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Commercial lifts for public applications

by UppercutAndrew

Commercial lifts for public applications

Commercial lifts, or vertical platform lifts, can help make a space accessible for those individuals with limited mobility. Wheelchair access is no longer considered an option; in many jurisdictions, it’s the law.

A wheelchair lift installed in a public space creates a welcoming environment that allows everyone the ability to travel freely throughout the building. In new construction, a wheelchair lift can be incorporated into your barrier-free design. This eliminates the need for long ramps that can eat up valuable space.

Commercial lifts can also be retrofitted into existing buildings providing that space allows for it.

The code they are inspected under

The code under which commercial lifts are installed is referred to as the B-355 code or; Lifts for Persons with Physical Disabilities (LPPD).  This code ensures that each accessibility lift installed in Alberta is safe and easy to use. It also details the limitations under how these lifts may be used.


A commercial lift:

  • Must not have a total travel of more than 7 meters (23’)
  • Must operate under constant pressure
  • May not have a platform larger than 21 square feet



The Process of Getting your Commercial Lift Certified.

A commercial lift requires a professional installation and ultimately will be inspected by AEDARSA (Alberta Elevating Devices & Amusement Rides Safety Association). In order to receive a Certificate of Operation your commercial lift supplier will have to implement the following steps:

  1. Provide engineer stamped lift drawings (verifying that the commercial lift meets the B-355 code)
  2. Register the accessibility lift with AEDARSA by providing the owner/ agent information
  3. Receive the certificate of construction from AEDARSA, stating that this commercial lift may be installed
  4. Install the lift as per the current code of the day
  5. Have the lift inspected by AEDARSA
  6. If any directives are present, address them and forward the report to AEDARSA

After these steps are completed your commercial accessibility lift will receive its certificate of operation and can now be used by the public.


Commercial Accessibility Lift

Types of commercial lifts

Commercial lifts can either be unenclosed or enclosed by design. An unenclosed vertical platform lift can be utilized for applications where the travel is less than 2500mm (98.4 inches). These are often referred to as commercial porch lifts and are commonly installed on the exterior of public buildings. They have no structure build around them (other than one support wall) and the lift platform has no roof on it.

If You Need A Longer Lift

Distances beyond 2500mm require a complete hoistway or shaft to be constructed around the lift. If the lift goes through the floor an enclosed lift will also be required. This hoistway can be built using 2×6 construction, structural steel or concrete block.

A fire separation in the building may also be the determining factor as to if you require an enclosed or unenclosed commercial lift.

The hoistway should always be constructed using site-specific drawings. These drawings will detail blocking locations, rough opening for doors, and the structural requirements for your commercial lift.


More information on commercial lifts can be found on our commercial accessibility lift page


Uppercut Elevators and Lifts is hiring in Calgary

by UppercutAndrew

Uppercut Elevators and lifts is a privately owned company specializing in the installation, service and maintenance of residential elevators and commercial accessibility lifts. We are currently in need of a service technician/installer for our Calgary office. Experience is preferred but we are willing to train the successful applicant if necessary. Skills required include:

  • Use of hand and small power tools
  • Basic electrical knowledge
  • Trouble shooting
  • Physical fitness (as the work can include heavy lifting and the climbing of stairs)
  • Attention to detail
  • Good communicator (verbally and via e-mail)
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Customer service
  • Valid drivers licence

A positive attitude along with a willingness to grow with the position are necessary attributes.  Compensation will be based on experience, and could include a company vehicle or a vehicle allowance.

Please e-mail applications to  Attention:  Andrew Smith.


residential lifts residential elevator




Evacuation and battery back up options for your residential elevator

by UppercutAndrew

I think humans by nature have a fear of being trapped in an elevator and therefore I usually don’t get through a sales meeting without one of the two following questions being asked:

  1. What do I do if the elevator gets stuck?
  2. What happens if the power goes out?

Both questions are valid and fortunately, we have a variety of solutions that can ease these fears.

I would start by saying that one thing you can do to guarantee piece of mind is having your elevator properly maintained by a factory trained technician. The second thing would be to ensure there is a phone in your elevator so you can call for help if necessary.

