The new elevator design is currently regulated by the new regulations EN 81-20 and EN 81-50, which comply with Directive 2014/33 / EU. They came into force on August 31, 2017, affecting the designs of the electric lift and hydraulic.
The purpose of these new rules is to provide greater safety , both to the users of the elevators and to the technical staff that is responsible for their maintenance. The new requirements may involve making structural changes to a building, as far as the elevator shaft is concerned. But it is necessary to see very well the requirements to know in which cases this regulation will or will not affect.
For a better information, we will review below, in detail, the general concepts of these standards and their application in the design regulations, as well as everything related to the safety of the elevators.
Elevator issues that may arise after the new regulations
Surely, and as often happens before a new regulation, questions and concerns arise. There are many issues to be addressed, from a possible change in the elevators, which may motivate an extra outlay, to the type of revisions to be carried out on the oldest devices.
Questions can also be raised about the space required by the new elevator. In this case, the buildings usually leave a terrain adapted for the installation of elevators, fact that encourages to wonder about the possible changes that must be made in the buildings.
We will treat all the points, offering a generalized information, to answer all these questions.
Which are the elevators that will be affected by the 2017 standards
The entry into force of regulations EN 81-20 and EN 81-50 affects elevators exceeding the speed of 0.15 m / s. These will maintain the regime of the European Elevators Directive 2014/33 / EU.
Fork lifts, lifts and montacamillas will also be under these rules, as happened in previous amendments to the regulations.
The statistic tells us that more than 50% of the elevators installed in the Spanish territory are at least twenty years old. As in previous regulations have not been affected by changes in new regulations, this time will not be a cause for concern.
Are the old rules replaced?
The previous standard for electric hoists, EN81-1, will not be replaced by the new EN81-20. It is only a change in the order of the contents. Specifically, in this new regulation the design is specified.
In the case of the new regulations aimed at hydraulic lifts, EN81-50, it will not alter the already known EN81-2. Calculations and component tests are included in the new provision.
If a working elevator is to be reformed, do the new regulations affect it?
As stated in a previous point, elevators that are functioning before September 1, 2007 will not be governed by the new regulations. These will only apply to new devices installed after that date. Therefore, the previous elevators will follow the rules they already had.
What should be taken into account during the construction of a building
In case the lift has not been installed before August 31, it is mandatory to follow the regulations EN81-20 and EN 81-50. If during the planning of the work the new standards were not taken into account, a conflict may arise as regards the installation of new elevators.
Adapting to current regulations could lead to a significant increase in cost, due to the technical difficulties that could arise, which could include a possible modification of the gap in which the device will be installed.
With the new standards, the new design must be taken into account, which is broader, increasing the spaces throughout the length and width of the appliance, which means that it will need gaps with a greater amplitude compared to the previous ones .
The positive part of this change is that it supposes an improvement in the security of the passengers , increasing also the security for the technicians of maintenance of the apparatuses. This, in the long run, will translate into a reduction of inconveniences that could pose a risk due to possible errors in old devices.
The benefits of the new regulations
It is not whim the implementation of the new regulation of the elevators. The provisions that are in force at the moment not only clarify very important points for the maintenance of the apparatuses, but they can contribute a greater durability of the same ones , result of these improvements.
The main benefit to be achieved with these changes is greater safety, both for passengers and maintenance personnel. Next, we will list the advantages that can be found in the new elevator installations, depending on the type of person and their use.
The passenger and its benefits in the use of the new elevators
Passengers will be able to find an increase in the light of the cabin, which reduces the feeling of confinement. This small change will imply an increase in satisfaction during the service offered to users.
Since the optical curtain of the doors is mandatory, the possible entrapment of objects is avoided, which in turn could cause certain knocks with the doors. This improvement is achieved by increasing the area that acts on the photoelectric barrier. There are many known cases, especially in the oldest devices, of blows received at the time of entering them. Avoiding this as much as possible implies an increase in user confidence with respect to elevators.
The risk of falls with the balustrade of the cabin is avoided. Increasing the mechanical resistance of the height in proportion to the distance to the wall of the hole.
An increase in the space of the cabin, as well as new requirements to increase the resistance to flammability, will make safer the transfers between the floors of the building. This point is very important, since, in the event of a fire in the building, the elevators could act as a safeguard for those who are using them. Although it is well known that lifts should not be used in case of fire.
The mechanism that acts against the uncontrolled movement of the cabin is another device incorporated to safeguard passengers.
A safety glass is also added to the mirrors. It will be present, in the buildings that exceed the forty meters of height, the contraction of the concrete in the hollow that will assure the displacements by the different plants, adding more comfort to the passenger.
The benefits that maintenance personnel will find
Knowing that the maintenance personnel are more exposed to certain risks, the safety of the elevators has been reinforced in order to facilitate their work. To do this, the space in the pit and the roof of the cabin has been increased, giving it more capacity for the realization of movements, thus allowing to speed up its work.
By increasing the light of the pit the concentration capacity is also increased, reducing the possible sensation of being locked up.
The new panel installed in the pit increases safety during maintenance. Also the extended resistance of the balustrade of the roof of the cabin, which also has a higher height.
The pulleys and an anti-leakage system of cables are fundamental in the protection during the maintenance. A special measure is added to avoid electric shock.
In the pit there is a security shelter, provided with a staircase and an inspection command. On the other hand, an alarm button is available on the roof of the cabin, which can be operated from the space reserved for the personnel shelter.
A regulation that improves passenger safety
There are many aspects that this regulation has taken into account, which is already in force in 2017 and which may affect the new buildings under construction. Increasing the gaps for the installation of the new elevators can suppose an added cost, but that in the long run will suppose a greater tranquility for the users of future apparatuses.
The objective, which has been mentioned in several sections of this article, is the safety of all passengers and the maintenance team. Every detail is expressed in the regulations, and their measurements have been very well received by the technical teams, as they increase their safety when working on these devices in maintenance work.
Even suppose a tranquility in places that can be affected by seismic activity, given the aforementioned advances.
In summary, security is the main purpose that these regulations seek to achieve, which are already in force at the moment. For the confidence of each user it is important that he can see this type of improvements in his elevator. Regarding the new regulations, what should be noted is that there are no drastic changes to the previous one, but improvements and updates.