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1476╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

load‐weighing control, door and platform detection

beam equipment, speech synthesizer (if used), and
visual displays.



The selection of elevators for any but the simplest

buildings requires the simultaneous consideration
of several factors: adequate elevator service for
the intended building usage, economics, and the
architectural integration of spaces assigned to
elevators, including lobbies, shafts, and machine
rooms. In large buildings, many combinations
are possible because these factors are interdepen-
dent. The selection of an optimum system for such
buildings is most practical and accurate with the
aid of a computer or simulator, and their use has
become standard practice in the industry. Hand
computation, following certain guidelines, can
yield good results for small, straightforward build-
ings and reliable preliminary data for almost all
The design criteria usually used in determining
elevator service quality are

• Interval and average waiting time

• Handling capacity
• Travel time
The elevator system selection process, either by
hand or computer, involves matching these three
criteria with estimated performance values. Design
intent (for example, acceptable service or excellent
service) will inform the choice of numeric values for
the criteria.


Fig. 32.17 Typical car operating panel. Designs of these panels Definitions of important terms, including variant
vary widely, but the essential components are as shown. usages, follow.
Average lobby time or average lobby waiting
time. The average time spent by a passenger
between arriving in the lobby and leaving the
lobby in a car. This is a key selection criterion.

Handling capacity (HC). The maximum number TABLE 32.4╇ Recommended Elevator Intervals
of passengers that can be handled in a given and Relateda Lobby Waiting Time
time period—usually 5 minutes, thus the term
Interval Waiting Timea
5‐minute handling capacity. When expressed as Facility Type (sec) (sec)
a percentage of the building’s population, it is OFFICE BUILDINGS
called percent handling capacity (PHC). This is a Excellent service 15–24 9–14
key selection criterion. Good service 25–29 15–17
Fair service 30–39 18–23
Interval (I) or lobby dispatch time. The average Poor service 40–49 24–29
time between departures of cars from the lobby. Unacceptable service 50+ 30+
Registration time. Waiting time at an upper floor RESIDENTIAL
after a call is registered. Prestige apartments 50–70 30–42
Round‐trip time (RT). The average time required Middle‐income apartments 60–80 36–48
Low‐income apartments 80–120 48–72
for a car to make a round trip—starting from Dormitories 60–80 36–48
the lower terminal and returning to it. The time Hotels—first quality 30–50 18–30
Hotels—second quality 50–70 30–42
includes a statistically determined number of
upper‐floor stops in one direction and, when aBased on the relationship: waiting time = 0.6 × interval.
calculating elevator requirements based on up‐peak
traffic, an express return trip.
Travel time or average trip time (AVTRP). time based on the foregoing relationship. Because
The average time spent by passengers from the some control systems zone the building in such a
moment they arrive in the lobby to the moment way that some cars do not return to the lobby, the
they leave the car at an upper floor. This is a key interval as a figure of merit may be somewhat mis-
selection criterion. leading in such buildings. The table also lists recom-
Zone. A group of floors in a building that is consid- mended intervals for other types of buildings.
ered as a unit with respect to elevator service. It With intervals in the recommended range, rid-
may consist of a physical entity—a group of upper ers are not conscious of any irksome delay in eleva-
floors above and below which are blind shafts—or tor service. Consciousness of delay is considered a
it may be a product of the elevator group control major drawback in rental desirability and should
system, changing with system needs. be avoided for all traffic conditions except morning
and evening peaks, when a certain delay is expected
and therefore tolerated, however grudgingly. Even
32.30╇INTERVAL OR LOBBY DISPATCH in peak periods, any modern group supervisory
TIME AND AVERAGE LOBBY system will recognize a timed‐out call—that is, a call
WAITING TIME with a registration time exceeding 50 seconds—as
a priority call. Priority calls are answered by the first
In an ideal installation, at least from the riding available car, usually within 15 seconds. If a consid-
public’s point of view, a car would be waiting at erable amount of interfloor traffic is expected dur-
the lower terminal on the rider’s arrival or would ing peak periods, as may be the case when a large
be available after a short wait. Because cars leave company occupies several floors of a building, ele-
the lobby separated in time by the interval (I) and vator capacity should be increased by 20% to 40%
passengers arrive at the lobby in random fashion, over the capacity otherwise calculated, to maintain
the average waiting time in the lobby should be half proper intervals.
(50%) the interval. Field measurements show, how-
ever, that it is actually longer than this. The figure
most often used in the industry is 60%—that is, 32.31╇HANDLING CAPACITY
Average lobby waiting time = 0.6 × I
The frequency, or interval, with which a car appears
Table 32.4 lists intervals and suggested values for at the main building lobby is one of the two factors
office buildings and the related average waiting that determine the passenger capacity of an elevator
1478╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

system. The other is the size of the elevator car. The TABLE 32.6╇ Minimum Percent Handling
system’s handling capacity is completely determined Capacities (PHC)
by these two factors—car size and interval—and Percent of Population to
is independent of the number of cars. This can be Facility Be Carried in 5 Minutes
best understood by visualizing an elevator system OFFICE BUILDINGS
as a single set of doors that opens periodically (the Center city 12–14
interval) to remove a given number of passengers Investment 11.5–13
Single‐purpose 14–16
(the car capacity) from a patiently waiting group
of would‐be passengers. Whether the set of doors
represents a single car or many cars that take turns Prestige 5–7
Other 6–8a
is immaterial. The only factors that determine the Dormitories 10–11
handling capacity are passenger load (car capacity) Hotels—first quality 12–15
Hotels—second quality 10–12
and frequency of loading (interval) (Table 32.5).
Note is taken of the fact that during peak traf- aDue to more urgent traffic demands, particularly at the school and

fic periods, cars are not loaded to maximum capacity work exodus.

but typically only to about 80%—a figure determined

by actual count in many existing installations.
As a convenient measure of capacity, the han- where p is car loading (number of passengers/
dling capacity of a system for 5 minutes is taken as car). When the interval is 30 seconds, the system’s
a standard. This is because a 5‐minute rush period handling capacity is 10p, a convenient figure to
is historically used as a measure of a system’s ability remember.
to handle traffic. This may be expressed thus: To establish a figure of merit for building ser-
vice, system HC must be related to building size.
handling capacity (HC) = passengers/car
This is normally done by establishing the minimum
× cars/sec × 5 min percentage of the building population that the sys-
tem must handle in 5 minutes, called PHC. A good
× 60 sec/min
system for a diversified office building will handle
Because the number of cars per second is the recip- no less than 12% of the building population. Simi-
rocal of the interval (e.g., 30 seconds between cars lar values are shown in Table 32.6 for various types
is the same as 1⁄30th of a car per second), this equa- of facilities.
tion reduces to In planning a building’s elevator require-
ments, its population must be estimated. This is par-
HC = ticularly difficult in speculative‐type, diversified‐use
interval × 300
buildings. However, based on rental cost, area, and
or building type, a fair estimate can be made. Popula-
tion estimates for office buildings are based upon
HC = net area—that is, actual available area for tenancy.
Table 32.7 gives suggested density figures, and
Table 32.8 gives average office building efficiency
TABLE 32.5╇ Car Passenger Capacity (p) values for use in calculating net area.

Elevator Maximum Passengera
Capacity lb Passenger Load per 32.32╇TRAVEL TIME OR AVERAGE TRIP
(kg) Capacity Trip TIME
2000 (907) 12 10
2500 (1134) 17 13 The average trip time (or time to destination) is
3000 (1361) 20 16
3500 (1588) 23 19 the sum of the lobby waiting time plus travel time
4000 (1814) 28 22 to a median floor stop. Car round‐trip time is also
The number of passengers carried on a trip during peak conditions
used as a performance criterion, but it is not as
is approximately 80% of the car capacity. meaningful as trip time. In a commercial building

