Hospitals, clinics, and other medical care facilities need elevator systems that work 24 by 7, can handle frequent demand for vertical transport of patients, patient beds, medical equipment of varying loads and dimensions, as well as cater to staff and visitors, many of whom may require special devices to move about.
As a facility manager, you would be challenged by the scope of masses and shapes that need to be transported at short notice. Transport via elevator systems has to be stable, with sufficient power backup, unfailing pulleys, hoist ways, and control panels. You will also need to segregate general visitor elevators from those meant for doctors, emergency technicians, and patient transport. The latter need to be available instantly and must be kept free of unauthorized access at all times. There is also concern about hygiene while using elevators and it makes sense to use elevator car materials that are easy to clean and which make it difficult for dust, grease, and germs to remain stuck on their surfaces.
Dimensions and Capacities of Elevators in Healthcare
Most hospitals in the USA carry loads between 1500 kilograms to 2,100 kilograms and can run at peak speeds of 30 meters per second. There should be enough room in the enclosure for at least one hospital bed or stretcher and one attendant. If surgeries and emergency treatment is your focus area, then keep more space available for performing life-saving operations while the patient is being transported.
Large hospitals may require access to helipads and consequently access to helipad elevators. Laundry, chemicals, loading bays, and other industrial facilities may require separate freight elevators whose carrying capacity will depend upon how busy your cargo-bays are.
Medical Elevator Recommendations Based on Building Height
Low-rise buildings can make do with compact gear-less drives, steel cables, lightweight, fireproof panelling, and manual controls. If you have the budget, go for MRL design and roomier elevator cabins. For sturdier finishings, go for metal or stainless steel wall and door panels in the enclosure. You also have the option of choosing between foot-operated controls and smart, voice-based access for destinations.
Mid-rise buildings could require up to 350 feet of vertical travel and around 30 stops. Apart from MRL configurations, ask your elevator design company to maximize space utilization with appropriate shaft dimensioning. Energy-efficient solutions now allow you to save up to 30% of your power consumption, longer-lasting materials, and automated maintenance.
Electrical traction elevators serve the purpose of high-rise buildings better because they can travel a greater length at higher speed. Such elevator cars move over guard-rails made, usually, of steel, pulled by a system of cables that pass through a traction sheave installed in the machine room. The cables are connected to a counterweight that sufficiently brings down design costs compared to similar hydraulic elevators.
Hospitals and large care facilities need to ensure seismic activity detection sensors attached to key installations such as the elevator car and the counterweight. Any abnormal disturbances can be measured along the 3-axes and signals may then be passed to either take the elevator off power or alert passengers so that they may quickly alight at the nearest exit.
One other critical concern for medical personnel is security. Because of the risk of infection and other concerns related to patient privacy, smart elevator systems that distinguish passengers based on their authorized access key, are a necessity.
With elevator engineers primed and trained to prevent cost and time overruns, professional elevator load test services, such as Premier Elevators, can save you plenty of trouble. Call now for a free consultation.