City dwellers off all kinds often consider spending a little extra for convenient living. Top to bottom and bottom to top, elevator efficiency remains of paramount concern. Whether you manage suites for the affluent, a helpful home for residents in need, or anything in between, read on to learn more about how a quality elevator system raises the quality of life in your urban building.
Mobility, Access, and Concerns for the Elderly and Infirm
A reliable elevator is more than just a box that moves people from floor to floor. For many people it is essential. Those with disabilities or mobility-related conditions are reliant on lift services. And elevators go beyond the day to day. Moving in, carrying heavy packages and escorting visitors can be dangerous or impossible via the stairs.
Making Moving Manageable
Even able-bodied individuals can find the move-in process tiring and difficult. Apartment buildings and high rises with daunting heights are better able to attract new tenants when reliable elevator systems make move-in easy. A reliable lift makes it relatively effortless to transport mounds of books, heavy furniture pieces, and other prized possessions.
Today, tenants are faced with so many options in the multi-family residence market. Considering budgets and busy lifestyles, their choice often comes down to the smallest differences between one complex and the next. “Americans work 50 percent more than the Germans, the French and the Italians.” According to research in the Journal of Happiness Studies. A reliable elevator system is a standout feature that will also increase the value of your building.
Whether you are looking for a reliable local service for elevator maintenance and repair, or you just need to schedule an appointment for a full-scale replacement, let the expert team at SunCoast Elevator Company help. In addition to vital quick fixes and modernization services, we can assist with a wide range of consultation services. Reach our team at (305) 690-0955.
We take elevators for granted- simply gliding up and down several stories in a few seconds. Imagine what life would be like without this convenience. We might get a taste of pre-elevator days when there is an occasional outage and we need to take the stairs, but the development and history of the elevator are not something that many people think about.
The Origins of the Elevator
Elevators first made a major appearance in the 1860s in luxury hotels. They were considered to be movable rooms for the wealthy. These were not small boxes. Rather, they were actual rooms with elegant furnishings.
In the 1870s, the first elevators appeared in office buildings. They quickly became commonplace in large cities that had to transport large populations quickly. The development of the elevator changed architecture for ever, as designers aspired to new heights. When hydraulic elevators were eclipsed by electric varieties around 1900, architects set their sights even higher.
The skyline of our cities would be unrecognizable without the invention of elevators. If you look at pictures of cities from the 19th century, you’ll notice that the buildings were rather short. There would be no great skyscrapers without the elevator. Cities would be quite flat and would not be able to accommodate large populations. The elevator museum in Queens traces the development of the elevator through every phase and takes its visitors through the history of the device.
The Social Element of Elevators
Elevators brought people in close quarters with each other in a way that is still uncomfortable for many people. Comportment in an elevator was the subject of etiquette books, and many people are still unsure whether to start a conversation or not with complete strangers riding in the box with them. The positive side is that the elevator has brought people together through the years and has taken them where they have needed to go.
Elevators continue to evolve. Cab interiors can be made more beautiful and spacious than ever.
If you want to propel your building forward, talk to a SunCoast Elevator professional about the right solution for your property at (305) 690-0955.
You most likely ride elevators in your apartment building, at your office, and of course in a shopping mall, but perhaps you haven’t considered how these devices actually work. From the moment you push that button, you activate elevator mechanics that do a lot of pushing and pulling for you. The elevator may be on another floor letting people out while it is getting the message that it needs to retrieve you. Elevator routing has become a complex science and is a far cry from the old days when elevators were powered by human attendants driving it up and down.
The Elevator’s “Decisions”
An elevator doesn’t make actual decisions but has an algorithm that determines where it is going to go. Many of these elevators are programmed to make wait time shorter even if the travel time may be longer, because time spent waiting can be aggravating and awkward for passengers. An algorithm determines the elevator mechanics and direction at a given time. Certain principles are applied, such as following all of the direct requests in one direction before going the opposite direction, even if some of the requests in the opposite direction are closer. This approach is energy-efficient because it requires a significant amount of energy to change directions, and the tendency to continue on upward or downward is usually quicker.
