One thing many property managers or owners don’t realize is that different types and classes of elevators are recommended for buildings depending on the size and types of loads they will be carrying.
Smaller buildings with five or fewer stories usually require a hydraulic elevator. Taller buildings required a cabled elevator. In the elevator industry, these are called “traction elevators.”
Passenger elevators are designed and rated for carrying passengers. Murphy Elevator can design passenger elevators in a variety of speeds and sizes. The largest passenger elevators have 10,000 lb capacity, although most haul between 2500 and 5000 lbs. Some are specially designed to accommodate stretchers, such as for hospital applications. They can be hydraulic or traction. They can also be machine room-less, which are essentially a specialized type of traction elevator. Read more on this in the MRL section below.
Freight elevators are heavy duty and designed to haul material. Freight elevators have vertically opening freight doors. Many older freight elevators have wooden gates that are opened manually. These types of elevators can be engineered to lift 20,000 pounds or more in special applications. Murphy has more than seven decades of experience in constructing freight elevators. We know the job these large lifts must do and can customize them based on the type of building you have and the loads they must carry. We can design freight elevators to meet any speed and size capacity your building requires.
Service elevators are often mistakenly called Freight Elevators. Service elevators are actually regular passenger elevators that have been outfitted with utility cabs and floors, and are usually in an “employees only” area of a commercial building. The most common example would be the service elevator used by housekeeping in hotels. You can always tell the difference between service elevators and freight elevators because a freight elevator will have vertically opening “bi-parting” doors while service elevators will have normal side sliding doors. There are rare cases where service elevators can be classified and rated for freight loading, but this is the exception not the rule.
One of the latest innovations in the elevator arena are machine room-less elevators, or MRL elevators. Most MRL elevators are actually cabled traction passenger elevators. They utilize a small machine and motor at the top of the elevator shaft to move the unit with cables. By eliminating the machine room required by most elevators, you can achieve greater efficiencies in space planning. Due to their compact nature, MRL elevators must be used in applications with with 20 stories or less and 5000 lbs. or less. MRL elevators can also be classified as passenger or freight elevators, but they are almost always passenger.
Commercial Elevators vs Residential Elevators
Residential elevators are designed for single family residences. If an elevator serves more than one residence, or if it is installed in any other type of building (church, office, etc), it must be a commercial elevator. There is a special less expensive type of commercial called LULA, which stands for “Limited Use Limited Application.” They are designed for low volume usage in buildings that need handicap accessibility. Churches and small condo buildings are common applications for LULAs. Residential elevators typically have a 500 or 750 pound capacity.
In residential homes, hotels, hospitals and even restaurants, dumbwaiters can be very practical. They can be installed in a small area and make moving meals, packages or other items between floors fast and easy. Murphy Elevator can create a custom dumbwaiter solution for your building to suit your exact needs.