The world of inclined platform lifts in a commercial accessibility setting is riddled with failed attempts by companies trying to penetrate the Canadian market.
We are pleased to announce that we will be attending the Calgary Renovation Show this weekend. We will be right by the front entrance in booth number 149, so come on by and find out how you can make your home accessible. We have a wide variety of accessibility solutions that include everything from stair lifts to home elevators.
The show dates are:
Friday January 13th – noon – 9pm
Saturday January 14th 10am-9pm
Sunday January 15th 10am -6pm
The show is down at the BMO Center and we have a few pairs of tickets to give away. If you would like free tickets please email Andrew to get the details
Commercial accessibility lifts are a cost effective solution when it comes to making public buildings accessible. Vertical platform lifts or VPL’s can eliminate barriers for wheelchair users or those faced with mobility issues. Their relatively small footprint and minimal contractual requirement make them ideal for existing public buildings where accessibility is a concern. They do however have their limitations under the B-355 code, which they are inspected.
The first consideration is platform size. Public accessibility lifts are mandated to have a platform that is no greater the 21 square feet. A typical “large” wheelchair lift would have a 48″x 60″platform. This size of platform is big enough to accommodate a wheelchair user doing a 90-degree turn. A more common size would be in the range of 34″ x 54″ where the user enters and exits on the same side, or travels through the platform and exits on the opposite side.
Next, we must look at the travel restrictions that are imposed within the code. Enclosed B-355 accessibility lifts can travel no more than 7000mm or 23.1 feet. Unenclosed wheelchair lifts can travel up to 2500mm or 98.25″. Enclosed units will require a hoistway constructed around the device with a door at the lower landings and the minimum of a gate at the uppermost landing. Unenclosed units travelling more than 500mm (19.65″) will require a gate or a door at the upper landing. It should be noted that any lift penetrating a floor will be required to be an enclosed vertical platform lift needing a hoist-way constructed.
The weight capacity of wheelchair accessibility lifts varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but most unenclosed vertical platform lifts have a capacity of either 550lbs or 750lbs. Enclosed units usually have a capacity somewhere between 750lbs – 1400lbs.
Perhaps the biggest drawback of public accessibility lifts is the requirement for them to operate using constant pressure. This simply means you must hold the button for the device to operate. This is partially due to the fact the lift platform has no gate or sliding elevator door.
As universal accessibility for all members of society is now considered the norm , the popularity of these barrier free lifts has increased. You can find barrier-free accessibility lifts in most schools, community centres and places of worship.
For more information on commercial accessibility lifts please contact us for a free consultation
LULA elevators are a great solution when an accessibility lift isn’t enough, but a passenger elevator is more than you need. As the title indicates LULA stands for Limited Use / Limited Application. By the very nature of the name it is obvious that this product does have its limitations. While LULA elevators function in a similar manner to passenger elevators (automatic operation and sliding elevator doors) the following restrictions apply:
A LULA elevator can have maximum car size of 18 square feet. This restriction makes it impossible to accommodate a stretcher, and therefore if this is a code requirement, a LULA is not a suitable option.
Your LULA elevator will operate at 30 feet/minute
In Alberta a LULA’s can travel up to 7.6 meters if there is stretcher access already in the building. If not we are limited to 7 meters of travel. This typically limits a LULA elevator to 3 floors in a low rise building. If the device travels more than 7 meters it will be required to have fire service, just like a passenger elevator
LULA’s typically have a maximum capacity of 1400lbs
Benefits of a LULA include:
- Less construction cost for the hoist-way (smaller pit, less load on the supporting wall etc.)
- Smaller footprint (even less space required if you choose a MRL unit)
- Lower cost for the equipment compared to a passenger elevator
- Lower cost for maintenance compared to passenger elevators
- Automatic operation and sliding elevator doors (functions and looks like a passenger elevator)
We often refer to a LULA as a hybrid between a commercial accessibility lift and a passenger elevator; therefore it is a perfect solution for wheelchair access in low rise public buildings where the use is limited.
Uppercut Elevators and Lifts is proud to offer Made in Alberta solutions