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Traffic Analysis for Lift, Positioning of Lift, Population in a Building, Calculation of Time Factors

Er. Parbhakar Dwivedi


The need of traffic analysis has gained importance with the increase in the number of stores in the building, increase in the plan area of the building. The design of lift system thus becomes very complex when compared to the lift system requiring a single lift. The ill-fated World Trade Center had 110 floors and consisted of 58 lifts. The complexity with which the lift system must have been designed can be understood from the fact that the passenger who had to attend his office on 108th or 110th floor must feel confident both physiologically and psychologically.

The traffic analysis is a tool to determine the speed, numbers and size of lift required to take care of all these factors.

The importance of close liaison between lift designers, architect and building contractor is the key to a successful design of the system and hence building.

1. Positioning of Lift

The first matter for consideration is the position to be occupied by the lift and lift-well. The main requirement being that users will be able to pass quickly from the building entrance to the lifts and that the lift exiting on various floors will be as near as possible to the centers of population of the floors.

Particular attention must be given to the traffic due to basement parking area, canteen and conference rooms. If the building has one main street entrance, the passenger lifts should be arranged adjacent to each other in a single bank and conveniently situated with regard to the entrance.

From the lift service aspect, the bank should not be arranged in two sections, i.e. one on each side of a central staircase. This practice is sometimes adopted for appearance or to satisfy architectural requirements. With a single bank, a common machine room can be used and so simplify maintenance. It is easier to arrange lift interconnection facilities and group control and the resultant service is better than if the lifts are separated.

If the building has two main entrances, two banks of lifts are necessary, the number in each bank being governed by the number of passengers that will be expected to use each entrance. Although the lift entrances are usually near the stair-way, care should be taken in the design to ensure that persons intending to use the lifts are kept clear of those who wish to use the stairs.

The design of lift installation is governed very largely by the type of building which it has to serve.

2. Population in a Building

To know the requirement of elevators it is essential to assess the Population in a Building. In national building code, occupant level for various types building is given as follow.

If we know how many people will require elevator service within a given period of time, the task of providing that service is one of time and motion study.

Occupancy in a Building

S. no. Occupancy Occupant load gross area in m²/person
i. Residential 12.5
ii. Educational 4.0
iii. institutional 15
iv. Assembly
a. With fixed or loose seats and dance floor. 0.6
b. without seating facilities i/c dining rooms 1.5
v. Mechantile Street floor and sales
a. basement 3
b. Upper sale floors 6
vi. Business and industrial 10
vii. Storage 30
viii. Hazardous 10

It embraces many variables, one of the most important being passenger reactions to elevators.

Calculation of Time Factors

To calculate the total time for an elevator trip, a practical procedure is to break the trip down into its components. A two stop elevator travelling one floor of height 3.05 m is considered here. As soon as a passenger arrives inside a building and presses call button, the following time factors come into play till the passenger leaves the elevator.

A. Passenger going up

Door opening time : 0.5 sec.

Passenger entry time : 2 sec.

Door closing time : 2 sec.

Car travel one floor : 75 sec.

Door opening time : 0.5 sec.

(As the doors can start opening before the elevator has finally stopped, hence time of opening is taken 0.5 sec. here).

Passenger leaving time : 1.2 sec.

B. Elevator going down to pick up second passenger.

Door closing time : 2 sec.

Car travel one floor : 75 sec.

Handily Capacity and no. of lifts described in separate topics


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