what we modernize

Does your building measure up to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities act? Urban Elevator Service sales team will evaluate your buildings compliance with today’s A.D.A. requirements as defined by both State and Federal code requirements.

In addition to providing those with disabilities a safer and more convenient means of accessing your facility, updating your equipment to meet A.D.A requirements can enhance the overall aesthetics of your equipment. A majority of A.D.A. requirements involve elevator fixture control replacements and/or relocation. This is a great opportunity to look at some of the newest most innovative fixture controls on today’s market. From an esthetic standpoint, this is what the general public sees.

For individualized detailed requirements of your vertical transportation equipment and its compliance with the A.D.A., please feel free to utilize our A.D.A. Checklist.

City of Chicago code now mandates that all elevators with single bottom cylinders be replaced completely and/or retro fit with the installation of a piston gripper.

The original construction of most hydraulic cylinders before 1970 consisted of a single bottom design. This design was more susceptible to rust because of its cylindrical design and welded flat bottom. This area in particular allowed for a concentration of underground currents (electrolysis) to damage the weld more rapidly than other areas of the cylinder. A cylinder’s life span can increase or decrease significantly given soil acidity levels and water table condition for any particular geographical area. Although most buried cylinders are covered in a protective coating, it is possible that the cylinder’s protective coating may have been damaged during the installation which can effectively further reduce the life of the cylinder. Since we are unable to inspect the condition of a buried cylinder, it is difficult if not impossible to accurately assess the life of a single bottom cylinder.

Catastrophic failures of single bottom cylinders have occurred with little to no warning, in some cases causing severe injury and fatalities. For these reasons, where single bottom cylinders are a concern, we recommend immediate replacement of the cylinders. In addition, it is important that your service provider have an oil monitoring program in place to help proactively reduce the exposure to this type of a failure. More recently with the introduction of double bulkheads, PVC protection and flex-liners, hydraulic elevators have taken necessary steps towards a much safer future. The advantage of a double bulkhead design versus single is in the construction of the cylinder’s bottom plate.

The double bulkhead is similar in design to that of the old design, but has the added security of an additional encapsulated reservoir head located at the very bottom of the cylinder. The inner head of the cylinder, located within the reservoir, contains a slow leak port. Should the first or primary bulk head fail, this port is designed to allow the car to descend at a controlled rate. This alone, does not completely resolve the potential of a failure due to possible uncontrollable and/or incidental installation damage to the side wall, as previously described. For this reason, most cylinders installed today are encapsulated with additional protection of either PVC or a flex-liner. PVC also allows the ability to monitor any potential oil loss between the cylinder and PVC buried beneath the ground.

A piston gripper monitors the speed at which the piston is traveling under normal conditions and clamps down on the piston bringing the elevator to a controlled stop in the event of an over speed. A piston gripper is not designed to eliminate the potential of a failure but reduce the impact of an occurrence. If you are concerned about the type of hydraulic cylinder present in your building please feel free to contact our sales department for additional information.

For equipment outside of the Chicago City Limits, the State of Illinois is currently only requiring this change for equipment that “(1) is already undergoing a (permit-required) alteration, (2) has failed, or (3) failing to replace the equipment jeopardizes the public safety and welfare as determined by the Local Administrator or the (Elevator Safety Review) Board.” While across the board enforcement has been officially delayed, we know that single bottom cylinders pose some level of potential risk to public safety. We recommend that owners of this type of equipment make the necessary modifications before a catastrophic failure; while you still have control over costs, timelines and Liability issues.

Urban Elevator Service can evaluate your elevator system for current compliance with today’s life safety essentials. Currently, code requires that any elevator with more than 25′ of travel have fireman’s service type operation. Retro-fitting older systems can be accomplished by utilizing an “overlay type” add-on panel with the existing control system. This can prove to be very time consuming and costly in the long run; still leaving you with an older and unreliable base system. Consideration should be given to converting the system to a newer microprocessor type control system. This can be done for a modest incremental cost increase over retro-fitting the existing. In doing so, you will maximize your investment in the equipment and see a bigger return in asset retention on your capital expenditure.

