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Lift Installations

Lift installations at NCCBy no means a new concept, vertical transport has been around for quite a while. Interestingly, some of the first passenger lifts were opened in 1857, powered by steam and travelled at around 0.5mph. But thankfully, things have advanced a little since then.

ELEVATORS ARE ON THE RISE

Lift installations at NCCSocial attitudes are changing, mirrored by several new government initiatives relating to the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) which aim to give people a better understanding of certain requirements for things such as wheelchair access. This has caused a few significant alterations to the Building Regulations, and as a result planning approval will not be granted for any new development, unless these new DDA requirements are met.

Undoubtedly this is a positive development, and has generally been well received, especially in commercial and retail spaces. Many businesses are now opting to install lifts as opposed to staircases when expanding their existing sales areas up into higher levels of a building or when moving into new premises. This solves access problems for wheelchair users and also puts that business in a more competitive position when competing for the attention of passing customers.

FIRST AND FOREMOST - ASSESS THE ACCESS

No building is identical, and alterations to existing structures can sometimes be problematic. In building terms, lift pits are quite substantial undertakings, and are key to the successful operation of any lift installation. Any new designs need to be able to integrate with the existing substructure without causing any adverse affects, which is where some misfortunes can occur if the correct elements of the existing structure have not been surveyed beforehand.

At HA Consulting Engineers we have built up a considerable measure of experience in this field over the years, carrying out designs for educational establishments, care homes and retail spaces. We have dealt with a large number of lift manufacturers in the past, and have a close working relationship. This way we can make certain no design aspects are overlooked, often producing our own technical drawings for contractors to refer to on site.

A typical lift pitIn several cases, installing a lift in an existing structure can be a relatively straightforward and generic process. But we always advise seeking some professional engineering advice before approaching any lift manufacturers so the existing floor construction, ground slabs and substructure elements can be thoroughly assessed well in advance. This ensures the lift design is appropriately integrated with the existing building and minimises the chance of incurring any additional expenses due to unforeseen complications.

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