What are the Latest Improvements in Elevator Accessibility?
Elevators are getting more comfortable and safer every day by the effects of technological improvements. And expectations and standards also mandatorily adapt to these changes. So many regulations and standards are changed by the authorities in the last few years. And when we consider them in general, we can see that one of the most important and prominent topics is design.
The design of an elevator affects everything. As the elevator is a system and has to work in harmony with other units, you have to make every little detail before the beginning of the project. An early and successful design can provide effectiveness from space and energy. It can also help to prevent major accidents and unnecessary risk management estimations. And maybe the biggest benefit of a good design is to improve accessibility.
As ISF Elevator Company, our main focus is to make every person happy. In order to achieve this, we give importance to new technologies like wheelchair elevators or disabled elevator to improve accessibility. This is why we follow new technologies, new standards, and adapt our projects to them. So what is elevator access? And what are the new improvements on them? Now we will talk about this topic.
What is Elevator Accessibility?
According to regulations, all elevators must be accessible to any person in public places. All the features like;
- Width of the cabin doors,
- Elevator car should have accessible elevator dimensions,
- The height of elevator control panels (buttons) inside the cabin and on the floors,
- Elevator door waiting time,
- The colors and sound signals,
must provide a total access elevator.
Lift Directive (2014/33/EU) dictates;
” Where the lift is intended for the transport of the persons, and where its dimension permit, the car must be designed and constructed in such a way that its structural feartures do not obstruct or impede access and use by disabled persons and so as to allow any appropriate adjustments intended to facilitate its use by them.”
According to this and some other regulations, we can understand that access elevator for disabled people should not be ignored. On the contrary, the basic principle of design should provide elevator access to every people. Also EN 81-70: 2018 “Accessibility to lifts for persons including persons with disability” standard regulates the rules and new improvements about the accessibility of the elevators.
Improvements in Elevator Accessibility
So what are these new improvements? We can talk about 5 new issues to make elevators more accessible.
New Regulations About Elevator Doors
As we know there are two doors on a floor that moves in coordination; cabin doors and landing doors. They should open/close automatically, move horizontally, and powered by the machine. According to new regulations, the cabin entrance widths are increased according to the type of cabins. There are 5 cabin types according to lift capacity. All types’ entrance dimensions are increased at least 10 cm.
On the other hand, the door dwell time should be between 2 to 20 seconds. And the door should be closed with a control button from the inside.
With the new standard, the dimensions of the cabin types are also revised. The dimensions should be measured from the cabin walls and decorative finishings should not exceed a max of 15 mm. The new regulation defines;
- Minimum cabin dimensions,
- Accessibility level,
- The aim of the use, or place (like which type is for buildings or public places),
- And some important explanations
0f each elevator type.
There should be voice announcement systems in the cabin. The level of the sound should be between 35-65 dB. But for louder places like a subway station, the level should exceed 85 dB.
The designer should use contrasting colors or shades inside the cabin to help the users identify objects easily and prevent dangers. This is very important for people with low vision ability. Contrast colors like black and white are completely different from each other, and easy to detect. So, with contrast colors, people can identify objects easily and can protect themselves from possible danger.
New Elements in the Cabin
This is mostly about handrails inside the cabin. A handrail should be placed on the sidewall where the cabin control panel stands. Also, there are requirements, definitions, and dimensions about this handrail in the standard. You can check our website for more and detailed information about elevator rails.
These are some new developments in making elevators more accessible. For more questions and assistance, you can contact us. As ISF Elevator Company, we value our customers and follow all the developments in elevator technology.