This algorithm process is also the same reason that pushing a call button multiple times does nothing for bringing the elevator sooner. Pushing the button once is the same as pushing it over and over while you wait. But, you can rest assured knowing the elevator is programmed to come in the fastest way possible.
With more than one elevator, it is possible for one to communicate with the other. There could be a crowd of impatient passengers waiting on a specific floor and the car could take care of this while signaling to another car to pick up people in the lobby. In addition, elevators can handle certain groups of floors which can make the process of transporting people, particularly during rush periods, quicker. New developments have made elevator mechanics more advanced, such as control over estimated time of arrival. A computer will send a car it calculates will get to an area the fastest.
As technology improves, elevators become more efficient and easier to use. If you manage a property and feel it’s time to make sure your elevators are state-of-the-art, discuss your options with a professional from Sun Coast Elevator at (305) 690-0955.
An elevator is a safe method of navigating tall buildings. However, passenger error can often lead to frustration and even result in safety issues. In order to ensure your building’s elevators run smoothly, you have to make sure passengers understand how to operate them. Posting some helpful tips can be a good way to do just that. Generally, you’ll want to focus on etiquette and emergency situations.
Know Proper Etiquette
There are plenty of common rules that people should observe when riding an elevator. It is important that passengers keep the following in mind:
- Only push the call button one time
- Allow passengers to exit before getting in
- Don’t get into a packed car; wait for the next one
- Don’t stop doors from closing except by using the button inside the car
- Push your floor button and move to the back
- Pay attention for your floor and exit quickly
Observing these tips will allow passengers to have a pleasant experience and avoid trouble between riders. In addition, following these tips will allow things to operate smoothly.
Know What to do in an Emergency
Emergency situations can pop up at any time. Being stuck inside an elevator can be scary when this happens. To reduce panic and remedy the situation quickly, it’s imperative passengers know what to do in an emergency situation. Here are some rules to follow:
- Take the stairs in any emergency situation
- Stay calm and avoid panicking
- Alert emergency personnel using the proper buttons inside the elevator
- Do not try to leave the car without help from emergency personnel
Elevators are actually very safe when maintained and operated properly. Regular use with passengers obeying standard rules should ensure everyone has a peaceful and safe ride. However, issues can happen, and it can be very frustrating to be stuck inside an elevator. So, passengers should be made aware of how to react in an emergency.
If your elevator is in need of updating and maintenance, give our team at SunCoast Elevator Co. a call at (305) 690-0955. With over 35 years of experience, our experts can ensure a smoother, safer ride for your passengers.
You know that in order to keep your elevator running smoothly, you have to have a solid maintenance contract with a reliable company. This involves making sure you choose the right plan. The right plan should balance a quality of service with a price you can afford. Most service companies offer a range of plans. These plans vary in both the types of service provided and the cost.
In general, the least expensive plan will give you regular inspections where issues will be reported. Sometimes these plans also include general maintenance, like lubrication. Moving up a step, the next type of plan is generally called an on-demand plan. This offers contracted labor rates. It is important to note that in these two plans, the cost of any parts is not included. So, that is something worth considering because it would be an extra cost above and beyond what you are already paying for the basic maintenance contract.
More involved plans will offer much more coverage. One option is a full-service maintenance plan. This type of plan includes preventative measures. If there is a repair that needs made, the plan also covers the labor and parts. Regular routine service is done and careful documentation is maintained by the service company. This can take a lot of responsibility off the shoulders of building management. Another option is an all-inclusive plan. This is going to cost the most, but is rather simple is design. You pay one monthly fee and the service company basically manages everything with the elevator.
