Raising the standards

Nick Myall
Tuesday 21 Jun 2016

KONE have partnered with RIBA to help architects and builders understand the biggest change in standards on the construction of buildings with lifts in the past 15 years

KONE, the lift and escalator manufacturer, has teamed up with RIBA to deliver CPD accredited courses that will enable architects and builders to learn more about new European Union legislation, EN 81-20 and EN 81-50 that are relevant to new lift installations.

These two new technical standards are set to replace the current versions that will be retired on 31 August 2017. Given that most multiple floored buildings with lifts take over 18 months to construct, the impact of this change is being felt now. This effect is increased as areas of responsibility previously covered by the lift manufacturer are passed to the architect for the first time. KONE and RIBA’s CPD courses aim to help architects avoid needless cost and design complications by raising understanding of the legislation and best practice ways of dealing with the new legal framework.

There are two parts: The first, EN 81-20, sets out revised and updated safety requirements for the construction and installation of lifts. The second, EN 81-50, defines the test and examination requirements for certain lift components. The new standards also clarify and improve the current building interface requirements. Together they replace the EN 81-1 and EN 81-2 standards that were introduced in 1998.

There are several major points of change contained within the legislation of these KONE has identified three major areas which may potentially cause the biggest headaches for architects and builders:

1. It has been common practice for architects to oversize lift shafts during the building design phase so that any lift manufacture can then fit their equipment in the shaft. However under the new regulations any excessive gap between the lift shaft and car will lead to the need for a higher car top guardrail and so an increased headroom dimension. The knock-on effect of this could be the need to reduce the ceiling height per floor or increase the overall building height. The design of lift pits also needs consideration as there could be a need for deeper pits, especially if they are suspended over accessible space as a counterweight safety gear will be required. To ensure the safety of personnel the new standards have reviewed the method of access to pit areas and those deeper than 2.5m will require steps incorporating into the design.

2. Lift shaft strength and ventilation is now the responsibility of the architect and not the lift manufacturer. The lift shaft strength has been increased to 1000N. These changes build in cost implications during the design and build stage. Architects not only have to consider shaft strength, the materials from which the shaft is constructed but also the ventilation requirements for the shaft when the building Page 2 of 5 is operational and the heat output of all lift components, while at the same time considering energy outputs and the comfort of passengers inside the car and working conditions for engineers working in the lift shaft.

3. Fire safety in the lift shaft is also the responsibility of the architect and not the responsibility of the lift manufacturer. This area has specific requirements such as when sprinklers and emergency lighting can be activated and when they cannot.

Michael Williams, Managing Director of KONE Great Britain, says: “Lift technology is consistently evolving and this new Standard is an improvement in overall safety, while also the passing of some significant areas of responsibility to the architect. It will mean that architects and lift manufacturers are going to have to work closely together at the design stage to ensure that internal building space is optimized, costs are carefully managed and energy savings are built into the vertical transport system.

“Our vision is to deliver the best People Flow experience and we were the first company to ensure that all our lift equipment complied with this new Standard. We are now working closely with RIBA to provide CPD courses that help both architects and our end customers to consider the new Standard and develop lift transportation that enhances their building through safe, effective and efficient design.”

KONE’s RIBA courses take place from 16 June – 8 December at venues across the country. To book please visit www.architecture.com/cpd2016

In addition to the RIBA Courses KONE also has a comprehensive briefing on its website

Nick Myall

News Editor

Key Facts:

United Kingdom
Commercial Offices Residential

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