TABLE 32.7╇ Population of Typical Buildings a minute or more of trip time, these maxima are
for Estimating Elevator and Escalator revised upward.
Requirements Figure 32.18 shows that the 2000‐ and
Building Type Net Area
2500‐lb (907‐ and 1134‐kg) cars used in residen-
tial buildings can have a 17‐story rise, even with a
60‐second interval, without excessive trip time. The
Diversified (multiple
tenancy) 3500‐lb (1588‐kg) car, however, which is almost
Normal 110–130 (10–12)a universally used in office buildings (Fig. 32.19),
Prestige 150–250 (14–23) is limited to a maximum 16‐floor local run before
Sing∫le tenancy
Normal 90–110 (8–10) exceeding the 90‐second limit and to about 6 to 8
Prestige 130–200 (12–19) floors to stay within the 75‐second criterion.
HOTELS PERSONS PER SLEEPING ROOM An important reservation on the foregoing
Normal use 1.3 statements must be noted. The curves presented
Conventions 1.9 in Figs. 32.18 and 32.19 are based upon statisti-
HOSPITALS VISITORS AND STAFF PER BEDb cal calculations, empirical data, and field observa-
General private 3 tions, as discussed in the next section. This being
General public 3–4 so, the average values that these curves give should
(large wards)
be considered to be ±15% accurate, and borderline
cases can be shifted either way. Designs that show
High‐rental housing 1.5 high travel time on paper frequently work out well
Moderate‐rental housing 2.0
Low‐cost housing 2.5–3.0 in the field, because lobby loading is often less than
80%, upper‐floor stops take less than the statisti-
aDensity may vary for different floors. Clerical and stenographic
areas may have a population density as high as 70 ft2 (6.5 m2)
cally predicted time due to groups of people going to
per person. the same floor, and staggered working hours relieve
bIfvisiting hours are restricted, the visitor population will deter- traffic peaks. Also, a feature called high‐call reversal
mine elevator requirements. If visiting is not restricted to a certain
few hours, staff requirements may determine elevator design.
takes account of the fact that cars do not travel to
Where traffic is heavy, a combination of passenger cars and larger the top of the shaft on each trip, but reverse at the
“hospital” cars should be used to provide optimum service.
topmost call. This can reduce the average trip time
by 5% to 10%. Finally, sophisticated solid‐state traf-
context, a trip of less than 1 minute is highly desir- fic controls allow for rapid acceleration and decel-
able, a 75‐second trip is acceptable, a 90‐second eration without discomfort, variable door‐closing
trip is annoying, and a 120‐second trip is the limit time, and very efficient selection of landing call
of toleration. In the more relaxed atmosphere of responses, all of which can further reduce the trip
a residence, where interval alone can account for time by another 5%.

TABLE 32.8╇ Office Building Efficiency

Building Net Usable Area as
Height Percentage of Gross Area
0–10 floors Approximately 80% The value for round‐trip time during up‐peak
0–20 floors Floors 1–10 approximately 75% traffic conditions, used for calculating elevator
11–20 approximately 80%
0–30 floors Floors 1–10 approximately 70%
requirements, is composed of the sum of four
11–20 approximately 75% factors: (1) time to accelerate and decelerate, (2)
21–30 approximately 80% time to open and close doors at all stops, (3) time
0–40 floors Floors 1–10 approximately 70%
11–20 approximately 75% to load and unload, and (4) running time (Figs.
21–30 approximately 80% 32.20–32.22). Physically, round‐trip time is the
31–40 approximately 85%
time from door opening at the lower terminal to
Source: Reprinted from G. R. Strakosch, Vertical Transportation, door opening at the same terminal at the end of
Elevators and Escalators, 2nd ed. John Wiley & Sons, New York, a round trip. Because the actual number of stops
Note: Applicable to buildings with 15,000 to 20,000 gross square
made by a car is unknown, a statistical prob-
feet (1394–1858 m2) per floor. ability value is used, based upon the passenger
1480╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

No. of local floors

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

9' 6'' (2.9 m) floor to floor
2000-lb (907 kg) car 250 fpm (1.27 m/s)
300 fpm (1.6 m/s)

65 350 fpm (1.8 m/s)
400 fpm (2.0 m/s)
60 500 fpm (2.5 m/s)


80 250 fpm (1.27 m/s)

9' 6'' (2.9 m) floor to floor
2500-lb (1134 kg) car 300 fpm (1.6 m/s)
350 fpm (1.8 m/s)
400 fpm (2.0 m/s)

500 fpm (2.5 m/s)


Average trip time


250 fpm (1.27 m/s)
9' 6'' (2.9 m) floor to floor 300 fpm (1.6 m/s)
3000-lb (1360 kg) car 350 fpm (1.8 m/s)
400 fpm (2.0 m/s)

500 fpm (2.5 m/s)





9' 6'' (2.9 m) floor to floor 250 fpm (1.27 m/s)
3500-lb (1588 kg) car
90 300 fpm (1.6 m/s)
400 fpm (2.0 m/s)

500 fpm (2.5 m/s)


5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
No. of local floors

Fig. 32.18 Plots of average trip time for various car speeds and capacities with a 9‐ft, 6‐in. (2.9‐m) floor height and a 30‐second

capacity of the car and the number of local taking more or less time. In detail, RT consists of
floors above the lower terminal. In calculating the time expended in
this round‐trip time (RT), it is assumed that a car
will depart the lower terminal when loaded. No 1. Loading at the lobby
intentional delay is included at either the lower 2. Door closing at the lobby
or upper terminal. The RT thus calculated is a 3. Accelerating from the terminal and from each
median figure, with any single actual round trip stop

No. of local floors

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
250 fpm (1.27 m/s)
12' 0'' (3.7 m) floor to floor
2500-lb (907 kg) car 300 fpm (1.6 m/s)
350 fpm (1.8 m/s)
400 fpm (2.0 m/s)

500 fpm (2.5 m/s)



250 fpm (1.27 m/s)
90 12' 0'' (3.7 m) floor to floor
3000-lb (1134 kg) car 300 fpm (1.6 m/s)
85 350 fpm (1.8 m/s)
400 fpm (2.0 m/s)

80 500 fpm (2.5 m/s)


Average trip time


100 250 fpm (1.27 m/s)

95 12' 0'' (3.7 m) floor to floor 300 fpm (1.6 m/s)
3500-lb (1360 kg) car
350 fpm (1.8 m/s)
400 fpm (2.0 m/s)

500 fpm (2.5 m/s)




250 fpm (1.27 m/s)

105 12' 0'' (3.7 m) floor to floor
4000-lb (1814 kg) car 300 fpm (1.6 m/s)
350 fpm (1.8 m/s)
95 400 fpm (2.0 m/s)
500 fpm (2.5 m/s)




5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
No. of local floors

Fig. 32.19 Plots of average trip time for various car speeds and capacities for a 12‐ft (3.7‐m) floor height and a 30‐second interval.
1482╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

4. Decelerating at each stop RT round‐trip time, in seconds

5. Passenger transfer at each stop AVTRP average trip time, in seconds
6. Door operations at each stop I interval, in seconds
7. Running time at rated speed between stops D population density, in square feet (m2) per
8. Return express run from the last stop person
PHC percent of the population to be moved in
These figures are obtained as follows:
5 minutes, and expressed as a percentage
1. Field observations: Items 1 and 5 are based upon
a 3‐ft, 6‐in. (1.07‐m) door opening. A smaller Now that the definitions of interval, handling
door opening increases passenger transfer time. capacity, average trip time, and round‐trip time
2. Calculations: Items 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8. Door‐ have been presented, the interrelationships among
closing time is based on a 3‐ft, 6‐in. (1.07‐m) these quantities can be demonstrated, along with
center‐opening door with adjustable speed. other equations governing the remaining factors
that define elevator systems.
Acceleration and deceleration times are calculated
Handling capacity HC is determined by car
with a maximum of 4 ft/s/s (1.2 m/s/s) because any-
capacity p and interval I:
thing beyond that results in physical discomfort to
the passengers. Running time at rated speed takes place 300p
HC = (32.1)
after the car has accelerated and before it begins to I
decelerate. Considering that it takes between 20 and In a system consisting of a single car, the interval
30 ft (6–9 m) to accelerate to 700 fpm (3.6 m/s), (I) is equal to the round‐trip time (RT). In a system
depending upon the rate of acceleration, in local with more than one car, the interval is reduced in
runs a car never gets to the rated speed. It simply proportion to the number of cars. Thus,
accelerates and decelerates. Higher‐speed equip-
ment with a larger motor accelerates more quickly I= (32.2)
and gives some time advantage on the return express N
run, but it has no great time advantage over all. This The 5‐minute handling capacity (h) of a single car
accounts for the small reduction above 500 fpm is then
(2.5 m/s) seen in Figs. 32.20 and 32.21. 300p
In calculating RT for cars in upper zones, it is h= (32.3)
necessary to know the time required to traverse
remembering that for a single car, its interval is
the express floors. This may be obtained from
its round‐trip time. It follows that if the handling
Fig. 32.22. The times given there are for one‐way
capacity of a single car is h, then the handling
express runs. Thus, to calculate RT for an upper‐
capacity of N cars is N times as much. Thus,
zone car, take the RT corresponding to the upper
local floors and add twice the figure obtained for HC = N × h
express run time from Fig. 32.22.
N= (32.4)
The symbols that will be used in describing elevator
calculations are: The selection of car speed to be used is a matter of
trial and error, the final selection being that required
p individual car capacity, equal to 80% of to give an RT that in turn gives an acceptable inter-
the maximum during peak hours val. In order to establish a starting point, however,
h 5‐minute capacity of a single car it has been found that a minimum car speed corre-
N number of cars in a system sponding to a given building height—or, in eleva-
HC system 5‐minute handling capacity, tor parlance, rise—can be established. Similarly,
expressed in number of persons although car size can be selected at any value, it has
CAR SPEEDâ•…1483

