Posts Tagged "platform lifts"

23Aug

Custom Built Accessibility Lifts

by Andrew @ Uppercut

While the primary purpose of an custom built accessibility lifts should be to provide reliable wheelchair access, this doesn’t necessarily mean the device needs to look like a piece of medical equipment. We recently completed a project for a client that required secondary wheelchair access up to the 3rd floor of an office building. There are a variety of products that would satisfy this need but this client had some very specific criteria. Due to the fact the accessibility lift needed to be located in an atrium full of glass and plants it was important to preserve the look of the space. The client required:

  1. A pit-less application – they wanted to avoided cutting up the existing concrete
  2. No machine room – the available space did not allow for this
  3. A full height car complete with a ceiling – they wanted to duplicate the feel of a regular passenger elevator
  4. Travel speed of 37′ per minute (maximum allowable by code) – The lift needed to travel over 23′
  5. Bi-folding doors – so that they did not swing into the hallway at the second and 3rd levels
  6. An aesthetically pleasing hoistway and lift – It needed to look like it belonged in the space

 

RAM CTL ACCESSIBILITY LIFTS

The first 5 points could be easily achieved by using the RAM CTL (commercial traction lift), as this would all be included in the standard product offering. To achieve the desired look we needed to get creative so we did the following custom work:

  • Had Greywolf projects build a custom glass and wood hoistway finished as per the clients specifications
  • Added a glass wall to the elevator car
  • Provided stainless steel doors at the landing entrances
  • Upgraded the lift with  stainless steel trim inside the elevator car
  • Clad the lift wall panels with a custom laminate
Custom Hoistway under construction Accessibility Lift installation starts Wheelchair lift well underway Custom built lift ready for inspection Bi folding stainless steel door Accessibility lift interior View from glass panel exterior of lift Glass accessibility lift Lift car interior Glass and stainless steel door

More information on Commercial Accessibility Lifts can be found here or you can contact us  at our Calgary or Edmonton offices.

 

 

 

13Apr

Portable Wheelchair lift

by Andrew @ Uppercut
Commercial Accessibility

Portable Wheelchair lift

We recently delivered a portable wheelchair lift to the Air Force Museum Society of Alberta. This product was the perfect solution as they had several locations which required temporary wheelchair lift access. This portable wheelchair lift easily rolls to each display and allows everyone to view all the amazing  features of the museum .

Portable TrusT Lift Portable 3 Portable 2 Portable 5 Portable 1 blueprint

The RAM portable wheelchair lift is utilized when necessary, then stored away until another accessibility need arises. This was a far more cost effective solution than installing a stationary lift at each display. It also gives the museum the flexibility to move or add new attractions at a later date.

This wheelchair accessibility  lift is not intended to replace a permanent lift, and must be stored away from the place of access when not in use. The Portable Trus-T-Lift™ in not required to be inspected by AEDARSA (Alberta Elevating Devices  Amusement Rides Safety Association) due to its portable and temporary nature. Please note that portable wheelchair lifts are not intended to replace  or alleviate the need for a permanent installation. Chances are if you are required by code to make a space accessible you will need to go the permanent lift route.

The small footprint allows for easy storage and manoeuvrability . The dimensions can be viewed at the following Portable lift sample drawing.

If you require more information on permanent or portable accessibility lifts please visit the page here

17Mar

Uppercut adds another wheelchair accessibility lift to a public building

by Andrew @ Uppercut
Commercial Accessibility News and Such

We recently completed an installation at the Prairie Moon Inn and Suites located in Consort Alberta. The contractor was looking at retrofitting a wheelchair accessibility lift into the existing building. We had limited space so there was no excess square footage available for a machine room, nor did the contractor want to chip away the concrete slab to create a pit. The end user needed a durable drive mechanism that could handle lots of use, as it would be the only elevating device in the hotel.

MainConsort001 IMG 0196 2 IMG 0194 2 IMG 0197 2 MainConsort002 IMG 0200 2 Crystal Elevator
Fortunately we had the ideal product for this situation. We utilized the RAM CTL, which requires no machine room or pit. The secret to this wheelchair accessibility lift is its  compact traction counter weight drive, that fits right in the hoist-way. This system has passed the test of time and is 50% more energy efficient than comparable hydraulic wheelchair lifts. We were able to provide a lift platform of close to 21 square feet, and a 1000lb capacity, so guests would feel comfortable when riding in this lift. The interior car finish featured raised car panels (standard offering) with a stainless steel  reveal.

 

For more information on commercial accessibility lifts please contact us at either our Calgary or Edmonton offices

 

Outdoor Porch Lifts for Private and Public Applications

by Andrew @ Uppercut
Commercial Accessibility Home Accessibility

The number one question we get when discussing an exterior lift is “how well does it work in the winter?”.  Although we have been fortunate in Alberta so far this year , we know all too well that freezing temperatures are never too far off the horizon.  So the question regarding cold weather operation is very valid.

