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Elevator Upgrades

Benefits of Elevator Consultants

Why should building owners retain the services of an elevator consultant for maintenance, service, repair, replacement, upgrade and/or elevator modernization?

In 1970, there were approximately 10,000 elevators operating in Florida.  By 1975, the number of elevators in Florida increased to 24,000.  By 1985, the number of elevators in Florida increased to 40,000.  Today, the number of elevators operating in Florida is over 90,000.   Elevator modernization is quickly becoming a reality for many building owner/managers.  Prior to 1950, most elevators were designed for an estimated reliable use period of approximately 50 years.  Today, many elevator contractors are reporting obsolescence of existing elevators in as little as 15 years.  Since 1970, most of the elevators were reportedly designed for reliable use for 20 to 25 years.  Building managers are reporting on a regular basis that their elevators are termed “obsolete” by their service contractor even though the elevator was installed less than 15 years ago.  There are many factors involved with the issue of obsolescence.  If we accept 1990 as a date of possible obsolete equipment, approximately half of the elevators in Florida were installed prior to 1990.  Other conditions which could impact the life of an elevator are elevator maintenance, environment and the use of the elevator.  Previous to the current industry “standards”, building owners relied on, at a minimum, monthly maintenance by the same service route mechanic maintaining the specific equipment for many years.  Today, elevator maintenance contracts use terms such as “systematic, periodic, routine” to describe how often the elevator will be maintained.  The elevator contractor typically determines the meaning of these terms, which can change due to economic or other factors that may be used to contribute to the contractor’s description of regular intervals for maintenance.


Information for Building Owners

General Information for Elevator Upgrade and Modernization for Building Owners

Elevator Modernization

A modernization of an elevator involves the repair and/or replacement as well as upgrade and addition of equipment to bring the elevator up to current code and industry standards. The degree of the repair and replacement as well as the upgrade and addition of the equipment is dependant on the original installation time, the requirements of the code edition in effect at the time of the installation of the original equipment, any alterations to the equipment after the original time of the installation, the maintenance performance throughout the life of the equipment, the existing condition of the equipment, the intended utilization of the equipment and possibly the expected traffic the elevator was designed to accommodate as well as the actual utilization and traffic the elevator has endured.

Elevator modernization can be a major building upgrade and may impact most of the unit owners or occupants of the building. Only with the proper planning and oversight will a building owner be assured of a chance for a successful elevator modernization. Additional concerns with alterations or modernization of elevators are the correct definition of the work by other trades and coordination of the work performed by other trade contractors with work performed by the elevator contractor. The building required upgrades to coincide with an elevator modernization can include the fire alarm system, air conditioning, stairways and doors, signage, lighting, accessibility, fire command centers, emergency power systems and electrical issues.

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