If you are considering an elevator modernization, there are many factors that contribute to the decision-making process, particularly, in a commercial or residential building.
Poor maintenance practices and a general dissatisfaction with elevator service are important, but not necessarily the primary reasons to modernize.
Poor maintenance can and should be corrected, and you should meet with your maintenance supplier to discuss an improvement plan and schedule. Complaints about intermittent elevator problems do not always signal an immediate need to modernize. But, frequent passenger complaints coupled with outages and recurring failures probably indicate equipment obsolescence that must be addressed.
Extraordinary maintenance and readjustment of the equipment may keep it operating at an acceptable level for the short term, and allow the time needed to budget for significant expenditures.
Steps to Modernization
Relay logic signal control and dispatching systems will eventually have to be updated with microprocessor controls. New motion control systems also should be included in an upgrade to provide smooth operations and level floor stop landings. Replacement of the car and corridor door equipment may be required, especially, if the existing systems are more than 20 years old. In the past, car interiors were usually considered an aesthetic issue but more and more building managers or condo/co-op boards recognize that tenants do not see most of the components in an elevator modernization. Renovation of the cabs visually demonstrates the financial investment in the elevator system.
Moreover, the modernization scope of work may trigger code-required upgrades that are incompatible with existing car and corridor fixtures. Emergency fire recall, emergency cab interior lighting, communication systems and compliance with ADA Guidelines are some of the conditions to be considered.
Finally, there is a certain amount of ancillary work for the building owner to address. Elevator microprocessors require a controlled atmosphere that may call for machine room air conditioning (and associated power supplies). New power supplies for the elevators, walls disturbed during the elevator modernization, the presence of non-elevator pipes in the elevator areas, and inadequate machine room lighting, are other items that must be evaluated.