lift with glass floor
2 min

When is it Time for Lift Modernisation?

Posted by: Tim Piggott Date: 27 Nov 2023

Keeping your building's vertical transportation systems operating reliably is essential to the flow of people, maintaining value and ensuring user satisfaction.

Like any machinery, lifts require regular planned preventative maintenance to ensure reliable, efficient operation and maximise their life expectancy. We can help ensure your lift maintenance regime is suitable and sufficient to meet the particular demands of your building.

Lifts are typically designed with a life expectancy ranging from 15 to 25 years, but many factors will influence this including the quality of the equipment, installation and maintenance, level, and type of use. Therefore, inevitably buildings usually outlast their lifts, but modernisation can extend their life expectancy.

But when is the right time for you to consider lift modernisation?

Some key indications are:

  • An increase in the number of breakdowns could be an indication that components are reaching the end of their operational life.
  • Increased downtime due to difficulty in sourcing replacement parts. Older components can be difficult to source, on an extended lead time, require specialist off site repair, or an upgrade because the component is obsolete. All of these may extend the downtime of your lift.
  • If there has been, or you are considering, a change in the building or lift use, it would be a good time to ensure that your lifts are able to meet the operational needs of the passengers and goods moving through your building.
  • Increasing repair costs could indicate that your lifts need modernisation. In the long term, a piecemeal approach may only address the reliability of one component at a time, leaving the possibility of another element failing shortly afterwards.
  • A rise in passenger complaints regarding lift availability, erratic floor levelling and unexpected noises during travel may all be an indication that it’s time to get your lifts independently reviewed.
  • If you are looking to improve the energy efficiency of your building modernising your lifts to incorporate power saving features will help you achieve your goals.
  • If your lifts are looking tired, an aesthetic upgrade can greatly improve their appearance. Lift finishes can be updated to align with building fit-out, branding, or modern design trends. With a huge range of colours, materials and finishes, you can choose the perfect design for your building.
  • If the Competent Person carrying out the LOLER Thorough Examination has recommended that the lift is assessed in accordance with BS EN81-80 requirements or your maintenance provider has advised works are required.

In summary, there are numerous factors each influenced by the specific circumstances of the building and the lift itself. It also needs to be acknowledged that many major lift components are often on a three- or four-month lead time. So, to avoid prolonged downtime it’s vital that you plan ahead and have a clear lift investment strategy which will provide cost certainty and minimise disruption to the building's operations.

To make fully informed decisions, building owners and managers should engage independent lift experts, such as TÜV SÜD, to assess their lifts and provide impartial advice.

To help you decide when the right time is to modernise your lifts, contact our lift consultants who will be happy to advise or find out more about our lift and escalator asset management services. You can also read more about the benefits of lift modernisation on our blog.

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