Commercial Grade Elevators – What is best for your building?

Horton Group has built and renovated many commercial buildings, including offices, banks, and retail shopping centers. We put an emphasis on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards in all our projects. Commercial buildings with more than one floor generally require an elevator according to ADA standards.

Depending on the size of the commercial building, there are different types of elevators that may work for your building. Passenger elevators and LULA elevators are what you see most often in commercial buildings.

Passenger Elevators

Passenger elevators are what you typically think of in high rise buildings. As the name suggests, these elevators are designed for carrying passengers. Most passenger elevators have up to a 5,000lb weight limit, although they can hold up to 10,000lbs. Passenger elevators can be in-ground hydraulic, hole-less hydraulic, or MRL.

LULA Elevators

LULA stands for Limited Use/Limited Application. LULA elevators are similar to full-size passenger elevators in design, with two sliding doors as an entrance. They can typically hold up to 1,400lbs, travel up to 25 feet high, and have up to 18 square feet of floor space. LULA elevators are a good option in a low rise commercial or residential building, as they save both space and money.

Consider how many floors in the building, as well as the number of people who will utilize the elevators each day when choosing which elevator to use in your commercial project.

What makes a property ADA Compliant?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. It also ensures individuals with disabilities can enjoy the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

The Annual Disability Statistics Compendium found that 12.8% of Americans are living with disabilities. This does not take into account senior citizens with decreasing mobility or those that are temporarily disabled due to events including accidents, illnesses, or medical procedures.

The ADA focuses on five different titles, or sections, to provide those with disability the right the equal opportunity. Title III (Public Accommodations) addresses “nondiscrimination on the basis of disability by public accommodations and in commercial facilities.” This includes privately owned facilities that are open to the public.

In 2010, the Department of Justice revised regulations within the original ADA of 1990. The regulations called for the 2010 ADA Accessibility Standards for Accessible Design, which set minimum requirements for newly constructed or renovated facilities to be accessible for individuals with disabilities.

There are a handful of requirements that must be made in all existing buildings and new construction deemed a public accommodation or commercial facility. A few requirements to be ADA compliant include:

  • Common use circulation paths in employee work areas in commercial work areas.
  • Accessible routes from site arrival points and within sites.
  • Alterations to primary function areas in existing buildings.

Here is the complete list of the requirements included in the Accessibility Standards for Accessible Design. For more general information about the ADA, click here.

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