The Three Basic Types of Passenger Elevators

The Three Basic Types of Passenger Elevators

May 15, 2023

So, you’re looking to install a passenger elevator in your building. This is vital for multistory buildings to be ADA compliant, and can greatly benefit your building as a whole. But there is more than one type of passenger elevator, so it’s important to know the difference before starting the installation process. 

In general, there are three basic types of passenger elevators that can be installed in a commercial building: standard, destination, and limited-use. All three types must be easily accessible from public areas of the building, like the lobby. Because these elevators must be ADA compliant, they also need Braille on the control panels to indicate floor numbers, as well as audible and visual floor indicators for the hearing-impaired.

Now that you know the general needs for passenger elevators, let’s review the specifications so you can determine which option is best for your building. 

Standard Use Passenger Elevators

A standard elevator is what just about everyone pictures when they imagine a passenger elevator. They’re the standard, enclosed cabs with cable-and-winch lift systems that carry passengers from floor to floor. You’ll typically find these elevators in standard-sized buildings, though larger or smaller buildings might have models more suited to their sizes.

These elevators have some specific rules that must be considered when being installed. For starters, the cabin must be at least 51 inches deep and 68 inches wide. In case of an emergency, there should be a two-way intercom installed that can accommodate both visually- and hearing-impaired riders if they’re trapped.

The doors of a standard elevator also have specific requirements that need to be followed. Open doors must be at least 36 inches apart and must stay fully open for at least 3 seconds before they close. To add to that, they need to be equipped with an obstruction sensor of some kind that will reopen the doors if something blocks them from closing completely.

Destination Elevators

The biggest difference between standard elevators and destination elevators is that while standard elevators go to every floor, destination elevators are more specific. Destination elevators are a type of specialty elevator that go only to a specific floor. Technically, an elevator in a two-story building is a destination elevator, as it only goes to and from one specific destination.

However, you can also find them in high-rise buildings, where there is an extra elevator besides the standard that is made to go solely to the top floor. This is for efficiency, as someone who lives or works on the top floor of a high-rise building would have a hard time dealing with high-traffic elevators that might stop at every single floor before they reach their destination.

Limited Use Elevator

If your building is small and only a few floors need to be accessed, you might want to consider a limited-use elevator. Limited use elevators are an effective way to provide accessibility in existing buildings where full-sized passenger elevators are impractical.

You’re most likely to see these elevators in churches, schools, public libraries, and other locations where it’s rare for passengers to need access to multiple floors. Basically, they’ll be in small buildings with low-demand environments where only one or two floors need to be accessible with minimal passenger loads.

Whatever style suits your building’s needs, you can count on us to install only the highest-quality passenger elevators.