Commercial Platform Lift Design Considerations

Businesses in the UK recognise the need to promote and support diversity in the workplace by valuing every member of the workforce. One of the primary requirements of workplace inclusivity is universal access. This means providing appropriate vertical transport for people who are mobility impaired, or partially sighted.

The installation of access lifts can be a challenge, but the Tower Lifts team has been working with builders, architects, and owners for nearly two decades now to create high performance solutions. In this blog, we consider the commercial platform lift design considerations we engage with when designing and installing platform lifts for commercial buildings.

Part M: Volume 2 Building Regulations

These are the building regulations that offer guidance access to non-residential buildings and compliance with the Equality Act (2010). The use of platform lifts (lifts designed specifically for wheelchair users) is recommended where a passenger lift cannot be fitted, or where the platform lift is required specifically to provide disabled access.

Platform Lift Design Considerations

Where a platform lift is considered an appropriate choice in a commercial building, there are specific design considerations specified in Part M, Volume 2, Sections 3.25 and 3.35:

1. Type of Platform Lift

All platform lifts travel at a speed of 0.15MPS or less. There are, however, a number of different types of platform lift dependent upon the requirements of the commercial environment.

  • Vertical Platform Lift. This looks like a traditional passenger lift. It has an enclosed cabin large enough to accommodate a wheelchair and sliding doors. This is a requirement for lifts travelling more than 2 metres.
  • Step Lift. Used for short flights of stairs or split-level flooring. Also known as low rise lifts, or open platform lifts, they operate up to a height of 3 metres and can be installed indoors or outdoors.

2. Movement Inside and Outside Platform Lifts

Part M regulations require designers to remember the size and manoeuvrability of a wheelchair in the planning stages:

  • Opposing Doors. These should be considered where space allows. Opposing doors allow the user to enter and exit without having to reverse their wheelchair.
  • Lift Frontage. Sufficient room should be provided outside lifts, to allow for easy navigation. The call buttons are required to be positioned 900mm and 1100mm from the floor.
  • Lift Doors. These should be wide enough to allow easy access for a wheelchair user.
  • Control Panel. This needs to be easily accessible, and clearly visible.

3. Cabin Communications

Should the lift break down, passengers need a way to communicate their predicament. This may be facilitated through the use of an alarm, an intercom, or an audio handset.

Working With Tower Lifts

The Tower Lifts team design and install platform lifts that comply with the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992 and the relevant BS6440:2011, EN81-41:2010, EN81-42 standards. We are leading providers of platform lifts across residential and commercial sectors, and our goal is always to design the ideal lift required by its environment.

Would you like to speak to a Tower Lifts engineer about commercial platform lift design considerations? Call us today on 01525 601099

Tower Lifts carry out design and installation on a varied range of lifts throughout the UK including:

Domestic Lifts • Food Lifts • Bespoke Platform Lifts • Service Lifts • Platform Lifts • Goods Lifts • Scenic Lifts • Heavy Duty / Car Lifts • Passenger Lifts • Dumbwaiter Lifts • MRL Lifts • Fire lifts • Residential Lifts • low-Headroom Lift