It is essential when choosing a maintenance plan that building management makes sure to consider:
- Amount of use
- Past issues
- Average repair costs
When it comes to securing a service plan for your building’s elevator, you have to choose carefully. While cost is important, you also need to make sure the plan coverage is the best for your needs. To learn more about the best value is service plans, give our experts at SunCoast Elevator a call at (305) 690-0955.
In light of the storm, we want to highlight the below building safety points to keep in mind during any impending inclement weather event. Having these measures in place will help keep your building, and more importantly your occupants, safe.
The more you can do to prepare for the unforeseeable, the better off your residents and building will be during an urgent situation. Emergency preparations to have in place include:
- Emergency exit lights and diagrams on walls
- Emergency phone numbers listed inside elevator cabs
- Inspections of ventilation openings, windows and doors for possible rain leakage
- Weatherproofing around any leaks, doors, openings and exposed electrical panels
- Ensure backup power in case of electrical outages- this includes lights, emergency call systems and backup return system
- Have a clear emergency plan in place- building evacuation routes, designated safe spots and clear staff roles
If a storm is near, there are steps that should be taken immediately to prevent damage to elevator equipment.
- Close all vents and openings at the top of the hoistway to prevent water from entering the elevator shaft
- Barricade the machine room
- Ensure all occupants have safely evacuated before elevators are out of commission
- Avoid entrapment- do not count on the use of elevators once the storm hits.
“If buildings have elevators that are enclosed, managers should run each car to the center of the building, or to the top floor for two-story buildings,” says Alex McFarlane, director of repair. “Elevators exposed to the outdoors should always be run to the floor below the top. After cars are parked appropriately, shut the elevator down with the keyed switch and close the doors to prevent unauthorized personnel from using the equipment. In addition, place the mainline disconnect in the ‘off’ position to completely remove power from the elevator.”
Regrouping after the Storm
Following the weather event, a careful inspection of the entire system should be performed.
- Do a walk through with a maintenance supervisor and elevator professional
- Restoring power to wet electrical panels can be a dangerous mistake
- Run the system to make sure everything is back up and running without a glitch
Ensure everyone is safe and that the building has been repaired as needed to prevent safety hazards.
SunCoast Elevator wishes everyone the best as we wait out Hurricane Matthew together. Please stay safe!
When it comes to elevators, proactive property managers understand that inspections should be folded into regular equipment updates and repair cycles, in order to uncover hidden issues. By upgrading the right parts of the system and catching issues early, breakdowns and costly overhauls can be prevented.
Power Consumption in Older Elevators
Problem: Sensitive computer equipment, like the systems that control dispatch, are prone to breakdown or power supply outages. Older elevator motors are notorious for causing havoc. This is because the generator sets on older elevator systems tend to produce harmonic distortions, which in turn cause the computers to glitch.
Solution: Monitoring for these harmonic problems and replacing equipment that is creating them can prevent the computers from completely going down. It is also a great way to deal with slow operations caused by the lower power factor of older systems.
Problem: Electrical traction systems tend to have their equipment housed on the roof of the building. Ventilation is handled through louvers mounted near the roof. This leads to heat issues, as the air is circulating with hot rooftop air. The equipment room can often go above 100 degrees. This in turn leads to heat related breakdowns, which cause many property managers to turn to short-term solutions like opening the access door to the equipment room. The problem is that these solutions only invite in humidity and dirt.
Solution: A much better solution is to install a cooling system for the room, to keep equipment operating at a more ideal temperature.
Addressing the Problems
Making changes to control heat, as well as power quality and consumption, is a great way to achieve several goals that make your facilities operate more smoothly, including:
- Decreasing energy expenses
- Lengthening equipment lifespans and putting off more costly maintenance and replacement costs
- Providing faster service to everyone in the building
If it’s time to upgrade your elevators and knock out energy problems, contact SunCoast at 305-690-0955 to schedule a consultation.
