What Factors Determine the Number of Elevators a Building Needs?

Elevators have become an important part of our lives today as they provide us with a comfortable, safe and effective way of transportation between different floors and heights. There are numerous types of elevators, which vary depending on the design, speed and lighting along with many other factors. However, they all serve the same purpose. An elevator is basically a system of transportation made of different mechanical, electrical and electronic parts that allows people to move between different floors of a building.
    The number of elevators required primarily depend on the height of the building or the number of floors, population to be served, passenger waiting time, and design of the building. Therefore, all these factors are taken into consideration when estimating the number of lifts to be installed in a building.
      Here is a detailed explanation of each of these factors and why they play an important role in determining the number of elevators required:
        • Height of a Building
            Most of the times we mistakenly think that it is only the number of people who work or live in a building or the number of offices or rooms inside a building that determine how many elevators are needed. However, this reflection is incorrect. As per the regulations of the elevators, the number of elevators that need to be installed depends largely on the height of a building. Also, it is true that there is a direct relationship between the number of floors and height of a building. So you can easily see if it is a small residential building accommodating only a few dwellings or if it is a high-rise building with large dimensions and larger number of people living or working in it. The number of lifts both these buildings require may vary greatly due to the difference in their heights.
            • Population to be Served
                It is important to know the number of people the elevators will be serving in order to determine the number of elevators needed. However, estimating the number of people can be a tricky task. Firstly, you have to calculate the total population living or working in a building, which could be unknown if it is a hypothetical project. Secondly, you have to consider the fact that not all the people would be going to the same floor at the same time. These factors may lead to a lot of confusion. For example, office buildings can be single-tenanted or multi-tenanted. This means that they could have a single office occupying the entire building or different offices at different levels of the building. In both settings, the number of people on each floor would be different. To add to the complexity, these people could also have different office timings. So you will need to factor in all these things.
                • Passengers’ Waiting Time
                    Waiting time is one of the key factors taken into consideration when assessing a building’s performance. Usually, people are more patient in residential buildings as compared to office buildings, thus acceptable waiting times in apartments are almost double of offices. For example, a waiting time of 20 seconds or less is considered as excellent while 40 seconds is considered poor for an office. One the other hand, waiting time up to 90 seconds or even more could be acceptable for apartments.  You could go with an elevator system that serves the least number of people with the highest waiting time, or the highest number of people with minimum waiting time, or any other combination depending on the building type.
                    • Building Design
                        The building design also plays an important role in determining the number of elevators to be installed. We often think that the height of the building is all the information we need to assess the structure, but this is not true. The design of construction holds equal importance. For example, in a building which has large floor plates, only one group of lifts would not be able to meet all needs. Buildings are usually divided into zones on the basis of the type of traffic and therefore may need separate groups of elevators to optimize the elevator system.