No. of local floors

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
250 fpm
160 9' 6'' floor to floor
2000-lb car
150 300 fpm
350 fpm
Round-trip time

400 fpm

120 500 fpm

700 fpm





180 9' 6'' floor to floor 250 fpm

2500-lb car
300 fpm

150 350 fpm

400 fpm
Round-trip time

500 fpm

130 700 fpm






5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
No. of local floors

Fig. 32.20 Plots of round‐trip time for various car speeds and capacities with a 9‐ft, 6‐in. (2.9‐m) floor height and a 30‐second interval.
1484╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

No. of local floors

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

190 pm
9' 6'' floor to floor 0f
3000-lb car 25
170 300
160 350
Round-trip time

150 fpm

700 fpm
800 fpm





200 9' 6'' floor to floor

3500-lb car 0f
190 25
170 fpm
Round-trip time

160 500

700 fpm
800 fpm



(d )

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
No. of local floors

Fig. 32.20 (Continued)
CAR SPEEDâ•…1485

No. of local floors

200 pm (1.27 m/s)
190 12' 0'' (3.7m) floor to floor
2500-Ib (1134 kg) car (1.6 m/s)
180 0f
170 (1.8 m/s)
160 (2.0 m/s)
Round-trip time




700 fpm (3.6 m/s)


pm (1.27 m/s)
210 0f
12' 0'' (3.7m) floor to floor 25
3000-Ib (1361 kg) car
fpm (1.6 m/s)
190 300
(1.8 m/s)
180 fpm
fpm (2.0 m/s)
170 400
Round-trip time

fpm (2.5 m/s)


160 500
700 fpm (3.6 m/s)




5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
No. of local floors

Fig. 32.21 Plots of round‐trip time for various car speeds and capacities with a 12‐ft floor (3.7‐m) height and a 30‐second interval.
1486╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

pm (1.27 m/s)
220 12' 0'' (3.7m) floor to floor 25
3500-Ib (1588 kg) car
210 pm (1.6 m/s)
pm (1.8 m/s)
190 35
pm (2.0 m/s)
180 40
Round-trip time

fpm (3.15 m/s)


170 (3.6 m/s)


700 fpm




240 12' 0'' (3.7m) floor to floor m

fp (1.27 m/s)
4000-Ib (1814 kg) car 25
(1.6 m/s)
0 fpm
210 pm (1.8 m/s)
pm (2.0 m/s)
fpm (3.15 m/s)
Round-trip time

180 (3.6 m/s)




700 fpm




5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
No. of local floors

Fig. 32.21 (Continued)
CAR SPEEDâ•…1487

44 One-way express running time as a function 6 m/
of car speed. Does not include time for (1.
40 stops at terminals. For round trip, 0f
double time figures shown.

One-way express run time–seconds

32 ( 1.8
Low-speed cars fpm )
350 m/s
m (2.0
24 400 )
m (2.5
f p
20 500 m/s)
p m (3.15
16 600
6 m/s
0 f p m (3.
12 70

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
No. of express floors

One-way express running time as a function

of car speed. Does not include time for

stops at terminals. For round trip,
50 double time figures shown. )


High-speed cars m
One-way express run time–seconds

40 70

0 m/
30 pm /s)
00f 1m
10 (6.
0 0f



10 20 30 40 50 60
No. of express floors

Fig. 32.22 One‐way express running time, not including terminal time; (a) low‐speed cars, (b) high‐speed cars.
1488╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

TABLE 32.9╇ Elevator Equipment Recommendations

Car Capacitya Rise Minimuma Car Speed
Building Type lbâ•…â•…â•…kg ft m fpm m/s
0–125 0–40 350–400 2.0
 2500 1250  126–225 41–70 500–600 2.5
 
Office building  3000 1250  226–275 71–85 700 3.15
 3500 1600  276–375 86–115 800 4.0
 
Above 375 >115 1000 5.0
As above As above
 2500 1250 
Hotel  
 3000 1250 

0–60 0–20 150 0.63

61–100 21–30 200–250 1.0
 3500 1600  101–125 31–40 250–300 1.6
Hospital  
 4000 2000  126–175 41–55 350–400 2.0
176–250 56–75 500–600 3.15
>250 >75 700 4.0
0–75 0–25 100 0.63
 2000 1000  76–125 26–40 200 1.0
Apartments  
 2500 1250  126–200 41–60 250–300 1.6
>200 >60 350–400 2.0

 3500  0–100 0–30 200 1.0

  101–150 31–45 250–300 1.6
Stores  4000 2000  151–200 46–60 350–400 2.0
 5000 2500 
  >200 >60 500 2.5

aCar capacity is determined by building size, and car speed by rise.

been shown that for certain facility types, specific‐

size cars are indicated. These recommendations are EXAMPLE 32.1 Office building, downtown, diver-
given in Table 32.9. sified use, 14 rentable floors above the lobby,
each 12,000 ft2 (1115 m2) net. Floor‐to‐floor
Bear in mind that elevator equipment falls into
height—12 ft (3.7 m). Determine a workable eleva-
distinct speed categories. Thus, most manufactur- tor system arrangement.
ers use geared equipment through 400 fpm (2 m/s)
and gearless equipment thereafter. The next cat- SOLUTION
egory is 500 fpm (2.5 m/s) gearless, followed by
From Table 32.6, recommended average HC is 13%.
600 fpm (3.0 m/s) to 700 fpm (3.6 m/s), and so on. From Table 32.4, the maximum recommended inter-
It is wise to avoid moving into the next higher— val is 25 seconds. From Table 32.7, average popula-
and more expensive—equipment category if pos- tion density is 120 ft2 (11 m2) per person.
sible. This may mean exceeding the recommended
interval or dropping slightly below desired han- Trial 1
dling capacity. It will be found, however, that this Building population:
can usually be done without injury to the elevator
system performance, provided that a high‐quality 14 floors at 12,000 ft 2
= 1400 persons
group supervisory control system is employed. 120 ft 2 per person

(14 at 1115/11 ≈ 1400 persons)

Suggested minimum handling capacity:
Having established the relationships that govern PHC = 13%
the design and performance of an elevator system
HC = 0.13 × 1400 = 182 persons
comprising a single zone, it would be helpful to fol-
low through an illustrative example. rise = 14 floors at 12 ft (3.7 m) = 168 ft (51m)

From Table 32.9, select a car size of 3500 lb RT = 143 seconds AVTRP = 76 seconds
(1588 kg) at 500 fpm (2.5 m/s).
3500 lb (1588 kg) h= = 33.6 persons
500 fpm (2.5 m/s) HC 182
N= = = 5.4 cars
Then, from Figs. 32.23c and 32.21c: h 33.6

RT = 155 seconds AVTRP = 82 seconds Using five cars:

Single‐car capacity: h = 300p/RT (see Table 32.5 RT 143
for p): I= = = 28.4 seconds
N 5
300(19) 5
h= = 36.8 persons actual PHC = (13%) = 12%
155 5.4
HC 182
N= = = 4.9, say 5 cars Trial 4
h 36.8 Using six 3000‐lb (1361‐kg), 500‐fpm (2.5‐m/s) cars:
RT 155
I= = = 31seconds RT 143
5 5 I= = = 23.8 seconds
N 6
5(13%) and
actual PHC = = 13%
PHC = (13) = 14.4%
These results are acceptable, but faster cars might 5.4
reduce the interval. Select 700 fpm (3.6 m/s).
Both solutions are acceptable.
Tabulating the calculation results, we have:
Trial 2

3500 lb (1588 kg) Speed

700 fpm (3.6 m/s) Solution lb (kg) (m/s) (s) (s) I (s) (%)
1 5@ 500 155 82 31 13
RT = 151seconds 3500 (2.5)
AVTRP = 81seconds (by extrapolation) 2 5@ 700 151 81 30 13.5
3500 (3.6)
300(19) (1588)
h= = 37.7 persons 3 5@ 500 143 76 28.4 12
151 3000 (2.5)
182 4 6@ 500 143 76 23.8 14.4
N= = 4.8, say 5 cars
37.7 3000 (2.5)
RT 151
I= = 30 seconds
N 5 Solutions 1, 3, and 4 are acceptable. Solution 2
was discounted due to the high cost. Interestingly,
5(13%) solution 3, using smaller cars than the correspond-
actual PHC = = 13.5%
4.8 ing solution 1, and therefore being more economi-
cal, gives better results except for HC. Although the
This solution is only marginally better than the previ- best solution is number 4, which gives excellent in-
ous 500 fpm (2.5 m/s) solution, and the increased terval and HC, the additional cost of a sixth car plus
cost would not be justified. A trial using smaller cars the revenue loss from the rentable area occupied by
with shorter RT is called for. the sixth shaft and the cost of additional mainte-
nance weigh heavily against this option. A trial with
Trial 3 five 3000‐lb (1361‐kg) cars at 700 fpm (3.6 m/s) is in
3000‐lb (1361‐kg) cars order, with the knowledge that a considerable cost
increase would result because 700‐fpm (3.6‐m/s)
500 fpm (2.5 m/s) cars require gearless equipment, whereas 500‐fpm
1490╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