Ok, now back to the easing your fears about getting stuck in that elevator. The following are standard and optional features that can allow for a safe evacuation from your elevator.

Manual lowering (or raising)  

All devices that I am aware of have some form of manual lowering. Hydraulic units typically will have a button in the machine room that will open up a hydraulic valve and lower you at a regulated rate. Fluid is released from the cylinder, back into the reservoir. Of course, this means you can only be lowered and never raised, even if you need to get out at the upper level which is merely inches away.  Traction counter weight and ACME Screw drives utilize a gear reduced crank that allows you to be moved in both an upward and downward direction. The obvious benefit here is, in the event of a flood or fire you may not necessary want to be evacuated to the lowest level as the exit to your home may be on levels 2, 3 or 4.

Emergency Battery lowering

Battery lowering is useful in the event of a power failure where your major concern is simply being able to exit the elevator. As the name indicates the elevator will only continue to operate in the downward position. The intention is to have you safely evacuate the device at the lowest level.

Battery Backup (or DC operation)


This term is sometimes confused with Emergency battery lowering. A vendor may tell you “all our units have battery back-up” but they may be referring to the ability to lower only via an emergency battery system (see above). Battery backup or DC operation means that there is a battery system in place that  allows the elevator to function when the power is out. A true battery operated system will allow the user to have  uninterrupted use in the event of a power failure. The device will travel both up and down, and be able to complete 30-40 cycles while the mains power is out. This system can function using a variety of methods, but a unit like the RAM Crystal or Stratus switches between AC and DC power depending on the remaining charge in the batteries. This option gives you true piece of mind if you are reliant on your elevator due to an  accessibility need.

The interlocks on residential elevators and lifts will have a tool that allows you to open the door(from the outside) regardless if the lock is energized or where the car is located. I would, however, caution you to never crawl out of a device that is between floors unless it is absolutely necessary (life or death situation) . Your first  line of defence is to always call your elevator provider as soon as you experience an issue.


I would like to close by saying that getting trapped in your home elevator or lift is extremely rare. In my 18 years of experience and hundreds of elevator installations,  I can count only a handful of entrapments that required a technician to rescue an individual.


For more information on residential or commercial devices contact us anytime and we will be happy to answer your questions




Calgary Home and Garden Show – Booth #1745

by UppercutAndrew

The Calgary Home and Garden Show is just around the corner, and we would love to see you there!

Dates & Hours

Thursday February 25, 2016  ​NOON – 9:00 p.m.
Friday ​February 26, 2016  NOON – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday ​February 27, 2016 
10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sunday ​February 28, 2016 
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.


Show Location

BMO Centre, Stampede Park
20 Roundup Way SE
Calgary, AB
Phone: 403.261.0583

We have several sets of tickets to give away so please email Andrew  for yours today.

We are located in booth #1745 , please stop by and say hello.


Comparing Porch Lift Features

by UppercutAndrew

When choosing a porch lift supplier it is important to do a detailed  comparison to ensure that the specifications of each product and company match.

Areas where discrepancies can occur include:

  • Standard platform size – You should note that not all manufactures make a standard platform the will accommodate a larger wheelchair or scooter. This is sometimes a costly upgrade so it needs to be discussed up front.


  •  Finish – Some lifts are painted while others come with a durable powder coated finish. Remember to ask about the costs associated with powder coating your lift.


  • Capacity – 750lbs seems to be the industry standard but there are still some 550lb capacity lifts on the market


  • Cold weather operation – Some porch lifts require the addition of an outdoor package. If your lift is exposed to the elements make sure it has this provision or a feature like a “Zero load start”  to ensure your lift operates in cold temperatures


  • Safety features – Ask about the safety record of the lift. Does it have a fall arrest system, platform kick plate, and easy to access manual lowering device?


  • Where you buy – This is hard to quantify at the time of purchase, but it must be considered when making your decision. An indication of the type of company you are dealing with may be given by the sales person. Did they return your call promptly? Did they offer to come out and meet with you, or did they just send a quote? Were they prepared with brochures, and was the quote they provided comprehensive? How many people do they employ, and do they have the resources to service your porch lift if needed?

For more information on porch lifts, including funding and site preparation requirements please click here

TrustT Porch Lift Features