20160203_160710

 

Our preferred lift for exterior installations is the RAM Trus-T-Lift™.  We recommend this wheelchair lift for both residential and commercial applications for the following reasons:

Drive Mechanism

The TrusT utilizes a reliable ACME screw drive. Unlike hydraulic drives, there is no hydraulic fluid to thicken when the temperature gets cold.

Finish

Some outdoor porch lifts are simply painted, but  all Trus-T-Lift™s are finished with a durable powder coating that ensures the finish will stand up to the elements

Zero Load Start

This is a feature that is unique to the Trus-T-Lift™ that allows the motor to run prior to picking up the user. This feature minimizes the strain on the device giving the motor a chance to “warm up” and therefore it doesn’t experience the stress of start- up while under load.  The result is fewer problems with breakers or fuses blowing under extreme conditions.

 

Simplicity

Keeping things simple has allowed this wheelchair lift to be a reliable accessibility solution when the temperatures drop. There are no hoses, valves, PC boards, pumps, or complex reslifts_5controllers associated with this drive .

Made in Alberta

Beyond any pride you may experience from buying local, it’s good to know that your outdoor lift is made for people, by people who live in the same environment as you. The Trus-T-Lift™ has been manufactured for close to 30 years in Edmonton, where they know a thing or two about winter conditions.

 

If you have more questions regarding exterior porch lifts contact us or click here for more information

 

 

15Jan

Unenclosed Wheelchair Lifts for Public Buildings

by Andrew @ Uppercut
Unenclosed commercial Trus-T-Lift™

Unenclosed Trus-T-Lift™ with an Upper Landing Door

 

 

 

Our Unenclosed Wheelchair Lifts are ideal when you need access to a stage, raised lobby or any rise under 2500mm (98″) ,  an unenclosed vertical platform lift (VPL) may be the ideal solution. These elevating devices can save you on construction cost simply because as the name indicates they are “unenclosed”, and do not require a hoistway to be built. They do not need a pit and usually, come with a fold down ramp to create easy access to the lift platform. These lifts when installed commercially must adhere to the B-355 code and be inspected by AEDARSA (Alberta Elevating Devices & Amusement Rides Safety Association).

If you are thinking about wheelchair access for your place of worship, school, community centre or any public  building there, are a  few items to remember when considering an unenclosed VPL for accessibility.

The following items should be noted and discussed with your accessibility lift consultant:

 

 

 

 

  • Any lift penetrating a floor can not be unenclosed and must have a hoistway constructed complete with a lower door.
    Trus-T-Lift™

    Unenclosed Trus-T-Lift™ with a Platform Gate

    Lifts with a rise of more than 600mm(23.5″) require an upper landing gate or full height door with an interlock

  • These lifts will require an under platform sensor to remove the crushing or pinching hazard
  • The running clearance (if partially enclosed) can be no less than 51mm(2″) and no more than 102mm (4″)
  • The fascia wall where the lift runs must be level, plum, and smooth
  • Typical capacities of these units are restricted to 750 lbs with a maximum of 1 wheelchair user and an attendant
  • All B-355 code compliant lifts (enclosed and unenclosed) are required to operate under constant pressure
  • Depending on the application you may want to restrict access by making the unit keyed. A provision will have to be made so the public can call an attendant if the device is keyed.
  • For higher rises, you may want to consider a platform gate that travels with the lift for safety
  • A rough footprint of a standard platform will be approximately 4′ wide by 5′ long. A sample drawing can be found here
  • Your lift will require an initial inspection, maintenance and an annual inspection
  • There will be items not provided by the lift contractor such as emergency lighting , GFCI receptacle, and electrical disconnect

 

Over the years I have provided a multitude of these units to create wheelchair access in public buildings. Unenclosed vertical platform accessibility lifts offer a simple and cost-effective solution for your barrier free needs.

 

For more information on commercial accessibility lifts, including larger enclosed  lifts that penetrate the floor, please click here

For information on residential lifts, please click here

9Nov

Commercial accessibility lifts, and their limitations under the B-355 code

by Andrew @ Uppercut

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.

IMG_9377

Enclosed lift

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.

 

20150122_132001

Unenclosed lift

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

19Jun

Comparing Porch Lift Features

by Andrew @ Uppercut

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

5Jun

New Government Funding for Home Accessibility

by Andrew @ Uppercut
Home AccessibilityThe government is proposing a new, non-refundable home accessibility tax credit for seniors and persons with disabilities that will provide tax relief of 15 per cent, up to $10,000 of eligible expenditures per calendar year, per individual, to a maximum of $10,000 per dwelling. The credit could be used on costs incurred to renovate or alter a home in order to provide better access to or inside the dwelling. Items could include vertical platform lifts ,wheelchair ramps, stairlifts (or stair chair lifts) as well as exterior porch lifts. The program would also cover home elevators if they are installed due to an accessibility need.
                                                             
Elevator in home Elevator car 1 e1424535547307 Home elevators residential lifts commercial lift
The information is listed on page 245 of the budget

 

15Apr

What’s the difference between a residential elevator and a residential vertical platform lift

by Andrew @ Uppercut

The short answer is vertical platform lifts are typically installed due to an immediate accessibility requirement, while elevators are usually incorporated for luxury or ageing in place purposes. Of course, there are always exceptions, so it is important to understand the limitations  and features of each device.

