Outdoor Platform Lifts

Outdoor Platform Lifts

Have you come across the term ‘inclusive design’? It’s used by urban architects and designers to describe a public space which “enables everyone to participate equally, confidently and independently in everyday activities”. This is very much the future of urban planning, and it requires us to rethink the way we interact with buildings, and work creatively to overcome problems of access.

At Tower Lifts we’ve been working on enhancing access in the built environment for nearly two decades now. Every day wheelchair users, and people with impaired mobility have to find their way around stone steps into buildings, weave between obstacles, and squeeze through narrow gaps. We take pride in the part we play in making those daily challenges easier to overcome.

Types of Outdoor Platform Lifts

Straight Platform LiftAn outdoor platform lift design facilitates travel between one level and another. They are used by people in wheelchairs, or on mobility scooters. Their operation is elegant and simple. The passenger moves onto a platform, pushes a button, and is elevated to the upper level. This kind of lift is designed for outdoor installation, which means that it can withstand a range of weather conditions.

Step Lift. The step lift, also known as a wheelchair lift, or a low rise platform lift, can be installed outdoors or indoors. It’s available in sizes between 50mm and 3,000mm and runs at a speed of 0.15MPH. These are invaluable where the main entrance of a home or commercial building has a short flight of steps leading to it.

Integrated Step Lift. This is used for public buildings, heritage environments, or gardens where the aesthetics require a lift that merges seamlessly with the operating environment until activated. Tower Lifts designers have created step lifts ‘disguised as’ paving stones, grass, cobbles and polished concrete over the years.

External Vertical Platform Lifts. These are becoming increasingly popular, especially with residential clients. Rather than taking up valuable indoor space; an external platform lift can be designed to transport wheelchair users, or disabled passengers to each floor of their home. These lifts need to be protected by a weather-proof shaft.

External Inclined Platform Lifts. The straight and curved inclined platform lift allows wheelchair users to travel along an external staircase. These are installed by attaching the lift platform to the side of the stairs. A structural engineer’s report is necessary prior to installation, to ensure that the stairs can take the loads a platform lift presents.

Design Considerations for Outdoor Platform Lifts

The BS8300-2 British Code of Practice, lays out a range of design considerations which are specific to the installation of platform lifts outdoors:

  • Temperature. All platform lifts operate within an optimum temperature range. Tower Lifts guarantees that all outdoors installations are fully tested for the likely temperature extremes expected in the location.
  • Non-Slip Properties. When installing outdoor vertical transport, Tower Lifts ensures that the non-slip properties of the flooring are adjusted to take into account the amount of moisture that is likely to accumulate in wet and snowy conditions.
  • Drainage and Protection. Vertical platform lifts require a weather-proof shaft to protect the mechanism. Additionally, pit drainage is required in order to mitigate against flooding or ongoing damage caused by standing water.
  • Ventilation. Where the passenger cabin is fully enclosed, as is the case with vertical passenger lifts, the ventilation should provide a temperate environment. Temperatures should remain constant in either hot, or cold weather.

Case Study – Installing an Integrated Step Lift at Trinity College, Dublin

The Tower Lifts installation team was asked to design a bespoke step lift for a cobbled courtyard in the historic Trinity College, Dublin. It was need for inclusive access up some stone steps to an entrance door. We installed the TLP1000 lift and camouflaged it to match the surrounding cobbled paving. Once activated the lift mechanism springs into action, providing a smooth journey between the lower and upper location.

Bespoke Platform Lift Design

Tower Lifts has installed integrated step lifts in a range of external locations, from private gardens and patios to sculpture parks, public buildings and schools. Where we’re asked to design an integrated lift we’ll always spend time getting to know the environment. Our aim is always to create a seamless transition between the environment around the lift, and the lift camouflage – even if that’s grass, or decking!

Tower Lifts is Passionate About Access

We have been installing platform lifts across the UK for a number of years now. Our installers and designers enjoy working with the flexibility that this state-of-the-art technology affords. As it becomes easier and more cost-effective to install lifts, we’re working with a greater range of clients. We regularly install platform lifts for the retail sector, the leisure sector and in domestic environments.

Tower Lifts is the leading installer of outdoor platform lifts in the UK. Call our friendly design and installation team on 01525 601099 to find out more about what we do.

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 Lifts