Vertical transportation: Elevate a business's sustainability programme
Many businesses are looking at how they can operate more sustainably, but vertical transportation may not be an area that immediately springs to their minds. Lifts and escalators play a vital role within buildings. They can also be one of the costliest assets of a building due to rising component costs, and aging lift and escalator stock.
Being conscious of the condition of a building’s lifts and escalators, how efficiently they are operating, and ensuring they are correctly maintained can support a business’s sustainability programme. Identifying any issues before they arise can reduce equipment downtime, maintenance and energy costs.
Roles and responsibilities
The correct level of routine maintenance can assist in extending the life of equipment by identifying any faulty or degrading elements before they have an impact; affecting reliability, and avoiding a total breakdown. A building owner or duty holder should be aware of their roles and responsibilities with regards to the safe and continued use of vertical transportation equipment. The equipment should be suitably maintained in accordance with the manufacturers’ recommendations, and examinations/inspections should be undertaken at the required frequencies (according to applicable legislation).
Identifying whether the equipment is still supported by the manufacturer, if components are obsolete, or if equipment is incorrectly adjusted, are all aspects that may be overlooked. These issues could all lead to a significant downtime of the equipment use and affect businesses occupying the building, their productivity, reputation and, ultimately, their bottom line. Prevention is better than the cure.
Surveys and audits
Engaging the services of a reputable engineering consultancy firm to carry out things like full condition surveys, maintenance audits, and health and safety compliance reviews can help identify potential impacts that are expected in the future, allow for a reduction in unplanned repair downtime, provide more efficient life cycle costing and future forecasting, and future-proof equipment.
Following an analysis of machine health, whilst it may not always be necessary to undertake a full replacement of a lift or escalator, consideration should be given to whether a major or minor refurbishment program is adopted; which could be phased over a time period.
For newly installed equipment, or those that have undergone major refurbishment, engineering consultancy services like witness testing and snagging, pre-handover surveys, and end of defects liability period assessments can also help businesses to successfully manage their lifts and escalators.
Health and safety upgrades in line with current standards will benefit passengers/users and those persons maintaining of examining the equipment. Emergency evacuation and how the equipment operates in the event of a fire and in accordance with the building fire strategy should be reviewed periodically. Consideration should also be given to those persons using the equipment with regards to accessibility under The Equality Act 2010.