Trus-T-Lift™ enclosed – Vertical platform lift

Trus-T-Lift™ enclosed – Vertical platform lift

Code

While residential elevators and lifts are not inspected in Alberta, there are governing codes that exist. Elevators fall under the B-44 code while accessibility lifts are built to meet the B-613 code. Ultimately it is these codes that provide the distinction between the products.

Constant pressure or automatic operation

Elevators utilize automatic operation, while a lift will require that you hold the button for the device to function. Holding the button or constant pressure operation limits your risk for pinching or shearing hazards. I go into more detail below.

Elevator car or lift platform

An elevator will always have an enclosed car usually complete with a ceiling. Your entrances will have either a light curtain, accordion gate or a sliding elevator door. This is due to the above mentioned automatic operation. A lift, on the other hand, will have an “open platform” so the hoistway around you is exposed, thus the requirement for constant pressure operation.

 

 

Speed 

Lifts will have an operating speed of 8ft/min – 18ft/min. An elevator usually functions between 20ft/min – 40ft/min.

Capacity

Crystal – Residential Elevator

Crystal – Residential Elevator

Capacity usually isn’t a factor as platform sizes are limited, but lifts will start at 550lbs (most are 750lbs) and elevators will range from 800lbs – 1400lbs.

Flexibility and features

While I have installed  some pretty fancy lifts in my time, most of the  upgrades people look for are usually only offered with an elevator purchase. These can include, automatic homing, hands-free phone systems, and custom interior finishes. We can usually make an elevator fit into the desired space while a lift is more of a “cookie cutter” design.

Cost

For the purpose of comparison let’s use a 2 stop with 10′ of travel, and entrances on the same side. A lift will cost you approximately $13,000.00 and an elevator will land around the $17,000.00 mark.

This obviously is general information and is based on specific product offerings, but should give you the tools to differentiate between an elevator and a lift.

Drawings and the corresponding site preparation for these devices can be found here

More information on residential elevators can be found here

More information on residential lifts can be found here

 

 

16Mar

Commercial Accessibility Lifts – Understanding the Code and Approval Procedure

by Andrew @ Uppercut
Lift

Enclosed Lift in a glass hoist-way

 

 

Commercial accessibility lifts are governed by the B-355 code. If a lift is being installed in a public application make sure that your lift provider specifies that the product is B-355 code compliant. All public lifts are required to be registered with the Alberta Elevating Devices Amusement Rides Safety Association (AEDARSA). After a lift is registered, and the engineered stamped drawings are reviewed, AEDARSA then issues a Certificate of Construction. Now your lift provider may proceed with the installation of your elevating device. After the installation is complete AEDARSA will need to be booked  for the initial inspection.

 

 

 

 

To recap the procedure is:

Trus-T-Lift™ with platform gate

Unenclosed Lift with platform gate

  1. Generate engineered drawings (lift provider)
  2. Registration of the lift with AEDARSA (lift provider)
  3. Review of the drawings  (AEDARSA)
  4. Issue certificate of construction (AEDARSA)
  5. Installation (lift provider)
  6. Inspection (AEDARSA)

Now that we understand the procedure it is important to know some of the code restrictions as they pertain to vertical platform lifts.

Travel

Enclosed B355 devices  are limited to a total travel of 7000mm or about 23 feet, while unenclosed lifts may  travel up to 2500mm or 98.25 inches. It`s important to note that unenclosed platforms may not penetrate a floor. Travel is defined as the floor to floor measurement. This typically limits accessibility lifts to 3 story buildings.

Platform size

The platform or lift car is limited to 21 square feet. If the platform is configured in a straight through application a 34x 54 inch (12.75 square foot) car size is often acceptable. If the site dictates adjacent access or a 90 degree turn, we recommend a larger platform to make the turn easier for the wheelchair user.

Constant Pressure

This is one of the major restrictions of the code. Public accessibility lifts are required to operate using constant pressure. This means you must hold the button in order for the lift to operate.

Commercial accessibility lifts

Enclosed lift with full height car

Capacity

Depending on the manufacturer, your vertical platform lift may have a 550, 750, 800, or 1000lb capacity. Some manufacturers make lifts than can accommodate up to  1400lb, but it should be questioned as to why you want this higher capacity, as there are limitations on platform size.  They may be  designed to accommodate an individual user in a wheelchair, or allow for an attendant as well. Your lift provider should make sure the platform size and capacity meet your specific needs while still satisfying code.

Hoist-way Construction

This work would typically be completed by a third party (not the lift supplier). Each lift will have specific criteria regarding the contractual requirements but it can be broken down into Enclosed and Unenclosed applications. The following documents explain the contractual requirements for each elevating device.

VPL Enclosed requirements for public applications

VPL Unenclosed requirements for public applications

For more information on commercial accessibility lifts click here