Upgrading Your Elevator Cab

Upgrading Your Elevator Cab


When selecting new elevator cab finishes, there are a few very important items that your designer needs to consider. Overlooking any one may be very costly, not only financially but in downtime.

Are the new finishes heavier, lighter or the same weight? By code, you are not allowed to increase the total suspended load of the elevator system by more than 5%. When an elevator is initially installed, it is engineered for a specific car weight. This includes the car frame, cab, cab interior and all of the peripheral equipment attached to the car. That weight is stamped on a data plate affixed the the cross-head of the elevator as the “Total Car Weight”.

traction elevator   design factors of elevator: -power used to operate elevator  -height of the building  -speed of elevator

Traction (cable) elevators utilize a counterweight attached to the cables opposite the cab. The counterweight is heavier than an empty elevator but lighter than a fully loaded elevator. The difference between the two is known as “Overbalance”. If an elevator is rated for 3500 lbs. and the elevator manufacturer required 50% overbalance, an elevator contractor would need to place 1750 lbs. inside an elevator to simulate a balanced load condition.

Many elevators utilize a compensation system to offset the weight of the cables. Depending on the speed and rise of the elevators, compensation may be chain or cable. The compensation system is attached to the bottom of the elevator and the bottom of the counterweight. As an elevator travels down, there is more cable weight on the elevator side than on the counterweight side. Depending on the rise, this can easily reach a couple thousand pounds. As the elevator descends, the counterweight ascends taking the compensation with it, offsetting or compensating for the weight on the opposite end.
Total Car Weight
Car Capacity
Hoist Cables

To obtain the the total suspended load of the elevator, your designer would need all of the weights listed above and make sure the new design did not exceed it by 5%. There have been special cases where a manufacturer could provide engineering data to the local authorities demonstrating how reducing the overbalance and or removing some compensation would allow for a heavier cab interior, while still maintain acceptable and safe operating conditions. These cases are rare and not recommended.

This rule only pertains to traction elevators i.e., elevators with cables. Hydraulic elevators are exempt from this rule, though, a load test should performed after the installation to check the relief valve setting.

Image result for elevator cab upgrade

Fire rating
Are the materials properly fire rated? The National Elevator Code or ANSI A17. requires the following:
In jurisdictions not enforcing NBCC
(a) materials in their end-use configuration, other
than those covered by and (c),, and, shall conform to the following requirements,
based on the tests conducted in accordance with the
requirements of ASTM E84, ANSI/UL 723, or
(1) flame spread rating of 0 to 75
(2) smoke development of 0 to 450
(b) napped, tufted, woven, looped, and similar materials
in their end-use configuration on car enclosure
walls shall conform to 8.3.7. The enclosurewalls to which
this material is attached shall conform to
(c) floor covering, underlayment, and its adhesive
shall have a critical radiant flux of not less than
0.45 W/cm2, as measured by ASTM E648. In jursidictions enforcing the NBCC
(a) materials in their end-use configuration, other
than those covered by,, and, shall conform to the following requirements,
based on the tests conducted in accordance with the
requirements of ASTM E84, ANSI/UL 723, or
(1) flame spread rating of 0 to 75
(2) smoke development classification of 0 to 450
(b) floor surfaces shall have a flame spread rating of
0 to 300, with a smoke development classification of 0 to
450, based on the test conducted in accordance with the
requirements of CAN/ULC-S102.

If you are a designer wishing to us glass in your scheme, you must follow these requirements. Keep in mind glass is very heavy, so know your weight limitations before making your final decision.

ASME ANSI A17. Glass in Elevator Cars

Image result for ansi z97.1 Where enclosures include panels of glass, or transparent or translucent plastic, the panels shall
(a) be constructed of laminated glass that complies with the requirements of 16 CFR Part 1201, Sections 1201.1 and 1201.2; or be constructed of laminated glass, safety glass, or safety plastic that comply with CAN/ CGSB-12.1, CAN/CGSB-12.11, or CAN/CGSB-12.12, whichever is applicable (see Part 9)
(b) be provided with a handrail or framing designed to guard the opening should the panel become detached, where wall panels are wider than 300 mm (12 in.)
© be mounted in the structure so that the assembly shall withstand the required elevator tests without damage (see Glass used for lining walls or ceilings shall conform to and ©, except that tempered glass shall be permitted, provided that
(a) it conforms to ANSI Z97.1, 16 CFR Part 1201, Sections 1201.1 and 1201.2, or CAN/CGSB-12.1, whichever is applicable (see Part 9)
(b) the glass is not subjected to further treatment such as sandblasting, etching, heat treatment, painting, etc., that could alter the original properties of the glass
© the glass is bonded to a nonpolymeric coating, sheeting, or film backing having a physical integrity to hold the fragments when the glass breaks
(d) the glass is tested and conforms to the acceptance criteria for laminated glass as specified in ANSI Z97.1, or 16 CFR Part 1201, Section 1201.4, or CAN/CGSB-12.11, whichever is applicable (see Part 9) In jurisdictions enforcing the NBCC, type 3C film reinforced silvered mirror glass that conforms to CAN/CGSB-12.5 shall be permitted for lining walls or ceilings. Markings as specified in the applicable glazing standard shall be on each separate piece, and shall remain visible after installation.

As elevator lighting moves more and more towards LEDs, this is becoming less of an issue. Mainly keep in mind that you have to maintain a minimum of 50 LUX or 5 foot-candles at the threshold
ASME A17. Illumination of Cars and Lighting Fixtures Illumination and Outlets Required. Cars
shall be provided with electric lighting conforming to through Not less than two lamps or sets of
lamps of approximately equal illumination shall be provided.
Systems using only one of the two required lamps
or sets of lamps to provide the required illumination
shall be permitted and shall comply with the following:
(a) Each lamp or set of lamps shall provide the minimum
illumination in conformance with
(b) Systems shall be arranged to automatically illuminate
the unlit lamp or set of lamps immediately following
a failure of the first lamp or set of lamps.
(c) Systems shall be designed so that an audible or
visual signal notifies authorized personnel when one
lamp or set of lamps is not functional. The minimum illumination at the car
threshold, with the door closed, shall be not less than
(a) 50 lx (5 fc) for passenger elevators
(b) 25 lx (2.5 fc) for freight elevators Each elevator shall be provided with
auxiliary lighting and shall conform to the following:
(a) The intensity of auxiliary lighting illumination
shall be not less than 2 lx (0.2 fc), measured at any point
between 1 225 mm (48 in.) and 890 mm (35 in.) above
the car floor and approximately 300mm(12 in.) centered
horizontally in front of a car operating panel containing
any of the following:
(1) car operating device(s)
(2) door open button
(3) rear or side door open button
(4) door close button
(5) rear or side door close button
(6) “PHONE” button and operating instructions, or
(7) “ALARM” switch
(b) Illumination is not required in front of additional
car operating panels where the devices listed in are duplicated.

Image result for ada

ADA Requirements For Elevators
4.10.10 Floor Surfaces For Elevators
Floor surfaces shall be firm, stable and slip resistant. When carpet is used it shall be firmly attached over a firm pad or backing, have a maximum pile thickness of 1/2″ ( level loop, textured loop or level cut pile texture ) and all exposed edges fastened with carpet edge trim.

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