(2.5‐m/s) cars are available in either geared or gear- As mentioned earlier, and shown in Fig. 32.16,
less format, both giving excellent service. planners of new buildings today generally take
advantage of elevator selection software provided
Trial 5 by consultants, by manufacturers, or via in‐house
3000‐lb (1361‐kg) cars capabilities. The results from one such program are
shown in Fig. 32.23 (this particular analysis was
700 fpm (3.6 m/s) prepared by Otis Elevator Co.). Note that projected
system performance under a variety of operational
RT = 140 seconds AVTRP = 73 seconds and functional scenarios can be evaluated and
300(16) compared.
h= = 34.3 persons
140 The round‐trip curves in Fig. 32.21 are
based on a 3.3‐second door time and a 4.0 ft/s2
N= = 5.3; use 5 cars (1.2 m/s2) car acceleration. Note that high call
reversal occurs at the top floor (13.6, i.e., 14) and
RT 140 that the number of up stops is 10 (9.7 from statisti-
I= = = 28 seconds
N 5 cal calculations). The up‐peak calculation assumes
5 no counterflow traffic (i.e., an express down run
PHC = (13%) = 12.3% and no interfloor traffic), as shown. These can be
added, however, yielding very different results, as
As expected, improvement over the performance shown in Fig. 32.23. Counterflow traffic (down
at 500 fpm (2.5 m/s) is very slight: an interval of 28 stops) of only 2% and interfloor traffic of 1%, both
seconds rather than 28.4 seconds, and a handling of which are reasonable values, change the round
capacity of 12.3% versus 12%. The large increase trip time substantially and reduce the handling
in first cost for gearless equipment would not be capacity appreciably.
justified. ■

At this point, the final selection would be made 32.37╇MULTIZONE SYSTEMS

on the basis of cost. When considering cost, note
that first cost is the governing factor only in a specu- In general, buildings with fewer than 15 stories are
lative venture. With an owner‐operator building, elevatored with a single zone (i.e., all cars serve all
the cost comparison should be on a life‐cycle basis. floors), and buildings with more than 20 stories are
Cost figures must reflect the impact of elevator space split into two or more zones. Buildings in between
requirements on net rentable area in the building. these limits—16 to 19 stories—can go either way,
Comparative cost figures are given in Table 32.10. depending upon the population density and the

TABLE 32.10╇ Relative First Costa Figures for Passenger Elevators of Various Speeds and Drive
Hydraulic fpm (m/s) Geared Traction fpm (m/s) Gearless Traction fpm (m/s)
100 200 350 500 500 700 1000 1200
Car Size (lb) (0.63) (1.0) (2.0) (2.5) (2.5) (4.0) (5.0) (6.0)
2000 (907) 40 80 100 130 165 170 220 235
2500 (1134) 43 85 115 145 175 180 235 250
3000 (1361) 50 90 120 150 180 185 250 265
3500 (1588) 58 95 125 155 190 195 265 275
4000 (1814) 60 100 135 165 200 205 280 300
4500 (2041)b 70 120 150 185 225 230 300 325
5000 (2268)b 75 130 160 200 240 250 330 350

Costs are ±10%; based on standard fixtures, cabs, and entrances, and average rise for the speed indicated.
Service elevator or hospital elevator.
Note: See Table 32.9 for speed/rise recommendation.

Fig. 32.23 Printouts from a computerized elevator selection program. This analysis shows that the addition of even light counterflow
and interfloor traffic can seriously affect system performance, as can be seen from the round‐trip, interval, and handling capacity
figures. (Courtesy of Otis Elevator Co.)

required interval. A modern group supervisory of many available computerized simulation and
system can automatically zone a building when selection programs. These have the advantage
traffic requires it. Such an arrangement, although that, in addition to using basic criteria and build-
efficient, is expensive in terms of both equipment ing parameters, they can also consider the effect
and construction because it does not take advan- of variations in traffic control. Furthermore, the
tage of the considerable savings engendered best of these programs can evaluate the engineer-
by blind lower shaftways for upper‐zone eleva- ing and economic impacts of such factors as vary-
tors. Analysis of multizone systems is complex ing rental rates for different floors, rental space,
and today is rarely done by hand. See Stein et al. machine room and hoistway space, core layout,
(1986) for a detailed explanation of the technique and the structural ramifications of the elevator
involved. Most designers and consultants use one system.
1492╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

32.38╇ELEVATOR SELECTION FOR larger installations, both the car and the corridor
SPECIFIC OCCUPANCIES door should be the power‐operated sliding type.
Service elevators must be large enough to
(a) Office Buildings handle bulky furniture and should therefore be at
least 4000 lb (1814 kg), with a 48‐in. (1.2‐m) door
Necessary design criteria can be selected from
and a high ceiling. Hoistways must be isolated from
Tables 32.4 to 32.7. Supervisory group control is
sleeping rooms by lobbies or other space. Similarly,
normally microprocessor‐based. Approximately 1
machine rooms must be isolated because the start-
service car per 10 passenger cars should be provided
ing and stopping of motors and other machine
or, alternatively, one service car for every 300,000 ft2
room noises are a detriment to sound sleep. Security
(27,870 m2) of net area. Service cars should be
arrangements are discussed in Section 32.47.
5000 lb (2268 kg) or larger without a dropped ceil-
ing and, if also used for passenger service, equipped
with wall pads. An oversized door (e.g., 4 ft, 0 in. (c) Hospitals
[1.2 m] or 4 ft, 6 in. [1.4 m]) is particularly useful in
As mentioned in Table 32.7, the governing fac-
handling furniture. Service elevators should have a
tor in the determination of elevator requirements
shaftway door at every level plus easy access to the
may be either normal hospital traffic or visitor
truck dock (or other freight entrance) as well as the
traffic, depending upon the visiting‐times sched-
lobby. These cars operate as service cars normally
ule. Due to the large volume of vehicular traffic
but can serve as passenger cars in peak periods to
such as stretcher carts, wheelchairs, beds, linen
reduce congestion and delay. This fact is particularly
carts, and laundry trucks, hospital elevator cars
useful in marginal service designs. See Table 32.11
are much deeper than the normal passenger type.
for approximate building costs.
This type of car, when used for passenger service,
holds more than 20 persons and therefore gives
(b) Apartment Buildings slow service. For this reason, it is occasionally
advisable to utilize some normal passenger cars in
Studies indicate that apartment building traf-
addition to hospital‐size cars, particularly in large
fic depends not only upon the population but also
on the location and type of tenant. Buildings with
The use of tray and bulk carts in food service
many children experience a school‐hour peak;
imposes a considerable load upon the elevator sys-
buildings in midtown with predominantly adult
tem before, during, and after meals, and passenger
tenancy exhibit evening peaks due to the home-
service is seriously disrupted. To reduce this con-
coming working group and outgoing dinner traf-
gestion and delay, many architects and hospital
fic. Where two cars are required, the second car
administrators prefer the use of dumbwaiter cars
should function both as a service car and as a pas-
or another of the many types of materials‐handling
senger car. The cars may be banked or separated, as
systems that can handle a 15½ × 20 in. (394 ×
desired. If a single car is used, it should be of service
508 mm) food tray. These systems can also be used
elevator size.
for transporting pharmaceuticals and other items,
Self‐service collective control is the general
and are discussed in Sections 33.14–33.16.
choice, with provision for attendant control in pres-
Elevators should be grouped centrally,
tigious buildings. With small cars and a short rise,
although separated by type of use. Car control is
a swing‐type manual corridor door is acceptable; in
normally self‐service collective.
The population of a hospital may be estimated
from Table 32.7. Experience has shown that a carry-
TABLE 32.11╇ Office Buildings: Cost of Elevator
ing capacity of 45 passengers in a 5‐minute period
and Electric Work
is adequate (estimating each vehicle as equivalent
Number of Stories to 9 passengers).
Item 20 35 60 Intervals should not exceed 1 minute. All rec-
Elevator work 10.9% 11.9% 12.2% ommendations regarding service for the disabled
Electric work 13.3% 12.6% 12.2% should be adopted (see Section 32.14).

