Prefabricated, Turnkey Elevators
In five minutes, find out whether your next construction project can use a modular elevator
Modular components can slash timelines for traditional builds. After looking into prefabricated bathroom pods last week, our modular expert Nate Loeffelholz concludes the series with another modular solution—modular elevators.
Whether it’s the faster turnaround time for your next construction project or a quick ADA upgrade for an old property, modular elevators can be greatly accommodating. Read on to determine its scope for your next stick-built or modular hotel, multifamily unit, or senior living project!
Installation of Modular Elevator
A modular elevator is a turnkey commercial-grade elevator. It comes with a prefabricated structural body containing a steel shaft (or hoistway), an elevator cab (i.e. car or carriage), controls, rails, and drive systems—all pre-wired. In other words, a modular elevator arrives fully assembled at the jobsite where it is to be installed.
- Constructed horizontally compared to the vertical build of a traditional stick-built elevator, this technique can greatly reduce work hazards.
- Ideal for structures ranging from two to 15 stories.
- Can be custom designed per a project’s unique specifications. Manufacturers often offer interior design solutions such as laminates, ceiling styles, reveals, and everything else an elevator cab could need.
The Modular Elevator Placement
A modular elevator typically installs in one day with several additional days for testing, inspections, and permitting from the local jurisdiction. Generally, this is how the installation process unfolds:
- An elevator pit is excavated and poured; then anchor bolts are embedded.
- A completely assembled modular elevator and additional equipment arrive at the jobsite on a flatbed truck.
- With help from a ground crew, the elevator is hooked with a crane, which hoists it into the elevator pit.
- Once fitted with anchor bolts and verified to be upright, the fully assembled modular equipment is fixed into place.
- Final services such as electricity, fire guarding, and telephone connection are established, followed by final testing and necessary adjustments.
This video from Phoenix Modular Elevator explains the installation process at a Wisconsin-based Marriott property.
- Shorter lead time: It takes manufacturers about eight weeks to prepare the whole assembled elevator once project drawings are finalized.
- Better quality: Every part of a modular elevator is prepared and assembled in a factory setting under strict quality and precision measures.
- Quicker install: The time saved by opting for the modular elevator versus a traditional one is significant. Typically, it takes about one week to install and get it ready for use, whereas a stick-built elevator takes several months to be fully functional.
- Reduced human capital costs: Reduced labor costs due to a shorter timeframe.
Faster ADA compliance: Easier and cost-effective way for existing and older constructions to accommodate elevators for ADA compliance.
- Increased safety: Horizontally built units reduce work hazards and injuries, providing a safer alternative to the vertical build of traditional elevators.
- Flexibility: Gives more freedom to design and customize.
- Limited stories: Not the best fit for high-rise buildings due to its height limitations.
- Car dimensions: The elevator cab cannot be more than eight feet deep.
- Structural limitations: Modular elevators are not designed for shear loads, so the elevator shaft cannot be part of the lateral resisting system. The modular assembly can handle only limited gravity loads.
- Transportation constraints: Limitations in the transport, such as truck size and shipping distance, may pose challenges—however, with recent developments in the modular market, manufacturers usually take care of transportation.
At Modz4—the modular division of Base4—we design, plan, and engineer your project. With our expertise in modular design, we help you strategize with optimum budget and timeline. Modular can save you significant time and provide superior quality—even if you’re only using components such as bathroom pods and elevators.
Got questions? I’ll be happy to give you a focused consultation!
Senior Director- Architecture/Modular Design