What is the difference between Passenger Lifts and Platform Lifts?
Although both these lifts move people, they have varying differences that may alter which one you have installed. Lifts that transport people fall into two categories, passenger lifts and platform lifts. To find out more about the differences and which one is suited to your needs, continue reading…
What is a lift?
Lifts are the key to any vertical transportation of people in any public or private building. Whether it’s a simple alteration in levels where a ramp is not possible or the building has two or more floors that people need to travel between. Lifts are invaluable when it comes to ensuring easy access for those with mobility issues across multiple stories.
What is a passenger lift?
A passenger lift is most likely the first that springs to mind when ‘lift’ is mentioned. These lifts range in size from 2 to 33 people and more, though an eight-person lift is the most common size. Passenger lifts vary, depending on the environment and that some buildings may require lifting equipment to have special requirements, such as;
- New lifts in existing buildings
- Firefighting and evacuation lifts used in case of an emergency
- Heavy duty and vandal resistance
- Lifts in a steel frame structure
Passenger lifts fall under the Lifts Regulations 2016, meaning they travel faster than 0.15m/s, allowing rapid transportation of passengers through a building. A journey typically takes around 18 seconds between floors. The installation of a passenger lift requires a lift shift to be built to house the passenger car and mechanism. Passenger lifts can be supplied individually, or as part of multiple lifts in major commercial project developments. They can be designed to fit most sizes of lift shafts and structures and are best suitable for;
- New buildings – Where it is easier to build a lift shaft and create a lift pit, or where there is an existing shaft.
- Building where the lift will get extensive use – either due to the building size or because the lift will be the main mode of transport between floors.
- Any critical built environment that needs better management of high traffic flow of people and large capacities.
What is a platform lift?
Platform lifts also transport people and in the last decade, they have been the solution for wheelchair users. Sometimes referred to as vertical platform lifts, they are best suited to fewer people, up to 5 people, travelling a shorter distance. These lifts can range in size from one person/wheelchair user to up to five people. There are many variants within this platform lift family;
- Open platform lifts
- Enclosed platform lifts
- Low pit lifts
- Wheelchair platform stairlifts
Due to platform lifts having a lower speed, they are designed to provide vertical movement within a low rise building – typically between two to four floors. Platform lifts speed limit is capped at 0.15m/s so these lifts fall under Supply of Machinery Regulations 2008. Therefore the average travel speed is around 22 seconds. Platform lifts can be used indoors or out and can be designed for use in vertical and inclined spaces. The lifts floor can be raised and lowered from below by a hydraulic or traction system. Platform lifts are a great addition for;
- Low rise buildings or where space is tight, as it requires a smaller footprint.
- Buildings where there is a disabled access problem.
- Residential settings, their smaller footprint and less difficult building requirements provide flexibility, speed of installation and cost savings.
Passenger lifts are favoured where speed, traffic flow and capacity are prime considerations. Typically, platform lifts are most suited for applications in low rise buildings where people are likely to use the stairs or buildings are not easily accessible for the disabled. The case for opting for a passenger lift can be clearly set out in an access statement.
We hope these points can help you in finding the right lift for you. e Lifts covers all lift testing, lift installation and lift maintenance.
We are located in the South West of England, covering Plymouth and the surrounding area. If you do have any questions about what we have to offer, would like to request a free quote or a site survey please contact us. 0800 999 1199 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.