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The Significance of Lift Traffic Analysis

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Mumbai-Sigma IT Park

In this Readers’ Platform, your author looks at the importance of analysis in new construction, focusing on resolving the VT complexities of different real estate segments.

An elevator traffic study, or vertical-transportation (VT) study, is typically performed to determine the anticipated elevator interval, the average wait time and handling capacity that a proposed elevator schema or VT schema will yield. When an elevator traffic analysis is performed, numerous variables are analyzed to understand the traffic flow within the building, whether it is an office building, a university, retailer, mall, hospital, or a residential building. All details must be answered with the utmost accuracy. The traffic analysis methodology and algorithms encompass all the specifics for an accurate scheme for current and future needs and goals of the various types of buildings.

A sound traffic analysis aids in the development of multiple viable solutions for a building’s elevator core. Every solution has its advantages and disadvantages. Making the right choice at the very beginning of a project saves a lot of money and prevents costly surprises at a later stage.

Apart from following widely accepted standards and specific project goals, it is increasingly important for elevator consultants to take into consideration the changing nature of high-rise buildings, which are increasingly multi-use in nature. For example, hotel, residential, retail and office spaces can be in one structure. Furthermore, these structures may offer co-working areas or special-purpose levels (like restaurants and sky gardens) instead of traditional office levels only. 

Making a Sound Decision

To determine the most beneficial elevator configuration and test it via ETA, it is important to involve an experienced elevator consultant in the early stages of the structural design of tall buildings. Architects need to know the exact number of elevator shafts required, as well as their planned arrangement, in terms of the number of elevators, the number of elevator lobbies/sky-lobbies and the arrangement of the lobbies. A sound traffic analysis aids in the development of multiple viable solutions for a building’s elevator core. Every solution has its advantages and disadvantages. Making the right choice at the very beginning of a project saves a lot of money and prevents costly surprises at a later stage.

Adopting Apt Technology 

A sound traffic analysis carried out by experts will lead to highly efficient elevator shaft layouts and, thus, more rentable space and better return on investment for the building owner. The right choice of elevator technology also reduces the number of empty trips (and phantom stops), while decreasing energy consumption and ensuring higher traffic performance and greater comfort for the tenants.

Challenges and Complexities 

If an elevator consultant is not contacted until after the elevator core layout is finalized, it will be too late to reap the benefit of reducing shafts: that is ensuring more rentable space. At that point, only the lesser benefits of reducing the number of required elevators remain, such as re-purposing unnecessary shafts in a passenger elevator lobby for use as service or firefighter elevators or using the space for pipework, HVAC and electrical systems. 

High costs will be incurred if it is decided to change the elevator configuration at a later stage of a building’s structural design. In most cases, and for structural reasons, architects start high-rise designs with the building core, which houses the elevators. If the core is changed too late, the architect will have to revise the entire structure of the building and the load-bearing walls of the core. By starting early with the configuration of elevators, elevator consultants have time to provide advice on any standards or best practices that need to be upheld, and they will have enough time to create new opportunities by suggesting different layout options. 

Right now, when the world is facing challenges from the ongoing global pandemic, elevator consultants need to plan for situations that call for a very small number of passengers per trip so that building owners can easily comply with social distancing regulations. Here, too, experience and flexibility, along with creativity and innovation, are just as important as access to flexible elevator systems.

Considering Experience with Expertise 

Ample experience is required to carry out sound traffic analyses for tall buildings, which take into account all known aspects. There is no shortage of elevator consultants in the world. However, it is highly recommended to work with elevator consultants who have already provided consultation for various types of high-rise projects. They must have proven experience using simulation tools for traffic analysis. These experiences enable them to provide several reasonable scenarios, as they will not assume that only one solution fits all. Most of all, consultants must be able to show that their recommendations are not just theoretically sound, but that their original traffic performance simulations will fall in line with the actual performance of the elevator system.

Manish Mehan is CEO and managing director of TKE (India). He previously served the company as CFO. His association with TKE dates back to 2002. With more than 18 years’ experience, his expertise spans verticals like finance, operations, sales and marketing. He envisions positioning TKE as the most customer-centric solution provider with an efficient and lean structure, where collaboration and respect among teams are part of the DNA, thereby providing an enriching experience to stakeholders.

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