(d) Retail Stores

Retail stores present a unique problem in vertical
transportation inasmuch as the objective is partially
to transport persons to specific levels and partially to
expose the passengers (customers) to displayed mer-
chandise. For this reason, modern stores rely heav-
ily on escalators, with one or two elevators provided
for use by staff and handicapped persons. When, for
some reason, it is desired to equip a store exclusively
with elevators, use the recommendations shown in
Table 32.9, calculated for a load of 10% to 20% of
the store’s population. Control should be automatic,
selective collective. Cars are arranged in a straight
line to facilitate loading and waiting.

SPATIAL R EQ UIR EM ENTS Fig. 32.24 Rough hoistway dimensional data for use in
schematic design. (a) I‐P elevator sizes and dimensions. (b) SI
O F ELEVATO R S elevator sizes and dimensions.


relaxed conditions, density is about 7 ft2 (0.65 m2)
Elevator lobbies and shafts are one of the major per person. During peak periods crowding occurs,
space issues with which the architect is concerned. however, reducing this to 3 to 4 ft2 (0.3–0.4 m2) per
The elevator lobby on each floor is the focal point person. An acceptable compromise is 5 ft2 (0.5 m2)
from which corridors radiate for access to all rooms, per person.
stairways, service rooms, and so forth. Such lobbies The main lower terminal of elevator banks
must be located above each other. The ground‐floor is generally on the street‐floor level, although it
elevator lobby (also called the lower terminal) must may be on a mezzanine level when the elevations
be conveniently located with respect to the main of the street entrances vary so that one side of the
building entrances. Equipment within or adjacent building is at mezzanine level, whereas another
to this area should include public telephones (if pro- entrance is lower. Such a situation is ideal for the
vided), a building directory, elevator indicators, and use of escalators, which can economically and rap-
possibly a control desk. idly carry large numbers of people between levels,
Lobbies should provide adequate area for the thus making practical and efficient a single main
peak‐load gathering of passengers to ensure rapid lower elevator terminal. The upper terminal is usu-
and comfortable service to all. The number of peo- ally the top floor of the building. Typical dimen-
ple contributing to the period of peak load (15‐ to sional data and lobby arrangements are shown in
20‐minute peak) determines the required lobby Figs. 32.24 to 32.26.
area on the floor.
Not less than 5 ft2 (0.5 m2) of floor space
per person should be provided at peak periods for 32.40╇DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHTS
waiting passengers at a given elevator or bank of
elevators. The hallways leading to such lobbies Most manufacturers and elevator consultants will,
should also provide at least 5 ft2 (0.5 m2) per per- upon request, supply standard layouts for elevators—
son, approaching the lobby. Under self‐adjusting including dimensions, weights, and structural loads.
1494╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

In line opposing
Limit of inline due May be
6′-8′ May be to cross traffic, (2.4 m-3 m)
(1.8 m-2.4 m) closed except in department
(b) Four-car groups
(a) Three-car groups

Must be
Min. 10′ (3 m) open at
May be both ends
8′-10′ 8′-10′
(2.4 m-3 m) (2.4 m-3 m) closed
Larger space between is
required for closed end
(c) Six-car groups plan (d) Eight-car group

Fig. 32.25 Lobby groupings for single‐zone systems: (a) three‐, (b) four‐, (c) six‐, and (d) eight‐car groups.

Furthermore, to assist in preliminary design, major the hoistway to the floor of the penthouse, the size
manufacturers have agreed upon and publish a set of the penthouse, and the loads that must be carried
of Standard Elevator Layouts via their trade organi- by the supporting beams.
zation, the National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII). The penthouse floor (and the secondary‐level
One such standard is reproduced in Fig. 32.27 for floor, where required) are located above the shaft of
500‐ to 700‐fpm (2.5–3.6‐m/s) gearless units in each elevator and need approximately 1½ stories of
the full range of car capacities. These standards are additional height above the top of the support beam
available from the NEII. of a given elevator when it is standing at its top‐floor
As may be seen from Fig. 32.27, in providing location. The actual floor area required by the ele-
for an elevator installation it is necessary to con- vator traction machine and its controls is roughly
sider such factors as the depth of the pit, the dimen- two times the area of the elevator shaft itself. The
sions of the hoistway, the clearance from the top of machine room contains the bulk of the elevator
machinery. Because some of this equipment must
be moved for maintenance, it is advisable to furnish
Low Low Low Low Low Low
an overhead trolley beam that can be used during
May be installation as well. The maximum beam load is
8′-10′ (2.4 m-3 m) 8′-10′ (2.4 m-3 m)
closed supplied by the elevator manufacturer.
High High High Low High High Some typical machine room dimensional data
(a) Six-car groups (b) are listed in Table 32.12, taken from actual instal-
lations. Because of multiple drive options and flex-
ibility in equipment arrangements, no general
Low Low Low High High
conclusions can be drawn from these figures; they
Min.10′ (3 m) Min.10′ (3 m) are listed simply to give a general picture of require-
High Low Low High High ments. A manufacturer’s layout giving dimensional
data for the hoistway and machine room is shown
(c) Eight-car groups (d)
in Fig. 32.28.
Fig. 32.26 Lobby groupings for multiple zone systems. When penthouse space is not available and
Arrangement (a) is preferable to (b), and (c) to (d). Groups with a hydraulic unit is not desired, a basement trac-
more than four cars in a row are not used because end‐to‐end
walking time would excessively lengthen landing stops and tion unit, also referred to as an underslung arrange-
hence total travel time. ment, can be used. These units are always low‐speed

Fig. 32.27 Typical elevator installation dimensional data. (Reproduced from Vertical Transportation Standards, 7th ed., © 1992, with
permission of National Elevator Industry, Inc., 185 Bridge Plaza North, Fort Lee, NJ 07024.)
1496╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

Fig. 32.27 (Continued)

TABLE 32.12╇ Typical Elevator Machine Room (100–350 fpm [0.5–1.8 m/s]) and are therefore
Dimensions applicable only where rise is limited and traffic is light
to medium. Figure 32.29 shows a typical shaft sec-
Bank Description Machine Room tion for this design with car and dimensional data.
No. – lb (kg) fpm (m/s) Dimensions ft (m)
2–2500 (1134) 125 (0.6) 16 × 18 (4.9 × 5.5)
3–2500 (1134) 350 (1.8) 19 × 26 (5.8 × 7.9) 32.41╇STRUCTURAL STRESSES
3–2500 (1134) 700 (3.6) 21 × 26 (6.4 × 7.9)
6–3500 (1588) 500 (2.5) 26 × 29 (7.9 × 8.8)
6–3500 (1588) 700 (3.6) 27 × 27 (8.2 × 8.2) For structural design, it is necessary to know
6–3500 (1588) 1000 (5.1) 27 × 27 (8.2 × 8.2) the overhead load that must be supported by the
6–5000 (2268) 450 (2.3) 31 × 33 (9.5 × 10.1)
foundations, by structural columns extending up to



W304.8 X 38.69


W12 X 26
(610 mm)



29′0′′ (6839.2mm) TOTAL

(65.53 2 mm)
(6248.4 mm)
(2438 mm)

(2135 mm)



(121.920 mm)


(2768.6 mm) PIT


Fig. 32.28 Manufacturer’s layout data for a bank of six 3500‐lb (1588‐kg), 700‐fpm (3.45‐m/s) gearless passenger elevators. Equipment
shown in the machine room is the thyristor control for DC traction machines. Because each controller provides group supervisory
control in this design (Otis Elevonic 411), no separate group supervisory equipment is shown. No additional space would be required if
a UMV drive with m‐g sets were selected rather than thyristor control. (Courtesy of Otis Elevator Co.)
1498╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

Fig. 32.29 Typical data for a basement traction machine (underslung) arrangement, used where a penthouse is unavailable or
undesirable. (Courtesy of Montgomery‐KONE.)

the penthouse, and by the main beams that support to lift a 3000‐lb (1361‐kg) car at 700 fpm (3.6 m/s)
the penthouse floor and subfloor. These loads (reac- than at 200 fpm (1.0 m/s). This relationship is
tions) are supplied by manufacturers and usually shown in Fig. 32.30, which shows the minimum
include the actual dead weights of equipment when size of a DC elevator traction motor as a function of
the elevator is not in motion, plus the added weight speed for cars of different capacity. (For power data
caused by the momentum of all moving parts and on hydraulic elevators, see Section 32.9.) As fric-
passengers when the elevator is at top speed and is tion is higher in a geared machine than in a gear-
suddenly stopped rapidly by the safety devices. less unit, the geared machine traction motor must
be larger for the same car speed. The size of the trac-
tion machine shown in Fig. 32.30 is independent
of the power supply design (m‐g set, VVVF, thyris-
P O WER AND ENERG Y   tor control) because it is determined purely by trac-
tion system requirements. (In practice, however,
traction motors with VVVF control are frequently
32.42╇POWER REQUIREMENTS smaller because they operate more efficiently.)
An elevator moves only about 50% of the time,
The power required by an elevator drive is that the remainder being spent standing at various land-
which is needed to provide the necessary traction ings. As the number of cars in a bank increases, the
and to overcome friction. Because power is equal to probability of all the cars being in operation simul-
the rate at which work is done, elevator motor size is taneously decreases, resulting in a system demand
directly proportional to the speed of the system. In factor of less than 1.0. The factor for different group
other words, it requires proportionately more power sizes is shown in Fig. 32.30.

