Guide to Ensuring Code Compliance in Custom Elevator Design

Dec 19, 2023

Between 2021 and 2023, OSHA reported 42 incidents that involved elevator accidents. The incidents caused injuries, fatalities, and property damage. While this number may seem small, it represents a significant safety concern.

Safety stands as the cornerstone of every project in construction and engineering. Elevators, in particular, need great attention to detail. It’s because they transport people and cargo between floors.

As you plan a custom elevator design, follow applicable safety codes. Compliance isn’t only a legal obligation but a moral issue. Here’s a guide to help you create elevator systems that meet the highest safety standards.

Explore Types of Custom Elevators

To determine the type of custom elevator you need, consider several factors. These factors include the building type, usage patterns, and accessibility requirements. Aesthetic preferences are also important when choosing an elevator design.

Collaborate with experienced elevator designers to guide you through the elevator selection process. These experts will ensure that your choice aligns with codes and standards. You should also engage an elevator consultant for independent advice on elevator selection.

Refer to the ASME A17.1 and A17.7 safety codes and standards for elevators. These codes give detailed specifications for elevator design, installation, and maintenance. You should also follow any additional local codes or regulations applicable to your jurisdiction.

Ensure There’s Collaboration Between Architects and Safety Experts

Establish clear and open communication channels between architects and safety experts. Do this from the early design stages. The communication channels allow for regular exchange of ideas and timely feedback.

You can organize joint design workshops where these experts collaborate on design solutions. These workshops encourage cross-pollination of ideas.

They also ensure that the design process considers safety standards. Review meetings can help architects and safety experts discuss design progress.

They can also help them review safety code compliance. Through the meetings, these experts can address any emerging concerns.

Integrate Safety Features Within Custom Elevator Design

Safety should be key in every design aspect, from the initial design concept to the last details. Use checklists and reference materials when you do this. These items help you avoid skipping safety-critical elements.

Choose materials that enhance safety as you complement the design aesthetic. For instance, invest in fire-resistant panels for elevator doors and walls. These accessories can offer an extra layer of protection.

You should blend safety features seamlessly into the design. Do this to maintain a visually appealing and harmonious aesthetic. For example, you can integrate emergency communication systems into the control panel.

Opt for Natural Light and Ventilation

Natural light and ventilation significantly improve the user experience in elevators. In particular, natural light creates a brighter and more inviting atmosphere. Ventilation provides fresh air, reduces stale odors, and improves air quality.

Incorporating natural light and ventilation into elevator design aligns with sustainability principles. Natural light can help lower energy consumption by reducing the need for artificial lighting. Ventilation systems can reduce energy usage while providing effective air exchange.

Transparent hoistways and mechanical ventilation systems can help you achieve these goals. Ensure that the ventilation systems meet the ventilation rates specified in applicable codes. These rates consider the size of the elevator cab, the number of passengers, and the occupancy type.

Embrace Innovative Technology

Technology plays a crucial role in improving elevator safety. It manifests in safety devices like door sensors, emergency brakes, and overload detection systems. Even more, it may include real-time monitoring systems that give early warning of malfunctions.

You should embrace technology to improve elevator efficiency and performance significantly. For instance, intelligent control systems can optimize elevator operation. Consequently, predictive maintenance algorithms can identify potential issues before they cause breakdowns.

Technology can make elevators more accessible for people with disabilities. You can install voice-activated controls and Braille panels to help visually impaired users. Automatic door-opening systems and wider doorways can accommodate wheelchair users.

You can use technology to personalize the elevator experience for users. Interactive displays can offer information about the building, upcoming events, or local attractions. Ambient lighting and sound systems can create a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere.

Engage Certified Testing Professional

Certified testing experts are knowledgeable in elevator safety codes and testing procedures. They’re familiar with ASME A17.1 and A17.7 standards. As such, they can help ensure custom elevator design meets applicable regulations.

You can count on these experts for independent and fair assessments. Their evaluations are free from bias. They can help identify and address safety concerns or national elevator code violations.

Certified testing experts have access to specialized testing equipment and facilities. These resources can simulate real-world elevator operation scenarios. They can ensure comprehensive and accurate testing of various components and systems.

You can get detailed documentation and reports on the elevator from the experts. The reports outline the testing procedures, observations, and findings. They can help you prove that you follow applicable codes.

Engage certified testing experts to show that you value safety. Such a strategy can reflect positively on your organization’s reputation. It can also build trust among stakeholders.

Ensure Continuous Evaluation and Adaptation

Elevator codes and standards undergo regular updates and revisions. These changes help them reflect advancements in technology. They also ensure that the standards consider safety and industry best practices.

If you check your elevator design, it’ll meet the latest regulations. You get to reduce the risk of non-compliance. Your organization won’t face any potential legal or safety consequences.

Every custom elevator project experiences unique challenges and opportunities. These challenges and opportunities vary with the building structure. They also depend on usage patterns and aesthetic considerations.

You need to tailor the design to meet these specific requirements. As you do this, adhere to applicable codes. Do this to ensure optimal functionality and safety.

Regular elevator safety inspections can help identify potential issues or areas for improvement. That’s before they turn into major problems. With this proactive approach, you can prevent costly repairs, downtime, and safety hazards.

Looking for Custom Elevator Design Services?

Safety should be the top priority in custom elevator design. Follow safety codes to offer elevator users a safe and enjoyable experience. It’s also a great way to protect your investment and enjoy peace of mind for years.

Don’t let an unreliable elevator disrupt your operations. Schedule a free consultation with Elevator Service Inc. Our services include elevator maintenance, repair, modernization, installation, and testing.