Elevator Cabs

According to the ADA, the inside car dimensions must permit a wheelchair to turn (Fig. 47-3). Accessible elevator cars with doors opening to one side must have a

Figure 47-2 Elevator doors.

1725 mm (68") minimum for cars with side opening doors; 2030 mm min. for center opening doors

Figure 47-3 Accessible elevator floor plan.

minimum width of 173 cm (68 in.). Cars with center opening doors must be a minimum of 203 cm (80 in.) wide. The minimum clear depth is 130 cm (51 in.).

To aid people using wheelchairs as well as those who are walking, the ADA requires excellent car leveling, which means that the elevator car will come to rest at the same level as the floor onto which it is opening.

The elevator cab interior is a virtually inescapable, highly intimate, and extremely visible place. It is important for an elevator cab in a commercial or institutional building to create a positive impression. Interiors must deal with physical abuse, gravitational stress from rapid acceleration and deceleration, and shifting and vibration through constant movement. In addition, people in elevators are sometimes uneasy about traveling in a confined space and in close contact with strangers. The problem is that standard original equipment manufacturer choices are not very compelling, and a custom-designed elevator interior can be costly, time-consuming and subject to cancellation. Elevator manufacturers offer their own standard cab interior dimensions that vary from those of their competitors, making standardization of design difficult.

The interior designer is likely to be involved in the decor of elevator cabs and the styling of hallway and cab signals. The normal elevator specification describes the intended operation of the equipment, and includes an amount to cover the basic functional decor of the cabs. The type and function of signal equipment speci fied, along with finishes and styling, are options that the architect and interior designer specify.

Elevator cab interiors may be finished in wood paneling, plastic laminate, stainless steel, and other materials. The choice of material depends on the architectural style of the building, the budget available, and the practicality of the material for the elevator's intended use. One set of protective wall mats is usually provided for each bank of elevators, especially if there is no separate service car, and many elevators have small pegs high on the cab walls to hang these mats.

Ceiling coves, ceiling fixtures, or completely illuminated luminous ceilings provide lighting for the cab. Lighting fixtures may be standard or special designs. If you start noticing the lighting in elevator cabs, you will see that many designs cause glare and unflattering shadows. The goal in lighting the cab should be to provide pleasant, even illumination from sources that are resistant to vandalism and abuse.

Pre-engineered systems exist for designing and in- installing elevator cab interiors, offering architects and interior designers a well-designed product at a reasonable price. The systems come complete with panels, handrails, trim pieces, and ceiling that offer a wide range of optional features in a fixed price range. The solution places a framework of mullions in the raw shell of the cab that have enough dimensional latitude to accept a range of panel sizes, shapes, and materials. The emphasis is on the panels, which tend to be of more concern to architects and interior designers than the mullions, which appear as a grid. Designed to present a strong visual statement along with economy and durability, these pre-engineered systems offer affordable prices, easy installation, reduced labor costs, rugged components, and fast delivery times.

Car finishes should be appropriate to use by people with disabilities. Many people with vision problems can see with sufficient, nonglaring lighting. Sturdy handrails and nonslip finishes help people who have mobility problems. Well-designed signals and call buttons avoid confusion for everyone, including people with perceptual problems.

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