No. of demand
92 cars factor
84 2 0.85 lb
100 3 0.77 00
76 4 0.72 40 b
5 0.67 0 0l
Horsepower-Geared Equipment

Horsepower-Gearless Equipment

90 6 0.63 35
68 7 0.59
80 10 0.52 00
15 0.44 30
60 20 0.40
70 25 and 0.35 0 lb
52 over 250
0 lb
44 200
20 16
10 8
0 0
100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000
Elevator Speed. fpm

Fig. 32.30 Elevator traction motor power requirements per car. An m‐g set drive (if used) is approximately 20% larger than a traction
1500╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

As an example of the use of the power curves, 32.43╇ENERGY REQUIREMENTS

consider a bank of five 3500‐lb (1588‐kg), 600‐fpm
(3.0‐m/s) units. From Fig. 32.30, each car requires The energy used by an elevator is essentially the
48 hp (36 kW): system friction, including the heat generated by
the brakes plus the electrical losses in the traction
group demand factor = 0.67 motor and power supply equipment (rotary or solid‐
total instantaneous power required state). The energy expended in raising a car and
its passengers is simply stored as potential energy.
= 5 × 48 × 0.67 = 160 hp
It is returned to the power system when the car and
( = 5 × 36 × 0.67 = 120 kW) passengers descend via the system of regenerative
braking used in almost all elevator systems. Refer
Note that this is the traction motor power require- to Fig. 32.31, which shows the approximate effi-
ments. If an m‐g set with an overall efficiency of ciencies of the components of a typical system.
80% is used to drive the traction motor, the elevator With these data, it is possible to calculate a system’s
system power requirement is energy consumption.
160 hp
system power = = 200 hp
80% eff
EXAMPLE 32.2 Given a system of five
3500‐lb (1588‐kg), 600‐fpm (3.0‐m/s) gearless cars,
(120 kW/0.80 = 150 kW) calculate:
a. The heat generated in the machine room during
which must be provided by the building electrical
peak periods; assume solid‐state control
system. If a solid‐state power supply system with a b. The approximate monthly energy cost; using a
(typical) efficiency of 92% is used, the system power combined demand/energy rate of $0.08/kWh
requirement will be only
system power = = 174 hp
92% eff
a. During peak periods, the traction motor oper-
(120 kW/.0.92 = 130 kW) ates approximately 50% of the time and is at
standstill the other half. Assume that, while
which is a 13% reduction from the previously cal- operating, it draws 90% of the full load (with
culated 200‐hp (150‐kW) requirement. a VVVF power supply, this figure is reduced

Power Solid-state Traction equipment efficiency

Power supply/control Gearless ~
– 80%
minimum efficiency ~ 90% Geared ~– 65%

291 W loss
0.14 hp (104 W) 0.25 hp (187 W)

1.39 hp (1.04 kW) 1.25 hp Gearless

1 hp
1.71 hp 1.54 hp Geared

0.17 hp (127 W) 0.54 hp (403 W)

530 W loss

Fig. 32.31 Block diagram showing losses in the system per horsepower (kW) delivered to the elevator car and the equivalent
wattages. Note that the losses in a geared system are almost double those of a gearless one. Figures shown are for solid‐state
thyristor controls.

considerably). Therefore, for one car, from insulation, thermostatically controlled louvers, and
Fig. 32.30, sunshading can ease the thermal load and result in
appreciable savings in money and energy. Because
traction motor = 48 hp (36 kW)
of the high initial and operating costs of air condi-
Total loss per machine: tioning, some elevator manufacturers use control
In controls: components that are tolerant of high tempera-
tures. This point should be carefully examined with
48 hp proposed elevator equipment manufacturers and
× 90% load × 50% operation × 10% loss the conclusions reflected in the elevator system
0.9 eff
= 2.4 hp (1.8 kW )
b. To calculate a monthly energy cost, an estimate
In traction motor: must be made of the total usage of the system.
Assuming the system to be in an office building,
48 hp × 90% load × 50% operation × 20% loss
a reasonable breakdown of operation during a
= 4.32 hp (3.2 kW) 24‐hour day would be
total = 6.72 hp = 17,100 Btu/h (equivalent to 5 kW) 2 hours at peak use
2 hours at 70% of peak
Because five elevators are operating, the total heat
generated is 6 hours at 50% of peak
14 hours at 10% of peak
5 × 17,100 Btu/h = 85,500 Btu/h (equivalent to This gives a weighted average of 30% of peak load
25 kW) for the elevator bank. Therefore, per car

This is roughly the heating capacity of a home energy = 30% × total losses × 24 hours
furnace. As a result, machine room temperatures in
warm climates frequently reach 120°F (49°C). (No = 0.3 × 6.72 hp (or 5 kW) × 24 hours
diversity is taken because all the machines are oper- = 48 hp-h (or 36 kW-h) = 36 kWh/day/car
ating and the heating is additive; diversity is appli-
cable only in calculating instantaneous load.) Monthly cost would be
As solid‐state elevator equipment is much less
tolerant of high ambient temperatures than the 36 × 25 days × $0.08
electromechanical switches and relays previously day
used, an elevator machine room should be held to = $72/month/car
a maximum dry‐bulb temperature of 90°F (32°C). = $360/month for the bank
(Temperatures above 90°F (32°C) can result in unre-
liable elevator system performance.) This limit can This figure would be lower with a VVVF power
sometimes be accomplished by thermostatically supply and higher for a Ward–Leonard (m‐g set)
controlled forced ventilation, particularly if spill‐ arrangement. ■
over air from an air‐conditioned space is available.
However, because machine rooms are frequently
on the building roof and exposed on all surfaces to 32.44╇ENERGY CONSERVATION
ambient temperatures and solar radiation, air con-
ditioning may be necessary. It is also important to A reduction in energy consumption can be
prevent machine room temperature from dropping accomplished by implementing the following
below 55°F (13°C). This can usually be done with recommendations:
one or more unit heaters, which will normally oper-
ate only during the winter, and then only on nights
and weekends. For Existing Elevators
In actual design situations, accurate heat loss
values, which are available from manufacturers, 1. Increase the interval during nonpeak hours.
would be used, along with accurate heat gain 2. Replace m‐g sets with a solid‐state DC power
and heat loss calculations for the specific machine supply or AC traction motors with a VVVF
room being designed. Frequently, use of thermal power supply. This conserves energy not only
1502╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

due to the higher efficiency of the power supply, mental and penal institutions constitutes a danger
but also because energy consumption of idling to life. For this reason, most codes require that emer-
machines is eliminated. gency power be available in specific building types
3. Reclaim machine room waste heat. to operate at least one elevator at a time, and for ele-
4. Shut down some units completely during off vator lighting and communications. Many instal-
hours. lations separate the emergency power functions,
providing a generator for elevator traction power
For a Building in the Planning Stage and separate individual elevator battery packs for
communications, lighting, and, preferably, the car
1. Base the design on the maximum recom- fan. The last two items can be furnished as an option
mended trip time. by elevator manufacturers with their cars.
2. Use the lowest speeds possible within a type— The generator is normally sized to supply one
that is, geared or gearless. elevator motor at a time, with manual or auto-
3. Use gearless equipment whenever possible. matic switching arranged between unit control-
4. After construction, implement the energy lers. Thus, each car in turn can be brought to a
conservation recommendations for existing landing, and thereafter a single car can be retained
elevators. in service. If it is desired to operate more than one
car, a larger generator can be installed. This might
Because elevator shafts can induce a power-
well be the case in a multiwing building with criti-
ful stack effect, measures should be taken to coun-
cal service requirements, such as a hospital.
teract the potential loss of heat from the building
The amount of power required, the size of the
that may occur during the heating season.
emergency generator, and the equipment size nec-
essary to absorb regenerative power are all data that
can be furnished by a consulting engineer and the
32.45╇EMERGENCY POWER elevator manufacturer.

