Elevators are prevalent throughout many multi-level structures. They control the flow of foot traffic between various floors of buildings, they allow disabled persons to access upper-level floors, and they facilitate the movement of large items (such as furniture and office equipment) between various levels of the building.
Overview of Elevator Design
Hydraulic and roped elevators are the two main types of elevators in use today.
Factors that govern elevator type and elevator design include cost, speed, capacity requirements, safety, and reliability. There are risks involved in the use of elevators. Many factors must be taken into account in order to ensure that persons are not stuck in elevators for long periods of time, or worse that the elevator does not loose stability and plummet to the basement from a high floor. In the event of fire, normal passenger elevators are not to be used.
The engineers designing the system, as well as the construction company assigned to build the building and installing the elevator system are responsible for the safety and smooth operation of the elevator equipment system. The building architects are responsible for providing space and structural support for the elevator. The engineers designing the elevator must ensure that the elevators will perform as specified in a safe manner (meeting all safety requirements and compliance standards). The engineers are also responsible for designing elevators that can be manufactured easily and feasibly and for designing "fool-proof" systems that will work reliably and safely in the event that they are misused. The elevator users are responsible for operating the elevator according to the safety specifications laid out. The maximum capacity is not to be exceeded by users. The building owners are responsible for maintenance of the elevator and for assuring the elevator is compliant before use (via a certificate). The latter certificate is to be available to users so that they can be assured that the elevator is safe to use. The engineers are to communicate to the owners the specifications of the elevators and are to communicate to the builders the space and support that is needed for the elevator to function in its intended way. The architects and builders are to communicate with the elevator engineers to ensure that the structure and elevator are compatible.
In the design, installation, and use of an elevator system much communication goes on between the elevator manufacturers,design engineers, construction Company, building architects, building owner, and users. The first means of communication is the rules and regulations created by government with the help of various other public organizations. Building codes, fire regulations, the American Disabilities Act (ADA) are a few examples of these rules to which the engineers and architects must submit. As far as the specific rules governing the design of elevators, EN81 and ASME/ANSI A17.1 give detailed documentation of what criteria must be met. These documents are the primary means by which the regulating bodies communicate the regulations to the engineers and architects. The engineers that design the elevator must then communicate to the architects to ensure them that these standards are met. They also convey the features and functions of the elevator system and help them choose the elevator that best fits their needs. The engineers also must convey to the construction company in charge of building the building certain specifications that are critical to the installation of the elevator in the structure. The architects, if they are in fact involved at this point in the design process, then must communicate with the builders what how the building will be built with the elevator system included in the design. The architects communicate with the owner ensure the building design meets all the needs and expectations of the owner as well as meeting all safety standards. The owner then communicates with the user, via some type of certification posted in a public location, that the elevator is safe to use？
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