of idea in mind when it comes to an elevator upgrade. What might come as a surprise to you, however, is that there are at least 7 types of elevator upgrades to consider. Since this tends to be one of the larger upgrades that is done in any location, it is worth checking into the options in advance. The last thing that you would want to have happen is to upgrade the elevator and then to regret the fact that you didn’t consider everything that was possible at that time.
Before we talk about the 7 types of elevator upgrades, it’s important to consider some of the things that are necessary before any upgrades take place. Quite obviously, the elevator is a working part of any building and it is necessary to follow the rules carefully when you are making any changes or upgrades. This would require pulling the proper permits, having the work done by a professional and having the proper inspections done along the way. Unless you follow those factors very carefully, you could end up in hot water.
In addition, it doesn’t matter which of the 7 types of elevator upgrades you are considering, there are going to be times when something specific is necessary. Perhaps you check the elevator on a regular basis as a part of a routine maintenance program. When problems occur that could affect the safety of those who ride on the elevator, changes are going to need to be made quickly. In addition, there may be certain factors that can really make a difference in people’s comfort level when using the lift. This is something that requires careful consideration as well.
When all things are considered properly, you can often have the upgrade to the lift completed in a way that is going to be to everyone’s satisfaction. This might include the comfort of people as they ride on the lift or the safety of those who are using it regularly. In any case, it is often an option that can be convenient and when it is done properly, everyone will benefit.
The following 7 upgrades can be considered as part of the elevator work being done at your building:
1. Fire and Safety Upgrades – Although it may not be the most important thing on the mind of those who are maintaining the building, the safety of those using the elevator is certainly going to be important to the residents and those who work there. That is why a fire upgrade or some type of a safety upgrade is one of the first that you may want to consider. Sometimes, it may be necessary to perform such an upgrade so that you are current with any updated standards that may be necessary for local regulations. At other times, it is just for the comfort of those who are using it regularly.
Doing any fire or safety upgrades may take some time, so it is important for you to talk to those who use the elevators regularly. In addition, there may be times when you are upgrading the elevator for a very specific set of individuals. They should be kept in the mix and you should discuss any changes that are taking place so that they are not inconvenienced in the process.
2. Upgrades for Disability Compliance – It doesn’t matter where you live in the world, there are going to be certain regulations that provide guidance and codes that are specific to those who are dealing with a disability. This type of upgrade can be a very convenient part of an overall upgrade of the elevator and, at times, it may be a necessity.
When you are doing any type of change to the elevator unit or cables, you may find that it is also necessary to bring it in compliance with the latest regulatory standards. This is something that will typically be considered when you pull the permits.
3. Upgrades for Code – Regardless of whether you are talking about code for individuals with disabilities or just changing code for specific items, such as the electrical or other standards for the elevator, changes are going to be necessary. Even if the elevator was only installed just a few short years ago, it is likely that the codes have changed during that time.
If there are any code changes that would require an update to the elevator, it may not need to be made until other work is done on the unit. Sometimes, you will be able to continue to operate the elevator for a long time without having to worry about these types of upgrades. That being said, if you receive a notice from any enforcement authority that code work is necessary for the elevator, it’s a good idea to have it done as quickly as possible.
4. Line Replacements – Sometimes, the change that takes place to the lift is going to be associated with one of the oil lines. Sometimes, they can weaken and if they happen to rupture, it could be both a safety and a mechanical hazard. It is important to ensure that these types of line replacements are handled properly and by a professional. You will need to have the proper permits in place and inspections will also occur on a periodic basis, as well as when it is finished.
5. Hydraulic Cylinders – This is listed as one of the 7 types of elevator upgrades because it is something that needs to be done more often than most people realize. When problems occur with any of the hydraulic cylinders, it can severely impact the operation of the lift. You can either choose to have it replaced with a similar unit but you may also want to have it upgraded as well. You would be surprised with how much this simple update is able to change the operation of the lift.
6. Comfort Upgrades – There are a number of different ways that you can upgrade the lift and sometimes, you may not need to do any major changes on the mechanisms that operate it. This is the case when it comes to comfort upgrades. These may take on many different forms, such as adding HVAC to the elevator machine room or perhaps simply making the elevator more comfortable for those who ride in it by updating the walls, ceiling or floor.
Although this is not necessarily a major upgrade, it is one that can impact the lift in a number of different ways. It is also something that could be an inconvenience for those who live or work in the building. Make sure that these changes are discussed with those individuals prior to the time that they take place.
7. Minor Upgrades – Sometimes, it is not a major lift upgrade that needs to take place but rather, it is something minor. Perhaps the door is not working as it should and it needs to be repaired. The key switch may also be experiencing problems, and this would require a repair as well. All of these small fixes can eventually turn into an upgrade if you want to improve the operation, convenience and comfort of the elevator.
Keep in mind that anytime work is done on the lift, it is going to be necessary to have everything in place properly. The last thing that you would want to have happen is for a small repair to end up being a major problem when you end up getting cited because you didn’t have the proper permits. At that point, you may even be looking at a major upgrade to get an old elevator in compliance with new code.
There is no doubt that any changes that are made to the elevator, it’s operating cylinders and lines or the code is going to be a big deal. It is something that needs to be carefully planned out in advance, because during the time that the lift is being worked on, it is going to inconvenience many individuals. At times, it may even land you in hot water if you are keeping people with disabilities from using the lift.
As long as you communicate these things properly with those who need to know about it, you can minimize the difficulties. You can also check to see if there are any additional upgrades to make whenever a single changes occurring. In that way, you can take care of everything at one time, which is the most convenient option you have available.