Addressing the key challenges of elevator design

21.04.2021

If you’ve planned a couple of elevator systems in a project already, it’s easy to think you’ve seen it all. But every elevator design project involves unique challenges. Make sure you’re prepared.


As you can imagine an elevator in the fancy building, getting people up and down such a monumental structure must have been among the architects’ primary concerns. Where would you even start with such a project?

The first principle, whether you’re working on a small apartment block or a towering skyscraper, is to approach each elevator plan with fresh eyes. Here are some of the main challenges to consider next time you have to add an elevator to your design.


Finding the information you need

Finding the information you need

An elevator project is requiring bespoke engineering and a huge amount of planning. How much detail do you think the client’s initial brief contained about the elevators? Not a huge amount.

No matter the project size, it is up to you to fill in the gaps by asking the right questions and making suggestions. Where do you get the information you need? The obvious answer is from colleagues, online research and past experience. The first two are time-consuming and the third, on its own, exposes you to the risk of not being thorough. Thankfully, there’s now a fourth option (more on that later).

Avoiding delays

Avoiding delays

Designing new buildings is complicated and there are many opportunities for delay. If you don’t give commercial or residential elevators proper consideration, you could be adding to your list of woes. Spend more time getting the design right early on and save yourself valuable time later in the project.

Don’t forget, things are bound to change. Have you heard the story about the client who decided, in the middle of construction, to install a concert hall above the ground floor? Just like that, the existing elevator system was no longer fit for purpose.
It had to be completely redesigned to incorporate an elevator large enough to move a grand piano.

Choosing the right elevator interior

Choosing the right elevator interior

In some buildings, the elevators are purely functional. In others, the elevator interior design is a standout feature. For major, one-off projects, the only limit is your imagination (and the brief and budget, of course). You might opt for a screen that fills the entire wall of your elevator; a glass floor.

Whatever look you choose, it needs to suit the building’s use. The owners of a luxury hotel want to move their passengers around in comfort and style. In a busy retail center, the primary concern is likely to be durability and size. If you’re aiming for a hi-tech style, you might consider smart mirrors or an infotainment system. In this digital era, you could make use of the digital media services to turn elevators and escalators into communication platform. You are now able to have the new ways to inform, entertain and communicate with passengers, tenants and customers.

Save time and delight your clients

Save time and delight your clients

Taking all that into account could be rather overwhelming. Especially as elevator design can be perceived as a less exciting part of a building project. But now there is a better way to design elevators. (Remember the ‘fourth option’ we mentioned above?)

The Schindler Plan & Design tool is a free online planning tool that makes it simple to configure and design your elevator or escalator in minutes. It takes you through a step-by-step process covering every aspect of elevator design, including:

  • Travel height/distance
  • Speed
  • Capacity
  • Elevator door type options
  • Power supply needs
  • Finishes and fixtures
  • Seismic provision

Using the information you provide, Schindler Plan & Design makes suggestions about the number of elevators you need and the model that suits your building. We regularly update Schindler Plan & Design with the latest regulations, so whether the system you’re designing is two stories tall or 20, you can be sure you’re leaving nothing to chance.


Want to learn more about elevator design?

We know there are a lot of things to keep track of when designing an elevator. To help, we created a resource site with a lot of information that will prepare you for your next elevator or escalator project.

Or if you want to test your ideas, visit our Plan and Design tool and start creating!

Just push the button to get started with the Schindler Plan & Design today!


Use our helpful guide to plan elevator designs that meet standard or custom size requirements, fulfill functional and safety needs and offers a stunning range of interior options.

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