How is an Elevator Hoistway Created?
An elevator hoistway is the shaft constructed to allow elevators to move efficiently between the floors of a building. The shafts are typically constructed so that an elevator may move smoothly from one floor to the next, while allowing room for the use of ancillary equipment to manage the opening and closing of doors as the elevator reaches a given floor.
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The construction of a hoistway usually includes ventilation equipment, making it possible for maintenance workers to comfortably correct issues with the hydraulic system or other equipment used to operate the elevator. Another common feature of the hoistway is a set of sliding doors that are found on each floor where the elevator stops. Sensors mounted in the shaft signal those doors to open as the elevator arrives at the floor.
While the basic design of the hoistway has remained constant for decades, advances in technology have made it easier to monitor the operation of the elevator. The use of robotic technology has minimized the need for workers to physically enter the shaftway to perform some maintenance tasks.
Here are the typical hoistway construction requirements for builders and architects:
- Concrete slab must be depressed 8" with a 6" reinforced concrete base.
- Hoistway framing can be typical 2" x 4" construction. One wall will be framed for a door opening. Another wall will contain support framing for the elevator equipment.
- Build a frame for a 48" x 48" machine room with a 2/8 x 6/8 door opening on one side.
- Sheetrock and finish the hoistway and exterior walls of the machine room.
- Construct solid core hoistway doors at each landing with passage lockets and a door at the machine room with keyed lockets.
- Paint door wall inside the hoistway.
- Electrical requirements include 220V and 30 AMP for the elevator and 110V and 15 AMP for the elevator lighting.
- Install a telephone line.
Please note that OSHA requires the installation of screening between adjacent elevator hoistways to protect workers from injury. The National Elevator Industry's Field Employee Safety Handbook says, "Hoistway screening requires that when an elevator is operating in a multiple hoistway and construction or modernization, work is to be performed in an adjacent position of that multiple hoistway. That portion of the elevator hoistway where the work is to be performed shall be fully separated."