Tower block lifts – a fascinating history

Alastair Stannah of Stannah Lifts provides a helpful guide on residential lifts in housing developments. From fire fighting lifts to refurbishing existing lifts in a block of flats, the choices are endless

had to climb the most stairs. Social standing reversed with the advent of lifts, the penthouse being reserved for the wealthiest occupants. High-rise housing became the order of the day post-war and many of these


developments still exist, refurbished, today. Lifts for apartments were key in the development of modern high rise buildings as without them moving to high floors by staircases would have been too arduous. Today, lifts continue to play an important part in a growing requirement for public and private housing. For managed housing over two floors or more, to ensure the housing is

suitable for all occupants, including people with restricted mobility, a vertical lift should be provided. If there are thirty or more individual housing units above the ground floor of the building then two lifts for flats should be recommended. This is particularly important in larger flats where a lift being out-of-action could cause disruption to the residents. Part M of the Building Regulations recommends passenger lifts should

always be a first choice. Platform lifts can be supplied and installed in low-rise housing, where they

ulti-storey housing developments were generally restricted to seven storeys before the days of elevators. Wealthy people lived on the ground floor and the poorest people lived on the top floor and so

Lifts continue to play an important part in a growing requirement for public and private housing

are to be used infrequently by a small number of people, and increasingly as an individual solution in a private dwelling. For taller or larger residential buildings, passenger lifts play the main role. The type of passenger lift requires careful consideration.

WHAT TYPE OF FINISH DO YOU REQUIRE OR DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS? Lifts should reflect the building they are situated in. For some housing projects there is a more robust requirement, in these circumstances vandal-resistant finishes or vandal resistant lifts can play their part. There are two categories of vandal resistant lifts that are covered by the British Standard EN81-71: Vandal resistant lifts. This standard defines the testing methodology and the

34 | HMM January 2018 |

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