When it comes to outdated lifts, replacing them might be extremely difficult due to the building’s design or layout. A more feasible solution could be to modernise your existing lift. Here at Acute Elevators, we believe that modernising your elevator is a smart move for several reasons.
Lifts, when serviced and maintained correctly, can last for many years. In fact, it’s not uncommon for us to be servicing passenger lifts that are over 30 years old. However, just like any electrical or mechanical equipment, your elevator will eventually need to be replaced or thoroughly updated.
Over time, parts will wear out and repairing them will become more expensive. It will also become harder to find spare parts, causing your lift to be out of order for longer periods.
Did you know that almost half of the passenger and goods passenger lifts in use were installed over 25 years ago? Therefore, it can’t be assumed that older equipment complies with current regulations and standards, particularly if it’s over a decade old. Over the life expectancy of a building, the lifting equipment might need refurbishing, upgrading, or total replacement to meet the needs of new occupants.
Wondering if it’s time to modernise your lift? If any of the following are affecting your elevator’s performance, it’s time to consider modernisation:
- Frequent breakdowns and call-outs, as well as high repair and running costs.
- Car finishes looking worn or outdated and in need of a modern or fresh feel.
- Not complying with current lift safety regulations.
- The lift is noisy, runs slowly, or drains too much power.
The process of modernising a lift involves replacing obsolete components with modern equivalents. This allows you to add new features that were not available when the lift was originally installed. This results in a newer, safer elevator that complies with the latest legislation and standards. Additionally, the elevator offers improved reliability, enhances building flow, and looks nicer.
So, what are the benefits of modernising your elevator? There are several reasons why modernising your lift and improving its performance are a wise move, including:
Happy building users. An elevator that frequently breaks down can quickly become a source of discontent for its users, particularly in blocks of flats or retail stores where it can also impact sales. Improving reliability through modernisation saves complaints.
Improved reliability and safety, plus lower maintenance costs. Old, unreliable components may cause a lift to break down regularly, resulting in costs from both periods of downtime and repairing the lift. Newer lifts have additional safety standards, protecting both the engineer and passengers. Replacing components will reduce lift downtime, offering improved reliability and lower running costs, and increase safety for all.
Enhanced appearance. While the above reasons add value to the lift (and therefore the building), aesthetic improvements can also offer benefits. These might involve re-skinning landing doors, replacing lighting, new lift car finishes, adding CCTV, or fitting mirrors within the car.
Conforming to the latest standards and regulations. Over recent years, new legislation for disabled access and health and safety has been introduced, affecting those responsible for lifts.
Modernisation helps you to comply with the new legislation without the need or cost of replacing the lift.
At Acute Elevators, we recommend installing an emergency communication system into an existing lift to meet the needs of disabled users and help the lift comply with the latest standards. Many features can be added to a lift to meet the needs of disabled users, such as an emergency communication system, voice annunciators, digital position indicators, large, tactile and/or braille push buttons, and infra-red door detectors.
It’s essential to comply with the latest regulations and standards when modernising a lift. New legislation has been introduced in recent years regarding disabled access and health and safety, which can affect those responsible for lifts. Lift modernisation can help you comply with the new legislation without having to replace the entire lift.
Existing passenger and goods passenger lifts are guided by a series of standards and codes of practice, such as BS 5655:2005 Part 11/Part 12 - Code of practice for the undertaking of modifications of electric/hydraulic lifts,
BS EN 81-80:2003 - Rules for the improvement of the safety of existing lifts, BS EN 81-82:2013 - Rules for upgrading existing lifts for persons with disability,
CEN TS 81-83:2009 - Rules for upgrading existing lifts to improve vandal resistance
BS 7255:2012 - Code of practice for safe working on lifts. Following these standards enables each lift to be audited to provide corrective actions to improve the level of accessibility, safety, and safe-working of an existing lift towards a modern lift equivalent.
There are several features that can be added to a lift to meet the needs of disabled users and help the lift comply with the latest lift standards. For instance, new legislation has resulted in the
inclusion of an emergency communication system that allows passengers to communicate and notify the authorities in case of entrapment, voice annunciators that tell passengers the direction of travel and the approaching floor level, digital position indicators that show the travel direction and current position of the lift car, large, tactile and/or braille push buttons, and infra-red door detectors.
At Acute Elevators, we always recommend installing an emergency communication system into an existing lift.
The modernisation process is relatively straightforward, although the duration of the modernisation depends on the lift elements being modernised. It typically involves several steps:
1. Survey, Design & Drawing - An engineering survey is carried out, and the necessary measurements are collected.
2. Part Procurement - All the required parts to complete the project are ordered.
3. On-Site Works - Once the finishes and details have been approved, the site is set up, and the works commence. This includes lift removal, building alterations, lift installation, making good, and redecoration.
4. Test & Commission - After the works have been completed, the lift is tested to EN81-20 (where applicable).
5. Handover - Once the test has been completed and witnessed by the client/consultant, the lift is handed back over to the client.
6. Defects Liability Period - The defects' liability period commences once the lift has been handed over to the client and is in full working order.
Lift modernisation can come in all shapes and sizes, from component upgrades, which are a quick and cost-effective way to make small improvements to your lift, to system modernisation, which improves the performance of your lift by updating entire systems such as the emergency
communication devices, electrics, door operators or door systems. Full replacements, which involve completely removing your old lift and installing a brand new one in your existing lift shaft, are also possible.
Improving the performance and reliability of your lift has numerous benefits. It saves costs associated with frequent call-outs, breakdowns, high repair, and running costs. It also makes the lift safer, protects both the engineer and passengers, and increases building flow. In addition, enhancing the appearance of the lift adds value to the lift and building.
What type of adjustments can be expected?
When it comes to lift modernisations, there are various shapes and sizes to consider.
Component upgrades are a quick and cost-effective way to make small improvements to your lift. These upgrades include items such as fitting a handrail, installing a mirror to help wheelchair users negotiate entry and exit when turning space is limited, installing a floor position indicator, or a voice annunciator.
Systems modernisation is another way to improve the performance of your lift by updating the entire systems, such as the emergency communication devices, electrics, door operators, or door systems.
Alternatively, you can opt for full replacements, which involve completely removing your old lift and installing a brand new one in your existing lift shaft.
How can Acute Elevators help?
Health and safety is becoming increasingly important in all areas of our lives. Lifts, particularly older ones, can benefit from modern technology by incorporating more sophisticated safety devices, offering benefits to building owners, lift users, and service engineers alike. A reputable lift service provider, like Acute Elevators, understands what you want out of your lift modernisation, as well as the likely costs and benefits and manages the lift modernisation from start to finish. At Acute Elevators, we provide a comprehensive lift modernisation service to meet all of your needs.
Our expert engineers will evaluate your lift’s condition and design a customised modernisation plan that fits your specific requirements. We can replace obsolete components with modern equivalents, adding new features that were not available when your lift was installed. This results in a newer, safer lift that complies with the latest legislation and standards and offers improved reliability, enhances building flow, and looks nicer.
In conclusion, lift modernisation is a cost-effective way to improve your lift’s safety, reliability, and appearance, all while meeting the latest standards and regulations. By partnering with a trusted lift service provider like Acute Elevators, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free modernisation process from start to finish.
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