Current code became effective in Chicago on March 6, 2010, which will require on or before January 1, 2015, all elevators with Phase II Emergency In-Car Operation to comply with either;

All of the requirements set forth in 2.27.3 through 2.27.8 of ASME, as modified by items (46) through (60) of Article II of this chapter;
or All of the applicable requirements of the Chicago Building Code in existence at the time the existing elevator was equipped or required to be equipped with Firefighter’s Emergency Operation and all of the requirements set forth in section 18-30-2610 of the Chicago Building Code adopted on January 10, 2001, and appearing in the Journal of Council Proceedings on page 50236 of that date.

Provided, however, that if, at the time an existing elevator was installed or altered, the Chicago Municipal Code did not require that such existing elevator be equipped with a fire alarm initiating device, nothing in this Section 18-30-320 or in Section 18-30-2610 of the Chicago Building Code adopted on January 10, 2001, as referenced in item (2) of this section, shall be construed to require the installation of a fire alarm initiating device in such existing elevator until such time that an alteration is made to such existing elevator where ASME 8.7 requires a fire alarm initiating device to be installed.

Outside the Chicago city limits, the State of Illinois is currently only requiring this change for equipment that “(1) is already undergoing a (permit-required) alteration, (2) has failed or (3) failing to replace the equipment jeopardizes the public safety and welfare as determined by the Local Administrator or the (Elevator Safety Review) Board.” While across the board enforcement has been officially delayed, there can be little doubt that it will come. While costs continue to rise, either the State or Local Authority may require that these changes be made on any given elevator at any given time in the interest of “public safety and welfare”. We recommend that owners of affected equipment make the necessary modifications as soon as they are able; while they still have control over costs, timelines and liability issues.

As one of the most relied upon modes of public transportation, some elevators will make over a million trips in just a few years. Although known to be extremely reliable, the fact that nothing lasts forever holds true for elevator equipment.

Urban Elevator continues to be one of the industries premier modernization companies. Our modernization department is comprised of highly qualified individuals with many years of experience. Our approach is to evaluate and customize each job while considering customer requirements, equipment condition, code deficiencies and market. The modernization process will bring improved reliability, increased efficiency, code compliance and competitively marketable leasing amenities.

Urban Elevator Service offers advanced microprocessor type elevator control products. Every elevator control system that Urban Elevator installs is universally maintainable by an independent elevator contractor or OEM alike.

There is never a need for a proprietary tool, giving the building management the freedom to select any elevator service provider.

Urban Elevator Service is capable of handling projects as small as a single elevator type application to large scale multi-group installations. Careful consideration should be given to planning for an elevator modernization project to minimize the impact on an occupied and functional property.

We pride ourselves on our ability to provide our customers a complete project, tailored to meet their specific needs, delivered on-time and within budget.

Second only to a controller, door equipment is the next most likely cause of repetitive elevator shutdowns. Unlike a controller replacement, which requires complete code compliance, a door equipment upgrade can be done as a repair omitting the additional ancillary costs associated with complete code compliance.

Elevator doors constantly interact with the general riding public. Riders see and hear the door operation, and pass continuously through the door openings. The public associates elevator condition by what they can see and hear. To keep doors operating at their optimal performance, adjustments are constantly required. Newer state of the art equipment tends to require fewer adjustments than older worn equipment and is less susceptible to failure.

Cab interiors provide a very appealing image to the general riding public at a moderate cost to the building owner. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines should be considered and incorporated into the elevator at the time of a cab interior installation. This will ensure cost effectiveness and elevator accessibility for all passengers. Interior renovations can be done without affecting the operation of the elevator, although in some cases, changing interior finishes can add weight to an elevator and change the elevator capacity and building structural load.

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