When including custom commercial elevators in building planning, certain requirements for the size and capacity of an elevator and the amount of elevators need to be satisfied to meet standards for commercial elevators set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and elevator code ANSI A17.1. Amounts of commercial elevators vary with certain types of building, particularly office, hotel, apartment, and healthcare buildings, and occasionally with the location of the building and the amount of people using the building. Certain design and capacity standards for commercial elevators are specified as: Office building, hospital passenger, and hotel elevators must be 6’8” wide and 5’5” deep, with a weight capacity of 3500 pounds; residential commercial elevators must be 6’8” wide and 4’3” deep, with a weight capacity of 2500 pounds; service elevators should be 5’4” wide and 8’5” deep, with a weight capacity of 4500 pounds; and hospital vehicle elevators must be 5’9” wide by 10 feet deep, with a weight capacity of 6000 pounds.
Aside from the specific dimensions and weight capacities, commercial elevators for various buildings vary in the amount of elevators required per building to meet elevator codes. For example, an office building needs to have one commercial elevator for every 45,000 net usable square feet, or the ratio of floors of the building to the amount of commercial elevators must be two to one or two-and-a-half to one, if more people use the building. A single group of commercial elevators, however, shouldn’t number more than eight and shouldn’t serve more than sixteen levels. In addition, for a building with four to eight floors, a separate service elevator could be of use in addition to passenger commercial elevators, but for office buildings with more than eight floors, the office building is required to have at least one service elevator in addition to all required passenger commercial elevators.
Apartment and hotel buildings differ slightly in regards to the amount and placement of commercial elevators. For a hotel, a building must have one elevator for every seventy-five rooms or one elevator for a three-floor building, while an apartment building requires one commercial elevator for every ninety units, except in urban areas, where the ratio is one commercial elevator for every sixty units. Both building types, however, should have an elevator no more than 150 feet away from any unit. In addition, for room service or transporting furniture, a service elevator is recommended in both commercial buildings. For a hotel, one service elevator is needed for every two passenger elevators, while apartment buildings ten floors or higher are required to have a separate service elevator.
Healthcare facilities, on the other hand, have different standards for commercial elevators that vary with the amount of beds and staff and visitors in the hospitals. For a general hospital, one commercial elevator and a service elevator are needed for every 100 beds, but any healthcare facility needs at least two areas. Healthcare facilities located in urban areas require more elevators, and hospitals that have visitors exceeding the amount of beds also require more elevators. In addition, to be consistent with staff and visitor traffic, healthcare facilities may require separate passenger elevators and, for operating areas, cafeterias, central supplies, and laundry located on upper levels, the hospital may need additional commercial elevators.