Lift Modernization Planning

The life cycle of lifts and escalators can vary considerably and is dependent on intensity of use, quality of the initial lift design and the quality of the maintenance. External factors such as ambient conditions, obsolete spare parts, fire and water damage, vandalism, end-user behaviour or changes to building usage also impact the equipment lifetime. Based on these factors, 15-20 years is the typical timeframe after which elevator or escalator modernization should be considered. Involvement of an independent lift consultant brings significant benefits and pay-back to the owner in form of lower investment and maintenance costs, thorough and clear specifications, open tendering processes, right design, and selection of technology. Elevator modernization is a great opportunity to upgrade your building ‘back to the future’ regarding code compliance, safety and reliability, energy efficiency and traffic performance. We can help you!

Elevator Modernization Planning

Elevator and Escalator modernization starts with clarification of the client needs and expectations, and a detailed site survey and assessment of the equipment status and performance, as well as a “as-is” and “to-be” traffic analysis, to understand the current system performance and the building and equipment usage.

In addition, a review of existing maintenance contract and the multiple year asset plans for modernization (when available) will take place, as well as a review of the various national and international codes and standards.

Based on this information, Elevating Studio team will prepare a concept and schematic design consisting of several technical alternatives for the modernization including budget estimates, and a summary of needed provisions related to construction works and architectural finishes, as well as other M&E works.

As part of the concept design phase, a high level environmental / sustainability impact study will be done, with key focus areas like workplace health and safety, energy efficiency and environmental impact.

In addition, Elevating Studio will prepare a ‘planning and disruption – impact study’, consisting of a traffic analysis for the various phases during the project execution and an assessment of the stability and availability of the whole system, related to maintenance regime, spare parts availability based on ‘cannibalizing parts’ strategy, route planning of materials, working hours, etc.

This traffic study will help understand the impact to the building traffic during the execution of the project, and the study will be used as input for the project planning itself.

Subsequently, Elevating Studio team will prepare a recommendation for the most economical and practical modernization solution, as well as a recommendation on the contract scope and a list of recommended suppliers.

As your project is nearing the procurement phase, Elevating Studio produces comprehensive independent tendering specifications for use in bidding. Our specifications are generic and performance-based, to guarantee competitive bids with fewer specification deviations – whilst ensuring that the design concept and modernization plan is followed. Apple to apple comparisons will therefore be easier in the bid evaluation phase. Where critical for quality, we will use prescriptive clauses for certain specific components.

If desired, a new maintenance contract specification can also be included in the modernization tender documents, to ensure that the full chain costs are considered over several years of life time.

Good communication is the base for a successful project. In the procurement phase of your modernization, in the pre-bid, mid-bid and final-bid negotiations our experienced Elevating Studio team members will help you in explaining your needs and expectations to the qualified bidders. Elevating Studio will help you understand what the benefits are behind the bids, while we can translate the jargon often used in these meetings.

Elevating Studio will encourage bidders to submit value adding proposals that can reduce project or life cycle costs, or can speed up your project completion. Bidders may be able to provide propriety solutions that can greatly benefit your project. Though these solutions typically comply or are only minor alternations within our performance specifications, we can access whether these propriety solutions provide or even exceed the performance levels set in the specifications.

Drawings and bids may contain subtle differences that might not be obvious to you, but can create big pitfalls. Missing these items may increase the project costs or project duration expectations dramatically when selecting a bid with subtle exclusions, but with big cost impact. The Elevating Studio team will ensure that you will get an apple to apple view of all bids.

Where needed, Elevating Studio can coordinate follow-up meetings, job site and supplier visits. Elevating Studio can assist with project installation and project management plans. We can also assist in evaluating such plans submitted in the bids.

Bidders often have slightly different maintenance packages, and it is often difficult to assess what the real life cycle costs will be in the occupation phase of your building. We can help you to compare the different packages, while our long experience in this field can help you in negotiating better deals. Costs in the very long occupation phase can sometimes even exceed the costs of your equipment investment.

Right after procurement, in the early modernization phase of your project, the selected bidder will provide shop drawings and will provide the submittals indicated in the specification, like detailed work methods, risk assessments and planning. These shop drawings and submittals should comply with the project needs. This documentation should also comply with the traffic needs of the building and should indicate all third party interface requirements. Elevating Studio will review shop drawings, planning and method statements, and all other materials from the manufacturer of your selection. Where the supplied information does not comply with the requirements, we will snag the information until all information is in accordance with the project expectations.

As planning in this phase will mitigate a large number of project risks, Elevating Studio can minimize modernization delays, by coordination this process, which will involve the facility management and your vertical transportation supplier.

During the modernization installation phase of your project, the selected supplier will start dismantling the existing equipment or components, deliver the material to site and will start installation of the new equipment or components. In addition, the supplier will also start billing the project.

As part of the modernization installation administration services by Elevating Studio, our team will overlook the whole dismantling and installation process. Safety, traffic performance and noise during the construction is of major importance, whilst our team will also ensure that all needed QA/QC processes are followed – to guarantee the end quality of the delivered vertical transportation equipment. It is essential that possible quality problems are identified as early as possible and corrective actions executed immediately. Too late snagging may cause problems with ride comfort, equipment availability, or, in worst cause man-traps or break-downs. These teething problems will create complaints and problems with the tenants or end users – especially after the challenging period of the modernization itself. Elevating Studio can support your project with specific knowledge and expertise on installation safety, quality and progress, and we can help supervise and audit the supplier’s performance.

As billing starts, Elevating Studio will verify that billing is in line with progress on site and in accordance with the contract conditions and the relevant quality and performance requirements.

Elevating Studio will provide a clear maintenance strategy before, during and after the modernization project. Especially during the modernization project, the availability and performance of the whole VT system will be considered carefully, related to the maintenance regime and spare parts availability for the ‘old’ technology – if needed, a ‘cannibalizing parts’ strategy will be followed from those units under construction.

After the modernization project is completed, a unique maintenance specification and maintenance contract-template will be applied, which takes into consideration the equipment usage, environment and design of the equipment, and the contract has clear and measurable equipment performance criteria (availability, response times, break downs and man-traps) – with penalties clauses for non-performance.

The Elevating Studio maintenance-contract will ensure highest quality of maintenance with preventive replacements of all relevant parts, to minimize unexpected break-downs. This will improve service level and equipment performance, reduce down-time, enhance traffic performance and reduce man traps – compared to most common contract types and processes, as offered by the original equipment manufacturers and the independent service providers. The Elevating Studio maintenance contract can thus help to reduce the total costs of ownership and prolong the equipment life time.

Handover inspection is recommended to be carried out at completion of new installation or modernization. Does the equipment perform as per contract? Are all works completed including tests and documentation delivered?

Installation inspections are conducted during the construction phase of a modernization project or new construction project. Inspections support management and quality control of the project. Core activities of installation inspection include but are not limited to:

  • Quality verification of material deliveries and storage facilities
  • Work accuracy
  • Safety of working environment

Elevating Studio issues a report on measurements found defects, deviations and non-compliances.

Health Check is typically performed when the equipment has been in use for 15 to18 years or when a modernization is already planned. We compare equipment to latest codes and prevalent code and provide recommendations. The outcome of the Health Check may lead to several different conclusions:

    1. No need to plan modernization – improvements to maintenance quality may be suggested

    2. Recommendation to perform minor repairs or replacements

    3. Recommendation to consider modernization

    4. Recommendation to consider full-replacement.

According to the conclusions from health check, Elevating Studio can engage in planning the next steps such as budget preparation, consultancy or design and spec preparation.

The health check can be used also to verify tenders from lift vendors.

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