Major power failures and local brownouts have

demonstrated forcefully the need for a standby or
emergency power source of adequate size to oper-
ate an affected building’s elevators. Few experiences
are so harrowing as being trapped in the crowded
confines of a small box suspended in a long vertical
shaft, with little or no light, and complete strangers
for companions.
Most fire codes specify the procedures that eleva-
A common misconception about elevators is
tor control equipment must implement once a fire
that on failure of power, the cars will automatically
emergency has been initiated. Details vary some-
descend to the nearest landing, where an exit is
what, but in general the actions are these:
then possible. In reality, the car brake is set imme-
diately upon power outage and the car remains 1. All cars close their doors and return nonstop
stationary. Hydraulic cars can be lowered by opera- to the lobby or another designated floor, where
tion of a manual valve; small traction cars can be they park with the doors open. Thereafter, they
cranked to a landing by hand, but large cars are are operable in manual mode only, by use of the
fixed in position. This is particularly bad for cars in firefighter’s key in the car panel.
blind shafts—that is, express shafts with no shaft- 2. All car and hall calls are canceled, and call‐
way doors. In such cases, escape from the cars via a registered lights and directional arrows deacti-
hatchway is not practical; when emergency power vated.
is not available, the undesirable option of breaking 3. The fire emergency light or message panel in
through the shaftway walls is the only recourse. each car is activated to inform passengers of
In addition to simple inconvenience, loss of the nature of the alert and that cars are return-
elevator service in facilities such as hospitals and ing to a designated terminal.

4. Door sensors and in‐car emergency stop

switches are deactivated.
5. Traveling cars stop at the next landing without
opening their doors and then proceed to the
designated terminal.
The cars can then be used by trained personnel
to transport firefighters and equipment and for evac-
uation. In the event of a false alarm, the emergency
procedure can be overridden at the (lobby) control
point, and the system can then be returned to nor-
mal while the source of the alarm is located. (This
is a particularly important feature in large buildings
with automatic fire alarm systems containing hun-
dreds of fire, smoke, and water‐flow detectors.)


Elevator security has two key aspects: physical secu-

rity of riders and consideration of the elevator as a
portal in a building‐access security system.

Fig. 32.32 Wide‐angle camera coverage intended for elevator

(a) Rider Security car surveillance. A prominent printed warning in the car is an
integral part of the system’s effectiveness.
This problem is particularly difficult inasmuch as a
traveling elevator is an enclosed space that can be
rendered inaccessible simply by pressing the emer-
gency stop button. Thereafter, an attacker can escape accompanies an authorized person, the effective-
at a floor of his/her choice. To reduce this danger (to ness of this type of access control is seriously com-
some extent), elevators are equipped with alarm promised. In sum, the most effective security system
buttons that alert residents and security personnel is a combination of automatic monitoring and
(if any). Every elevator, by code, must be equipped access devices coupled with continuous supervi-
with communication equipment. A two‐way com- sion by persons who know the appropriate actions
munication system with “no‐hands” operation in to take in an emergency.
the car is particularly effective for security. When a
closed‐circuit TV monitor is added, utilizing a wide‐
angle camera in each car (Fig. 32.32), the security 32.48╇ELEVATOR NOISE
problem will have been addressed to a considerable
extent. Using a communication and TV system pre- Elevator operation, with its rotating, sliding, and
supposes continuous monitoring of the building vibrating masses, can be a cause of serious noise
security desk so that an incident will be detected. disturbance to quiet areas such as sleeping rooms,
libraries, and certain types of office space. Noise
and vibration can be reduced by the appropriate
(b) Access Control
application of noise control strategies and vibration
This is often a matter of restricting access to (and isolators (e.g., between guide rails and the struc-
from) a floor or car. This can be accomplished by ture), but primarily by placing noise‐sensitive areas
pushbutton combination locks or coded cards, the away from shafts and machine rooms. The clatter
proper use of which will permit access (see Chap- and whirring sound associated with older machine
ter 31). However, if a second (unauthorized) person rooms (and caused by relays, step switches, m‐g
1504╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

sets, and sliding contacts) can be entirely eliminated (a) Owner’s Responsibility
by the use of solid‐state equipment.
The general construction contractor (acting for the
owner) normally provides the following:
32.49╇ELEVATOR SPECIFICATIONS â•⁄ 1. The hoistway, including a properly designed,
lighted, drained, waterproofed, and ventilated
Two basic types of specifications for elevator equip- machine room and pit
ment, as for other types of equipment, are utilized. â•⁄ 2. Access doors, ladders, and required guards
These are the prescriptive (equipment‐based) and â•⁄ 3. Guide rail bracket supports, and support for
performance (outcome‐based) approaches. Perfor- machine and sheave beams
mance specifications describe job conditions and â•⁄ 4. Electric feeder terminating in a switch in the
invite contractors to submit detailed proposals machine room
that will meet explicit design criteria. The burden â•⁄5.  Hoistway outlets for lighting, power, and
of comparing proposals then falls upon the owner, telephone
who—if competent to properly perform such an â•⁄ 6. Temporary lighting and power during con-
evaluation—would probably do better to utilize an struction
equipment‐type specification in the first place. â•⁄ 7. Concrete machine foundations
In recent years, the use of performance speci- â•⁄ 8. Vents, holes, and other work to satisfy fire
fications has increased because of the advent of codes
preengineered, premanufactured systems. These â•⁄9.  All cutting, patching, and fabricating of
are supplied by the major elevator manufacturers walls, beams, masonry, and so on
and have the following advantages: 10. Coordination of all work
1. Approximately 10% lower cost than a custom‐ 11.  Any special work, as negotiated and
designed system specified
2. A completely engineered and tested system
whose performance and cost are known exactly
3. Rapid delivery (b) Elevator Contractor’s Responsibility
4. Minimum supervision required by the owner
The elevator contractor shall provide a complete,
and architect
working, tested, and approved system in accor-
If architects decide to use a custom‐designed sys- dance with specifications, plus any special work
tem, they must prepare detailed drawings and speci- such as painting, special tests, work scheduling,
fications. The specifications must include: and temporary elevator service. The system is
“inserted” into the building framework described in
• Elevator type, rated load, and speed
Section 32.49(a).
• Maximum travel
• Number of landings and openings
• Type of control and supervisory system
• Details of car and shaft doors (c) Special Job Conditions
• Signal equipment
These include work restrictions, scheduling, penal-
• Characteristics of the power supply
ties or bonuses, test reports, and the like.
• Finishes
In alteration and modernization work, the
The last item can be left as a dollar allowance for problems of coordination are complex, and an
architectural treatment of the car interior. Because elevator contractor experienced in this type of
the selection of, and technical specifications for, ele- work should be selected. To this end, in all elevator
vators are specialized and complex, the services of contract work, bids should be solicited from parties
an elevator consultant are usually required. named on qualified bidder lists. A complete eleva-
In addition to the technical portions of the tor contract includes a warranty and provisions for
specifications, it is imperative that the following maintenance of the installation for a specific period
items be covered in detail. after completion.


The elevator industry is constantly developing new

equipment to improve the operation and safety
of standard systems. In addition, novel designs
that are essentially different from standard trac-
tion arrangements are always being developed in
an attempt to increase the efficiency of space use
and to decrease the high cost of standard traction
machinery. Among the interesting designs being
developed in the first category is one that permits a
car to travel horizontally in addition to its normal
vertical motion, the purpose of which is to increase
the number of cars using a single shaft. The second
category includes a design using a linear motor Fig. 32.33 Disc‐shaped hoisting motor rigidly mounted on the
(as opposed to a rotating unit) to supply traction elevator guide rail. The AC synchronous motor is connected
power. These and several other special designs are directly to the hoisting cable drive sheave with no intervening
gears. Brakes and controls are built into the assembly.
discussed in Chapter 33.
A recently developed interesting variation of
the conventional traction design that effects a con-
siderable space reduction is shown in Figs. 32.33– synchronous AC gearless hoisting motor, which,
32.36. At this writing, its principal applications are due to its flat disc shape, can be mounted directly
in low‐speed, low‐rise installations now generally on the main car guide rail at one side of the shaft
serviced by hydraulic elevators, but with higher (see Fig. 32.35). This essentially removes the need
speeds and rises under development. The novelty for a penthouse and a large machine room above
of the design lies in the use of a flat (disc‐shaped), the hoistway. Due to the traction motor’s position

Fig. 32.34 Schematic (a) and

pictorial (b) representations of
the disc‐motor‐driven elevator
1506╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

3 2 drive motor


MCOP 1 Closet for

4 controls at
top landing
PIT LADDER 34″ x 14″D
x 72″ H


3′–6″ (1067)



Fig. 32.35 (a) Section through the top of a hoistway showing

dimensional data for a single 2500‐lb (1134‐kg), 200‐fpm
(1‐m/s) installation with a rise of up to 80 ft (24 m). Note that the
drive motor occupies less than 2 ft (0.6 m) in the width of the
hoistway and that the elevator motion and operating controls
(Section 32.4) are installed in a closet 42 in. (1.07 m) wide and
approximately 20 in. (508 mm) deep at the top landing. (b) Fig. 32.36 Pictorial representation of a disc‐type traction motor
Elevator system basic data for the simplex (single) unit shown in hoistway showing the system’s essentials.
(a). (Courtesy of Montgomery‐KONE.)

at the side of the hoistway, the car is roped in an arrangement is that the elevator loads and reac-
underslung arrangement, as shown in Fig. 32.34. tions are borne by the (stiffened) guide rail and
Additional space economy is achieved by the use of transferred directly to the concrete pit below the
a small drive controller built into an alcove at the bottom landing. This reduces the reactions borne
top landing (see Fig. 32.35). The pictorial hoist- by the machine room level in a conventional trac-
way representation in Fig. 32.36 shows the equip- tion design and results in reduced structural loads.
ment arrangement, demonstrating the absence of Compared to hydraulic elevators, this design exhib-
a penthouse and the limited machine room space its considerable energy economy due to its use of a
requirement. An additional advantage of this gearless traction machine.
Case Study—Vertical Transportationâ•…1507

32.51 Case Study—Vertical Transportation

Hong Kong International Commerce Center

Project Basics (4602 base 10°C); annual precipitation: 88 in.

