If you’ve planned a couple of lift systems in a project already, it’s easy to think you’ve seen it all. But every lift design project involves unique challenges. Make sure you’re prepared.
As you can imagine a lift in the fancy building, getting people up and down such a monumental structure must have been among the architects’ primary concerns. Where would you even start with such a project?
The first principle, whether you’re working on a small apartment block or a towering skyscraper, is to approach each lift plan with fresh eyes. Here are some of the main challenges to consider next time you have to add a lift to your design.
A lift project is requiring bespoke engineering and a huge amount of planning. How much detail do you think the client’s initial brief contained about the lifts? Not a huge amount.
No matter the project size, it is up to you to fill in the gaps by asking the right questions and making suggestions. Where do you get the information you need? The obvious answer is from colleagues, online research and past experience. The first two are time-consuming and the third, on its own, exposes you to the risk of not being thorough. Thankfully, there’s now a fourth option (more on that later).
Designing new buildings is complicated and there are many opportunities for delay. If you don’t give commercial or residential lifts proper consideration, you could be adding to your list of woes. Spend more time getting the design right early on and save yourself valuable time later in the project.
Don’t forget, things are bound to change. Have you heard the story about the client who decided, in the middle of construction, to install a concert hall above the ground floor? Just like that, the existing lift system was no longer fit for purpose. It had to be completely redesigned to incorporate a lift large enough to move a grand piano.
In some buildings, the lifts are purely functional. In others, the lift interior design is a standout feature. For major, one-off projects, the only limit is your imagination (and the brief and budget, of course). You might opt for a screen that fills the entire wall of your lift; a glass floor.
Whatever look you choose, it needs to suit the building’s use. The owners of a luxury hotel want to move their passengers around in comfort and style. In a busy retail center, the primary concern is likely to be durability and size. If you’re aiming for a hi-tech style, you might consider smart mirrors or an infotainment system. In this digital era, you could make use of the digital media services to turn lifts and escalators into communication platform. You are now able to have the new ways to inform, entertain and communicate with passengers, tenants and customers.
Taking all that into account could be rather overwhelming. Especially as lift design can be perceived as a less exciting part of a building project. But now there is a better way to design lifts. (Remember the ‘fourth option’ we mentioned above?)
The Schindler Plan & Design tool is a free online planning tool that makes it simple to configure and design your lift or escalator in minutes. It takes you through a step-by-step process covering every aspect of lift design, including:
Using the information you provide, Schindler Plan & Design makes suggestions about the number of lifts you need and the model that suits your building. We regularly update Schindler Plan & Design with the latest regulations, so whether the system you’re designing is two stories tall or 20, you can be sure you’re leaving nothing to chance.
We know there are a lot of things to keep track of when designing a lift. To help, we created a resource site with a lot of information that will prepare you for your next lift or escalator project.
Or if you want to test your ideas, visit our Plan and Design tool and start creating!
Use our helpful guide to plan lift designs that meet standard or custom size requirements, fulfill functional and safety needs and offers a stunning range of interior options.