When including custom commercial elevators in building planning, requirements for the size and capacity of an elevator and the amount of elevators present must be satisfied to meet standards for commercial elevators set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and elevator code ANSI A17.1. The required numbers and sizes of of commercial elevators vary depending on the building type, location, and number of people expected to use the building. At Artisan Elevators, we can help you design one commercial lift or a dozen, whatever your needs may be, and you’ll get the same attention to detail and high-end craftsmanship as we devote to every custom elevator order.

Minimum Lift Capacities

In most municipalities, building designers are held to certain lift design and capacity standards for commercial elevators. For instance:

  • Office building, hospital passenger, and hotel elevators must be 6 feet 8 inches wide and 5 feet 5 inches deep, with a weight capacity of 3,500 pounds.
  • Residential commercial elevators must be 6 feet 8 inches wide and 4 feet 3 inches deep, with a weight capacity of 2,500 pounds.
  • Service elevators should be 5 feet 4 inches wide and 8 feet 5 inches deep, with a weight capacity of 4,500 pounds.
  • Hospital vehicle elevators must be 5 feet 9 inches wide by 10 feet deep, with a weight capacity of 6,000 pounds.

How Many Elevators Do You Need?

Aside from the specific dimensions and weight capacities for each commercial lift, different buildings vary in the number of elevators required 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 2:1 or 2�:1 if more people use the building. A single group of commercial elevators shouldn’t number more than eight and shouldn’t serve more than 16 levels. For a building with four to eight floors, a separate service elevator could be of use in addition to passenger lifts, but for office buildings with more than eight floors, the structure is required to have at least one service elevator in addition to all required passenger elevators.

Apartment and luxury hotel buildings differ slightly in regard to the amount and placement of commercial elevators. For a hotel, a building must have one elevator for every 75 rooms or one elevator for a three-floor building, while an apartment building requires one commercial elevator for every 90 units, except in urban areas, where the ratio is one commercial elevator for every 60 units. Both building types 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 types of commercial buildings. For a high-end hotel, one service elevator is needed for every two passenger elevators, while apartment buildings 10 floors or higher are required to have a separate service elevator.

Health-care facilities have different mobility system standards that vary with the amount of beds, staff, and visitors. For a general hospital, one commercial elevator and a service elevator are needed for every 100 beds. Health-care facilities located in urban areas require more elevators, and hospitals that typically have a number of visitors exceeding the number of beds also require more elevators. In addition, for operating areas, cafeterias, central supplies, and laundry areas located on upper levels, the hospital may need additional commercial elevators.

When you’re ready to design custom elevators for your commercial structure, let our expert crafters create just what you’re looking for. For more information about our commercial elevators for sale or to inquire about a quote, call 1-888-221-7475.