Compliance with regulations is important for any facility manager, because maintaining code compliance means avoiding possible enforcement actions and generally making the building more accessible and safe. When it comes to elevator maintenance, this is even more important, because elevators represent the only mode of access to upper floors for many people with disabilities. Maintaining facilities that are kept to code is essential, and the rules and codes governing the elevator’s construction and operation come from a variety of sources.
For the most part, if you are following a regular plan for equipment overhauls, the basic safety and upkeep requirements are not hard to master. Ensuring accessibility for disabled people and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, on the other hand, can be challenging.
Why ADA Guidelines Are Difficult
There are a few reasons why ensuring compliance with ADA regulations proves to be difficult. First and foremost, there is the fact that accessibility systems and innovations happen regularly, and staying abreast of the newest features can be expensive. If a building only invests in upgrades when new guidelines are codified, then the problem is complicated by the fact that there is no central enforcement for accessibility within the implementation of the Americans With Disabilities Act itself. This creates a situation where there is a regulation requiring access be provided and a duty on the part of the facility’s management to provide access, but little oversight to aid with or guide implementation.
How to Make Sure Your Elevator is Up to Code
The current best practices for accessibility can include the following features:
- Call and floor buttons mounted at reachable heights (42 inches)
- Buttons that are a minimum of 0.75 inches in diameter
- Braille plates next to buttons and at entrances
- Emergency call buttons mounted at the bottom of the bank of buttons, no more than 35 inches from the floor
- Two-way communication for emergencies that Deaf and Blind people can navigate
- Chimes and verbal announcements for each floor
- A cab large enough for a wheelchair to turn around in.
There are newer features that go beyond these minimums for those looking to make an investment in staying ahead of the accessibility curve, too. To achieve basic compliance, though, these items need to be met. If your elevators are currently out of code, scheduling your upgrades during a regular maintenance cycle minimizes your downtime. SunCoast‘s experts can help. Call us at (305) 690-0955.
When it comes to getting the most out of your investment properties, the property itself is only really half of the equation. The other half is your management and maintenance staffing, and how well that staff is able to stay on top of emerging issues that affect your bottom line. At the core is your property manager, who is theoretically charged with knowing about and seeing to the total flow of tenants, maintenance requests, and move-ins and –outs. This means that having a properly trained, knowledgeable manager is the key to having a profitable property. This is especially applicable when it comes to your elevator. Property manager discretion is the turning point of your business, so it is important to make sure yours understands why and how to keep up with maintenance issues.
Rate of Involvement vs. Return on Investment
The general rule of thumb in the industry is that your rate of involvement with the elevator system is going to mirror the return on investment that your property sees from it. That means you need to not only keep up with service requests, but also with patterns of them. Staying alert to rising injury rates, increased complaints about speed, or frequent total system malfunctions is the best way to monitor whether or not your elevator is reaching the end of its functional life. That means:
- Drafting a comprehensive modernization plan for the end of the system’s life
- Monitoring the condition of the parts and the number of repairs to estimate its condition and progress toward replacement
- Ensuring as much up time as possible
- Keeping elevators responsive
Twenty Years Out
The general rule of thumb for elevator replacement is twenty years, both because of the wear on components and also because of changes in the technology. Betting on this timeline is a great way to structure your savings so that you are ready to invest when the time comes, but keep in mind that not all systems are equal. When it comes to the elevator, property manager candidates need to monitor their service to ensure that extra wear and tear is not coming from unexpected directions, like weight overloading. That is the only way to know if you are headed for an early replacement.
Prevention for Increased Elevator Lifespan
The other reason why you need to be able to count on an involved property manager is because getting the most out of your elevator’s lifespan means doing the day to day maintenance needed to keep it in good shape. That means more than just making the service calls and tracking repair patterns. It means keeping the elevators clean and replacing individual system components like light bulbs on time. When you need service or repair, Suncoast Elevator Company has the experienced techs you need for your commercial systems.