•â•¢ Location: West Kowloon, Hong Kong, People’s (2235 mm)
Republic of China •â•¢ Building type: New construction; mixed‐use
•â•¢ Latitude: 22.3oN; longitude: 114.1oW; eleva- composed of offices, a hotel, recreation areas,
tion: 60 ft (18.3 m) above sea level retail space, and an observation deck
•â•¢ Heating degree days: 425 base 65°F (236 base •â•¢ Size: 2,800,000 ft2 (260,000 m2)
18.3°C); cooling degree days: 8284 base 50°F •â•¢ Completed 2010

Fig. 32.37 The ICC tower and its immediate context. (© SHK Properties; used with permission.)
1508╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

Fig. 32.38 Lower lobby level showing entry to the lower half of the double-decker elevator cars. (© Julia Lau; used with permission.)

(a) (b)

Fig. 32.39 (a) Card key entry system for security. (b) Card is placed under the monitor for identification. (© Julia Lau; used with


Fig. 32.40 (a) Main “double” lobby showing escalators and elevator entry. (b) Entry to elevators to specific floors. (© Julia Lau; used
with permission.)

1510╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

(a) (b)

Fig. 32.41 (a) Card reader to interior elevator lobby. (b) Multiple entries for high traffic flow. (© Julia Lau; used with permission.)

•â•¢ Client: Sun Hung Kai Properties Fox Associates (KPF), was the winning entry in an
•â•¢ Design team: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, international design competition. A mixed‐use
Wong & Ouyang Architects Ltd., and J. Roger building, composed of offices, a hotel, recreation
Preston (Building Services Engineer) are key col- areas, retail space, and an observation deck, the
laborators on the design development of the ICC as a whole serves an important role in the
vertical transportation for the project.
larger Union Square reclamation project. As of
Background. The 118‐story International Com- 2013, it is the tallest building in Hong Kong. The
merce Center (ICC), designed by Kohn Pedersen ICC is embedded with intelligent elevator, heating/

Fig. 32.42 View from upper lobby to lower lobby at street level. (© SHK Properties; used with permission.)
Case Study—Vertical Transportationâ•…1511

Fig. 32.43 Shuttle lift arrangement (left) shows fast travel to specific destinations, and local lift arrangement (right) shows intermittent
stops between and within zones. (© Wong & Ouyang (HK) Ltd.; used with permission.)

cooling, and water‐reclamation systems, while subway, bus, and ferry terminals, to both mainland
also being integrated into the municipal transit China and Hong Kong International Airport. In
network. Design principles, client values, and a dealing with this programmatic juxtaposition, KPF
collaborative as well as interdisciplinary design pro- built upon precedents such as the Met Life build-
cess were important to the success of the project. ing over Grand Central Station and the JR Central
Towers in Nagoya, Japan. Anticipating 30,000 visi-
Context. The ICC was designed as an iconic struc-
tors per day, the ICC pursued a multi‐deck elevator
ture that would support high‐end finance, tour-
system, with intelligent access controls, in order
ism, shopping, and hospitality. Kowloon Station,
to increase the efficiency of the interior vertical
with which the ICC is closely integrated, aside from
transportation network, both in terms of energy
supporting eleven million passenger‐journeys per
expended, and time spent in the elevator.
day (Malott, 2011) is linked, via high‐speed rail,
1512╅ Chapter 32╇ Vertical Transportation: Passenger Elevators

Fig. 32.44 Typical floor arrangements for office zones, observation deck, and the hotel. (© Wong & Ouyang (HK) Ltd.; used with

Design Intent. The design was meant to integrate •â•¢ Use intelligent HVAC systems.
high‐density development, high‐technology effi- •â•¢ Use water reclamation/reuse systems.
ciency, and transit‐network integration. The architects came up with an effective ver-
The leading principles behind the design were tical transportation strategy that provides good
as follows: quality lift service, and at the same time, devel-
oped floor plans that optimize space utilization for
•â•¢ Set an iconic precedent for dense, integrated,
and sustainable development for Hong Kong. all zones of the building.
•â•¢ Provide for the functional needs of the mixed
The office portion of the tower is divided
uses that the ICC supports. into five office zones. Double‐deck elevator cabs
•â•¢ Implement an intelligent elevator system that minimize the requirement for lift shafts and are
satisfies both the expected passenger loads and employed to serve the first four zones. Zones 1
the multi‐use nature of the building. and 2 are served from the two entry levels. Zones 3
References and Resourcesâ•…1513

and 4 are reached via the sky‐lobby. Zone 5 has an system also helps to group passengers according
independent drop‐off with direct access via single‐ to their destination requirements.
deck elevators. The building contains 80 Schindler elevators,
The Ritz‐Carlton Hotel has its own drop‐off 40 of which are double‐deck elevator cars. They
and a distinctive hotel entrance with a magnificent travel at speeds anywhere from 11.5 fps (3.5 m/s)
view of the Victoria Harbor. Guests take the shuttle to 29.5 fps (8.9 m/s), and cover distances from 236
lifts to the reception area at the 103rd floor, before ft (71.9 m) to 1555 ft (474 m) (Schindler Group).
using local lifts to access the top‐zone guestrooms. Such double‐deck systems, optimized via intelli-
Sandwiched between the Ritz‐Carlton and the gent transit management systems, are crucial for
office portion is Sky100 with two observation multi‐use and super‐high structures such as the
decks. The general public can take the shuttle lifts ICC for satisfying the large daily inflow of visitors,
from the ticketing office in the podium below. while not sacrificing rentable floor space. In deal-
ing with buildings even taller than the ICC, consul-
Design Criteria and Validation. The project was
tants have proposed the use of triple‐deck elevator
intended to serve as a novel prototype by which
systems (Knight, 2005).
skyscrapers could be designed and understood.
Aside from the sheer scale of the project, the nature
of its mixed‐use functions required KPF to approach FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
the project in a collaborative manner. Kohn Peder- Wong & Ouyang (HK) Architects Ltd.: http://www
sen Fox Associates, Wong & Ouyang Architects Ltd.,
and J. Roger Preston (Building Services Engineer), Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates: http://www.kpf
along with other specialist consultants, collaborated .com
to achieve this end, and to help synchronize, more
Sun Hung Kai Properties:
fully, the original design intent with the outcome.
Performance Data. Information available to date Knight, W. 2005. “Architects Plan Kilometre‐
suggests success in a range of fields, but particu- High Skyscraper.” NewScientist. http://www
larly in the areas of urban transportation integra-‐architects‐plan‐
tion, and vertical passenger movement. In terms kilometrehigh‐skyscraper.html#.UfYUZKzgeS0
of the latter, the ICC utilizes a wide variety of
Schindler Elevators:
elevators, including double‐deck passenger, ser-
vice, emergency service, VIP, and freight elevators. Malott, D. 2011. “International Commerce
This helps to move an estimated 30,000 people/ Center,” Elevator World, May.
day through the building in an efficient and less‐ Schindler Group, “East Meets West,” Next Floor.
energy‐consuming manner. In order to optimize
system performance, an intelligent identification PDFs/NF‐References/ICC.pdf

References and Resources Strakosch, G. R. 1983. Vertical Transportation,

Goetz, A. 2003. Up, Down, Across. Merrell Publishers. Elevators and Escalators, 2nd ed. John Wiley &
London. Sons. New York.
Stein, B., J. Reynolds, and W. McGuinness. 1986. Strakosch, G. R. (ed.) 1998. The Vertical Transportation
Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings, Handbook. John Wiley & Sons. New York.
7th ed. John Wiley & Sons. New York.